Moving to a new home?

If you plan to bring your washer and dryer with you, you’ll want to take careful steps to keep them in top condition.

If you need to store the units for a period of time during the transition, protecting them will ensure they are ready when you need them.

Follow these guidelines to move and store a washer and dryer in the best way possible.

Automatic washing machines in laundry

Prepare a Washer and Dryer

1. Clean your washer of any detergent residue, by running it on a hot water cycle. Add 3/4 cup of vinegar and let the cycle finish.

“Remove all the dust and grime by using a damp cloth for wiping,” suggested Lauren Haynes, a home organizing expert at Star Domestic Cleaners.  Leave the door open for several hours or a day to dry it out.

2. Shut off the water supply hoses by turning the valves in a clockwise manner. Switch off any electricity breakers and disconnect the machine. You’ll also want to take off the hoses.

3. Read your washer’s instruction manual to find specific directions for moving the unit.

“The manufacturer usually provides information about transportation of the specific appliance,” said Haynes. “Some of them also come with a moving kit with shipping bolts, wedging foam or cardboard.”

If you can’t find the manual, visit or ask a local technician for advice. You may need to put in a washer lock, which will keep the drum of the machine in place during transit.

4. To get your dryer ready, wipe the machine with a damp cloth and clean the lint trap. Make sure any electricity breakers are turned off, and turn off the gas supply valve to the machine. Disconnect the machine and place any detachable parts in a bag or container so they will stay safe during the move.

Move a Washer and Dryer

The preparations for moving a traditional set and a stacked unit, in which the dryer is above the washing machine, is usually the same:

1. Wrap with blankets and foam to prevent scratches.
2. Load into your moving truck before other items, along with other heavy appliances.
3. Use a shoulder dolly.
4. Secure units to walls of moving truck with an adjustable strap.

“However, moving a stacked unit is quite tricky,” pointed out Haynes. You’ll need to deal with a setup that is twice the height of a regular unit and also weighs considerably more.

If you have a front-loading washer, you may need to take extra measures as well.

“Front-loading washing machines tend to be twice as heavy as the older style,” said Rob Rimeris of EverSafe Moving Company in Philadelphia.

Rather than trying to pick up the units to relocate them, look into a shoulder dolly, suggested Rimeris. If you use a moving company, the movers involved will generally take care of this step. If you’re moving on your own, you may be able to rent or purchase a dolly.

You’ll also want to keep protection in mind when moving a washer and dryer.

“We wrapped the washer and dryer with blankets and foam to prevent them from getting scratches,” recalled Marcus Kusi, a blogger at Our Peaceful Family who moved a washer and dryer. “Then we put them on as the first two things to go in the moving truck.”

Kusi made sure the units were secured by tying them to the truck and using at adjustable strap to keep them in place. He also checked that no liquids were close to them.

Store a Washer and Dryer

If you store a washer and dryer, you’ll want to keep the area you place them in clean and dry:

1. Store units off the ground using pallets or cardboard.
2. Keep covered with blanket, foam or shrink wrap.
3. Keep away from liquids or heavy objects that could fall and damage your units.

Storing the units off of the ground can help avoid the risk of rust in the future. “For storage, we store on pallets to prevent water damage,” explained Rusi. To find pallets, check with a nearby store, shipping company or storage facility. And if pallets are unavailable, place the washer and dryer on several sheets of cardboard to keep them off of the floor.

To protect the machines, cover them with a blanket or foam during their time in storage. Shrink wrap is also a good solution to keep units protected, added Rimeris.

Don’t store liquids or other items that could cause damage near the units. That way, when you are ready to use the washer and dryer again, they will be in solid working order.

Rachel Hartman
Rachel Hartman is a freelance writer specializing in small business, personal finance, and lifestyle topics. More information on her writing and work can be found at