How to Lift Something Heavy Like a Washing Machine





Introduction: How to Lift Something Heavy Like a Washing Machine

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...
Using a piece of webbing or rope, you can construct a sling to carry heavy loads on your hips rather than back. Here, we're using a loop of climbing webbing to form the sling and carabiners to keep the webbing tight around our hips. The same thing could be done with a length of rope tied forming loops on each end. In the video, you can see how easy it is for us to carry around an old washer, which weighs approximately 150 lbs. Using this same method, we just as easily carried a 267 lbs (according to the manual!) washing machine up two flights of stairs and around our house.

With the weight on your hips, your arms are free to stabilize and open doors. Also, since the force isn't being carried by your arms, your back is out of the equation, and you're much less likely to hurt it. Every time I move a washing machine, refrigerator, or something else heavy using this method, I feel like I'm getting away with something because it's so much easier than I expect.



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    22 Discussions

    Thanks for this! We're in need of lifting the Washing machine 90kg tops, to put it on a sort of a washing machine / appliance stand with wheels.

    Can't comprehend how to make the rope / webbing for this.

    Could you describe in a more simplified way or best follow up with a short video of how to do it?

    (I do not have climbing gear, but would be good to get some climbing webbing for this, I figured webbing would be easier as compared to a rope in terms of withstanding the weight and for our body's comfort while doing the lifting)

    Thanks, very much appreciated.

    1 reply

    Quote :

    " carabiners to keep the webbing tight around our hips. "

    So do you need to tie the webbing around the Carabiner? or its just moving up and down the Carabiner to keep it tight?

    i have to lift several heavy appliances up four flights of stairs. Would it be easier/safer to have four people (one for each side) lifting instead of two?

    In the video, you look like you're doing the box step... And why are there many pictures of Christy's hips but almost none of yours?!

    3 replies

    I thought of this Instructable today, just as we nudged the China cabinet into its final position....after carrying it through four doorways, down a driveway, and into and out of a trailer.

    no lift in your groin in a twisting & jerking fashion lol family guy rocks

    ive seen commercials advertising a similar lifting device called the forearm lift, where the straps are on your forearms where you have better leverage to lift objects, cause with waist method, if anything happens and the load slips, chances are you will be dragged with it since you cant readily release the waist straps in the event of an emergency, with the forearm ones you can simply lower your arm and they will fall off.

    1 reply

    Yes, but if you use the forearm straps you will be forced to lift with the back and get a hernia and hurt your back. With the waist straps you lift with your legs and maneuver it with your upper body. And in case of an emergency only your legs and feet will get hurt and not your back, arms or hands.

    Excellent technique. As a couple of people wrote, this is quite nervous-making on stairs, as the whole load is carried by the bottom person.

    For level-ground transfers, it's much better, I think, than the forearm slings you see advertised on teevee (oh, wait, you wouldn't know... :-). Your pelvic girdle is "designed" pace, Kiteman to carry more than half your body weight and to absorb the dynamic load from that much weight during full-out running. This double-sling method uses that structure to its best advantage.

    It doesn't swing much at all. Going up stairs is mostly an effort in lifting it one stair at a time, and wasn't something I wanted to recreate for video.

    "your back is out of the equation, and you're much less likely to hurt it." unless one of you slips or you drop the thing. Then you're tied together with the strap under a large heavy falling object; which sounds very dangerous. Call me old fashioned but I still think the best way to move something like this is 1 big guy and an apliance dolly. They are available for rent anywhere you get a moving truck or you can basicly make your own with a regular handtruck and some rope. The point is if you slip or drop the thing down the stairs no one gets hurt but the machine. With a propper dolly no one is in the path of the falling washing machine and since your not teathered to anything you are free to get the hell out of the way. While this is a good example of how to shift the weight of the object from your back to your hips it looks way to dangerous for me.

    Question, since you have two straps going under the machine (which is good) would it be more steady to move if you separated the straps a bit more (like a little closer to the legs, or even just 6-12 inches apart)? It doesn't appear that they would interfere with you legs or anything...just a thought. Concerning other's input about stairs....if they were of any great incline, as most stairs are, the person on the bottom would end up carrying 99% of the weight (just as they would if carrying it the conventional way).

    Thats a good method, though, we recently took a washing machine up some stairs to my sisters flat, the steps were too narrow, and steep for any clever shindigs like this!

    1 reply