Moving appliances requires know-how and a great deal of coordination. A moving company will do all of the heavy lifting. However, the preparation of major appliances is an important activity for you to schedule before your move. Follow these steps to make moving your washer, dryer, refrigerator and other appliances safe and simple.

It’s your responsibility to:

  • Take care of these preparations yourself,
  • Hire an appropriate technician, or
  • Request that the moving company make the arrangements for you at an additional charge

Servicing Appliances Before a Move

Servicing means preparing appliances, so they will safely withstand handling during transit or while in storage. This process can include bracing a washer tub, disconnecting an ice maker, capping off a gas line, and special handling of satellite dish components.

Moving companies do not:

  • Disconnect or reconnect appliances (ice maker, washer, dryer, etc.) or reconnect them in the new residence
  • Disconnect utilities
  • Repair appliances
  • Remove or install window AC units or TV antennas
  • Perform wiring, plumbing, electrical or carpentry services

Who is Responsible for These Services?

  • The appliance service company prepares the appliances for safe handling.
  • The gas company disconnects and caps gas lines and caps the pipes.
  • The moving company transports all appliances. If requested by the owner, servicing appliances can be arranged. However, the moving company does not assume this responsibility.
  • The owner is responsible for having appliances serviced, both at origin and destination. It is best to have a professional prepare your appliances at least one day before they are to be loaded. The customer may authorize the moving company to arrange for appliance servicing, which will be an additional charge.

Preparation of Major Appliances

Thorough cleaning and drying of appliances, particularly the refrigerator, freezer, and range, are necessary. This is especially important if they will be in storage for any length of time. Cleaning instructions are included in the owner’s manual which accompanies new appliances.

The following are general guidelines for cleaning and servicing major appliances. If your owner’s manual provides other directions, please follow them.


  • Cleaning
    • Wipe off the control panel with a dampened cloth.
    • The interior does not need cleaning unless you see a buildup of food or soap.
    • Leave the door open for several hours to ensure that the appliance is dry.
  • Servicing
    • Shut off the electric and water supplies.
    • Disconnect and drain the hoses. Then wrap dry hoses with towels or packing paper, and place inside the dishwasher.
    • Disconnect and drain the water inlet line and water valve.
    • Sponge any remaining water from the bottom of the dishwasher

Washing Machine

  • Cleaning
    • Use a soft cloth and appliance cleaner to wipe off the exterior.
    • On the inside, clean lint filter and tub with a soft dry cloth.
    • Leave the lid open so that moisture will evaporate.
  • Servicing
    • Turn off water faucets, disconnect and drain hoses.
    • Wrap the metal connector ends of hoses in a towel and place it inside the washer.
    • Secure the washer tub to prevent swaying during transit.
    • All water must be drained from the tub.
    • After your move, be sure to have the washer connected by a qualified installer.


  • Cleaning
    • Unplug the dryer or turn off the power.
    • Remove any debris from the lint screen with your fingers or a dry paper towel. Do not use water on the screen.
    • Wipe off the exterior with an appliance cleaner and soft damp cloth.
    • If the dryer drum is discolored, try a mild liquid household cleaner and warm water. Rub the area until the discoloration is removed. Then reconnect and operate the dryer with a load of old rags to remove any soap and to dry the drum. Remove the rags when finished.
  • Servicing
    • Disconnect the power.
    • For a gas dryer, the gas line should be disconnected and capped off before moving day by a service technician.
    • At destination, use a qualified installer who is familiar with the requirements for gas and or electricity, as well as the exhaust system.


  • Cleaning
    • Use a cloth and mild detergent to wipe off the exterior.
    • Before cleaning the interior, dispose of perishables and unplug the power cord.
    • Wash removable parts with a mild detergent or in a solution of warm water and baking soda.
    • Wash the interior walls and any non-removable parts with a mild detergent or baking soda solution.
    • Leave the door open for at least 48 hours. Allow extra dry time for frost-free models.
    • Secure all loose plastic parts.
    • Double-check the butter and egg compartments; be sure the appliance is empty and clean. A refrigerator that is not cleaned before transit can develop an unpleasant, permanent odor, making the appliance unusable.
    • After cleaning, place an odor and mildew preventative in your refrigerator.
    • At the bottom of the refrigerator, remove the base covering and vacuum the condenser.
    • Empty and clean the evaporator pan; allow time to dry.
  • Servicing
    • Turn off water and disconnect the water line if you have a cold water dispenser or automatic ice maker. You should also empty the water reservoir.
    • If your refrigerator is an older model, you may need to have the motor or compressor bolted down. The majority of refrigerators now are sealed units that do not require this service.
    • Do not run the refrigerator for at least 24 hours after delivery. This allows the oil time to settle, preventing possible damage to the compressor.
    • Ice makers and water dispensers must be connected to a water line. Installation service or parts can be obtained from a dealer for your appliance.


Freezers should be empty during a move for the following reasons:

  • Home freezers were not designed to be used as shipping containers. The weight of food during the move can crack plastic shelves or the molding inside the freezer.
  • Frozen foods are perishable. There is no way to ensure that the freezer temperature will remain at a safe level during the move.
  • Vans have no electric power to keep freezers running, nor can a van operator stop to connect a freezer to a power source.
  • Regardless of the precautions taken, frozen foods will spoil on a moving van.
  • The lining and insulation of the freezer can absorb bad odors from spoiled food which may render the freezer unusable.

To ensure your appliances are properly cared for during your move, ask us how we can help you. One of our moving experts will be happy to explain our process.

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