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How to Store Washing Machines Outdoors

Updated March 23, 2017

Adequate storage space is a not always available when you need it. Finding space for a large item like a washing machine can prove to be an extra challenge. The best storage location for most items, including appliances, is in a temperature-controlled environment that is not subjected to extreme heat or cold. If this type of storage location is not possible, with proper preparation and care, you can safely store your washing machine outdoors.

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  1. Choose a location that does not have standing water. An area out of the elements, such as a carport or shed, is preferred. Place a wooden pallet on the ground in the storage location. Do not place the pallet against a home or other structure. Doing so can unintentionally draw termites and other wood-destroying insects to the building.

  2. Lay a plastic tarp on the pallet. This will provide a moisture barrier between the pallet and the washing machine.

  3. Prepare the washing machine for storage. While it's still connected to the water supply and drain, fill it with water and run it through a complete wash cycle. Add a cup of white vinegar to the water, but do not include any laundry.

  4. Turn off the water supply to the machine. Detach the water and drain lines carefully. Water will remain in these lines, and when you detach them, it will spill. Empty the water from the lines into a bucket.

  5. Place the washing machine on the prepared storage pallet. Prop the door open with a piece of wood to prevent mildew from moisture trapped inside the washer. Cover the washer with a plastic tarp and secure it with a bungee strap wrapped around the outside of the machine. When you are ready to bring it inside and use it again, allow a minimum of 48 hours prior to use for it to acclimate to a temperature-controlled environment .

  6. Tip

    Avoid storing washing machines and other appliances outdoors for extended periods of time. Extreme changes in temperature shorts the useful life of electrical components. Regularly inspect your washing machine during outdoor storage. Make sure that the tarp is secure and that there have been no other changes to the storage environment.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pallet
  • 2 large plastic tarps
  • Small block of wood
  • White vinegar
  • Towels
  • Bucket

About the Author

Based near Kansas City, Mo., Sally Syak began freelance writing in 2010. Her articles appear on various websites, primarily focusing on home improvement, hobbies and business marketing. Syak is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in occupational therapy at Pennsyvania Valley Community College.

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