Moving to a new home is not something that just happens on a whim. Even if the idea was born out of whimsical spontaneity, the move itself does require planning. You do not just drive to your new home and settle in, you need to have appliances and furniture and all the other necessities of living easy. So unless you channel your inner caveman and wash your clothes by hand, you own a washing machine.
Obviously you do the research on whether it’s viable to move certain items or to just buy them brand new. If you are on this article then clearly you have decided that you would prefer to move your washing machine and not invest in a new one.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Moving Your Washing Machine
We believe it’s always best to be ready and prepared before undertaking a task. First, let’s get you prepared mentally. If you have decided to undertake this task by yourself and not by enlisting the help of professional movers, then this may prove to be a challenge.
Washing machines are huge, with most front loading washing machines standing 33.46 inches (850 mm) tall and just about 23.62 inches (600 mm) wide. Most washing machines roughly have a similar shape and build to fit into the standard “washing machine space” in a kitchen.
The large size does come with a lot of weight. These machines can more or less weigh anywhere from 150 pounds (68 kg) and 200 pounds (90 kg). So be ready for some gritty heavy lifting, sweat inducing work. Now to prepare yourself physically.
Tools You Need To Move A Washing Machine
These are the tools you will require to disconnect, remove, move and reinstall your washing machine in your new home. Think of these as the tools of your trade.
Borrow a few of Santa’s helpers to help you with your move. If they are not available, trick some of your friends, family, or even your neighbors into giving you a hand. You will need all hands on deck to move your machine onto the truck. Just make sure you don’t have too many people around, because that will just create chaos and will end up being counterproductive.
This is literally what you are going to use to wheel your washing machine to your truck. Before you disconnect your washing machine, make sure you do get one of these. Ideally, you should purchase, rent or borrow one before you even begin the process of disconnecting or cleaning your washing machine.
Pipe Wrench/Adjustable Plier
You will need this to detach the washing machine hose from the wall. This hose carries the water and it may prove difficult to detach this without the aid of a pipe wrench or an adjustable plier.
You don’t want your washing machine to get damaged during the move, do you? These blankets are wrapped around the washing machine to give it that padded protection it needs. Make sure you get a few of these moving blankets because just one might not be enough to cover your entire washing machine.
Saran Wrap/Duct Tape And Zip Ties
This is used to secure the padding in place and to prevent any contaminants from being introduced. Letting moisture and dirt get on the washing machine during a long trip may lead to mold and other fungal organisms from finding a new home in your machine.
You can use the zip ties to secure any other loose parts.
These are pretty important. You need these bolts to hold the washing machine drum in place when the machine is in transit. These bolts come with the machine when you buy it and are removed when installing the machine. If you don’t have these bolts, do look online or at a store to see if you can purchase new ones. Each make and model of a washing machine will have their own specific bolt.
Spanner Or Socket
Your tool that will help you install and uninstall those transit bolts mentioned above.
Washing machine manual
You will need to refer to this for guidance when uninstalling and reinstalling your machine. The information we give is more of a general guideline for all washing machines. But at the end of the day, the manual will give you more specific help with regards to the specific make and model of your washing machine.
These are what you will use to bind the washing machine in place in the truck and immobilize it completely. Make sure the ones you get will not snap under the strain of this heavy machine trying to break free.
Well, you might think this is a no brainer and you are right, but we just wanted to mention this so that you do have the foresight to rent a truck with a ramp or a lift.
Having prepared yourself for the task at hand, armed with your tools, let’s get to the good bit.
Clear The Path For The Washing Machine
Washing machines are usually tucked away in a corner or under a shelf and against a wall. The power supply and water lines tend to be plugged in behind the machine or above it. These machines are huge, and accessing these sockets and pipes will require you to maybe tilt the machine forward or shimmy it back and forth. And once you are done with that, you may have to pull the machine out before loading it on the dolly and wheeling it away to the truck. You need space to do all of these. To prevent any injury or damage or giving more reason to make the task far more challenging than it already is, preemptively clear the area of anything unnecessary.
Cleaning Your Washing Machine
Your first step is the obvious step of emptying out your machine. Then, your second step should be to clean the washing machine. You can go about it manually or if your machine has the option, then use the machine rinse cycle to wash the drum. The added bonus of getting the machine to do this, is that when it empties the clean water, it will also clean out the drainage hose. Whether you do it manually or you put the machine through a cycle to rinse the drum, your goal is to make sure there is no muck or any other remnants remaining in the drum.
Once you have washed the drum clean, dry it down thoroughly. Use a damp cloth to get rid of any soap stains that might remain and then use a dry cloth to wipe down the wet surfaces and remove whatever water droplets still persist. If planned well in advance, we would suggest doing this a day or so before you decide to move, so that your washing machine can dry out thoroughly. At the end of the day, what you want is to make sure that you transport a clean, dry washing machine.
Disconnect The Power
Quite literally one of the most important steps. Before you get to yank the machine out, turn off the power supply. You do not want to accidentally electrocute yourself while fidgeting around with the machine. Apart from the general safety of those involved, you also want to keep your machine safe and avoid any electrical damage that might occur because of a short circuit or any other unforeseen circumstance involving electrical power.
If the wall socket is easily accessible (in most cases it is) then go ahead and unplug it right away. If it is not easy to reach (maybe located behind the machine), we advise turning off the power to the room that the machine is in. You can do this via the circuit breaker, before shimmying the machine about, to get to the power socket. You can always go back and turn on the power to the room right after.
Turn Off The Water Supply
Now that your machine does not have any access to electrical power, it’s time to cut off its water supply. Now these water supply lines or pipes tend to be located behind the washing machine. Depending on the machine you have, this may be separate pipes for carrying hot and cold water, or just a singular pipe.
These pipes may be attached to a nozzle, a valve or a tap. To stop the water supply, you have to turn this tap clockwise until it can turn no further. If your machine happens to be the one that has multiple pipes attached to separate valves or taps, make sure to repeat this process on all of them until they are all off.
Keep A Towel And A Bucket Ready
Before you disconnect the pipes, make sure that you have a few towels and a bucket ready. This is so that you can drain any residue water remaining in these pipes or hose into the bucket, and you can use the towel to mop up any spillage that may occur.
Pull Out The Hoses And Pipes
This is the step where you need those adjustable pliers or pipe wrench we talked about earlier. Using these pliers, turn the hose fitting anticlockwise to detach it from the valve where it is connected and then drain it into the bucket to empty out the water.
Depending on the type of machine you have you may be able to separate the hose from the machine as well. If you can detach the hose, then we suggest that you do this. You can zip tie the hoses together and pack them separately.
Your machine may also have a drainage pipe or hose to get rid of all the dirty water in the machine after a wash. Most machines have a bracket at the back of the machine to attach this hose to. Make sure that you secure the hose with this bracket.
As the name suggests, these bolts lock the drum of the machine in place during transit. It prevents the drum from moving about and damaging itself and any other mechanism. The washing machine comes with these bolts at the time of purchase, and they are removed when installing the machine. If you do not have the bolts, try to acquire the one specific to your machine model from the store or try to purchase them online. If you have these bolts with you, then consult the user manual for your washing machine on how to install these bolts as the process sometimes varies from machine to machine.
To give you a general idea, there are two slots at the back of the machine where you can slide the bolts into and gently turn them to lock into place and secure the drum. But it’s always best to consult the user manual specific to your machine. One last thing. (We will mention this later as well) Remember to remove the bolts when you reinstall your washing machine. It will damage your washing machine if you try to run a wash cycle with them still installed.
Packing For The Move
From here on out, you will definitely need an extra pair of hands. Team work, makes the dream work. As mentioned earlier, make sure you have enough space to work with, and gently shimmy the washing machine out into the open to pack. You may want to place sheets of cardboard on the floor to prevent damage to it or the machine. There are two major items to pack. The detachable parts of the machine and the machine itself.
The detachable parts like the many hoses can all be packed together. As mentioned earlier, you can use zip ties to secure them together before placing them in a box. Alternatively, if you can pad them well enough by wrapping them up in a blanket or sheet, before securing that too, then you can go ahead and place them in the drum of the washing machine. This way, the washing machine parts stay with the machine and you won’t have to dig through boxes to look for them later. Secure the power cord by taping it to the back of the machine itself.
Finally to secure the machine, wrap it up in the blankets or sheets. Make sure that you run the blanket all around, above and below the washing machine. Double check to make sure you have enough layers to pad it well. Then proceed to wrap that in saran wrap. This will prevent any moisture and dirt from contaminating the machine. You can secure the saran wrap in place with tape, rope or the straps.
Use An Appliance Dolly
To get the machine to the truck, you can opt to wreck you and your friend’s backs, or you can wheel it on a dolly. We would strongly suggest you don’t end up paying any hospital bills and recommend you use the dolly. Get a couple of your friends to tilt the washing machine backwards. Then slowly and gently slide the edge of the dolly under the machine and use this as leverage to load the entire washing machine onto the dolly. Make sure that the machine is completely on the dolly with no part sticking out.
Next, using the straps or the rope, secure the machine to the dolly. You wouldn’t want the machine to end its journey before it begins, by falling off.
Loading Onto The Truck
Make sure you have people helping you with this bit. Preferably more than one.
Wheel the dolly out to your transport vehicle. Carefully and with help, push the dolly up the loading ramp on the truck. Don’t try to act all tough. Use the extra help.
If you have a truck with a gate or tail lift, then it is a far less stressful situation.
Once you have the machine on the truck and off the dolly, secure it against the wall of the truck using the straps or the rope. Make sure the washing machine is locked in place. If it moves around during transit, being as large and heavy as it is, it will damage the other items on the truck and itself. Make sure you secure the machine upright and not on its side.
Read Also: How to Pack and Load a Moving Truck?
A New Home
At the new home, make sure you have help of some sort when unloading the machine. Pushing it down the trucks loading ramp if far more sketchy than pushing it up the ramp. Make sure the machine is secured so that it does not tip forward, and have someone help you wheel it down the ramp so that gravity doesn’t snatch it away from you.
Once you’ve gotten past that stressful minute of unloading the washing machine and you have bought it into its new home, make sure you read the manual on how to install it. Who are we kidding? Hire a professional to install it in your new place. Sure you can do it yourself, but it may end up being far more complicated than uninstalling it. Instead of running the risk of ruining a perfectly fine, working machine, get someone who knows what they are doing to install the machine in your new home.
One last very, very important bit of information. MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE TRANSIT BOLTS WHEN YOU INSTALL YOUR WASHING MACHINE. It would really be all for naught if you persevered through all the hurdles of bringing your machine with you, only to have the machine break on the first wash, because the transit bolts were still in place.
How do you slide a washing machine into place?
Normally, this would depend on the make and model of the washing machine you own. If your washing machine has wheels on its base, then it’s all going to be easy peasy. But that’s not going to be the usual scenario, especially for the front load kind. So your best bet is to make use of a moving dolly and place the washing on top of it. The other option is keep it on top of a moving blanket that you can drag, while simultaneously sliding the machine.
Can one person move a washing machine?
The short answer is YES. But then you would have to organize stuff as meticulously as possible and plan things out well. Depending on the size and weight of your machine, it would end up being quite a laborious task. The tricky part would be placing it onto a dolly, padding it with moving blankets, loading it onto a truck and then unloading once you reach your new location. We recommend getting some help from Moving Labor Companies to make things easier, even though doing it alone is possible.
How do you transport a washing machine?
Doesn’t matter if it’s a top load or a front load, the best way to move it is to place it upright. While in transit, your washer needs to be padded well with moving blankets to avoid damages. If getting it up and down a flight of stairs, you would either need two strong people manhandling it or better yet, a moving dolly to wheel it down with ease. A ramp would also help when loading it on a truck or unloading it.
It’s always comforting to take with you, all that you are familiar with, when shifting into a new home. Sometimes, that includes your washing machine. We hope this guide was able to give you the guidance you seek in moving your washing machine. However, if you can afford to hire professionals to remove and reinstall your washing machine, we highly recommend that you do so.