how to unclog garbage disposal

How to Unclog Garbage Disposal at Home

Here is how to unclog garbage disposal at home using some DIY remedies. I know how frustrating and time-consuming the cleaning process is, and that odor that burns the nose is something intolerable.

But fear not, as I will help you clean that damn thing in a few minutes. But first, we need to know the root cause of it and we get that odor.

What is Causing the Clog in the Disposal?

The biggest culprit is those peels that you unknowingly throw in the sink, hoping the disposal can handle them all. Pees like potato peels, fruit peels, and others. Plus some oily foods that you throw there.

Not everyone does that, but most of us do it unless we become aware of its potential problems in the coming future.

  • So next time do not throw them in your disposal and take them for the trash can. Or at least cut them in multiple pieces so that the disposal can dispose of them faster.
  • Do not throw any animal bones or any hard things that the machine can not process.
  • Do not throw your coffee grounds or liquid coffee directly in it as it may block the machine. Mix water in good quantity and then throw it away.
  • Lastly, run cold water like icy water in the sink so that it helps the flushing process. Warm water may also help but do not use too warm.

Remember prevention is always better than cleaning that damn disposal. Now arrange these tools and then follow the process to clean the garbage disposal if that basic thing is not working for you.

Tools You Will Need to Unclog the Disposal

garbage disposal kitchen
Daniel M. Hendricks on Flickr

Now go to the market and buy these items or buy them online.

  • The Allen wrench: This one comes with the disposal at the purchase. But if you do not have it then get one. I have it in my home and I am sure most people do. It is used to manually rotate the motor so that the clog can be fixed.
  • Plunger: Yes, that plunger that you use in the toilet. But not the used one, buy a new one!
  • A plier: This one will help you remove the stubborn debris from the machine.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: This is the one that will clean your disposal. You may know how powerful vinegar and soda are as they have an acetic feature.

After arranging these tools, follow the below steps to unclog them.

How to Unclog Garbage Disposal at Home

clogged kitchen disposal
bradleypjohnson on Flickr

Okay before you start get your safety armor on like a hand glove and eyewear if possible. Do not forget to cut the supply. 

  • Water flush: First, pour some warm water into the machine and after a few minutes, flush it. You can also use ice water for the same purpose.
  • Rotate manually: Insert the wrench in the bottom of the disposal and try to rotate back and forth to loosen up any debris that is jamming the machine.
  • Plunge it: If the manual rotation is not working then the system is jammed strongly. Place the plunger over the drain opening, make sure it is tight, and then plunge it a few times. The pressure that the plunger will create can unclog the line.
  • Mix baking soda with vinegar: If the clog remains steady, pour the mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and a small quantity of water into the drain. Wait a few minutes and then flush it with warm water.

The clog must not remain there. If not then call a professional and maybe you need to replace the machine or some parts of it.

Last Words

So this is how to unclog garbage disposal at home. Remember prevention is the key. Do not throw anything in there that may block the machine. Be a bit careful and your garbage disposal will run for years to come.

It is easy to unclog it but most people are afraid. Show some courage and never mind the odor when doing it DIY. Good luck. 

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Unclog Garbage Disposal with Baking Soda
RthardinCC BY-SA 3.0, / © S.J. de Waard / CC-BY-SA-4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.