Read how to prepare major kitchen appliances like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and microwaves before they go into long term storage.Read how to prepare major kitchen appliances like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and microwaves before they go into long term storage.Packing Tips

How to Prepare Kitchen Appliances for Self-Storage

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Self-storage can offer the ideal solution for storing unused kitchen appliances, whether for the short or long-term. However, it is critical that you follow the correct methods for storing your kitchen appliances to ensure that they'll be ready -- in good working condition -- when you need them.

Refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and microwaves all require specific types of cleaning and storage. Your manufacturer's manual contains particular storage and moving instructions for each appliance. In addition, we have provided some tips below for properly preparing and storing your kitchen appliances:

How to Prepare a Refrigerator for Storage

  1. The first step is to drain liquid from the refrigerator, including ice makers and water supply lines. This will help guard against freezing and mildew. Allow ample time for these items to dry. Additionally, make sure to defrost the refrigerator several days prior to moving and storing it.
  2. Thoroughly clean -- scrubbing and drying -- the interior and exterior surfaces of the refrigerator. As small remnants of food and sugar can lure bugs -- including in storage units -- it is critical that you clean the fridge thoroughly. Remove the trays and drawers, as well as the defrost pan (found beneath or behind the refrigerator), using a mild detergent to clean these pieces. It is also important that you clean the rubber cushion seal located at the door's perimeter, as mildew often accumulates there. For the coils, you can dust or vacuum them.
  3. Next, secure your refrigerator and freezer. The doors should be shut while transporting your appliance. Use a breathable material, such as moving blankets or a tarp, to cover your fridge, protecting it from dust, dirt, and scratches. It is best to transport your refrigerator in an upright position.

How to Prepare a Dishwasher for Storage

  1. Unplug and clean your dishwasher and allow at least 24 hours for the appliance to air dry. Alternatively, another cleaning method is to run your dishwasher through a final total wash cycle using bleach or white vinegar, rather than detergent.
  2. Disconnect your hoses, clean them, and let them dry. Once dry, you can use towels or newsprint wrapping to protect these items. Put the hoses inside the dishwasher for safekeeping.
  3. Cords should be taped to the dishwasher's sides. Lastly, before transit, make sure to cover your dishwasher with tarp or moving blankets.

How to Prepare a Stove for Storage

  1. Using a mild detergent or oven cleaner and range cleaner, clean the stove's interior and exterior surfaces. Completely remove any food debris from the stove.
  2. If you own a gas stove and are not sure how to turn off the gas, have a professional do this as well as disengage the piping. You can put the piping inside the stove. With an electrical stove, you can unplug it yourself.
  3. Use tape over the stove's knobs to avoid them loosening in transit. You may want to use a tape that won't produce any residue, such as blue painter's tape, which can be found at any home improvement store. Use a wrapping blanket to cover the appliance before transporting it.

How to Prepare a Microwave for Storage

  1. First, take out the glass turntable from the microwave. Afterwards, carefully clean the interior and exterior surfaces of the microwave.
  2. Microwaves are best stored in their original packaging, if you still have it. The second best option is to store the microwave in a cardboard box. Make sure the box is sturdy, and use plenty of filler material, such as bubble wrap or linens, to protect the microwave.
  3. If you are not using a box to store the microwave, you should tape shut the microwave door and have the cords taped to the side of device. Wrap the microwave using a tarp or moving blanket for protection during transit.

Checklist for Storing your Kitchen Appliances:

  1. Secure appliances with tape, but remove and prop doors open once in storage to prevent moisture and mildew buildup. It is best if you can keep the appliance's door slightly ajar throughout its time in the storage unit. In addition, it is a good idea to put an opened box of baking soda in appliances once stored to prevent odors.
  2. Choose the right storage unit. You may want to consider a climate-controlled storage unit depending on the weather in your region. These units offer better protection of mechanical and electronic parts against rust and fissures.
  3. Place large appliances on the moving truck last. If you are moving many household items, make sure to place the largest appliances on the truck as the last step to ensure they will be the first to be unloaded.
  4. Power off all appliances. Your appliances should be powered off for their entire time in storage.
  5. Be careful and protect fragile parts. Finally, if you are storing fragile parts, such as glass panels or shelves, always make sure to mark them as "fragile," and do not stack or put heavy items on top of them.

We're Your Storage Solution!

Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.

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