How to Transport Your Portable Dishwasher? (Avoid Common Mistakes)

Whether you’re moving homes and looking to transport your used portable dishwasher or taking your new portable dishwasher home with you, there’s always the question of how to transport it.

Can you lay a portable dishwasher on its side while transporting it?

You can transport a new and unused appliance on its side, but it’s recommended not to do so with used machines owing to several associated risks.

The primary concern when transporting home appliances like portable dishwashers is the possibility of damage to the device, which may not be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Read on know how to transport your portable dishwasher – new or old.

Can You Lay a Portable Dishwasher on Its Side?

A portable dishwasher, like a washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator, is one of the more expensive household appliances (read here why the costs are high); it’s common to take extra care while transporting it.

Most manufacturers recommend laying the unit on its back or keeping it upright when transporting it. Additional instructions might mention avoiding laying the dishwasher on its side or front.

Retailers like Lowe’s also have stickers on the new appliances stating, “Do not lay unit on side or front. Failure to comply may result in the voiding of the warranty.” This makes consumers insecure while transporting their new dishwasher or even a used one when shifting homes.

However, unlike refrigerators that should be mandatorily moved upright (to keep the cooling refrigerant in its proper place and avoid damage to the compressor), it’s usually safe to lay a portable dishwasher on its side.

It has no sensitive fluids or parts like a refrigerator. 

While transporting your portable dishwasher, it’s best practice to keep it on its back or upright to avoid even minor risks of damage.

And, even if it’s mostly safe to transport it on its side, keep an eye out for sensitive structures, like a thin outer housing.

How to Transport Your Portable Dishwasher?

Transporting a used portable dishwasher isn’t the same as transporting a new one. Here are the different ways to transport your appliance – new or used.

Transport a New Portable Dishwasher

New dishwashers are well-packed, so no loose parts inside the machine can cause damage. It’s relatively easier to transport your new appliance.

New dishwashers are easy to transport in their original carton

You can transport a newly purchased and originally packed dishwasher by laying it horizontally if needed. Before you do so, check for instructions on the packaging; the manufacturer may limit the warranty if kept on its side.

Such devices are safely packed and have no fluids; you can keep them upright, on their back, or even side while transporting.

Transport a Used Portable Dishwasher When Moving

Transporting a used portable dishwasher properly and safely will require some planning.

Here are the different steps to get it done the right way:

1) Disconnect the Power and Water Supply

If your portable dishwasher is connected to a power supply and sink faucet, the first step is to disconnect it from both.

After disconnecting the water supply, let the inlet water hose stay in the sink for some time for any residual water to drip out.

2) Clean the Inside of the Dishwasher

Before packing your used portable dishwasher, it’s better to clean the inside of the appliance. This will prevent mold or bacterial growth inside it during transportation (especially for long-distance moves). 

Use a washcloth and mild dish soap mixed with water to clean the appliance’s interior. Follow by wiping with a dry cloth or towel.

This also helps prevent any standing water in the dishwasher from dripping down when transported.

3) Remove Any Baskets, Racks, and Trays

Avoid leaving dishes, trays, racks, or baskets inside the dishwasher during transportation. This might cause damage to the machine.

Remove the upper and lower racks, baskets, and trays, and pack these separately into other boxes. Add some layers or padding (like bubble wrap) between the pieces to avoid any scratches or damage during transportation (since these parts are more likely to move around).

4) Wrap the Portable Dishwasher

Wrapping a countertop dishwasher will be much easier. However, consider taking it off the wheels for a free-standing unit before you begin wrapping.

Use layers of wrapping materials or blankets, start wrapping your portable dishwasher from its bottom, around the sides, and use packing tape on the edges.

Techjut tip: Avoid using tape directly on the body of the appliance (as it may damage the finish); instead, use tape on the padding material.

Place a blanket around the machine’s top to protect the corners around the dishwasher’s back. Thick towels and styrofoam make for great packaging.

5) Load the Dishwasher Into the Transport Vehicle

While you could carry a countertop dishwasher all by yourself (or use an extra pair of hands) and load it onto the truck or your vehicle, a free-standing one will need extra maneuvering.

Use an appliance dolly for a free-standing portable dishwasher. Consider having one or two people to help you out with this task. Slip the dolly’s metal lip under the left or right side (not front or back), and secure it against the frame snugly with rope, twine, or stretch wrap.

If you must go up or downstairs, dollies are of great help. Hold the top of the dolly while the person assisting you holds the bottom and the unit itself.

Techjut tip: Place a few old towels behind the dishwasher, as excess water might leak out during transit.

Risks When Transporting a Portable Dishwasher

Here are some common risks associated with transporting a portable dishwasher:

1. Risk of Residual Water

When transporting your used portable dishwasher in a horizontal position, there is the risk of water leakage from internal parts like the salt tank or water bag.

While it’s easy to think that this problem might not exist for newly purchased dishwashers, they are tested at the factory before being shipped. While highly unlikely, you might find some water inside the new dishwasher’s tub.

2. Risk of Appliance Damage

There’s always the risk of damage while transporting white goods, especially when moving them yourself instead of hiring professionals.

Besides the possibility of scratches and dents, internal components like the water pump could get damaged while transporting the portable dishwasher.

3. Risk of Damage to Other Items

While transporting a used dishwasher, there’s always the risk of excess water leaking out.

This could cause damage to other items like upholstered furniture, electronics, boxes of important documents, and photo albums if placed next to the dishwasher.

4. Risk of Injury

Apart from the risk of damage to the appliance, there’s also the risk of personal injury if you attempt to move your portable dishwasher (especially the free-standing models) all by yourself. 


Portable dishwashers can lay on their sides. They don’t contain delicate fluids or components that require upfront transportation. Nevertheless, several factors should be of concern before moving them around.

Transporting electrical appliances always requires an extra bit of careful maneuvering. New portable dishwashers are easier to move around since they’re well-packed and won’t be damaged if handled with care.

However, transporting your used portable dishwasher while moving homes isn’t as straightforward. It must be disconnected from the power supply and water supply, cleaned and dried, packed well with layers, and carefully loaded onto the vehicle, preferably with an extra pair of hands or two to help.

Place the dishwasher on its back or upright during transportation. With proper packaging, you may also place it on its side. The risks of transporting your portable dishwasher include residual water dripping out, causing water damage to other items, the risk to the unit itself, and personal injury.