4 Ways to Safely Unclog a Garbage Disposal

Gary Johnson
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Causes of a Garbage Disposal Clog

The problems with garbage disposals is that over time the food becomes dirtier and dirtier. When the food gets too dirty the disposal can’t chop it up anymore, and you’ll get a clog.

The first thing you should do is hit the reset button on your garbage disposal. Sometimes these things just need a jolt to get them working again. By hitting the reset button you will cause the disposal to start working again. It will also create a lot of noise.

Now that you’ve hit the reset button, it’s time to solve the real problem with the garbage disposal. Most likely the problem is a piece of something you were chucking into the disposal.

You’ll want to go to your sink and turn on the hot water. Hot water helps to loosen the garbage that’s causing the clog. When the water runs, try turning on the garbage disposal. You may hear the sound of the blades and the clog may be loose enough that you can clear the rest out with the disposal on.

That’s the best option, but sometimes there will be a really bad clog. If you’re unable to get it working with the garbage disposal running then you will need to find the clog and remove it.

How to Prevent Clogging

  • Remember when food goes in the garbage disposal to only put food down in small amounts. The easiest way to prevent blockage is to only use as much food waste as will fit in your disposal at one time. Putting too much in at once can lead to a clogged unit.
  • For tough fibrous food waste like corn husks, celery, onion skins, etc. try grinding it a smaller pieces before putting it down the disposal.
  • Avoid putting any potato peels or egg shells down your disposal. These can get stuck in the disposal and may cause narrowing and eventually lead to a clog.

Things You’ll Need

Some people may be worried about using harsh chemicals like drain cleaners themselves. If you’re inexperienced, it’s wise to use care when you use chemical drain cleaners with your garbage disposer. There are actually easier and safer ways to unclog your disposal. And while doing it yourself is a great way to save money, you may want to give someone else a call if you have some plumbing experience.

Here are some simple solutions you can try yourself.

Dry Ice

If you have a lot of waste in your drain, the first thing you can try is simply pouring a bucket of ice down your drain. By freezing the grease in the drain, the ice will clog up the drain and make a nice clean blockage for you. This is usually temporary, and you have to repeat this process every few days. But this will get the job done.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another homemade treatment you can use is a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda down the drain first, then, after it's settled, pour a vinegar-water mixture on top of it. The suds that come from this great combination will make the clog disappear.


Sometimes, it seems like you have all the treatments you need, but no matter what you try, the clog just won’t come out of your drain.

Safety Guidelines Before Fixing a Clogged Disposal

Unclog, or even worse, repairing a clogged garbage disposal can be highly dangerous. No matter which method you use, know that your safety should be your number one priority. Overestimate the "clog" is not much of a clog at all. It may be better to ignore the clogged disposal for the time being rather than to damage the drain piping…at least until you are certain you understand the problem.

When In Doubt, Do Not Fix It!

Most people are eager to fix a clogged garbage disposal unit the moment they notice the unit is not operating properly. After all, who will want to swallow chunks of food and have it pile up in the kitchen sink while the clogged unit is waiting to be repaired? Before you jump into any action, remember that any unnecessary hands on with the garbage disposal unit could risk cutting yourself or damage your fingers.

Garbage disposal is a safe way to dispose food waste that comes from our home kitchens. It is a rendering machine that grinds food waste into very small particles that can go easily down the drain drain pipe and will not block the drain.

Clogging of garbage disposals is very common and it is prevented by the disposal flushing down the kitchen food waste into the main drainage every time the disposal unit is turned on. However, it is not impossible to have clogging that usually occurs in the garbage disposal unit.

4 Methods of Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

The main thing to remember is that if you want to avoid taking apart the garbage disposal entirely, is to remove any jamming food. The best way to do this is to simply turn the garbage disposal off at the wall and try to remove the nightstand with a pair of tongs.

Put in a Plunger

If the garbage disposal still works, you can try a Plunger. Push the plunger into the disposal and then plunge normally. You will be unclogging the disposal. The water drains out into the sink, so if it does not drain then something is blocking it so you will need to dig in deeper. Just turn the garbage disposal off at the switch before plunging to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Get a Chemicals

If the garbage disposal does not work, it is necessary to pour some chemical into the drain. Pour some acidic chemical into the drain. The thing about this is it is not very good for the pipes, but it is good to get rid of the garbage.

Donating a Garbage Disposal Unit

If none of the above methods work, you can always donate your garbage disposal unit. There are charities that come to your home and pick it up, but you should check up on them because some scam goods.

You can check the reviews to see if they are legit so you do not get scammed.

When To Call a Plumber

(A garbage disposal is a device that is usually found under the kitchen sink. It shreds up food and scraps into small pieces so they can be disposed of easily. They are extremely convenient because they fit right into place and save a lot of space.

The only downfall to a garbage disposal, however, is that they can be very easy to clog, especially if you are not cautious about what you put down the drain. The best way to avoid clogs is to make sure that you avoid putting certain food items down the garbage disposal.)

Never Put Stringy Foods down the Garbage Disposal Never put stringy foods down the garbage disposal. These foods can easily accumulate in the garbage disposal and cause a clog. Beef, chicken, and fish are the worst foods to put down the garbage disposal and likely to clog it. If you must put tougher foods down the garbage disposal, run the garbage disposal for a few seconds before you run it with water. This will allow the tougher food to “melt” and collect at the bottom of the garbage disposal, so it is less likely to clog. After the food has collected on the bottom of the garbage disposal, run it again with cold water to flush out the rest of the clog and then discard the water.


The only way to make a bad habit change for good is by making it part of your daily routine. The habits we will cover in this book take time, effort, and consistency to implement, but they will be worth it in the end. Use one of these daily motivation techniques or come up with your own!

Properly managing your daily habits is the key to success, in every aspect of life. It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner, a stay at home parent, a student, and aspiring athlete; these techniques will help you with your health, your money, and your relationships.

Once you’ve started on the path to building healthy habits, you owe it to yourself to see it through to the end. “It’s easier to keep your habits than to get rid of them,” said T.D. Jakes.