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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.
I would not have believed it if I hadn't' seen it myself.....this REALLY worked!!! It was a long 20 minutes. But during that time the water was slowly bubbling and then.....clear sink and disposal.
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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
mygarbage disposal is clogged after putting onion peels in it. How do I unplug it?
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!!
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
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
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.
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.
I used the suggestions provided with baking soda, vinegar, boiling water and a plunger. It worked!
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.
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.
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!
I had to repeat the process 3 times but it worked great!! Thanks
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
she didn't say that. Whoa, are you an idiot?
I agree!! I fix EVERYTHING in my house. My husband just says "throw money at it" but I want to fix it myself and I know I can. My kids see this and that makes me feel good.
My disposal still runs, but water won't go down drain.
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
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
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.
Appears you should have a plumber check your pipes and disposal again for any new problems.
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.
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?
By mytroubleswontgodownthedrain from Washington, DC
(Submitted by email)
I just tried some advice I found on this site for unclogging a garbage disposal. The advice was to pour vinegar and boiling water along with baking soda. I just wanted whomever posted that advice to know it worked like a charm and that I no longer have an issue. Your information saved me from having to call a plumber. Thank you so much for posting this information.
Stupidly garbage disposed the remnants of two whole (cooked) artichoke peels, resulting in a very, very clogged disposal. Tried the 2 cups vinegar (only had apple cider vinegar), 1/2 cup baking soda trick, and turned switch on, only to find it didn't work. Attempt #2: 2 cups vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, switch on, and while doing so poured in kettle full of boiling water. And guess what? It worked. Now I have a fixed garbage disposal. Awesome.
I read that vinegar, baking soda, and hot water was used to unclog the disposal. How much should I pour into the disposal?
Cleaning a Garbage Disposal
Toss in a handful of baking soda followed by a cup or so of cheap white vinegar. This will foam and fizz. When the fizzing stops, add some more vinegar. Leave it in for about 20 min, then flush with very, very hot water. Easy, homemade and cheap, also non-toxic.
My garbage disposal runs and grinds up the food but the food just stays in the bottom. Is something clogged and if so, how do I unclog it?
By 9524mom from Phila, PA
Paint poured down my disposal. Will baking soda and vinegar clear it?
By Russ J. from Ft. Collins, CO
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My garbage disposal doesn't drain the water out but the motor is working. Any suggestions?
Kate from PA
Before you call the repairman: My friend had this same problem and called the repair guy. He came out and unscrewed the drain part that connects into the disposal and out rolled a mangled whole radish, a $70.00 radish mind you! Just turn the power off and unscrew that part of the drain, maybe you have a radish or something similar to that lodged in there. Good luck. (01/08/2009)
This was a godsend. Thank you! (01/08/2009)
I have never had good luck with a garbage disposal in, 2 separate kitchen sinks, so we simply took them out. Toss the garbage in the trash. The septic tank does not need garbage. (01/10/2009)
Once you get your disposer unclogged, once a day or more run a gallon of water into the disposer, this will constantly keep solids moving. What I do is cut the top off of a gallon milk jug, leave on the handle. I put this jug in the sink under the faucet and let it catch water from rinsing things, washing hands, etc. When it gets full, I pour it in the disposer. (01/12/2009)
Using a plunger is good, as long as you haven't put a chemical cleanser in there first. Don't want splash back. Taking the pipes apart, under the sink, and clearing them out can also help. My husband has used a straightened wire hanger to help pull out the clogs.
When my daughter moved into her new house, it was within a week her kitchen sink stopped up and she and her husband tried everything. Finally, they had to call the Roto-Rooter guy. Of course, with all their tools, he cleared it in no time.
The guy did tell them to NOT put old pasta (of any kind) down the sink/garbage. The starch in it makes the pasta (spaghetti is the worst) stick to the sides of the pipes like glue and eventually, closes off the pipes. Don't put any cucumber or similar veggie peels down there either. Make sure after turning off the disposal, continue to run water to make sure whatever you ground up, goes down.
Hope this helps. (01/12/2009)
Awesome, you guys are life savers. The dishwasher is working right now. Thank you, thank you! Cover the one side and plunge the other. This saved me a plumber visit. Thank you. (01/12/2009)
The trick to plug one side of the sink then plunge the disposal side worked wonders. I loved it! I had been working on it all day and then this took literally 20 seconds. I am so grateful. Thanks so much! (01/27/2009)
Excellent! I read through the responses, and the method that advised to plug up one side of the drain and plunge the side with the garbage disposal worked fantastically. Thanks! (01/31/2009)
This worked perfectly to stop up the other side of the sink and plunge the disposal side. Took less than 1 minute. Thank you so much! (02/10/2009)
Here's a piece of advice: Don't run pineapple cores through the disposal. Even the plunger won't help you. I learned this the hard way. This morning I had to take the trap apart to drain it. (02/26/2009)
After my mom spent money buying an auger and a wrench, I found this site and the plunger worked in two seconds. Thanks. (04/20/2009)
Sept. 2009 and the plug-one-side, run-the-disposal trick is still working. My husband was sure I had put something untoward down that hole and said I could fix it. Well, I did - thanks to this dandy site. Thanks, you saved my bacon! Hubby was truly impressed! (09/02/2009)
Hubby peeled the carrots for dinner, bless his heart, but then before I caught him, he turned on the disposal. Oh no! We fussed around for an hour, ground up carrots and water everywhere. Then I googled it, while he was looking for wrenches. Five seconds later...no more clog! Block the plain drain and plunge the disposal side, so simple and so effective! Thank you so much for sharing this tip! It's probably a plumber's best kept secret. (11/05/2009)
I just googled to this site for help on my garbage disposal that would not drain. With the solution right here; I was compelled to send my thanks! I tried the first suggestion listed--"plunge it." I covered the drain opposite the disposal and plunged the drain with the disposal. So easy, quick, and I am sure it saved me money and stress! Thanks for your helpful hints on Thrifty Fun. (11/16/2009)
Hey, I didn't think something so simple (plugging the flowing side and plunging the clogged side / garbage disposal side) would work! I'm glad I checked online before calling a plumber. Many thanks to the author! (02/03/2010)
I just want to give a big thanks to the tip provider! And it really works! (03/17/2010)
I had the same problem yesterday with disposer not working either. We installed new one this morning and it would not drain. I called the plumber and then went to the internet and started checking and had plunged before the plumber called back. We decided to go ahead and keep the new disposer since the other one was pretty old but still saved some money, thanks so much!!!
I have a disposal that will NOT run if I put even the peel of even one carrot down it! When my disposal gets stuck we use a plunger. Good Luck.(03/12/2005)
First, never use Drain O in a garbage disposal. Chemical drain cleaners cause lots of disposal problems. Doesn't sound like your disposer is stuck, rather it (or the related drain) is clogged. There are products available for cleaning your garbage disposal and the drain, which you should use every 1 to 2 months to keep things running smoothly. You can often find these at your local grocery or even at Walmart. Make sure they are for disposals.
Is your sink a double one? If it is, plug the side without the disposal, turn the water on, and run your disposal. This has worked for me. (03/13/2005)
I just compost my food scraps and rarely have to use my garbage disposal any more! My plants love the compost. (03/13/2005)
Audrey's post on 2005-03-13 worked like a charm! I had first made a mess taking the pipes apart, and also sticking my hand down the drain trying to move the blades, etc. I hooked it all back up and still that side of the sink would not drain. I put a stopper on the other sink's drain and then ran the disposal. The water bubbled a bit and then I pushed on the stopper a few times and then the disposal side sucked right down, and now it works like it's supposed to. Thanks! (06/05/2006)
Putting a stopper in the other sink running the water and the garbage disposal, then removing the stopper while the water is still running worked perfectly. Thanks! Wish I would've done it 3 days ago. (12/23/2006)
I can't believe it worked. I was getting ready to take the whole sink apart until I read this post. I put the plunger over the sink side to block it and turned on the disposal. It gurgled and then drained. Mine also was not grinding. Once the water started to drain the blades started working as well. (07/12/2007)
Wow, I can't it worked. Closing the other drain did the trick! Thanks everyone. Having company for dinner tomorrow night, one less thing I have to worry about now! (01/01/2008)
It is valentine's day and I have been quite stressed because our disposal was clogged causing havoc in the kitchen. As I started getting ready to go out to dinner, I decided to do another quick search, ran across this suggestion (to close the other sink and plunge), and it worked. Thank you. (02/14/2008)
Wow, plugging the other side of the sink and then running the water really does work. My husband thinks I am so smart. Thanks! (02/17/2008)
Oh my, it actually worked! I assumed, like everything else, this would not work for me. That I would have a complicated problem that would require a plumber at $1,000 per hour, but this worked. I closed the other side and plunged the disposal side (several times) and down it went (leaving a yucky sink). Amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! (03/18/2008)
That thing about plugging the drain side and then plunging the disposal side is genius. I thought I was going to have to pay for a plumber to come fix it, but I tried this trick and it worked. Thanks so much! (04/18/2008)
Wow, thanks so much. I just tried plugging up the other drain, running the disposal, and plunging it. It worked! (05/02/2008)
Wow... I've spent over 9 hours total on everything from Drano to snaking and could not get the water to go down. I found this solution, of course, after all that time and decided, what the heck..I'll try it.
Sure enough, 30 seconds later, it worked. The force was enough to blast through the clog and needless to say, all that hard work was for nothing and this saved me hundreds. Thanks so much! (05/25/2008)
It took lots of plunging, but it worked. Thanks much! (06/09/2008)
Thanks so much everyone! The water was just swirling around and not draining. It took a lot of plunging in the other sink before the water started to go down and stay down. Actually after the water started filling up in the sink, I just turned the water off and kept plunging the other side while the disposal kept running. The water finally got down to the bottom of the disposal and when I turned the water back on it was draining again! This website is a blessing! (06/12/2008)
By Ira vH
WOW! This actually works, and quickly. Thanks so much. Saved me money! What did we do before the internet? Spent money I guess. (06/26/2008)
Thank you a million times. I am renting this house and I didn't want to call the landlord nor put damper on my husband's Saturday. I didn't know if this was going to work because it's 2 sinks and a garbage disposal sink. I plugged up the 2 sinks and started plunging. Then I closed the garbage disposal and plunged, first one sink, then the other. It became obvious which sink was plugged. Now it's working, the sink is clean and I've got a Saturday back and I didn't have to spend the security lease money dealing with this. I am so impressed. Just google it! (08/09/2008)
This works! Saved me quite a few bucks paying a plumber, too. All I did was cover the opposite drain, plunge the drain to the disposal for maybe 10 seconds, then ran it and voila. Afterward I used some disposal cleaner which I left in overnight to help remove the smell and hopefully some grime. (08/16/2008)
Seriously, if you need to go out to the store and buy a plunger, do it. This works miracles. My husband tried everything and then I found this, ran to get a plunger, came back, tried this once and TA DA! No more clog. (08/18/2008)
You're advice was awesome! It worked immediately. Now my girlfriend can buy the pants she was going to get before the disposal broke. Giggity Giggity Goo! (09/01/2008)
By Happy Camper.
Bless all of your hearts. We are retired and on a fixed income and I thought we were going to have to pay a plumber to come out. I tried your instructions and it worked like a CHARM! Thank you so very much! (09/07/2008)
Thanks everyone for the great advice! Took some elbow grease (lots of bailing water from one sink to another and many reps on the plunger) but all those clogging carrot bits were finally freed up and the sink with the garbage disposal unit is draining once again. Best of all, no money for a plumber. How thrifty is that! Word of caution - don't run your dishwasher if your sink isn't draining or you'll have flooded floors - (caught that one just in time). Thanks again all. (10/26/2008)
By Doing It Myself
Closing the other drain worked for me too! I've been trying to fix my disposal all afternoon. I took the whole thing apart, had water everywhere, and all I had to do was close the other side to get it to drain. THANKS! What a huge relief after so much aggravation. (10/27/2008)
Yeah, it worked! I put a 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)
We bought a plunger, plugged the other side of the sink, and it worked. Thanks! (11/01/2008)
It worked! Cover the overflow valve with an upside down cup (it will squirt out water all over the kitchen). Plug the non-disposal side with a plug, and plunge out the disposal. You may have to plunge pretty hard - but it works. (11/10/2008)
By super mom
Just talked my wife through it over the phone, now she's a plumber :) (11/26/2008)
I have one sink, how do I get the water to flow down? (12/07/2008)
Awesome. Did what you said and it worked great. Thanks. (12/22/2008)
My garbage disposer drain won't drain. The disposer motor comes on and spins the water around and I see a flow of water coming out from the left side of the drain under the drain guard.
My garbage disposal will not drain. I tried the vinegar/baking soda/boiling water thing, as well as the plunger. T
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