How to Move a Stove

Compared to other household items like dressers and tables, moving a stove presents some challenges that many homeowners would rather not tackle themselves. Here’s what you need to know about loading and moving a stove.

Stoves reside in tight spaces between countertops, and they’re often fastened to adjacent walls and kitchen cabinets with brackets and screws.

Add in hard-to-reach power chords and/or gas lines with rusty fittings, and you’ve got a tricky project that requires lots of know-how.

We suggest leaving this job to professionals. Learn more about which professional moving companies can handle the job.

That said, if you’ve got what it takes to do it yourself, consider the following tips before getting started.

Should You Take Your Stove With You?

In years past, homeowners usually left their stoves in the homes they were vacating, but now taking them is almost as common.

The new buyers may want the stove included in the sales contract, but you may opt to take it with you to your new home.

Consider Your Options

Moving companies will gladly move your stove, but most won’t unfasten the hardware or disconnect the power cord or gas line due to liability and safety issues.

Full-service movers can schedule these services with a third-party company specializing in servicing appliances, but they’ll usually add a 10 or 20% mark-up.

And remember, you’ll need them at your old home and new homes, and together they can cost hundreds of dollars.

Alternately, you could have factory-trained technicians provide these services or do them yourself.

Best Practices for Moving a Stove

1. Measure Hallways, Doors, and Stairs

Getting your stove out of your house shouldn’t be a problem if you haven’t done any renovations.

But you’ll want to measure access points at your “new home” as well, especially in older homes where doors, hallways, and stairs tend to be much narrower.

This is especially important if your stove is larger than the standard size.

If it is, getting it into the kitchen of an older home may be impossible.

2. Clean Your Stove Thoroughly

Cleaning a stove after years of neglect isn’t fun.

They’re magnets for grease and cooking oil that collect in every possible nook and cranny.

It may be tempting to put it off until after you unpack and settle in. But pre-move cleaning is crucial on long-distance moves and when your household goods will be put into storage, in which case the gunk and grime can attract pests like bugs and rodents.

Starting by removing and cleaning the following items by hand –

  • Grates and oven racks
  • Broiler trays (broiler pans)
  • Cooktop burner plates
  • Knobs

A dishwashing sponge and mild detergent may be sufficient, but in some cases, you’ll need steel wool and an abrasive cleaner like Borax.

Just remember that applying too much pressure can scratch your stove’s metal and enamel surfaces.

3. Check For Self-Cleaning Ovens

With self-cleaning ovens, you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual before getting started.

If you can’t find the manual, check if there are any instructions stamped on the metal plate inside the oven itself.

If not, using the self-cleaning function is usually just a matter of –

  • Cleaning as much as you can by hand with a wet towel, sponge, or plastic spatula for challenging areas
  • Closing and locking the oven door with the lever to prevent it from being opened during the cleaning process
  • Setting the controls to the proper cleaning cycle (this can take hours)
  • Waiting until it’s finished and letting the oven cool before opening the door
  • Wiping or vacuuming away any remaining residue

You can also use a canned degreaser. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Insider’s Tip

Self-cleaning ovens become super-heated during the “cook-off” process, so keep kids safely away until it has cooled.

4. Disconnect It

Since your movers won’t unplug your stove or remove the gas line, you’ll need to have these services done before they arrive.

This means you can’t decide to move your stove at the last minute.

There’s nothing complicated about disconnecting lines and removing hardware. Still, with a gas stove, you’ll need to have the line from home capped as well, and this should always be done by a certified professional.

In some cases, your local utility provider will do this for a nominal fee.

If there’s a gas leak, fire, or explosion after you move out, they’ll be on the hook, so it’s money well spent.

5. Move It to An Open Area

Sliding an oven across a tile, hardwood, or Linoleum floor can cause scrapes, tears, and gouges.

Though two relatively strong people may lift a stove enough to move it without dragging it, this isn’t usually possible because stoves are generally in tight quarters.

6. Wrap it with Moving Pads

Instead, once everything is disconnected, tip the front of the stove backward enough to get an unfolded moving blanket under it.

Push a little extra underneath, then tilt the stove forward and use a broom handle to push the rest under the back.

Now that your stove is resting entirely on a moving blanket, pull the corners slowly until it’s in an accessible position.

You may have to shimmy it from side to side to get it moving at first, and if there’s a ledge between the flooring and subflooring, you may have to lift it slightly.

First, make sure to remove the gas line, then bundle the cord, cinch it together with tape or a zip-tie, and secure it to the back of the stove.

If you are carrying the stove to the truck by hand, furniture pads may make it difficult to grasp, in which case it’s best to wrap it on the truck.

If you have a hand truck or appliance dolly, cover the stove with two or three pads and secure them with mover’s rubber bands or packing tape.

Keep in mind that packing tape left on pads for more than a few hours may deposit gooey adhesive that’s nearly impossible to remove, especially in hot and humid weather.

Put the dolly under one side of the stove (not the front or back) and use the nylon strap and ratchet to tighten it snugly against the frame.

Did You Know…

You can rent appliance dollies from many home improvement centers.

7. Get it onto the Moving Truck

Whether you’re carrying it or using a dolly, moving a large appliance like a washer, dryer, or stove is always a two-person job.

Before starting, consider laying down a layer of floor protection for the dolly to roll over until it’s outside.

Old cardboard from mattress and mirror cartons works well.

The person holding the dolly should push or pull it while the helper keeps it away from corners and walls.

When using stairs or on a walk board, the person handling the dolly should always be above the load. The helper should always be on the low side.

If you’re moving the contents of a home or apartment, make a wide tier with the appliances since they’re all about the same width.

When they’re in position, secure them in place with at least two heavy-duty logistics straps.

8. Set It Back Up

Stoves and other kitchen appliances aren’t easy to move, but now that you’ve finished the hard part, getting your stove where it needs to be and in working order is just a matter of repeating the previous steps in reverse.

It’s always a good idea to schedule the gas hook-up for the day after your move-in, just in case there are unforeseen delays.

If it’s an electric stove, you could be cooking a homemade meal that evening.

Final Thoughts…

Of all the moving hacks out there, here’s the most important –

Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

When in doubt, don’t wing it and hope for good luck. Hire a professional moving company instead – especially if you have a gas stove or gas range.

For more moving tips, check out some of our other posts:

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