Is It Safe To Store Items On Top Of Your Washing Machine? What You Need To Know

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It's no secret that today, compact living makes perfect sense, especially with rising property prices and the lack of quality affordable housing. Many of us have found ourselves grappling with the eternal struggle for space. And this is precisely why we've turned to ingenious space-saving options like multifunctional furniture, vertical and under-bed storage solutions, hanging racks, and the like to help us optimize available space. Every nook and cranny has become a potential storage solution — and the laundry room is no exception. With space constraints forcing us to get creative, it's common to eye the top of the washing machine as a prime spot for additional storage. However, before you start piling things up there, let's delve into whether it's a safe and practical choice.

Using the top of the washing machine as storage is a tempting prospect, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. The type of washing machine matters. Front-loaders typically offer a flat surface that you can use, while top-loaders may have controls that can be obstructed. But even with top-loading washing machines, safety precautions should be paramount; avoid placing heavy or bulky items that could disrupt the machine's balance during the spin cycle. Meanwhile, fragile items might be at risk, as vibrations can lead to accidents. Consider the top surface material, too, as some machines have a sloped design or may heat up during operation. 

Other essential considerations

Determining the usability of the top portion of your washing machine for storage also depends on factors such as its weight capacity (or how much weight it can handle on top) and the secure placement of the items to ensure they are safe from vibrations when the machine is in use. Limit the weight of the items you'll be storing on top and ensure they won't damage the machine or impede its functionality. Generally, lightweight and non-heat-sensitive items in baskets or bins are safer choices. However, you may need to remove these items along with their container temporarily (though this defeats the purpose of using the top of your washer for storage) when the machine is turned on. Their light weight could cause them to fall. Or, make sure that the load on top is sufficiently heavy, secure, and balanced to prevent it from falling off the machine when it's in operation. 

To address these challenges, consider incorporating a brace or support system to enhance stability. Without support, there is a risk of items shifting or falling during the washing cycle, potentially causing damage not only to the items themselves but also jeopardizing the proper functioning of your washing machine. 

Options to maximize vertical space smartly

At this stage, you may already be feeling wary of the idea of turning your washing machine into a makeshift storage unit. Besides, there are safer, more practical ways to optimize that space above your machine. You can invest in laundry room shelving units or install floating shelves on the walls for a clean and organized look. Not surprisingly, IKEA offers hacks that can help you transform your laundry room into a functional space. For example, the IKEA BOAXEL wall-mounted laundry storage system that retails for $86.00 is designed to maximize the vertical space above your washing machine. It gives you more room for your dirty or clean laundry, as well as your detergents, iron, clothes steamer, and other essentials. The adjustable IVV over-the-washer and dryer storage shelf available for $86.99 at Walmart is another space-saving solution you might want to consider. Wall-mounted space-savers like the Arteza mesh magnetic organizers available at Target for $22.99 for a pack of four can help keep frequently used items like detergent pods within arm's reach.

For a tech-savvy solution, consider stackable appliances designed to snugly fit atop your washing machine. Stacked washer and dryer sets also ensure there's no unused vertical space in your laundry. Pull-out drawers designed to fit the top of your washer can also provide additional storage without compromising safety. Remember, the key here is to maximize efficiency while maintaining the functionality and safety of your laundry space.