Are you getting a new oven but need to store your old model? Or are you moving and need to put a few appliances in storage as part of that process? Whatever the case, storing an oven can be a bit tricky due to its size and weight. Yes, most will fit fine through doorways, but you’ll want to move it correctly so it doesn’t suffer any damage. Also, ovens can get downright grungy with caked-on food, so it’s critical to clean them first.
Here are the steps we recommend taking to get your oven into storage.
Before you store an oven, make sure it’s clean. It’s easy for bits of food to get stuck to the floor and walls of an oven, around the burners of the stove, or in between parts and panels. When food ends up in your storage unit—even if it’s unintentional—it attracts pests.
If your oven is only moderately dirty, you can use the self-clean function as a start. This can burn off moisture and melt grease. However, if you haven’t cleaned your oven for months, the excess grime could burn and fill the house with smoke.
We suggest you simply clean it yourself.
To start, you’ll need:
A few dish rags
A sponge with a scrubbing side
A spray bottle
Remove all racks and other items from your oven, and lay out newspapers on the floor in front of the oven, and underneath it, if you can. Mix a half cup of baking soda and about three tablespoons of tap water. You can add more baking soda or water as needed to create a paste.
Wearing your gloves, spread the mixture all over the inside of the oven with your fingers. While you’ll want to get it in cracks and crannies, avoid getting any of it into where the gas comes in, or on any heating coils.
Do the same for the broiler underneath, if your oven has one, and put the rack or pan in the broiler with the other racks.
Shut the oven, and leave it alone for about twelve hours.
Plug up the sink, then put the racks in it (or in the bathtub, if the sink is too small), and cover them with a conservative amount of baking soda. Put vinegar in the spray bottle, and spray the racks all over with it.
To clean the stovetop, combine one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of baking soda. Add a few drops of water and mix, continuing to add a little water until it forms a paste. Dip the dish rag into this paste and use it to scrub all over the stove top, lifting it (if possible) to get underneath. Remove the burners and scrib them the same way. When done, clean off the paste with a damp rag.
After you’ve let the oven and the racks sit for twelve hours, put on a pair of kitchen gloves. Dampen a dish rag and wipe down the inside of the oven. There may be spots where the paste sticks. Get the sponge wet and scrub these areas with the rough side. You can also add vinegar to the spray bottle and spray it on sticky spots. This will help dissolve clumps and make it easier to clean them with the dish towel. Clean the broiler the same way.
When the oven and broiler are clean inside, drain the water where the racks are. Scrub them with a dish rag to remove the last vestiges of grease, and use the rough side of the sponge on stubborn areas. Dry the racks with a clean dish rag, then return them to the oven.
With the stove and oven clean, you’re ready to store it.
A few things will help you transport the oven to and from the moving truck. We recommend having three people do this task. You’ll also want a four-wheel dolly, packing tape, a stair ramp, and moving straps or some rope. You may also want to use a few moving blankets.
Scoot the oven free of its space in the kitchen. Tape the doors shut, and, if you want, protect the top, front, and sides by covering them in moving blankets, and tape the blankets in place. Make sure there is a clear path from the kitchen to the front door. If you have a porch with stairs, the stair ramp goes over them. We recommend you park the truck close to the front door and roll down the truck’s back ramp.
Next, set the four-wheel dolly in front of the oven. Two of you can then lift the oven, one at each side, onto the dolly. Together, roll it to and out the door, down the stair ramp, to the truck, and up the truck ramp. Go slowly and carefully, watching for bumps. You may need to live the oven over the door jamb and back onto the dolly.
At the base of the truck ramp, one person will back into the truck, keeping the oven steady, while the other pushes, so have the strongest person do the pushing. The third person can help push or help keep it steady by watching the side.
Once the oven is in the truck, put it against the wall and tie or strap it in place. Once secure, it should budge no more than an inch.
At the storage facility, unhitch the oven and lift it onto the dolly. In the same way you got it from the house to the truck, roll it down the ramp and to its spot in the unit. It’s a good idea to keep the padding on it while it’s in storage, so you can leave the moving blankets taped to it.
Yes, this process will take time, but when you need the oven later, you’ll be glad you cleaned it and stored it right.