When relocating to a new house, apartment or hobbit hole, one of the important things you consider is what you can bring with you. For items that don’t fall under the category of personal belongings, this need to pack and bring them with you on your journey, largely depends on whether your new home already comes equipped or furnished accordingly.

Such is the dilemma of moving your dishwasher. Many times, your new kitchen will come equipped with a dishwasher for you to abuse. However, when your new dwelling has a dishwasher-shaped hole that needs to be filled, why not take along your familiar, used, old dishwasher with you. This is all assuming that you came to the conclusion it is more cost effective and necessary for you to let your dishwasher tag along for the move.

The problem, however, is that the dishwasher isn’t something you can just pick up and drop into a cardboard box on the back of your truck and then chuck it into your new kitchen. But don’t worry. That’s what this article is all about. A step by step guide on how to move a dishwasher. So read on.

Infographic - How to Move a Dishwasher
Infographic – How to Move a Dishwasher

Things To Know About Moving A Dishwasher

First things first. You need help. Dishwashers can weigh anywhere from upwards of 70 pounds to around 150 pounds and they are designed to wash dishes, not to be easily moved around. To move one of these bulky machines, you are definitely going to need some reinforcement.

It’s always good to plan in advance the day to pack up your dishwasher. This way, you can make sure your friends, family or estranged neighbors are free to give you a hand in disconnecting, packing and loading your dishwasher into your truck. We don’t say that lightly – for but most part, until the dishwasher is loaded safely for transport, it will be a multiple person job. Your single measly pair of arms will not be enough, no matter how much you bench at the gym.

Also Read: Loading a Moving Truck

Tools And Packing Materials For Moving A Dishwasher

Now that you got the manpower required for the job, you are also going to need a set of tools for the job. Most of the tools you will require are listed below.

  • Standard screwdrivers (This is usually a flat head screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver.)
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A pair of pliers
  • Ziploc bags of small and medium sizes (To put your screws and other such bits in it so that you don’t lose them.)
  • A large sheet of cardboard (Helps with sliding the dishwasher out without damaging the floor)
  • Sheets or furniture blankets
  • Saran wrap, bubble wrap
  • An appliance dolly
  • Packing tape, Zip ties

That pretty much concludes the prep part of this guide. Once you have all these tools and the extra muscle you would need, you are ready to uninstall your dishwasher.

See Also: Packing Dishes for Moving

Uninstalling A Dishwasher For A Move

Empty And Clean The Dishwasher

Before you begin the process of separating the dishwasher from the wall or counter it is attached to, you need to make sure the washer is empty, clean and dry. This is to prevent whatever is inside the dishwasher from getting damaged and damaging the appliance in return.

Clean and dry the dishwasher thoroughly to prevent mold and fungus from taking up residence. Or just preventing any water or moisture from damaging any electronics during the move. Many dishwashers have a cleaning cycle or setting. It does not hurt to run this before wiping it down

Disconnect The Power

Before you start poking around at the dishwasher with your tools, you need to disconnect the dishwasher from the power supply. There are different types of dishwashers available, with some being built in and some coming as a standalone unit. Depending on the type of unit you have, it may be easier for you to get to the power switch in some situations compared to others.

You may have to move and wiggle the dishwasher around to get access to the switch. This may damage the dishwasher so why take the chance? Instead, we suggest you turn off the power to your kitchen from the main circuit breaker. Keep in mind that other appliances in the kitchen will also lose power. So make sure that they are not in use when you take away their power.

Turn Off The Water Supply

You definitely want to turn off the tap that supplies water to the dishwasher. In most cases, you will find this tap directly under the kitchen sink. If it turns out that you can’t access the tap to turn it off, you may need to proceed with the next steps of removing the water, before the tap becomes accessible. Once the tap is accessible, turn off the water promptly.

Detach The Pipes And Cables

To free the dishwasher from the confines of its current location, you first need to take off a few of its metaphorical chains. These are the drainage pipe and the power cable. Removing the power cable is as simple as unplugging it from the wall socket. Although, in some cases, you may have the wires run through the wall and into a junction box. If this is your situation, then you will have to locate the junction box, take it down and loosen the nuts or brackets holding the wires in place.

It is imperative that you have the power turned off. As mentioned earlier, turn off the power to the kitchen from the circuit breaker.

The drainage pipe or the drain hose is what the dirty water is filtered and drained through. These are usually connected under the sink. It would help to place a bucket or a towel under this pipe to catch any water spillage. Now using the appropriate tools, which will most likely be a wrench, start loosening the ring/valves and other fittings holding the pipe in its place.

Make sure to place all the screws, nuts, valves and other small items you remove, safe in the Ziploc bags mentioned above. It would also be a wise move to name them accordingly for when you need to use them and have to reinstall the dishwasher in its new home.

Taking Out The Holding Bolts And Brackets

Most dishwashers will be built in and attached to the cabinet or the wall. The final step in the freeing, is to remove the washer from these confines and pull it free. This step can be done in two parts.

First is to undo all the fittings that secure the dishwasher to the cabinet or wall. To do this, grab your screwdriver and start unscrewing the brackets and screws holding the dishwasher in place. In some dishwashers, you may have to open the dishwasher to access the screws and brackets that attach the top of the washer to the bottom of the kitchen counter.

Second, is to remove its feet. Don’t worry, you did read that right. Most dishwashers have these adjustable feet or legs to make sure that the dishwasher is at a necessary height to fit perfectly into the cabinet. You can use a wrench to loosen the front feet of the dishwasher.

Once loosened, either remove them or wind them up (depending on the dishwasher you have). Then, with the help of your companion, tilt the dishwasher forward slowly (if possible gently lay it flat on its face) and then reach behind and repeat the process for the back feet too. Aren’t you glad you got that poor unfortunate soul to help you with this?

Like you did in the earlier steps; keep the bolts, nuts, and brackets all safe in a different Ziploc bag and label it as such.

Bring The Dishwasher Out

Now that everything securing the dishwasher in place has been removed, you can proceed to pull it out into the open. Before you do this, place sheets of cardboard on the floor. This will prevent unnecessary damage to the floor and the dishwasher. Use these to slowly wiggle and shimmy the dishwasher out of its cubby hole.

Secure The Unsecure Bits

Once your dishwasher is out in the open, your very next step is to secure all the loose parts. This includes parts like the power cable and any other tubes dangling about as well as trays and baskets in the dishwasher. Use the zip ties or just tie the loose cables and wires and then tape that to the back of the unit, just to make sure someone does not trip over them. Last thing you would want is someone’s broken tooth delaying your move.

All the same, it’s best to remove the trays and other parts that you can from inside the dishwasher to prevent any damage when you are on the move. Wrap these up and pack them separately. Reinstall these when you reinstall the dishwasher in your new home.

Read Also: Packing Refrigerator for a Move

Packing Your Dishwasher

When packing your dishwasher, your main goal is to give it adequate padding so that the bumps and knocks that tend to be a nonnegotiable part of the move, will not damage the appliance.

  • Step 1: Bubble wrap was literally invented for the very purpose of packing and protecting. So first, wrap your dishwasher in a couple of layers of bubble wrap.
  • Step 2: You can use packing tape to secure the bubble wrap. Just make sure the tape does not come in contact with any part of the dishwasher.
  • Step 3: Then use a couple of sheets or a blanket to add an extra layer of padding to the dishwasher.
  • Step 4: You can use the packing tape, or better yet, saran wrap to secure this layer in place.

If you don’t have bubble wrap for the initial layer, just add an extra layer of sheet or blanket. But make sure to not have too many layers. The key is to have enough protection without adding too much weight.

Wheel Your Dishwasher To Your Truck

Dishwashers are chunky, bulky, and heavy. No matter the number of people you pulled in to help you move this one appliance, someone will be needing a back brace if you try to carry it to your transport. What you need is an appliance dolly. They are literally made for moving large appliances like a fridge or, you guessed it, your dishwasher. Appliance Dollies can carry 700 pounds and have straps to secure your appliance as you wheel them to your truck.

Have one of your helpers tilt the dishwasher forward (make sure the dishwashers back faces the dolly) and slide the front ledge of the dolly under the raised back of the dishwasher. Slide the dishwasher onto the dolly, secure it well and then wheel it away to your truck. Now, a dolly may be expensive, so we suggest you hire it out for a day and use it to also help you with loading up all your other boxes and items too. This will make it worth the cost of renting it. So make sure you plan your move well in advance to be able to get the most out of the dolly.

Securing The Dishwasher For Transit

Most rental trucks come equipped with a loading ramp. If you are lucky, then you have a truck equipped with a lift gate. If your truck has a loading ramp wheel, roll the dolly with the dishwasher onto the truck with all the help you can get. Now you may think that we exaggerate when we insist that everyone help you. But trust us, WE DO NOT!

As we have mentioned earlier, dishwashers are heavy and well… you will be wheeling it up on a ramp, against gravity. Why take the risk of it rolling back onto you, or you accidentally losing balance and dropping your trusty dishwasher? So get all the help you can get, take a few minutes and carefully load it onto the truck.

Once you are on the truck, carefully take it out of the dolly and make sure to secure it against the wall of the truck. Use a rope or zip ties or any other means to make sure that the dishwasher is literally unmovable. We don’t want the dishwasher ping ponging around during the move. 100 pounds of destructive force sliding and sliding into every other item in the truck.

Unloading And Reinstalling The Dishwasher

At your new place, you will definitely be at a disadvantage when unloading your dishwasher. You may not have all the help you had earlier and it’s in a less familiar environment. You will definitely need help loading your dishwasher onto a dolly again and especially when wheeling it down the truck ramp. Ideally, at least one extra pair of hands would be needed to hold the dishwasher and make sure the dolly doesn’t get out of hand and roll down the ramp or even tip over and fall.

Once you do get the dishwasher unloading, your next step is reinstalling it. We do really get it, this all seems straightforward. You already uninstalled it, so you definitely know what you need to do to reinstall it. Besides, you have the manufacturer’s instruction manual to refer to if you get stuck. However, more often than not, you will find that something or the other doesn’t go according to plan. Don’t force it. It doesn’t hurt to call in a professional to install it. Our advice, if you can afford it, hire labor for the day to help with the whole unloading.

Also See: Best Moving Labor Companies

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to drain a dishwasher before moving?

Absolutely! You not only need to drain, you have to rinse and thoroughly clean it once, and then let it completely dry out too. The reason is so that the appliance doesn’t get damaged or just to avoid mold from growing. Your packing process begins only after you’ve rinsed, cleaned, drained and dried out the dishwasher.

Can you lift a dishwasher by yourself?

The standard dishwasher weighs 210 pounds (95 kg), and however, some dishwashers weigh less than 150 pounds. Dishwashers under 100 lbs (45 kg) are usually recommended to be handled by two people: one person to steady the unit and the other to carry it.

How much does it cost to relocate a dishwasher?

The cost to have your dishwasher relocated depends on the city where you live, the distance it must be moved, and whether or not there are obstacles to cross. Depending on how far away you are moving your dishwasher, the average price for this service will vary considerably.

How do you force a dishwasher to drain?

You can force most dishwashers to drain with the help of a plunger, handy for any situation where water stands on low ground. Place the plunger over your sink, then position it inside the opening of the dishwasher so that it covers as much surface area as possible. Gently pour water into the bottom of your sink until you start to see it rise Ain your plunger. You may have to adjust where you are pouring from, but keep trying until you can increase pressure by creating more puddles around its circumference. Once raised enough, plunge away!


Make sure it’s cost efficient for you to grab your old dishwasher, drive it to your new place and chuck it into your new kitchen. Call all the help you can get. At least one extra person and one dolly. Plan your move to get the maximum use out of your helpers and the dolly. Possibly hire day labor to unload your dishwasher and a professional to install it.

Read Also: Best Cheap Moving Companies | Best Dish Pack Boxes For Moving