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Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I think my garbage disposal is clogged. How can I unclog it?

Allison from Northeast, TN


Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

We had this problem once and here's what I did to solve it. (Beware: this is a messy job): First put a bucket in the cabinet under the pipes that lead from the garbage disposal. At the "elbow" of the pipe you should be able to loosen and remove that section with a pipe wrench. This is where the messy part comes in because when you remove that section of pipe everything in there pours out. After removing that section of pipe, we were able to use a coat hanger, I believe, to run it up the pipe that leads to the wall to try to loosen whatever is stuck up in there.


Good luck and I hope this helps! (07/29/2006)

By TxSavr

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Disposals come with a allen wrench just for this purpose. The wrench fits into hole in the bottom of the disposal.Insert the wrench and turn. This should unclog the disposal. If you don't have the wrench visit a hardware or big box store and explain the problem. Also go to google and type in "unclogging a disposal." They have more information. (07/29/2006)

By Dean

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

You can also try a small sink plunger. That's what we use for all our sink drains, including the disposal. (07/29/2006)

By Ree 127

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Try pouring a bottle of Pepsi Cola and leave for several hours > even over night. A friend used this to dissolve the clog in her kitchen sink.

On the TV show "How Clean is Your House" > they used vinegar & baking soda > pour baking soda down the drain hole, followed by a cup of vinegar > repeat until the drain is clear.

Last, but not least, have you tried one of those pressured air plungers? They are about $10 and can be used multiple times. Good Luck

By hedera

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Dump a handful of baking soda down there, and follow with cup of cheap vinegar. It will bubble and foam. When the foaming stops, add more vinegar. Leave this about 10 min, and follow with a kettleful of boiling water. This always works for me. (07/30/2006)

By Linda

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I don't believe disposals are built differently than when first developed. If the Allen wrenches and natural chemicals don't work, do what we always did:
" glove one hand, reach inside to search for particles of bone, metal or glass to dislodge, if possible. If you THINK you've dislodged it, before turning it on to check, use the handle end of an old straw broom to move the blades just a bit to free them, THEN turn it on to check. It ALWAYS worked for us.


Also, I remember something about, "if the disposal won't turn on, there is a safety button on the back side beneath the sink to find and push."

Reminder: Don't use the disposal unless ABSOLUTELY necessary, and then ONLY for soft foods, not bones, heavy rinds or egg shells or grease.

Use ice cubes and baking soda to "sweeten the odors, about once a week. Since my disposal and dishwasher drain together, it seems to stay sweet without this, but some folks aren't this lucky to have them plumbed together. Whatever you do, use NO BLEACH because bleach RUSTS metal such as in the disposal blades. If you HAVE used bleach, you MIGHT try as a last resort, using a 1/2 bottle of Rust Remover or CLR, UNLESS there is a warning on the label against it. Penetrant which loosens rusty bolts, etc. would NOT be a good idea because it might also loosen what holds the blades in place). Good luck! (08/01/2006)

By Lynda

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Even though we had tried the "broom handle system" and used the Allen wrench (which was moving freely), the disposal remained jammed. Tried the baking soda/one cup of vinegar method twice and the clog broke loose. Thank you! (09/09/2006)

By Kathy

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Try the reset button. (12/05/2006)

By 1 Iota

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I plunged and plunged, did the vinegar and baking soda per Linda's instructions above, plunged once more and it worked!

Thanks! (06/14/2008)

By Kellie

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Thank you so much for your comments . You saved us a call to the plumber. I pushed too much carrot peels down the disposal and clogged it. We poured the vinegar down the drain waited a few minutes and plunged it like crazy. We then removed the elbow to the underneath drain and plunged some more and everything eventually came out! (07/02/2008)

By Leah from Las Vegas

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

OK - I put about a pound of edamame shells down the disposal (bad idea!) and all of the fibers clogged the drain so badly that I thought I had broken it completely. I used the vinegar, baking soda, plunger and viola! It worked! I am so thankful because I really thought it was a lost cause!
Thanks so much! (07/20/2008)

By Bernadette

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I put discarded lettuce leaves down the disposal and it caused a major clog. I didn't have baking soda or vinegar. Before I tried the Pepsi, I used a plunger and it worked! Thanks for all the tips. I thought I was going to have to call a plumber tomorrow. (08/10/2008)

By Mary

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

The vinegar, soda and boiling kettle of hot water worked GREAT! Many thanks for the wonderful tip! I will be doing this to all of my drains twice a year! (08/10/2008)

By CindiN

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

We had tried liquid Drano to unclog sink drain with minimal success. Garbage disposal was not functioning either. After searching the internet, we found this site and the recommendation to try the baking soda, vinegar, and plunger method. After 3 rounds of baking soda/vinegar, then running hot water with the plunger, the clog broke free and now garbage disposal works fine! Thanks a bunch (08/30/2008)

By Rob

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I have tried running the dishwasher & using a plunger. It takes a few plunges but it doesn't take long to unclog the disposal! (09/17/2008)


Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Wow! I was skeptical at first as I read through the home remedies. But after a short trip to the grocery store, eureka! Baking soda, vinegar, and a follow-up of boiling water did the trick. This was after a major clog from fish guts and red fish scales not to mention all the other things I dumped down the drain over a long period of time.

Thank you all for your feedback. (10/10/2008)

By Richard

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal


Vinegar, baking soda, and a plunger did the trick! Yeah! (10/14/2008)

By Andrea

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Yeah! It worked! I put the plug in the non-disposal side of the sink, filled the disposal side with water (this was the side that was clogged) and plunged like crazy. It took a lot of plunging but I cleared the clog! The key was plugging up the other drain. (10/28/2008)


Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Linda's idea is just great. My sink was clogged and nothing was working. I did the vinegar-baking soda routine thrice and's working now. Thanks a lot, Linda. (11/07/2008)

By Shimantini

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

My sink on both sides are backed up, yesterday I put about 5 cups of cooked rice down the garbage disposal, and wholla-backed up. We poured drano down both sides of sink...waiting 30 minutes, and then we are going to pour hot water down the drain? Frustrating! I will never put rice down the drain again! (11/08/2008)

By tara

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Best site ever - baking soda, vinegar & plunger does the trick again! (11/22/2008)

By KRysta

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Baking soda, Vinegar, hot water & a plunger.....Yes! it does work. It saved me lots of time (tearing it all apart) and money (plumber, draino, Etc)

Initially, my disposal worked, but only spun the water around (so it wasn't locked up) It was clogged up with crap. I have heard that draino & liquid plumber are not good for the disposal & pipes, so I held off. Yes, this is the ticket! (11/23/2008)

By Bill in Glendale, AZ

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Vinegar and Baking Soda work! P.S. Don't put potato peels down the disposal either, especially on Thanksgiving! Wives don't like that. (11/27/2008)

By Tim

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Wow! Baking soda and vinegar worked great! Ingenious! (11/27/2008)

By mmagnuson

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I am absolutely amazed! I used 1/2 Cup baking soda and 1/2 Cup vinegar followed by rigorous plunging and boiling water. All told, the problem was solved in about 1 minute saving me many dollars! Thanks very much! (12/07/2008)

By Eileen

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Dang! Vinegar and Baking soda really does work! Put hot water in the sink, mix about a cup of each vinegar and baking soda, then PLUNGE!

It works; don't give up. Remember the boiling water to rinse out the disposal after.

By Herrro

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Everyone's testimonials were so enthusiastic, I HAD to give it a try when potato peels clogged our sink. Sure enough, it worked. Here's what I did: I poured 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 10+ minutes. Then I poured boiling water into the sink (approx. 2 qt.), turned on the disposal and let it run. Within minutes (no more than 5) it cleared itself! We didn't even need to resort to the plunger. This is how I'll do it from now on! Thanks. (12/17/2008)

By Gu3mom

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I just used this to unclog my kitchen sink/garbage disposal and it was GREAT! Thanks so much! I had used a WHOLE bottle of Liquid Plummer Gel and it didn't do a THING, but vinegar and baking soda and some hot water totally worked AND the sink is sparkling! I will always use this technique in the future! (12/28/2008)


Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Great tip! I peeled only 2 big Idaho potatoes, and ended up with a clogged garbage disposal. It looked so nasty (very dark water with bits of peels), just whirling, but not draining!
I had to use a whole box of baking soda + 1 litter of white vinegar, let stand for 5 mins., then use plunger for 3 mins. until it finally starting draining!
Thanks so much! (01/04/2009)

By Alicia

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

I peeled three big Idaho potatoes and got the dreaded clogged disposal. My husband was just about to take out the section of pipe, when I decided to check the internet. I tried the baking soda and vinegar, let it sit for about five minutes, then followed by the hot water and plunging. It worked the first time. Now I have to remember to put the potato peelings in the trash. Thanks whoever emailed in the suggestion. (01/28/2009)

By Penny C

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

This was just awesome! It really worked!
My sink and garbage disposal was clogged, the disposal was not even working. I called Roto Rooter for an estimate to make the repair. They refused to give an estimate over the phone but graciously offered to send over a tech at no cost to provide an estimate. They came and gave me an estimate of $189 to unclog the disposal and to snake the sink. They assured me that after that the dishwasher would then be able to drain properly. That price was out of my budget.

So I went to the internet and found this website. I tried the vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water. Pushed the reset button on the back of the disposal, and yes it worked. What a rip off roto rooter was trying to charge me almost two hundred dollars for what $3 fixed for a box of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar!

For anyone reading this site, yes, it works! (01/29/2009)

By Sarah

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