How To Safely Remove Glass From A Garbage Disposal

Gary Johnson
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Broken Glass in The Garbage Disposal

Clearing a garbage disposal of glass isn’t actually that hard, and can save a lot of money. It will also prevent any glass from shredding your disposal.

Before you try this yourself, always turn off the disposer. Disconnect the water supply.

Try to grab the pieces of glass before they go down the drain. When you find glass, remove it from the disposer using a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. If your disposal is not shredding the glass like a blender, then use some salt to clean out the glass. Add more salt than you normally would if you were grinding waste. Turn on the disposal and then turn on the water. The salt will clean the disposal, and your garbage disposal will be back to normal.

Please note that the disposal might not work properly until you run a lot of water through it (especially if it’s been a long time since it’s been used). Also, never put your hands inside the garbage disposal.

Things You’ll Need to Do the Job

First, turn off the garbage disposal at the wall switch. This will prevent anyone who isn’t working on the appliance from inadvertently turning it on.

Step 2 – Isolate the Garbage Disposal

After the garbage disposal is off, use a circuit tester to make sure that the disposal power is off and that the ground wire is firmly connected to the green grounding screw.

If the disposal is still plugged in, find the breaker for the appliance and shut it off at the circuit breaker or fuse panel.

Step 3 – Unplug Garbage Disposal

Unplug the appliance. This will ensure that no one turns on the garbage disposal by accident while you’re working on it.

Step 4 – Turn off Water to the Garbage Disposal

Turn off the water coming into the disposal by twisting the water supply line. The water supply line is the pipe attached to the disposal.

Step 5 – Use Professional Wrench

Use a plumbers wrench to loosen the garbage disposal flange that is attached to the sink drain. You can also use the wrench to remove the dishwasher drain connection that is connected to the disposal.

How to Remove a Glass from a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a handy device that makes cleaning up your kitchen utensils much simpler. However, it can be a pain when it’s full of glass. While you may be tempted to try some pliers, there are some safer ways that can save you time and your arms.

Pizza boxes: You can use a pizza box to empty the contents of the garbage disposal.

”Dry place” your glass at the bottom of the bin. Put the pizza box on top. With the blades running, lift the glass slowly.

Dried egg shells: It is difficult to break glass and other brittle things if you can easily cut through things like dried egg shells. Place the egg shells and glass on top of the garbage disposal and grind them down.

Plastic bottle: Putting a plastic bottle over the disposal blades will prevent them from getting stuck. Turn the disposal on and fret.

Most glass remains in the plughole but sometimes there may be a particle stuck in the cover. By using one of these methods, it will be much easier.

Other Considerations When Removing Glass

It is not just a waste of food and money; a clogged garbage disposal can allow harmful bacteria to grow in your home. Avoid this problem by disposing of food waste you can’t compost in the garbage.

Place a white towel beneath the kitchen sink to collect food scraps. Inexpensive food waste disposals with removable blades can be easily accessed by a plumber.

Large pieces of food that are not being composted should be tied in plastic garbage bags and scheduled for pickup with your regular garbage pick up.

Disposing of Whole Glass

When you have to dispose of whole glass in the trash, it’s ideal to place the whole piece inside of a plastic bag.

If at all possible, try not to break the glass before placing it in the bag. This is because broken glass is much more likely to cut you if you try to pick it up when placing it in the bag.

Once you’ve placed the glass inside the plastic bag, carefully close the bag while holding the glass. Don’t touch the glass directly.

Take the bag of glass and place it inside of a bigger plastic bag.

· If only other things that are recyclable are inside of your trash bag, place the first plastic bag inside of the second plastic bag and tie them together to keep the glass secure. Never leave glass in your regular trash because it can be tossed around and may cause the glass to break.

· If there are other trash items inside the bag with the glass, wrap the glass tightly in newspaper and then place the newspaper rolls in the bag.

· If there are other recyclable items in the bag with the glass, remove them, wrap them in newspaper and then place them back in the bag.

Disposing of Broken Glass

The one thing that most homeowners dread is broken glass in the bottom of their garbage disposal. Chances are, you’ll never have to deal with this situation, but it’s good to be prepared in case it does happen!

Use tongs to fish out all of the pieces of broken glass out of the disposal. If you are really lucky and managed to catch all of the pieces, you should be able to close the drain and run some water through the disposal. Chances are though, you’ll have a few pieces left in it. Don’t worry, there are other ways to remove the glass.

Try adding a few tablespoons of dishwasher soap, then running the disposal for about a minute. The soap will help the glass to break up so that you can dump the contents of the disposal into the trash from below.

If you both soap and hot water, you can try pouring some into the disposal.

Cover the drain, then turn on the disposal. With some luck, the high-pressure water jet will break up the glass and you’ll no longer have to worry about it.

If all else fails, call a plumber. In most cases, they can retrieve the pieces for you.

Tips on Maintaining Garbage Disposals

The garbage disposal is a really convenient appliance that makes the job of getting rid of food waste so much easier. Unfortunately, the garbage disposal also requires some upkeep. So it's a good idea to learn about the best ways to keep it running smoothly and safely.

Turn the Power Off

The first thing to do before trying to fix a problem with a garbage disposal is to turn the power switch off. There's a good chance you will take out the power source or break something if you don't turn it off. Besides, you want to drain out the water already in the garbage disposal and there's no sense mixing the water in the sink with the water in the garbage disposal.

Gather Tools

You should have a variety of tools clean and ready to go. Invest in a set of tongs that are good for turning garbage disposal (receptacle). The tongs will come in handy for both turning the garbage disposal as well as removing things like broken glass and large food items. You'll also want to have a large wrench to remove the drain plug on the bottom of the plumbing.


This is the most efficient and safe way to get rid of a piece of glass stuck in your disposal…

Put on your rubber gloves and off you go…

Add a handful of ice cubes to the disposal, then turn on the cold water. As the water trickles down, the glass should start to shear apart.

Turn on the power switch and grind up the ice cubes, glass and water. The glass should break up completely. Turn the water off, remove your rubber gloves and the cap from the disposal and put everything in your trash bin.

Clean out the disposal by starting it and running cold water while grinding up any crumbs stuck on the sharp edges.

In some cases, the disposal will shake or vibrate in your sink while running. This is nothing to worry about. Just be sure to turn off the unit once any glass has been crushed.