Pulling a washing machine out to clean behind it or move it elsewhere is not as easy as it may look. Many are very heavy, and most have no wheels. Two things need to be avoided, damage to the flooring – and damage to a person’s back.
Pulling out technique
The best way to pull a washing machine out, is to open the door and get hold of the door opening at the top of the door seal. Then lift the washing machine up and pull it forward on its back feet. But don’t rush in because there are potential complications you need to avoid. Read the full article first.
Don't attempt it if you have back trouble
Watch the flooring
The washing machine is most likely on some flooring. If the flooring goes all the way back underneath the washer you just need to worry about not damaging it with the washing machine feet. Place something down to protect the flooring or put something under the feet.
Avoid damage to the flooring by placing an old towel (or towels) under the feet. This also helps the machine slide around easier.
Free the feet first
Before pulling the washing machine forward you need to ensure the feet aren’t stuck to the floor. They usually are. It’s not so necessary on a hard floor, but if on something like lino or cushion floor, pulling the washing machine forward with the feet stuck will usually rip the flooring.
First lift it up at the front to free the front feet if they are stuck to the flooring. Lift the washing machine with the door open and with your hands at the top of the door opening. Then tip it forward to lift up the back feet to make sure they aren’t stuck or free them too.
Does the flooring go all the way under the washer?
Often the floor covering stops just underneath the washing machine. This happens when the fitter can’t be bothered to fit it all the way under or if they just don’t realise it’s necessary. As most washing machines are underneath a worktop you may not know if the flooring goes all the way back or not. If it doesn’t, this means when you pull it forward, the rear feet will probably get caught on the flooring. If the flooring is tiles this can stop it coming out altogether (unless you can tilt the washer forward so that the feet lift at the back). If it’s a vinyl covering it can dig right into it and rip it badly.
Washing machine stuck?
If the feet are going underneath the floor covering, try tilting the machine forward onto its front feet or it will rip the floor covering. If this is happening, there are more tips in this article Appliance stuck behind a tiled floor
How to pull out if door won’t open
If the door wont open due to a fault, then you may be able to get some purchase by taking the soap drawer out and lifting via the drawer opening (not easy). Or by lifting from underneath the front of the machine and pulling it forward (even harder). Or with two people, using a combination of both.
Without access to the door opening it can be tricky – especially if the washer is also full of laundry and water. In this scenario, you need to try and get rid of the water to make it lighter. There are plenty of tips on doing that here – How to drain a washing machine full of water
Other things to consider
Make sure the mains cable, and fill and drain hoses are long enough to allow the washing machine to come out as sometimes they are very short. You may need to turn off the taps and disconnect hoses and cables to get it out.
Tips for pushing a washing machine back in place
Most washing machines have feet instead of wheels these days. Pushing a washing machine back in place can be easy, or very tricky depending on the floor surface. Walking the washing machine back by pushing one side a little then the other is the best way. Also, push as low down the front of the washing machine as you can.
Be careful, many washing machines have flimsy front panels that easily dent. Using knees to push a stubborn washing machine back can be effective, but it can also put dents in the washing machine front.
It might be tempting to put some lubricant under the feet if it’s hard to push back, but this can cause the washer to slide about a lot on spin afterwards.