How to Replace Dishwasher Door Panels

Wiping down the front panel of a stainless steel dishwasher.
What You'll Need
Ziplock plastic bag
New door panel

During a long lifespan, dishwasher door panels can become cracked, dented, or permanently damaged, the front being particularly vulnerable. When this happens, you can replace them instead of purchasing a whole new appliance. It’s a simple job, requiring a minimum of tools and very little expertise. At the very most, it should only take an hour to complete.

Step 1 - Buy a new Door Panel

You will first need to obtain a new front door panel for your dishwasher. If you own a fairly recent model, you should be able to order one at a hardware store. With an older model, you could run into problems since many stores won’t stock these. Instead, check with the manufacturer or visit specialty stores that deal only in dishwasher parts. You can also find many of these online. You will, however, need to know the make and model of your dishwasher in order to buy the correct part.

Step 2 - Disconnect the Power

Before you begin, unplug the dishwasher or switch the breaker that powers it off. This is a safety precaution you should always take when working on anything powered by electricity.

Step 3 - Remove Screws

Open the dishwasher door completely once the machine is off. Along the edge, you’ll see a total of eight screws. Remove these with your screwdriver and tuck them away in a ziplock bag to keep them safe as you’ll need them later.

Step 4 - Remove the Front Panel

Dishwasher door panels can be removed easily but you still need to be very careful. Keep your hand on the front as you close the door again. Steady the panel so it doesn’t move. If it should fall off, there’s a danger of it breaking wires that are connected inside.

Let the panel slowly lean away from the dishwasher, keeping a firm hold on it. Then, slowly lift it away and up from the dishwasher. Be very careful that none of the wires are caught on it as you proceed.

Step 5 - Install the new Door

The new front will go in via the bottom rail on the door. You’ll need to push it in so it’s completely flush. Be extremely careful so that no wires are snagged as you move it into place. Going slowly is the best method here and checking the wires frequently should ensure that everything is fine.

Hold the replacement firmly in place as you open the dishwasher door completely. Insert each of the four corner screws as you continue to hold the door so you can get it secured firmly. Once they're each part of the way in, you can let go and proceed to tighten them completely. When they’re secure, insert and tighten the other four screws.

Close the dishwasher door and plug the unit back in. With the new front in place, you’re ready to use the appliance again at any time.