Can A Washing Machine Be Transported On Its Back or Sides?

Washing machines are typically transported upright, but due to certain circumstances, there may be no other choice but to lay your washing machine on its side during transport. We’ve been seeing a lot of questions about this and whether it will create problems for your washer later on.

As much as possible, you should always place your washing machine in an upright position during transport even if it is brand new and still has the protective cushioning inside. This is because the inner and outer tubs inside are ‘floating’ – only being supported by cushioning pads and a suspension system. A severe bump can easily damage these parts when your washer is laying on its side.

In this article, we will discuss what happens when you lay your washing machine on its side, and what to do before turning it on.

The potential issues

As we’ve explained before, fully automatic washing machines have two tubs: the inner tub and the outer tub. The outer drum is the primary container of the water; this is fixed in its position and does not move. Meanwhile, the inner drum is where you put your clothes in; this drum rotates during a wash cycle or during spin drying.

When placed sideways, these two tubs bump against each other and cause damage and misalignment. Moreover, placing your washing machine on its side can wreck the suspension system that is keeping these tubs upright and ‘floating’.

Even if the unit you are transporting is brand new and still in its box with all its protective cushioning, we still do not recommend positioning it on its side as the suspension system can still be vulnerable.

How to safely transport your washing machine

To prevent damages from occurring, you should follow these best practices when moving a washing machine to another place.

Re-attach the shipping bolts

The shipping bolts stabilizes a front load washing machine’s drums during transport. This is to prevent the drums from banging against each other. These bolts are required to be removed from the washing machine before use. However, now that you are going to move your washing machine, you should re-attach them before transporting your unit.

Put it in a box

The best way to transport a used washing machine is by putting it in its original box along with all of its protective packaging. However, if you threw out the box a long time ago, you can improvise by creating a new box for it. Also, you should put more protective material (like some used corrugated material or styrofoam) on the corners and the feet. It is also wise to put a flat piece of styrofoam board or on the side panels of the washer to prevent scratches and dents.


We understand that not everyone can fit a whole washing machine at the back of their car. But it is always better to transport a washing machine upright to prevent expensive damages from happening. If you can, you should call a courier company to help you transport your washing machine.

1 thought on “Can A Washing Machine Be Transported On Its Back or Sides?”

  1. I’m in a position to move my GE cloths washer and i saved the the shipping/transport bolts. The machine came with a wrench so I assumed it was to unscrew these bolts. Now when I try to reinstall them is the problem or lack of understanding how this works to maintain pressure on the drum so it doesn’t wobble around. The screws don’t thread into those rubber plugs, so there’s nothing to keep them in or to do there job.


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