How to move a fridge

Have you ever wondered why people prefer selling the appliances along with the home? Well, there is a real reason behind doing so. This is because the appliances such as refrigerator, are considered to be the bulkiest and one of the most difficult items to move while moving from one location to another. Even if you just try to give your fridges a good clean, from behind and underneath, you will get a hard time with these boxy, heavy and tall yet delicate beasts.

Moving appliances is never simple given their size, weight, and delicate nature. And when it is about a refrigerator, a small misstep can create a big havoc and may even lead to the appliance getting broken.

The refrigerator on an average weighs around 300 pounds, thus a proper care and attention must be maintained while moving a fridge. Irrespective of whether you are relocating or undergoing a kitchen renovation, moving a fridge to the new abode remains a challenging job that requires proper time, careful planning and right efforts.

The complete handy guide to move a refrigerator

It is a better idea to go through the owner’s manual before the move. To aid you in successfully moving your fridge, this post has all the needed tips and steps to ensure that your refrigerators are moved safely and easily.

What moving supplies are need to be gathered for moving a refrigerator safely?

Preparation holds equal relevance as the move itself. At the time of deciding how to move a fridge, it would be great is you plan ahead and gather an array of supplies that will support the move of the fridge to the moving truck. These supplies are:

  • A measuring tape
  • Cleaning supplies such as paper towels, baking soda, sponge and water
  • Cargo moving straps
  • Bubble wrap or packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Furniture sliders
  • Moving blankets
  • An appliance dolly
  • A cooler to keep the leftover food
  • Moving trolley

What steps need to be taken to move a refrigerator?

Defrost the fridge

What steps need to be taken to move a refrigerator?
Defrost the fridge

If your are moving the fridge from one location to another in the home, then this step can be skipped. However, for all other moves, defrost is a major step that must be completed before moving refrigerators. Read the user manual to understand the exact process of defrosting. In order to accomplish this:

  1. Unplug the refrigerators and leave the doors open for few hours.
  2. If there is any leftover food lying in the fridge, it would be a good idea to either pack it in coolers or toss it.
  3. The towels should be placed in and around the refrigerator for the purpose of catching water as the fridge freezer melts.
  4. Once the ice build-up thaws, the fridge should be cleaned right from top to bottom in order to prevent the growth of the mildew or mold
  5. Cleaning the fridge before moving is required to keep the fridge smelling fresh and also prevent the growth of bacteria inside it. The walls and shelves can be washed using a mix of water and baking soda. Afterwards a container of coffee grounds or baking soda can be kept inside the refrigerator to absorb and mask any smell.
  6. Make use of a hair dryer to thoroughly dry the refrigerator before the moving day.

Protecting the fridge for long moves

Protecting the fridge for long moves

It is advisable to keep the fridge upright at all times during moving to prevent damage. Moving a fridge on the sides can risk compressor oil leaking into the coolant and moving it on back can damage the coils. Thus it should be transported upright. Following measures can help prevent damage to the fridge while loading it to a moving truck:

  • Refrigerator’s cord

We understand you won’t prefer that the refrigerator’s power cord to keep dragging on the ground or getting in the way at the time of loading and unloading. So, the cord should be winded into a bag and bag can be tapped to the back of the fridge.

  • Remove trays and shelves

It is a good idea to remove the internal fixtures like glass shelves, drawers and store them separately using a plenty of protective wrapping, bubble wraps and padding to ensure all parts survive the move.

  • Bungee cords for securing doors

The cords can be wrapped around the fridge in order to keep the doors from swinging open and bashing into any nearby object.

  • Use moving blankets to wrap or cover the fridge

Few moving blankets can be used to protect the fridge from any accidental scratches once it is loaded on the moving truck.

Sliding fridge forward

Sliding fridge forward

Most fridges have wheels at their back for the purpose of easy maneuvering. Mentioned below are some of the methods that can be used for getting the fridge across the floor without leaving any trail of scratches.

  • Walk the fridge in forward direction

The simplest method here is to move the fridge away from the wall where it was standing in upright position and grasp it on both of the sides and rock it gently from side to side, scooting it in forward direction.

  • Make use of furniture sliders

Gently tilt the front portion of the fridge off the floor with the help of a pry bar or a family member and adhere sliders or furniture glides to the front feet of the refrigerator. With this you will be in a position to slide the fridge forward without any damage

  • Using an appliance dolly

The fridge needs to be loaded to an appliance dolly, if it needs to be moved more than a few feet. The refrigerator is positioned by tilting it sideways rather than front. The fridge is tilted gently so that the feet present on one side is a couple of inches off the floor and dolly is slided underneath. Most of the dollies come with automatic triggers and attached straps which are used for the purpose of securing the fridge to the dolly.

Moving a refrigerator on stairs

In order to move a refrigerator in staircases and doorways, it is better to measure the space available for the move.

  • Moving in tight spaces

For tight spaces, remove doors before loading the fridge up and attempting to move it to the destined location.

  • Take help

Moving the fridge on stairs is a task that needs two people for accomplishment. One partner can manage the fridge from the above while the other can guide from below.

  • Fridge on dolly

Carefully move the fridge on a dolly, tilt it back to a 45 degree angle. One person can pull back the handle of dolly and stabilize the fridge from top while other person can push the bottom of the fridge from below.

The final thoughts

The refrigerators are costly and bulky and if relocated incorrectly, they can leak the fluids, harbor mildew and damage the walls and floors. The above guide will help in moving the fridge to the final destination. In case you feel it is still very complicated to move a refrigerator, it is always better to seek the help of professional movers rather than messing everything up.


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