Home appliances are often large and bulky items, making them hard to store when they are not in use. Oftentimes they take up much-needed countertop space and valuable real estate in the garage. However, their convenience and high cost cause people to hold onto them once they’ve upgraded to a model that is new or more efficient. People hold onto them not just because of their cost, but for other potentially useful reasons. They can be very valuable to a household as a backup item when other appliances fail, or if a child or friend is moving into a new place that doesn't provide certain appliances, these make great housewarming gifts for first-time renters and buyers.
Below, we have compiled a list of tips for safely storing these items that can be susceptible to mold, rust and other forms of damage that render them useless when stored improperly.
Run an empty cycle
Dishwashers and clothes washers should be run through an entire cycle with a cup of bleach or white vinegar, completely empty of contents, before committing them to a storage unit
Drain all Liquids
All tanks, hoses, plastic tubs and other internal components should be completely emptied of all water to prevent mold, mildew, and freezing
Completely sanitize interiors
The entire interior of the appliances should be scrubbed down and well dried. Any remnants of food particles left behind can attract pests, this is especially important for dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens. Underneath or behind the refrigerator is a defrost pan, this will need a thorough cleaning as well
Wipe Down Seals
Particularly found in water-using appliances, there are rubber cushion seals that tend to collect bacteria and cause mold or mildew; these are found around the perimeter of the door and will need to be well cleaned
Pre-Treat for Pests
Preventing infestation is as simple as spraying your newly cleaned appliances for bugs
Sanitize the Exterior
Intake areas such as a lint filter, tubes or grids found on motor-driven appliances should be cleared of any dirt or debris; for greasy items use a scrub brush with some cleaning solution, otherwise, traps can typically be cleaned just using the hose from a vacuum.
Protect finishes and remove all Glass
Any appliances that have a finish on them that can be dented or scratched should have a blanket thrown over them or be wrapped in bubble wrap for protection. Any glass shelving or fragile parts need to be removed from all appliances and transported to storage separately
Secure Doors with Tape
Select a tape with a strong hold that will not leave a sticky residue such as blue painters tape to secure all appliance doors for transportation to the storage unit. Make sure to remove all tape from the appliances and prop their doors open as this will aid in the prevention of mold and mildew
Select a practical Self-Storage Unit
If your region experiences dramatic temperature fluctuations and extreme weather, high humidity or wide temperature swings, it is recommended that you consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit to keep the temperature of your unit constant. Doing this aids in better protecting your appliances from rust and fissures
Last to Go
Large appliances are better stored in the BACK of your storage unit. To make the unloading of the truck and packing of the unit easier, we suggest loading your appliances into the truck LAST. This leaves them easily accessible at the front of the truck so that they are the first items to be unloaded and placed into the very back of the unit. Be sure to transport and store refrigerators standing upright, not lying on either of their sides
Least Used First In
Now that you'll be placing your appliances into the very back of the storage unit, the rest of your smaller, potentially more frequently used items will be more accessible at the front of your unit in the event that you need to retrieve something from storage
Safely Store Fragile Parts and Components
If you removed a fragile piece(s) from any of your appliances such as glass panels, or glass shelving, they should be marked as fragile and be sure to avoid stacking heavy items on top of them or leaning anything sharp or heavy up against them
Leave Appliance Doors Open
To prevent mold and mildew within your appliances, all doors should be slightly propped open, allowing them to ventilate
No Foul Odors
Placing an open box of baking soda inside of stored appliances absorbs any unwanted odors so that there are no harsh or unpleasant smells when the appliance is ready to be utilized in the future
As long as your appliances have been properly prepped for storage and are clean and completely dry, this extra space is a great place to keep light, more fragile items such as stemware or collectibles. They, however, should not be crammed full of sleeping bags or heavy items such as books.