How to Store an Oven

Jon Fesmire |

Of all the appliances you may need to store, an oven may present the most challenges. Ovens are big, heavy, tough to maneuver and can dent and scratch any walls they bump into.

While cleaning an oven for storage is straightforward, moving one is tougher. You may want to hire movers to handle it. If you can’t afford that, two to three strong people who work well together can do it, especially if they have some experience with moving.

Preparing the Oven

Set aside the interior racks and any grills. To clean the inside, including the broiler, use a mixture of baking soda and water. Get it to the consistency of a wet paste. Coat the inside of the oven and broiler with this mixture and let it set for about eight hours, or overnight.

Meanwhile, use a thinner mix of baking soda and water, and scrub the outside of the stove. Wipe clean with a wet cloth and dry with a towel.

After the paste inside has set, use a cloth, soaked in water with a little vinegar, to wash it from the oven and broiler. Yes, this will be messy and you’ll need several dish towels to clean up, but it should get the gunk out of the oven with minimal work. Dry the interior when finished, making sure to get into cracks.

Preparing the Racks

To clean the racks, plug your empty kitchen sink, then put the racks and grill inside. Pour in some dishwashing liquid. Boil water and carefully pour it into the sink so the detergent foams up. You may have to boil two or three pots of water. Let the water cool for a good hour or so. The heat and detergent will work to loosen tenacious bits of food.

Put on dishwashing gloves and use steel wool or a scouring pad to scrub the racks. Once they’re clean, drain the sink, rinse them with warm water, and set them beside the sink on a towel to dry.

When the racks have dried, wrap them in bubble wrap. Seal this with tape, and set them aside.

Taking the Oven to the Truck

To move the oven, you’ll need a few supplies. We recommend two to four moving pads, a crowbar (this won’t be necessary for every oven), a heavy-duty floor dolly, moving cables, duct tape, a box of baking soda, and a stair ramp. You’ll also need a moving truck, of course, and you should be able to rent most of these items with the truck.

Use the duct tape to seal the oven and broiler doors closed. Next, carefully lift the front of the oven and placing either one moving pad under each corner, or one moving pad under both corners, if it’s large enough.

Depending on how heavy the oven is, you may need to rock it back and forth gently to get it to move away from the wall, then pull it forward. Unplug the power cord, bundle it, and tape it to the back of the oven, if it’s an electric oven, and disconnect the gas if it’s a gas oven.

Lift the back, as you did with the front, and put one or two moving pads under the corners. You may need to use the crowbar to lift the back of the oven off the ground. If you’re afraid of harming the floor with the crowbar, place a small hunk of wood underneath it, near the bottom of the stove.

Now, you and your helpers will be able to slide the oven out farther. The pads will make this easier and will protect the floor from damage. Push it carefully as near to the front door as possible, then bring out the floor dolly. Have everyone lift the oven at the same time onto the dolly, following correct lifting procedures, and make sure it’s centered, so it won’t tip one way or the other.

If you’re going down stairs, put down the stair ramp. The helpers at the lower part of the stairs will need to make sure the oven goes down slowly enough, and the person at the top will need to help guide it.

Roll the oven to the truck and push it up the ramp. People at the lower end will push, and the person at the top will guide it straight. Inside, roll it in, place it with its back to the wall, and strap it in with the moving cables.

Getting The Oven Into Storage

At the storage facility, park as close as you can to your unit. Unstrap the oven, lift it onto the dolly, and roll it down the ramp the same way you rolled it down the stair ramp at home. Then, roll it into your unit and lift it down. Remove the tape, then open the box of baking soda and put it inside the oven. This will help eliminate any lingering food smells.

Cover it with a blanket, and place the racks on top.

Climate Control

Finally, we encourage you to rent a unit with climate control. This prevents all your stored belongings from extremes in heat, cold, dryness, and humidity, and will help ensure no mold or mildew grows in your oven.

While moving an oven can be tough work, we hope we were able to help make it easier for you.