How to pack a dishwasher when moving house

By Sam Smith

May 11th 2023

Moving house is tough. There’s so much to pack and organise that it can become overwhelming. As part of our moving house guide, this article guides you through the process of packing your trusty dishwasher. Follow these steps and you’ll dishwasher will arrive unscathed and ready to handle the aftermath of your housewarming party.

Equipment and Supplies Needed

  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard box (large enough to fit the dishwasher)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Pallet wrap
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Blankets or furniture pads
  • Appliance dolly or hand truck
  • Straps or bungee cords
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Towel or bucket


Step by Step Process

1. Gather your supplies

Before we dive into the art of packing your dishwasher for the big move, let’s make sure you’ve got everything you need. Preparation helps this journey to stay stress-free.

2. Turn off and disconnect the dishwasher

Locate the power socket and switch off the dishwasher.

Once that’s done, carefully unplug the appliance. If your dishwasher is hardwired, you’ll need to switch off the circuit breaker and disconnect the wiring. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult a professional electrician.

Find the water shut-off valve beneath your sink and turn it off.

Next, disconnect the water supply line from the dishwasher. This will most likely require an adjustable wrench. Be prepared for a bit of water spillage – keep a towel or bucket handy to catch any excess water.

Remove the drain hose

This is typically connected to the sink’s drainpipe or garbage disposal unit. Gently remove the hose, being cautious of any lingering water. Give it a quick rinse to ensure it’s squeaky clean before packing it away.

Clean and dry the dishwasher

This isn’t necessary, but it does prevent any lingering moisture or debris from causing internal damage.

Man removing filter in a dishwasher

3. Remove loose parts

Before the great dishwasher migration begins, it’s important to remove any loose parts that could cause damage or get lost in transit.

Spinning arms: Gently unscrew the spinning arms and place them in a separate labelled box or bag. It’s crucial to keep track of these vital components, as they’re the secret agents making your dishes sparkle.

Cutlery baskets and detachable racks: These parts are usually easier to remove, simply lift them out of the dishwasher. Wrap them in bubble wrap or blankets for protection, and place them in a box. Pro tip: nestle the cutlery basket inside the larger racks to save space and make unpacking a breeze.

Stow the loose parts safely away. We recommend using a moving box and writing the parts on the checklist.

4. Wrap the dishwasher with bubble wrap

Moving house is stressful enough, but when it comes to packing your dishwasher, you’ll want to make sure it’s well-protected for the journey. That’s where bubble wrap comes into play! Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also a cost-effective way to ensure your appliance stays safe and sound during the move.

Measure out a generous amount of bubble wrap.

You’ll want to make sure you have enough to cover the entire dishwasher, including the sides, top, and bottom. It’s better to have too much than not enough, as you can always trim away any excess later on.

Wrap the bubble wrap around the dishwasher.

Make sure the bubbles are facing inwards to provide maximum cushioning. Secure the bubble wrap in place using packing tape, taking care not to let the tape come into contact with the appliance itself.

Pay extra attention to any protruding parts, such as the control panel or door handle. Add an additional layer of bubble wrap to these areas if necessary, to ensure they’re well protected against any potential knocks or bumps during transit.

Don’t forget the bottom of the dishwasher!

Carefully tilt the appliance and slide a piece of bubble wrap underneath to provide extra cushioning. Once you’re happy with the coverage, use packing tape to secure the bubble wrap in place.

With your dishwasher now safely wrapped, that leads us to the last step.

Dishwasher with it's original box

5. Place the dishwasher in the box

If you do not have the original dishwasher box – or a box large enough –  pallet wrap is a good alternative. It won’t provide the protective padding that the cardboard box offers, but it will still protect from scratches and minor bumps. It also keeps the dishwasher dry if fully wrapped and ensures the door doesn’t open whilst in transit.

Choose the right box

To begin, make sure you have a suitable box for your dishwasher. It should be large enough to accommodate the appliance and have enough room for padding to protect it during transit.

Prepare the box

Before placing the dishwasher in the box, lay a protective layer of bubble wrap, foam, or thick cardboard at the bottom. This will serve as a cushion to absorb any shocks your dishwasher may encounter on its journey.

Lift with caution

Remember to use the proper lifting technique when placing the dishwasher in the box. Bend at the knees, not the waist, and enlist the help of a friend or family member if the dishwasher is too heavy for you to lift on your own.

Secure the dishwasher

Once the dishwasher is inside the box, use additional padding materials like bubble wrap or packaging peanuts to fill any gaps and prevent the appliance from shifting during the move. It’s essential to ensure that the dishwasher is snug and secure within the box.

Seal the box

Finally, close the flaps of the box and firmly seal it with heavy-duty packing tape. You can also add an extra layer of protection by wrapping the entire box in a stretch wrap or a large moving blanket.

And there you have it! Your dishwasher is now safely packed and ready for its journey to your new home. Now, it’s time for the big day.

Movers putting dishwasher in the back of a moving van

6. Transport the dishwasher with care

Whether you’re using a professional moving company or doing it yourself, it’s essential to handle the appliance with utmost care to avoid any damage during the move.

Here’s how to ensure a smooth and safe journey for your dishwasher:

  • Double-check that all connections are disconnected and the dishwasher is completely dry.
  • Ensure all removable parts are packed separately and labelled clearly to avoid confusion during reassembly.
  • Use a furniture dolly or hand truck to move the dishwasher to the moving vehicle. This will help avoid unnecessary strain on your back and reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Load the dishwasher onto the moving vehicle carefully, keeping it in an upright position. Make sure it’s stable and won’t shift during transit. If possible, place it near other heavy appliances for added stability.
  • Once at your new home, carefully unload the dishwasher using the same precautions as before. Double-check the installation spot to ensure it’s clean and ready for your appliance.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to transport your dishwasher without a hitch, ensuring it arrives in your new kitchen safe and sound, ready for a fresh start.

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Should I clean my dishwasher before packing it for moving?

So, you’re planning to move house and wondering if you should clean your dishwasher before packing it up. Well, the short answer is yes. Giving your dishwasher a good clean before moving not only makes it more pleasant for you when unpacking in your new home, but also helps to maintain its performance and longevity. Here’s how you can get your dishwasher spick and span before it hits the road.

1. Remove and clean the filter

Start by removing the dishwasher filter, usually found at the bottom of the dishwasher. Give it a good rinse under warm water to remove any debris or food particles. You can use a mild detergent and a soft brush to gently scrub it if needed. Once clean, let it dry completely before placing it back into the dishwasher.

2. Wipe down the interior

Using a damp cloth, wipe down the interior of the dishwasher, paying special attention to the door and the seals. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as these can damage the dishwasher’s surface. A mix of warm water and mild detergent should do the trick. Don’t forget to also clean the detergent and rinse aid dispensers.

3. Run a final cleaning cycle

Lastly, run a final empty cleaning cycle to ensure any lingering smells or residue are eliminated. You can use a dishwasher cleaner or place a cup of white vinegar on the top rack and run a normal cycle. Once completed, leave the dishwasher door open for a few hours to air out and dry completely before packing it away.

By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that your dishwasher not only arrives at your new home in tip-top condition, but also that it’s ready to tackle those dirty dishes as soon as you’re settled in. Happy moving!

Is it safe to transport the dishwasher on its back?

When it comes to transporting a dishwasher, the question of whether it’s safe to lay it on its back often arises.

Laying the dishwasher on its back can make it easier to manoeuvre, especially if you’re dealing with tight spaces or narrow doorways. Additionally, this position can help prevent the appliance from tipping over during transit.

However, there are some potential risks associated with this method. Firstly, the dishwasher’s internal components, such as the motor and pump, may shift, causing damage or malfunction. Secondly, any residual water inside the appliance could leak out, leading to potential water damage to your property or the dishwasher itself.

We advise consulting with moving professionals for the best approach.

Should I test the dishwasher after moving to make sure it still works?

You should test your dishwasher after moving to:

  1. Ensure functionality. It’s crucial to check if all the connections, hoses, and parts survived the move without any damage. Testing the dishwasher will give you peace of mind knowing it’s still in perfect working condition.
  2. Spot any issues early. If, by any chance, something did go wrong during the move, testing your dishwasher will help you identify the problem early. This way, you can address any issues before they become a bigger, more expensive problem.
  3. Warranty protection. If your dishwasher is still under warranty, it’s wise to test it after moving. Should there be any damage or issues, you can contact the manufacturer or your insurance company for repairs or replacement.

As a final note, remember to properly reconnect the dishwasher in your new home, following the manufacturer’s guidelines or consulting a professional if needed. After all, you want your trusty dishwasher to be ready for action, making your life easier in your new abode!

Moving House?

It’s one of the most stressful events of our lives. You’ll stare at your belongings and wonder what you’re going to do with it all. Do you just throw it all away and start again?

That’s why we’ve created a complete moving house guide for you.

It comes with a printable checklist to help you ever step of the way.

The Ultimate Moving House Guide.