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outdoor washing machine storage

Since 1868, washing machines have been an integral appliance in homes across the globe and, while many of us have these appliances in the kitchen or utility room, what about if you have to keep your washing machine outside? In this article we’re sharing tips on outdoor washing machine storage and protecting your appliance.

The anatomy of a washing machine

Washing machine parts diagram
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The modern washing machine is made up of many parts – some of which are extremely intricate. If just one of these parts is damaged or malfunctions it can stop your machine from working properly. For this reason, it’s important to keep your washer properly maintained to keep it in good working order and to give it a longer life. If maintained properly, your washing machine should last between 10 and 13 years in most cases. 

Outdoor washing machine storage

While indoor storage is usually the most convenient option for washing machines, many people simply don’t have the available space and therefore need to keep them outside of the home. In this section, we’re airing out some tips on how to store your machine outdoors while protecting your appliance: 

In the shed

If you have a shed in your garden or yard, this can be a good solution for storing your washing machine as long as you follow a few simple rules which are: 

Plumbing – always make sure that you hire a professional to plumb in your washing machine as, if this is done incorrectly it can damage your machine and even your property

Weatherproof – Despite the fact that a washing machine is all about water, if rain or ice gets into your washer it can spell catastrophe. When keeping a washing machine in the shed, you should first ensure that the shed is completely weather-proofed to help keep your washing machine in good working condition

Drainage – Be sure to check out the drainage for your machine when storing outdoors as dirty water and harmful chemicals in detergents can impact on wildlife and plants

Pests – A washing machine does, of course, feature electrical cables and plumbing equipment and these can be vulnerable to damage from rodents and other pests. When keeping your washer in your shed, be sure to insulate all cables and pipes and add extra protection to your shed through pest control devices such as rat traps

In a conservatory or extension

This one is a bit of a tricky proposition as, while a conservatory may be considered to be ‘outdoors’, it’s also part of your house and so extra care must be taken. In order to install a conservatory or extension, you may need to check that you have permission to do so – and that this permission includes outdoor washing machine storage. 

As with storing a washing machine in your shed, you should always make sure that any plumbing work is carried out by a professional. You will also need to make sure that you have adequate drainage from your conservatory. 

When in use, a washing machine will cause vibrations and, sometimes, heat. Because of this, you will need to ensure that the foundations of your conservatory are sturdy enough to withstand this. You’ll also want to make sure that your conservatory or extension has decent ventilation to stop condensation building up on the walls and windows. 

On a porch or veranda

When it comes to outdoor washing machine storage, a porch is generally not recommended (and may even be illegal depending on where you live). However, if this is your only option, you should always be sure to have all plumbing and electrical work done by professionals as with other types of storage. 

You may also want to build a sturdy cover for your washing machine to protect it from the elements (and to stop it looking unsightly). 

Washing machine tips for protecting your appliance

With decent quality appliances costing over £300, a washing machine is a considerable investment for your home – and one which you want to get as much life out of as possible. In order to do this, you need to get into some good washing machine habits, including: 

– Regular cleaning, including the filter. Keeping the inner workings of your machine clean helps to prevent build up of lint and fluff which can stop the machine working properly

– Don’t overfill your machine; not only does this make cleaning less effective but it can also damage the drums, leading to costly replacements

– Leave the washing machine door open when not in use as this helps to stop the build up of condensation (and also keeps nasty niffs at bay)

– Have your machine serviced every couple of years to make sure it stays in great working condition

– If you live in a hard water area, use a water softener to prevent build up

It’ll all come out in the wash

Storing your washing machine outdoors can free up valuable space inside your home, and it should be safe to do so as long as you follow the guidelines which we’ve laid out in your article. 

Never attempt to conduct plumbing or electrical work yourself unless you’re qualified and, always protect your machine from the elements as well as keeping it clean in order to keep it working better for longer. 

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