When the time comes to move into a new house or renovate the old one, there will be a lot of things to move around. The kitchen, for instance, is full of stuff that needs to be taken care of, mainly the appliances.
Moving or renovating your home can create a lot of hassles, as most kitchen appliances are large in size, heavy to move around and they take up a lot of space Therefore, moving your washing machine and other appliances to storage is a good way to keep them safe while you take care of more important things.
In this blog post, we’ll provide you with all the vital tips on how to put your washing machine in a storage unit in the best way possible. We’ll go through the do’s and don’ts to make sure your washing machine maintains its good condition while not in use.
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Do you have to drain a washing machine before storage?
Draining a washing machine before storage is highly recommended for several important reasons. First and foremost, it helps prevent water damage. Removing any remaining water from the machine will significantly reduce the risk of leaks or spills during the storage period. Not only will that protect the washer itself, but it also prevents any potential damage to your other belongings, like books or cushions.
Another critical reason for draining the washing machine is to avoid the growth of mould and mildew. Storing a washing machine with water inside creates a damp environment, which is an ideal breeding ground for mould and mildew. These can cause unpleasant odour, damage internal components, and negatively impact the machine’s performance. When you drain the water, you eliminate this moisture source and minimise the risk of mould and mildew growth.
Draining the washing machine is particularly important if you are going to store it in an area with freezing temperatures. Any water left inside the machine can freeze and expand, potentially causing damage to various components like hoses, valves, or pumps. Draining the water ensures that the appliance is protected from freezing-related issues and reduces the risk of damage.
Storing a washing machine step by step
When storing a washing machine, preparation and care are crucial to ensure its longevity and functionality. Whether you’re moving it shortly or simply need to store the appliance for an extended period, taking the time to safeguard it against potential damage is essential. We will walk you through the whole process.
1. Clean the washing machine
it is essential to clean your washing machine before storing it to maintain its condition and prevent any issues that may arise during storage.
Wipe down the exterior surfaces of the washing machine with a clean cloth or sponge. Pay attention to areas prone to buildup, such as the control panel, knobs, and door handle. Clean the interior of the washing machine, including the drum or tub. You can use a washing machine cleaner specifically designed for this purpose. After cleaning, leave the washing machine door or lid open for a while to allow the interior to dry completely.
Remove and clean the detergent compartments and filters, if applicable. Rinse them thoroughly with warm water to remove any residue or debris. Ensure they are completely dry before reinstalling them. If your washing machine has a specific maintenance cycle option, consider running it before storing the machine. This cycle helps eliminate any remaining residues and keeps the machine in optimal condition.
2. Disconnect and drain
Taking the time to drain your washing machine before storage can minimise the risk of water-related issues, keep the machine clean and dry, and help ensure its smooth functioning when you’re ready to use it again.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to disconnect and drain your washing machine:
- Unplug the washing machine from the power outlet or turn off the circuit breaker dedicated to the appliance. This ensures your safety during the disconnection process.
- Locate the water supply valves behind the washing machine and turn them clockwise to shut off the water flow. This prevents any water from entering the machine during the disconnection and draining process.
- Place a large bucket or container near the washing machine to collect the water that will be drained.
- Locate the water supply hoses at the back of the washing machine. There are usually two hoses—one for hot water and one for cold water. Start with the hot water hole. Use pliers or a wrench to loosen the hose connections. Be prepared for some residual water to come out when disconnecting the hoses.
- Once the hoses are disconnected, hold them over the bucket or container and allow any remaining water to drain out. You can gently shake or squeeze the hoses to facilitate the drainage process.
- Open the washing machine lid or door and remove any remaining water from the tub or drum. If the machine has a built-in drain mechanism, you can manually empty the water with a small cup or scoop.
- Once the water is drained, leave the washing machine door or lid open for a while to allow the interior to dry completely.
3. Secure the drum
If your washing machine has a drum lock or transit bolts, use them to secure the drum. These are typically provided with new washing machines for transportation purposes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the drum properly.
4. Protect the washer
Use a clean cloth or plastic sheet to wrap the washing machine. This will protect it from dust, dirt, and scratches during transportation and storage. Avoid using airtight coverings to allow ventilation and prevent moisture buildup.
Do not stack heavy items or place any objects on top of the washing machine, as this can cause damage to the device or affect its stability. Avoid storing the washing machine near any hazardous materials or chemicals that could potentially leak or cause damage to the machine.
5. Choose the best place to store your washing machine
Select a storage area that is dry, clean, and preferably climate-controlled. Moisture could cause mould, mildew, and corrosion, so a dry environment is essential. Avoid areas prone to water leaks or high humidity. Keep the surroundings clean to prevent debris from entering the machine.
Consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit to maintain stable temperature and humidity levels, protecting the machine from extreme conditions. Ensure proper airflow to minimise the risk of mould growth. Protect the machine from direct sunlight or heat sources.
Choosing the right storage location provides optimal conditions for the washing machine’s preservation and ensures it remains in good working order.
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6. Elevate the washing machine
Lifting the washing machine off the ground in a storage unit can provide added protection against potential water damage. If the storage unit is prone to flooding or water leakage, placing the washing machine on pallets or sturdy platforms helps prevent direct contact with any water that may enter the unit. This precaution can help safeguard the machine and reduce the risk of water-related issues.
However, if the storage unit is dry and well-maintained, elevating the washing machine may not be necessary. In such cases, storing the machine on the ground level should be sufficient, provided the area is clean.
7. Position the washing appliance
Place the washing machine in an upright position during storage. This helps prevent damage to the internal components, such as the motor, drum, and suspension system. Avoid tilting or laying the machine on its side, as this can cause issues when you retrieve and reinstall it later.
Keeping it upright ensures that the machine maintains its structural integrity and functions properly when you are ready to use it again.
8. Leave the door slightly open
The washing machine’s door should be slightly open while in storage. This allows for air circulation and helps prevent the growth of mould and mildew inside the machine. This practice helps keep the interior fresh and reduces the risk of unpleasant odours or damage caused by stagnant air.
9. Consider insurance
You might want to consider getting insurance for your stored washing machine. This can protect it from damage or loss due to unforeseen circumstances such as theft, fire, or natural disasters. Check with the storage unit facility or your insurance provider for available options.
You can always opt to use full-service storage, where the removalist collects and moves your washing machine to the storage facility. The appliance will be unloaded and carefully placed in a secure unit.
How long can you keep a washing machine in storage?
A washing machine can be typically kept in storage for several months to a few years without significant issues, given it is stored correctly. However, to ensure smooth functioning after a long-term storage period, you must take good care of the cleaning appliance.
Again, storing the washing machine in a dry environment with controlled humidity levels is more than essential. Use moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets or dehumidifiers in the storage area to prevent excess moisture buildup.
Extreme temperatures can impact the machine’s performance and lifespan. Avoid storing the machine in areas with severe heat or cold. Choose a storage location with a stable temperature range within the manufacturer’s recommended limits.
While in storage, periodically check on the washing machine, if possible. Inspect for any signs of damage, pests, or moisture accumulation. Consider running a maintenance cycle or cleaning the machine before using it again to ensure optimal performance.
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- Draining a washing machine before storage is highly recommended to prevent water damage and the growth of mould and mildew.
- Choose a suitable storage location that is dry, clean, and preferably climate-controlled.
- If stored correctly, washing machines can be stored for several months to a few years.