Clogged garbage disposal

A clogged garbage disposal means a bit of a mess.  The good news is that it can be fixed.  You can give it a try or start with a plumber.  Either way, here's what you need to know.

Clearing the Clog

Here are 5 ways to unclog your Garbage Disposal:

  1. Check for Stuck Food and Other Debris

First, even after you turn off the disposal never put in your hand.  Instead, use a flashlight to look in.

If you see something, turn off power to the garbage disposal.  You can do this by unplugging the disposal or turning off the breaker.

Then use pliers or tongs to reach in and remove the object.

  1. Reset the Disposal

If you don't see anything blocking the disposal, it may need to be reset.  Push the reset button, usually found on the bottom or side of the unit.

  1. Avoid Chemical Cleaners.

Don't use commercial drain cleaners in a garbage disposal.  These cleaners can damage your disposal parts.

Instead try pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain.  If the boiling water doesn't work, try again with a half-cup of baking soda and then 2 cups of vinegar.  Let this sit in the unit for ten minutes.  Then pour in more boiling water.

  1. Use a Toilet Plunger.

Use the plunger in the disposal opening.  Run enough water to create good suction.  If you have a double sink you can also try using two plungers, one in each sink.

  1. Run the dishwasher

If your dishwasher connects to your garbage disposal, try running the dishwasher.  That will sometimes clear a clog.  Be careful though - it can also flood and cause a mess.

Reasons for a clogged kitchen sink

Clogged garbage disposal potato peels

Rice clogged garbage disposal

Lettuce clogged garbage disposal

Grease clogged garbage disposal

Pasta clogged garbage disposal

Check the "P-Trap"

The P-Trap is the elbow shaped part of the pipe under your sink.  Clogs tend to form here in this elbow.  Opening it up may remove the clog.

Be sure you have a bucket in place under the pipe.  When you get the pipe open sludge will pour out.

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