It’s important to know how to ship appliances properly in order to make sure they reach their destination in the same condition they left. Because appliances have a lot of mechanized parts, knobs, connectors and delicate surfaces, they present challenges on a number of fronts in preparing them to be loaded on a truck. In this article, we’ll provide several tips for appliances in general and specifically for some of the hardest-to-handle items, like refrigerators, laundry machines, and dryers.
6 Tips for Shipping Appliances
- Make sure any appliance is empty before doing any prep work to get it ready for shipment. Dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc. should be completely cleaned out.
- Disconnect all hoses, water lines, etc. If you’re not confident in disconnecting the appliance yourself, it will pay to call in a plumber or handyman, especially for a washing machine and refrigerators connected to a water line.
- Clean the appliance thoroughly from top to bottom, inside and out. Shipping your appliance is a great excuse to clean it.
- Stainless steel and other surfaces should be protected from abrasion once the appliance has been disconnected and cleaned. There are a number of ways to do this. Flexible propylene foam (in a thickness of 1/16 inches to ¼ inches) has excellent surface protection characteristics and contains no additives that will transfer to the appliance surface. Be careful to secure the foam with a tape that will not transfer adhesive to your appliance surface. A hardware store should have both the foam and appliance-friendly tapes; another option is to look online. There are also masking films and masking papers with appliance-friendly adhesives that will do the job. You will need to make sure you select the right item, however, since there are many product variations designed for very specific applications.
- The LTL (less-than-truckload) freight company you select to ship your appliance may suggest that you box or crate the appliance as an option. These are time-consuming tasks and can be expensive, but may be well worth the investment for high-end appliances. (This is one reason we offer our White Glove service option for moving appliances: we can take care of the prep work so you can focus your time on something else.)
- Make sure to apply a shipping label to the appliance and to any shipping boxes that displays the complete shipping address of the destination. Apply label protection tape (like clear box sealing tape, only wider) to the label to prevent it from getting scuffed or torn off. Anything can happen when an appliance is being shipped; the more clearly you mark the destination, the more likely it is to arrive on time and in the same condition it left.
How to Ship a Fridge
If you're shipping your fridge to your new home, keep these tips in mind:
- Some LTL shippers will prefer that you remove shelves and drawers from the refrigerator. To others, it is not important. Check before you prep your fridge, so you don’t have to undo or redo work later. If you do remove shelves and drawers, wrap them carefully in a protective foam or bubble packaging material, and pack them in heavy-duty shipping boxes (carefully marking each box with the contents). Don’t skimp on the shipping box! A dented shelf or a broken drawer can take weeks to replace.
- Defrost the refrigerator 24-48 hours before you are ready to finish prepping the appliance for shipment.
- Tape the refrigerator doors shut with an appliance-friendly tape.
How to Ship a Washing Machine
Can't bear to part with your laundry machine? Prepare it for shipping with our tips:
- Disconnect the power and water hookups. This can be done easily by a plumber or a technician if the item is under warranty.
- Clean the washer and remove any stray items inside.
- Secure the washer door closed with appliance-friendly tape. Depending on the model, you may want to wrap bubble or foam packaging around the control panel to prevent dings, dents and more serious damage.
How to Ship a Dryer
Shipping a dryer is similar to shipping a washer, of course. Here are our tips for shipping a dryer:
- Hoses and connectors for both dryers and washers should be collected, bagged and placed in a shipping box carefully labeled with the contents — this saves a lot of time reconnecting your appliances when they arrive at their new destination.
- Place the appliance manual in this shipping box, so everything is in one place during re-installation of the dryer.
Selecting the Right Shipper for Your Appliances
All LTL shippers are not the same. Appliances are valuable and awkward to stow and handle, so you’ll want to work with a freight company that knows how to ship appliances and specializes in furniture and appliance transport. Our company has decades of experience moving standard to top-of-the-line appliances, and has, as a result, overcome any challenge that can occur — doorways that are too narrow, driveways that are too steep, refrigerators full of food, etc. If you work with an LTL carrier that specializes in, say, hazardous materials, they may not know how to handle and stow your appliance with the proper care.
Another important consideration when selecting a carrier: Is the trucking company familiar with the route your appliance will be taking? Carriers that do a lot of business in your pickup and delivery areas have a lot of other customers with freight that can be combined with your appliance. This means your appliance is likely to be delivered more quickly and more efficiently, which equals a lower price and greater value.
TSI Specializes in Appliance Moves
We hope you’ll consider us for your upcoming appliance move. We have a shipping infrastructure that covers the entire U.S., and have basic service for people who want to do the prep — and White Glove Service (mentioned earlier) for people who want a turnkey, hands-off, curb-to-curb solution for their appliance shipping project.