Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

Unclogging a garbage disposal can be a nasty job. This is a guide about unclogging a garbage disposal.

December 24, 2013 Flag
13 found this helpful

After deciding to send potato peelings and carrot peelings down the drain, I immediately regretted it. They had gone past the disposal, but had clogged the pipe. I was home alone with 2 kids under 3. I happened upon this post and saw the baking soda and vinegar as well as a plunger tip.

So I took the plunge. I plunged the sink a couple times and got the clog loose. Then for good measure I did the baking soda with vinegar, let it sit while a kettle of water boiled. Then poured that down. Works like a charm!


As soon as I tell my husband, he is sure to say "I told you so" about the peelings going down the drain. But I fixed it myself. You live, you learn.

May 18, 20140 found this helpful

I am amazed...clogged my sink and disposal today with carrot peelings, followed the steps below and was absolutely amazed that it worked. Scooped out excess water, decided to pour half a box of baking soda in each side of sink and then poured about 2 cups of vinegar in each side, while it sat I boiled the water and poured into each side and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Turned on the disposal after sitting and both sides went down. Thanks to everyone for the tip...saved me a lot of grief with the hubby!

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December 27, 20140 found this helpful

I really, REALLY, wanted this to work. I took pipes apart. I put numerous bottles of Draino and Liquid Plumber down the sink. In a fit of despair, I turned to the internet before I called a plumber. I did the baking soda with vinegar in the amounts suggested, twice. I boiled water, plunged, drained, etc. I put a WHOLE box of baking soda and a full bottle of vinegar in the third time. I waited 30 minutes, put he boiling water in, and nothing. Nothing. I still have a clogged sink from potato peels. You all who claim success are very fortunate, but I wouldn't say this works 100 percent of the time, because for me it didn't.

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October 14, 20160 found this helpful

November 28, 2010 Flag
5 found this helpful

My garbage disposal is clogged after putting down a handful of frozen turkey. It spins, but will not drain. Where is the clog and how do I unstop it?

By Alice from Glen Allen, VA

August 1, 20160 found this helpful

mygarbage disposal is clogged after putting onion peels in it. How do I unplug it?

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August 7, 20160 found this helpful

Yay! It worked for me, too! I didn't have baking soda, but used vinegar and plunged several times. Eventually, the clog unlodged and the water ran free. Whew!!

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August 25, 20160 found this helpful

March 18, 2010 Flag
4 found this helpful

My waste disposal is jammed. The blades are going around because the water is spinning, but it won't drain. Any ideas?

By Rebecca from TX

November 17, 20130 found this helpful

This worked like a charm. I didn't use any baking soda but used red wine vinegar. By sealing off the othe drain it caused that suction firce and allowed my plunger to push the tater skins clear away. I wasn't looking forward to watching my hubby pull apart the drain. Look at me I'm a plumberess. LOL

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November 18, 20130 found this helpful

I had no idea about the potato skins! After reading about the vinegar, baking soda and hot water, tried it and Zappo! No plunging needed, less than a minute my drain was totally clear. Thanks a million.

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July 25, 20160 found this helpful

October 10, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

My disposal spins and the water goes down, but it comes right back up like a tornado. I tried a plunger. What is wrong with it and is there a simple solution? Thanks.

By Dee

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November 13, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used the suggestions provided with baking soda, vinegar, boiling water and a plunger. It worked!

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October 11, 20130 found this helpful

It sounds like the disposal is clogged. Sometimes starchy foods like rice, spud peels and stringy food like celery gum it up. You often have to turn off the power to that circuit, unscrew the disposal and manually clean it out. It's a mess but it's also a way to start fresh.

After years of being a property manager, I can tell you I have had to do this too many times.

I always tell new residents that if they grind up a few ice cubes each week and drop a table spoon of lemon juice down it it keeps the blades sharp and the odor down. Good luck.

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October 12, 20130 found this helpful

October 14, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

My wife put carrots and potato peels in the disposal and it is just a plugged up mess. It spins, but will not not drain. Any suggestions before I call the plumber? The disposal sits in the middle of the sink; it's not a divided sink.

By Scott

October 18, 20110 found this helpful

Try pouring in a 1/2 cup baking soda followed by a cup or two of white vinegar. Run the disposal. If that doesn't loosen try a second cup of baking soda followed by pouring another 2-3 cups of vinegar from the gallon bottle, With the disposal and water running as well. Follow with a pan of boiling water.

Then run cold water from the tap.Hope this works for you. It does at our house. And then run a weekly 1/2 cup baking soda and cup of vinegar down all drains in the house. Always follow with cold water to flush through. GG Vi

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Anonymous Flag
January 10, 20160 found this helpful

This is UNBELIEVABLE!!! 6 potatoes, 12 carrots, thought for sure RotoRooter was in my future. 2 rounds didn't work. Let it sit with vinegar and baking soda while I boiled a FULL kettle of water (took 25 min!). Turned on disposal, poured with eyes closed and prayed. Nothing for 15-20s and then some gurgling and all of a sudden- WHOOSH! Total miracle worker. THANKS SO MUCH!

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Anonymous Flag
January 21, 20160 found this helpful

November 14, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

Like a dummy, I put tangerine skins with seeds into my garbage disposal. I turned it on and the light over my sink died as well as the disposal power. I turned the power off and let the water drain from both sinks. Then I used rubber gloves and cleaned all the mess. I used a flashlight and it looked quite clean.

I turned the power back on, pushed restart button, but the blades did not turn, only humming. Will baking soda, white vinegar and hot water help? I am a woman and do not know what else to do except call a plumber. By the way, I can turn one of the blades manually with my finger, it seems quite loose. Many thanks for any suggestions.

By A B

January 31, 20140 found this helpful

Whoa, why did you say "I am a woman and only know how to call a plumber." Just because you're a woman doesn't make you incompetent and stupid.

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Anonymous Flag
November 7, 20150 found this helpful

she didn't say that. Whoa, are you an idiot?

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July 2, 20160 found this helpful

January 14, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

My disposal still runs, but water won't go down drain.

By Pam

July 18, 20130 found this helpful

Amazing! After plunging my sink for 30 minutes, reset my disposal, I turned to this solution. It took two tries, but worked! Thank you, thank you, thank you! - Shelly

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August 30, 20130 found this helpful

So I put lettuce down the garbage disposal a while ago, and it clogged it up. It would spin, but not drain. I put about 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, let it sit for about 15 min, then put a pot of boiling hot water in it. I started to see bubbles rise, turned on the garbage disposal and it went down like a charm! no need to plunge. I guess I wont be putting lettuce in the garbage disposal for a while lol

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September 6, 20130 found this helpful

January 4, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

Disposal apparently disposed of about 14-16 egg shells. However, the sink then began to fill with water and dirty grit. About a week earlier, I had about 3 ft. of cast iron drainpipe in the basement removed because it was badly cracked and repeatedly filled with pumber's epoxy. The dishwasher drain had been improperly connected into the cast iron pipe years before, so the plumber had to do a new connection into the new plasic drain pipe. I'm not sure whether I had run the disposal between the repairs and when the grit started filling up into the sink. But I had run water into the sink, the primary sink side I usually use. It has now been about 2 days of not letting water go down that sink, so I assume the disposal is empty. What should I do to ensure that dirty grit isn't filling up into my sink through the disposal? I'm worried that perhaps a lot of cast iron pipe fell down into the pipe when that section was removed. I don't have a picture and the water has now gone down. There is only grit on the surface of my sink.

By Beverly

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January 5, 20150 found this helpful

Appears you should have a plumber check your pipes and disposal again for any new problems.

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

It is not uncommon to get a back up in your sinks when you have a disposal. I have some questions for you - does the disposal sink run water easily now? If so, I think your problem is solved. Is the dirty grit sand or ground up egg shells or something else?

I would seriously doubt that replacing a pipe in the basement would affect your disposal. If it is ground up shells, and these are still there, your trap may be plugged. What I used to do is run water in both sinks. Work the plunger in the disposal sink. If it is the trap, the gunk will rise up in the other sink. Plug that sink with something; another plunger is the best thing. Then plunge vigorously in the disposal sink to dislodge the plug. If this doesn't solve your problem, call your plumber back. Do not use any caustic cleaners in your disposal sink.

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July 25, 2010 Flag

When using my kitchen sink it fills up with water and I have to run my garbage disposal to get the water to drain. Even then it doesn't drain all the way out. Can anyone tell me what's going on and how do I fix this problem?

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