What’s the best way to pull a washing machine out?

Pulling a washing machine out from under a kitchen worktop may not be easy. Many are very heavy, and they have no wheels. Before even thinking about pulling one out, you need to consider the following. The washing machine is connected to a wall socket, to a water supply, and to a water drain outlet. All of which could stop the washing machine from coming out properly.

You also need to consider that pulling one out could damage your back, and that the washing machine feet could easily damage flooring. So you need to assess several things before just yanking one out. In most cases, the washing machine will need disconnecting first.

Pulling out technique

The best way to pull a washing machine out, is to open the door, and get hold of the door opening at the top of the door seal. Then lift the washing machine up off its front feet, and pull it forward on its back feet. If you aren’t able to lift the machine up at least a centimetre or more, your job may be a lot more difficult. There are more pulling out tips later, including how to pull one out if you can’t open the door, and how to prevent damage to the flooring. But first you should look at the following important pre-pulling out advice.

Mains cable and plug

Unplug the mains cable. If it’s plugged in at the back of the washing machine, you can’t do much with it until the washer is out. But if it plugs in anywhere else, unplug it, and feed the cable back towards the washing machine. Ensure the cable is close enough to the washing machine to allow it to be pulled all the way out. If the cable has been fed through a small hole in a cupboard, and needs to be pulled back through, then it may be necessary to take off the plug.

Fill hose

If you can, turn off any water taps to the washing machine. Sometimes the hoses are very short, or connected away from the washing machine at full stretch. Unless the fill hoses are right behind, or just to the side of the washing machine, you probably need to disconnect the hoses to allow the washing machine to pull forward.

If you overstretch a fill hose, it can easily snap where it connects to the washing machine. If the water tap is still switched on, this would cause water to flood out of the broken hose. You would not get any warning. You’d just be pulling the washing machine forward, then all of a sudden you’d hear something snap followed by a hissing of water.

If you need to unscrew any fill hoses from the tap, you should be very careful. Hopefully you can unscrew the hose by hand. If you need to use pipe pliers or maul grips then be very careful, and make sure you support the body of the tap. If not, you could twist the tap and loosen it from the copper pipe.

Drain hose

Drain hoses are commonly connected to the U-bend under the sink. If so, it’s likely that you won’t be able to pull the washing machine forward with the drain hose still connected. They are usually very easy to disconnect from the U-bend. You just unscrew the plastic connector that the drain hose is pushed onto.

However, the next step is to feed the drain hose back through to as close to the washing machine as possible. This could even require you to push the drain hose through a hole in the cupboard and the plastic connector may not fit. In such cases, you will have to do remove the drain hose from the connector. It’s just a twist and pull. But make sure when you refit everything that the end of the drain hose is pushed on tightly, and does not leak.

Don’t run water into sink

Once the drain hose has been disconnected from the U-bend in the sink, any water poured into the sink may pour out into the cupboard. So either make sure no water gets into the sink until you are finished. Or try stuffing a floor cloth or something into the hole.

Watch the flooring

Before pulling the washing machine forward, you need to ensure the feet aren’t stuck to the floor. They often are. It’s not so necessary on a hard floor, but if on something like lino or cushion floor, pulling the washing machine forward with the feet stuck can easily rip the flooring.

First lift it up at the front to free the front feet if they are stuck to the flooring. Lift the washing machine with the door open and with your hands at the top of the door opening. Then tip it forward to lift the back feet to make sure they aren’t stuck, or free them too. It may be useful to place a towel under the feet to help it slide forward and to help protect the flooring.

Does the flooring go all the way under the washer?

Often the floor covering stops just underneath the washing machine. This happens when the fitter can’t be bothered to fit it all the way under, or if they just don’t realise it’s necessary. As most washing machines are underneath a worktop, you may not know if the flooring goes all the way back or not. If it doesn’t, this means when you pull it forward, the rear feet will probably get caught on the flooring.

When the flooring is tiles, or laminate flooring, this can stop it coming out altogether. In this case, you would need to tilt the washer forward so that the feet lift at the back. When the flooring is a vinyl covering, it can dig right into it and rip it badly.

Washing machine stuck?

If the washing machine is stuck behind the flooring, there are more tips in this article – appliance is stuck behind a tiled floor

How to pull washer out if door won’t open

If the door doesn’t open due to a fault, then you may be able to get some purchase by taking the soap drawer out and lifting via the drawer opening (not easy). Or by lifting from underneath the front of the machine and pulling it forward (even harder). Or with two people, using a combination of both.

Without access to the door opening it can be tricky – especially if the washer is also full of laundry and water. In this scenario, you need to try and get rid of the water to make it lighter. There are plenty of tips on doing that here – how to drain a washing machine full of water

Tips for pushing a washing machine back in place

Pushing a washing machine back in place can be easy, or very tricky, depending on the floor surface. Walking the washing machine back by pushing one side a little then the other is the best way. Also, push as low down the front of the washing machine as you can.

Be careful, many washing machines have flimsy front panels that easily dent. Using knees to push a stubborn washing machine back can be effective, but it can also put dents in the washing machine front.

It might be tempting to put some lubricant under the feet if it’s hard to push back, but this can cause the washer to slide about a lot on spin afterwards. Use only as a last option and in as small a quantity as possible.

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16 thoughts on “What’s the best way to pull a washing machine out?”

  1. Mine seems stucked despite having moved fairly easily. Before pulling harder I was wondering whether the plug or pipes might actually be on the short side… I cannot see the back as it’s inserted in the kitchen cabinet.

    I’d like to avoid flooding the kitchen… is there any risk of breaking pipes or so?


  2. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Fred. Sorry for a late reply. Yes the main cause of a washing machine only pulling out so far then stopping is the pipes. The hoses and drain hose supplied are normally only just long enough to reach the taps and drain connection. There’s usually no way to pull a washing machine out without totally disconnecting all the hoses. If pulled hard the connection on the fill hoses could break and cause a flood. It can be very tricky to do and even trickier to get them back if the washing machine is under a worktop and you can’t get behind the washing machine.

  3. Hi, if I have to move mine I tilt the front up clear of the carpet and slide a thin plastic chopping board under each front foot. I can then simply open the door and pull from the top of the opening – the boards glide on the carpet and the washing machine slides out nicely

    I also made sure I fitted a long water inlet hose so the machine will come all the way out from under the worktop without disconnecting anything :-)

  4. Had to get my Bosch washing machine back in position and even though it is on tiles, because there is so little space either side to ‘walk’ it in, it would not budge. Eventually after trying different ways without success, I came up with this method. I got two pieces of hardboard about 6″ wide and about 6″ longer than the washer is deep, lifted the washer slightly each side and put the pieces of hardboard under the feet going front to back, polished side down. Once the washer was standing on the hardboard, I got a spade with the edge covered in a towel and placed it under the washer at the front so that when I pressed down on the handle it lifted the washer off the ground at the front very slightly. I then sat down opposite the washer with my feet on the bottom corners and using my hands to press down on the spade I lifted the washer and pushed it back into place with my feet. It was then easy enough to lift each side of the washer to pull the hardboard out from under the machine. However, levelling it using only the two front feet is a different story.

  5. Brendan Stafford

    Just an idea for anyone with vinyl flooring in the kitchen or utility room where the washing machine is. Place a 60 cm x 60 cm square of the same vinyl flooring, only upside down. Position the machine square on top of the said piece of vinyl. This allows the vinyl to slide into the appropriate space where the washer goes. This works best for tight width kitchen work tops and side panels.

  6. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Thanks Brendon. Just bear in mind that anything that makes the washing machine slide nicely into place will cause the washing machine to slide around if left in position. You could try a smaller section that just fits under the front feet and slightly tip the washing machine forward whilst sliding it in (as long as there’s a small gap at the top of machine when sliding under). Then you can lift the front feet up and remove it when it’s in place.

  7. Christopher Davies

    I needed to remove the washer for a repair to the suspension mountings and found the tiles stopped it . It made removal very difficult indeed but we did get it out eventually. Getting it out was a huge problem compared to the actual simply fixed fault with the shock absorber. To prevent this happening again, I tiled the area under the washer completely so that it wouldn’t get stuck again. It slid easily into place when the tiles’ cement was cleaned off and dry. It’s now become necessary to remove it again and the machine will not budge – it seems to be stuck at the side this time! Any advice welcomed – the feet are not stuck to the floor. The repair man told us he wouldn’t have an integrated washing machine given and this sort of thing happens all the time!

  8. I can’t pull my washing machine out as there’s only a little bit of room from the top of the work top , it’s stuck so with the room I have and being stuck to the floor how on earth can you move it

  9. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Linda. If the washing machine has a worktop right above it with no gap you won’t be able to lift it up to try and free the feet if they are a little stuck but you should be able to open the door and pull it forward. If there is any flooring in front of the washing machine meaning that the washing machine is trapped and will only come out of it can be lifted over the flooring – then it is well and truly stuck. There is no way it will come out without removing the flooring or removing the worktop. This is exactly what happened to my daughters dishwasher which is discussed here appliance stuck behind floor

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