How to Transport a Fridge
the Right Way

It’s usually the one large appliance you take with you from one property to the next. So here are all the best fridge moving tips, everything you need from preparation to reinstallation.

Published on January 27, 2020
by The Neat Team

It might be your first move or your very last, but you always seem to be doing the exact same research, trying to find out how to transport a fridge. As professional vacate cleaners, we’ve watched dozens of tenants attempt the endeavour with a myriad of disastrous results. In Australia, it’s usually the one large appliance you might take with you from one property to the next. So in this article, we want to give you all of our best fridge moving tips, everything from preparation to reinstallation.

How to transport a fridge

There are 3 stages to transporting a fridge: preparation, transportation, and reinstallation. You’ll want to prepare by emptying the fridge and performing a deep clean. During transportation, prevent injuries by loading the fridge carefully and properly securing it within your moving truck. Lastly, you’ll want to let the fridge settle for at least 24 hours, to prevent any damage during reinstallation.

Preparing the fridge

transporting a fridge

You’ll need some prep time before transporting a fridge, so give yourself at least 24 hours to address the following steps before making the move.

  1. Empty the fridge Because moving may take more than a day, your fridge may not be operational for a substantial amount of time. For this reason, begin by completely emptying your fridge, removing everything in the freezer, salad drawings, and compartments.
  2. Perform a deep clean As temperatures rise, a fridge will be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould. So once empty, take the time to completely deep clean your fridge. Remove all compartments, wiping down interior and external surfaces. Throughly cleaning your fridge will ensure it remains odour free and immediately available for use at your new property.
  3. Switch off the fridge (for at least 24 hours) At this stage, you can switch off your fridge completely. This will let the freezer and evaporator coils defrost and the oils in the compressor to settle down. If your fridge has a water and ice dispenser, you’ll need to disconnect the tubing running to your water line, preventing any leaks and spillage during transport. As a precaution, lay down some towels beneath the fridge to catch any dripping water as ice melts.
  4. Prep for transport Now that your fridge is completely defrosted, it’s now safe for transport. However, before you begin the move, ensure that the fridge is well protected, securing any loose items to prevent scratches and dents. Tape down grills, storage compartments, ice trays, and any other items that may move or slide during transport. Better yet, remove them completely, wrapping them in packing paper or bubble wrap for a completely seperate move.

    You’ll also want to fasten the fridge and freezer doors using moving straps or bungee cords. Lastly, use a protective blanket to fully cover the exterior of the fridge. This will help dampen the effect of sudden movements, protect the facade of the fridge, as well as prevent any damage to internal components.

Transporting the fridge

moving a fridge with a dolly
  1. Prevent injuries Depending on its type (french doors, bottom mount, etc.) and size, a fridge can weigh up to 100kg. You’ll want to do everything you can to prevent serious injury. Play it safe by following these rules:
    • Always move with 2 or more people so weight can be distributed evenly, reducing the lifting workload.
    • Use the right equipment such as dollies, trolleys, or moving straps.
    • Secure loose items to prevent swinging doors and falling trays from accidentally hitting you.
  2. Load the fridge Depending on the type of property you’re moving out of, there are two ways to load your fridge into your vehicle, either moving by dolly or moving by lifting. In both cases, ensure that your fridge stays upright to prevent any damage.

    Moving by dolly Slightly tip the unit just a few degrees so that your partner can slide the dolly tray underneath the fridge. Wrap moving straps around both to affix it to the dolly, and carefully roll the unit to your vehicle.

    If you’re dollying up or down stairs, back the wheels up against each step, and lift the fridge one step at a time. When using a ramp, always have one partner pull the fridge backwards, while the other guides the unit into the truck, pushing it from behind. It’s best to leave your dolly attached at this point, so that you can easily reverse the steps for reinstallation.

    Moving by lifting If you need to move your fridge by lifting, do so with the aid of moving straps. Otherwise, you’ll be placing the weight of the load on just your fingertips, making it difficult to navigate around corners, staircases, and onto your vehicle. Always remember to lift and turn with your legs to prevent any back injuries.
  3. Secure the fridge The best way to secure your fridge during transport is to brace it against the corner of the interior of your truck, completely preventing it from moving in two directions. If possible, secure your fridge against any railings within the vehicle or use other furniture to create a tight frame around your fridge.
  4. Transport the fridge Now for the most perilous part of the journey: the drive. During transit, drive as carefully as possible. It may be common sense but here are a few things to avoid while transporting the fridge:
    • Sudden acceleration or braking
    • Sharp turns
    • Roundabouts
    • Speedbumps

You want to make sure your fridge is well wrapped and protected before you transport it. The exterior of your fridge can easily be dented, marked or scuffed if it is not sufficiently padded. Use plenty of thick, high quality furniture blankets to wrap your fridge until it is completely covered from top to bottom. Tape the furniture blankets in place so they don’t come undone. Lastly, wrap your fridge with stretch wrap making sure to cover every surface for additional reinforcement.

Reinstalling the fridge

  1. Transport the fridge Follow the previous steps in reverse order to place your fridge in the new kitchen.
  2. Place the fridge in its new location When you’ve placed the fridge in its new location, make sure to leave a small gap between the back of the fridge and the wall. Cool air is required to replace the warm air being expelled and if not enough room is provided, this could lead to unnecessary compressor noise. The same noise can be produced by placing your fridge on uneven surfaces, so be sure to address any leveling issues beforehand.
  3. Let the fridge settle If your fridge was placed on its side, a common rule of thumb is to allow it to stand upright for the same amount of time it was laying down. To be on the safe side, let your fridge sit for 24 hours so that all fluids settle before plugging the fridge back in and turning it on.

Questions and Answers

Can you lay a fridge down for transport? Can you transport a fridge on its side? Can you lay a fridge on its back to transport?

Regardless of how you ask and which direction you’d like to face your fridge during transport, the safest way to do so will always be to have it standing in an upright position. However, depending on the make and model (especially in recent versions), some fridges allow for side transport. Check your user manual that was included with your fridge for exact instructions.

What if I put my fridge into storage?

If your scheduled move will take longer than a day or you plan to place your fridge into long-term storage, leave the doors slightly ajar to allow for constant airflow. This will help prevent any mould or mildew from growing. You can also leave a box of activated charcoal or baking soda to keep your fridge smelling fresh.

Wrapping up

Well there you have it, all the answers in one place on how to transport a fridge the right way. If you’re currently wondering how to move other large appliances or how long it might take, check out our previous article, How Long Should It Take To Move House?

This is Neat Cleaning Customer Service

The Neat Team