Shipping a fridge is not a problem that concerns most people. It’s manufacturers themselves who deal with shipping new refrigerators, nobody else cares. Old appliances go to solid waste landfill. However, it may happen that you need to ship a fridge because either you are moving, or you just want to get rid of it by giving it to someone instead of sending it to waste landfill. These are situations in which it’s worth knowing how to prepare large and sensitive home appliances for transport.
First of all you have to unplug the fridge, remove the food from its interior and defrost both the fridge and the freezer. You should remember that defrosting can take some time, so plan the process. Make sure the appliance is dry and, if there’s an ice maker, all the water is drained.
Removable components stay attached
Once the food rests safely in the basket (actually in baskets, even three different, but that’s another story), it is time to secure all movable or loose elements inside the fridge. You should use a special non-damaging removable tape, which removes cleanly and thus makes your life easier, to protect the shelves (also those in the doors) and drawers. The same tape may be used to prevent all doors from opening (both in fridge and freezer if you have a fridge freezer).
It is not recommended to remove movable parts from inside the refrigerator. First of all, packing them separately will increase shipping costs. Secondly, the fridge is so compact and rigid that – under normal transport conditions – it gives good protection to the items inside it. Unfortunately, it does not mean you may put inside the appliance anything other than its standard equipment (especially heavy items made of metal or ceramic).
Polystyrene, box, stretch
After all movable parts have been secured, you may start packaging the fridge. The best solution is to use the original cardboard box with polystyrene corners and shapes. If you do not have one, you can create your own packaging using corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap and – in the case of smaller models – the right-sized cardboard box.
You should protect all corners and protruding elements with bubble wrap or corrugated cardboard. The covers can be attached with wrapping tape or stretch film. The latter may be used to wrap the entire appliance.
A pallet is a must
You have no choice when transporting a refrigerator – it should be shipped on a pallet. You could theoretically not use one for small models of refrigerators, but using a pallet is always the safest option. A pallet ensures that your package will not be moved manually during transport. In this way it may avoid serious damage or even destruction caused by any falls and impacts.