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How To Unclog Garbage Disposal


Is your garbage disposal system clogged? And looking for the step-by-step guide on “How To Unclog Garbage Disposal” then read this guide completely.


For this issue, first and direct solution is to call a plumber and repair the garbage disposal. But wait! Sometimes the problems are not as big as we think.

The garbage disposal is commonly helpful in removing your food waste and leftovers. It is also valuable for slashing the food item into smaller pieces. However, a person must be aware of how to use it properly to avoid a clog.

So, till the end of this article, you will surely learn about the causes of the clog, unclogging the garbage disposal, preventions to save your garbage disposals from getting clogged, and much more.

Why is Garbage Disposal Clogged?

Garbage Disposal System

Before going to know how to unclog the garbage disposal, we need to know what are the causes for clogging your garbage dispenser.

Most people will say that this is happening due to the over quantity of food items thrown, but the fact is that there are several other reasons for a clog. Following are the causes for a clog in a garbage disposal.

1. Food

We know that the disposal of garbage is often used for food waste. However, it is a misconception because the garbage disposal can’t handle every food item you add.

Sometimes for disposal, it becomes hard to handle the food items like seeds, bones, corncobs, etc. Similarly, there is no doubt that other items, like asparagus, banana peels, lettuce, etc., can provoke a garbage disposal clog.

2. Bulk Quantity of Food

Any garbage disposal is clogged because of a bulk amount of food waste. This is another situation where most people can’t find the proper solution.

But the solution is simple! You don’t need to put the entire food waste at the same time, leading to the garbage disposal clog. Instead, try to put partly food waste in the sink, which can easily flow under the unit.

3. Non-Food Items

It clearly states that garbage disposal is used only for food items. However, most people don’t focus on this and throw away their non-food items, such as plastic, foil, paper, and other elements. These non-food elements start damaging the disposal when they come in contact, resulting in a garbage disposal clog.

Incorrect Way Of Using Garbage Disposal

Do you turn off the garbage disposal device immediately after use? So, this is an incorrect disposal method that contributes to the clog and insists you think about how to unclog a garbage disposal.

Keeping the device on after the food-grinding process is the best way to use it. Meanwhile, please turn on the water and leave it for a minute to altogether remove the waste. This water will help to flow the entire waste particles to the disposal and keeps a clog away from the device.

So, these were the most common causes that are seamlessly sorted out on your own without the help of a plumber. However, as we have said before, most people forget about these things, which results in a clog. So, let’s see the best suggestions to unclog the garbage disposal.

Required Products For Unclogging Your Garbage Disposal

These are the following essential products you will need when unclogging garbage disposals.

1. Vinegar


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2. Baking Soda

Baking Soda

3. Plungers


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4. Flashlight or Torch


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5. Pliers


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6. Wrench


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7. Rock Salt

Rock Salt

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8. Dishwashing Gloves

Dishwashing Gloves

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Step-By-Step Process: How To Unclog Garbage Disposal

Unclogging the garbage disposal has several methods. However, please avoid the drain liquid cleaners, which can destroy the splash guard. Similarly, please don’t put your hands into a disposal unit because there are a few chances of hand cuts. Ensure that the unit is cool before applying the following methods.

1. Manual Checkup

It can annoy you when you don’t know the proper solution. However, the first step is to check out the entire garbage disposal and find out the clog. You can use the torch or flashlight, pliers, or tongs for your help.

After finding the clog, use tongs or pliers (whichever is available at home) to unclog or retrieve it. Repeat it till the clog is removed from the unit.

2. Use Baking Soda & Vinegar

Why call a plumber when you have this robust solution to unclog the garbage disposal? Nowadays, every woman uses baking soda and vinegar for several purposes. This is a practical and helpful trick to unclog the garbage disposal.

Go to the garbage disposal with a baking soda in your hands. Pour it under the disposal wisely. After that, you can start pouring vinegar down the garbage disposal. Now, wait for 20 minutes because the waiting will enhance the fizzing process, indirectly bringing out the clog. Lastly, use hot water to wash the entire mixture of clogged and food wastes if they are found.

3. Use Plungers For Unclog A Garbage Disposal With Standing Water

Looking for how to unclog a garbage disposal with standing water? Then just simply follow the below steps:

  • First, take the best-rated plunger and ensure to keep this on the drain of the garbage disposal.
  • Start pushing that sink plunger up and down. Ensure that the plunger sticks to the drain. Once the plunger is off the drain, your efforts will be useless, and you have to start from the beginning.
  • Do push for at least six to eight times. Now, remove the plunger and add the water. If the water is passing, your efforts worked well, and the clog is unclogged now. But, if this does not happen, try to repeat until the standing water flows seamlessly.

Once the route of the flowing water is cleared, you can start running the hot water into the disposal for three minutes. It will remove the remaining debris, if any, and clear the drain.

4. Hex Wrench

Hex Wrench is a hexagonal device in an L-shape that you can use to remove the clog under the disposal garage. Unclogging garbage disposal with this instrument may insist you think twice before use.

This tool may or may not be offered with the garbage disposal. However, you will get instructions to use this tool to remove the clog under the garbage disposal. The simplest way is to hold the hexagonal end to the hexagon hole from the outside of the disposal and ensure that it is properly fit.

After that, move it slightly clockwise and anti-clockwise carefully four to five times. This will rotate the blades. If the rotating process is getting complicated, the clog is there. You can remove this clog manually and repeat the process to verify whether the clog is unclogged or not.

5. The Cold Water & Ice Cubes

If you are thinking about how to unclog the garbage disposal, this hack is amongst the best out of the bests. Start the unit once you complete adding ice cubes to the garbage disposals. After this, the ice cubes will start grinding in the unit, and your work is to add the cold water into the unit.

This will bring the trapped debris and food items out of the disposal. Now, you can run the cold water that will flush the entire particles out.

6. Ice & Rock Salt

Another best way to start unclogging your garbage disposal is the ice and rock salt you usually use in the home. Take a cup of rock salt along with the ice cubes and add it to the garbage disposal. Now, it’s time to steer cold water under the garbage.

When you add both to the garbage disposal, leave everything on this device. The process will take out the food items or the clog and your disposal will work in better conditions.

If the mystery is not solved even after searching for how to unclog the garbage disposal, it’s time to call the plumber now. He will check whether the P-Trap attached to the disposal is working correctly. Then you may have to reinstall that by paying charges to the plumber.

How To Prevent Clogging in Garbage Disposals?

Well, you may have heard that prevention is always better than cure. This quote is 100% matched with this scenario. But the main question is how to prevent clogging in the garbage disposal. If you follow the below steps, you will never need to call a plumber.

  • Don’t add bones, avocado pits, corn cobs, etc., to your garbage disposals.
  • Avoiding the process of eggshells or coffee ground grounding is the best way to protect your garbage disposals. The tiny particles of these materials stay in the garbage disposal, contributing to clogging under the garbage disposal.
  • Ensure that you avoid adding potato peels to your garbage disposal. This may lead to a clog if the starch remains on the frown-up sinks.
  • Don’t throw banana peels at your disposal when you eat a banana.
  • Avoid flowing the liquid fat oil or grease into the garbage disposals. This can be a big mistake as they accumulate in one place and prevent food and water flow under the disposal.
  • Once your work is done in the sink, start the water for thirty seconds or a minute to flow everything towards the disposal.
  • Last but not least! You can read the complete instruction manual provided with the garbage disposal device at the time of purchase.

Once you start taking care of these small things, you can easily prevent your garbage disposal from getting clogged.


Here we rest our “How To Unclog Garbage Disposal” guide. We hope that you like this kitchen hack guide.

It happens when you mistakenly throw a banana peel into the sink or put in a bulk quantity of food waste after a dinner party. A plumber is the best option you can choose to repair the garbage disposal. But, this problem can be sorted out using a few tricks you must know if you have a garbage disposal at home.

In the above article, we have mentioned multiple ways to unclog your garbage disposals to help you in the best possible manner. We have covered the essential things like vinegar, soap, soda, etc., to unclog the garbage disposals.

Similarly, this article has mentioned multiple precautions to avoid unclogging the garbage disposal. Thus, we hope that you will clean your garbage disposal device thoroughly.


Q) How To Clean A Garbage Dispenser Using Citrus?

Ans: – Your garbage disposal may start smelling due to several food items. You can clean your garbage disposal using citrus peel in such conditions. Try to use lime, grapefruit, and lemon citrus to remove the smell. But don’t forget to cut them into small pieces that can be tolerated by the unit and run cold water during peel grinding.

Q) Is Hot Water & Dish Soap a Good Option To Clean Garbage Dispenser?

Ans: – Yes! Clean your garbage disposal using the following steps.

  • Use a sink stopper and plug it into the disposal drain. Now, add the dish soap and squirt it into the sink.
  • Fill half of the sink with hot water.
  • It’s time to turn on the disposal after releasing the sink stopper. Let that mixture flow in the drain.

It is one of the best methods that work for two issues at the same time. The garbage disposal is the first, and the drain line is the second.

Q) How To Clean A Garbage Disposal Using Dish Soap?

Ans: – First, ensure that you turn off the garbage disposal device. After that, you can easily use any small brush that can enter under the splash guard flaps. You can use a toothbrush, which is suitable for reaching and scrubbing underneath. However, ensure that you are taking care of your hands.

Q) Boiling Water is Good For My Garbage Dispenser?

Ans: – Yes! You must pour the boiling water into your disposal’s drain and leave everything on it. It will clean your dispenser and flush out the real food particles to unclog the garbage disposal.

Q) How To Use Borax To Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

Ans: – A white substance in the powdery form is considered the Borax cleaner. It is commonly used in laundries. But you can use it to unclog the garbage dispenser. Take a tablespoon, sprinkle the borax powder into the unit, and leave the cold water for at least 30 seconds.

Q) When Do I Need To Call A Professional Plumber To Fix Issues in Garbage Dispenser?

Ans: – A professional plumber is the last option for fixing the garbage disposal. However, you can call him when your garbage disposal is making noise, spreading a bad smell, the switches are working improperly, or overflowing the water.

Q) Should I Regularly Maintain The Garbage Disposal?

Ans: – Yes! When you have a garbage dispenser at your home, you can use ice and kosher salt to clean loose debris into it. Also, ensure that you start the water before and after the garbage disposal for at least one minute. This way, your garbage disposal can live a long life.

Q) How Much Time Does It Need To Unclog Garbage Disposal?

Ans: – The required time depends on your chosen method to unclog the garbage disposal. However, you will need only five minutes to use ice and rock salt. But calling a plumber and fixing the clogging issue will take longer.



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