Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

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

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Question: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

By ALICE KLEIN 1

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

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By Patricia M 1 Flag

August 24, 2015

1 more confirmation that the vinegar, baking soda....pause 10-15 min....boiling water method works like MAGIC!

The other key tip I needed to use - picked up from skimming through the 29 responses to this Q and other similar Q's: there's a reset button on the bottom of your garbage disposal which I had to hit to initially since there wasn't even a humming of my g. d's motor when I flipped the wall switch on to try and operate it. Once I hit the reset button, voila - the humming of the motor a few other posters had mentioned. Now I only had the problems of the blades (apparently) not turning and the drain not emptying water, much less solids.

To go back, my problem started 6 weeks ago as I vaguely recall - motor stopped working. Water'd still drain ok. Think I stopped putting any solids in. Then went out of town, figuring I'd deal with it when I got back. Kitchen sinks looked nice and clean, no foul smell when I left. Returned much later than expected - 5 weeks later. Unloaded the clean dishes. Think the sinks remained clean even though the dishwasher had been run - pretty sure - after the g. d. stopped working. Anyway, soon I reloaded and ran the dishwasher and awful stuff (looked like soil plus some spoiled milk remnants (("mother" of the milk)) came up the g. d. and into that sink (have a double sink with g. d. on the far side of the dishwasher.) And said sink drained incredibly slowly over the next 3 or 4 days but then at a standstill and the foul odor became intolerable (I think I had absentmindedly poured spoiled, thickened milk into the g. d. forgetting it wasn't working. Groan!) - so was about to try my never-before-used Zip-it declogging tool (made in America!, from Cobra, highly rated for sink and shower clogs - $5 vs $200 for a plumber) who 1 reviewer of 900 on Amazon mentioned using (successfully!) on a sink THAT HAD A GARBAGE DISPOSAL So decided to google for potentially more frequently endorsed ideas specifically for g. d. clogs and found this great site, hooray!

So, all the (excessive!) details above just in case you have multiple issues like I did and can quickly recognize your problems in my post.

Also, fyi, I had a ton of cider vinegar on hand and used that, not white - worked great...It's the chemical reaction of acetic acid (aka vinegar) and baking soda (forgot the chemical name of baking soda but again the key appears to be the chem reaction, not a minor variation like the (apple) source of the acetic acid. Vinegar is a very weak acid - something stronger and you wouldn't want to be experimenting with it in your kitchen!

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Question: Garbage Disposal Won't Drain

By Rebecca Burton 1

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

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By prettysmile0626 1 Flag

November 18, 2013

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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Tip: Clearing Potato Peelings From Disposal

By momof3boys 1

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.

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    Question: Unclogging a Sink With a Garbage Disposal

    By mytroubleswontgodownthedrain 1

    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

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Sally M. 1 Flag

    March 7, 2015

    The Baking Soda + Vinegar + boiling water worked for me! Thank you! Having a party tomorrow. After cooking all out, all day the garbage disposal stopped draining about 10:00 pm. Thank goodness for Google and all you good people who share. Based on an earlier post, I let the baking soda and vinegar sit for about 15 min. Then I added the big pan of boiling water. For about 15 seconds nothing happened. Then all of a sudden it drained all at once with a big whoosh! Luckily I didn't have anything in the other sink basin.

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    Question: Plugged Garbage Disposal

    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

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Vi Johnson 286 801 Flag

    October 18, 2011

    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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    Question: Disposal Runs But Sink Won't Drain

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

    By Pam

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Alexander De R. 1 Flag

    September 6, 2013

    If you have a dishwasher attached to the main line by the garbage disposal - run it. It unclogged my garbage disposal from too many potato peels, when all the other suggestions wouldn't.

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    Question: Clogged Garbage Disposal

    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

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    Most Recent Answer

    By blomxr 1 Flag

    January 31, 2014

    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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    Question: Dishwasher Won't Drain

    My brand new KitchenAid dishwasher doesn't drain completely. There are about 3-5 cups of soapy, dirty looking water standing in the bottom of the dishwasher after every load. This is the 3rd dishwasher we have had in this same spot in the kitchen and we have never had this problem before. We cleaned our disposal and used vinegar and baking soda to get the disposal and drain to run freely, but the problem remains. Any suggestions?

    By Mary G

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Kate P. 1 Flag

    February 2, 2014

    It's the drain and chopping mechanism. You have to take it apart and pull all the gunk that has made it past all the screens and filters. This happened to me and I thought I had the problem solved having exposed the chopping mechanism and pulling about about 2 dozen bits of chicken bone, corn, popcorn kernels, beans and bits of plastic. Well, I hadn't gone far enough into the machine and had one more cover to remove and more crap to pull out. That did the trick!

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    Question: Dirty Grit Backing Up From Garbage Disposal

    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

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    January 9, 2015

    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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    Question: Water Not Going Down Disposal

    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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    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    October 12, 2013

    It sounds like you have a plug. Most disposals are in a double sink, and you have to seal one off and then use the plunger on the other one. I find that two plungers (and two people - one on each plunger) work the best. Seal off the second sink with the first plunger, fill the disposal with water, and plunge away with the second. Disposals are usually plugged with ground up food, like potato peels.

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    Question: Disposal Backs Up Into Sink

    By mary stewart 1

    My disposal gets clogged, when using the dishwasher and backs up into sink. How can I stop this?

    By rooney72 from NY

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Sandi/Poor But Proud 466 2,132 Flag

    July 6, 2009

    As a property manager, I have had my share of this. There are some really good things to do.

    One, don't put things like celery or potato skins down the disposal, as they are stringy and starchy, and gum things up.

    Two, run water before and after you use the disposal.

    Three, once a week, throw in a few ice cubes and coffee grounds to keep the blades sharp.

    Four, if the trap is clogged, it's just a couple of turns with a wrench or even your hand (PVC is easy) with a tub or big bowl under neath. For those "plumbing challenged" folks, that is the "U" shaped one under the sink. Clean it out, reattach and you are good to go.

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    Question: Clogged Garbage Disposal

    I read that vinegar, baking soda, and hot water was used to unclog the disposal. How much should I pour into the disposal?

    By Judy

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Ace 4 87 Flag

    December 15, 2013

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Clogged Sink and Disposal

    My drain is clogged in the the sink next to the garbage disposal. Every time I run the disposal the water comes up on the sink next to the disposal.

    By Pete

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Litter Gitter 155 568 Flag

    December 30, 2011

    Pour about 1/4 cup dawn dish detergent in the sink drain and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then pour a kettle of hot water in the drain and use a plunger to clean out the drain. This should get the drain cleaned out and flowing good. I saw this tip on Thriftyfun and it has worked well for me.

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    Question: Food is Staying Inside Garbage Disposal

    By Marianne 1

    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

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Lilian 106 Flag

    September 11, 2009

    Perhaps you are not running enough water while the garbage disposal is on? Perhaps you put some items in the disposal that are not supposed to go in there, like banana peels? That is all I can think of.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Clearing Paint from Disposal

    By Russ J. 1

    Paint poured down my disposal. Will baking soda and vinegar clear it?

    By Russ J. from Ft. Collins, CO

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal


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

    Allison from Northeast, TN

    Answers:

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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
    (07/30/2006)

    By hedera

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

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

    By 1 Iota

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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)

    By

    RE: 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

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

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

    By Andrea

    RE: 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)

    By HAC

    RE: 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 voila...it's working now. Thanks a lot, Linda. (11/07/2008)

    By Shimantini

    RE: 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

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

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

    By KRysta

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

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

    By mmagnuson

    RE: 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

    RE: 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.
    (12/10/2008)

    By Herrro

    RE: 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

    RE: 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)

    By LRP

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    How do I fix a garbage disposal? It is stuffed up and won't drain.

    Laura from San Diego, CA

    Feedback:

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    I put celery strands in the disposal and the disposal jammed. To unclog the disposal in 2 seconds I used a "Hex Wrench" in the middle hole of the disposal under the sink. It wasn't until I moved the hex wrench that I noticed the disposal, which would not rotate, begin to spin freely. Try this method first before you waste a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda. (01/30/2009)

    By MoebiusTripper

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    Use canned air, it works like a charm. (02/03/2009)

    By Susie

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    It really works. My wife had put potato peels down the garbage disposal and the sink got back up. My wife suggested plunging or trying to snake it. I went to the internet. I tried the 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of vinegar, let it set for 10 minutes and then added the boiling water and turned on the disposal and within minutes it was working perfectly. I will use this from now on. Thanks for the tip. (02/05/2009)

    By Eric

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    Very nice. I consider myself pretty handy and this is a new trick to me. I tried the key in the disposal and then the plunger. Nothing seemed to work. Then I stumbled across the baking soda and vinegar. This cleared it out with a couple plunges. Cheers. (02/16/2009)

    By Scott

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    You guys are not pulling my leg with these are true testimonials about the soda and vinegar. I'll have to try this one next time I feed the disposer a bit too much. I rarely buy vinegar so I rarely have it.

    Usually, after manually fishing out any pulped material and checking for any stray metal items (I've lost about a dozen measuring spoons that way), mine will clear itself up fine. If it's still stubborn I put the stopper in and half fill the sink with detergent water. Then I turn the unit on and pull out the stopper. Guuuuuuush, and it flushes itself out. (03/19/2009)

    By Red Neck

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    How do you unclog a garbage disposal?

    By Sylviaelaine from Denison, TX

    Feedback:

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    It is probably not the disposal that is clogged, but the drain pipe that runs from it to the main drain pipe.
    What I've done in the past with ours is pour one cup of baking soda into the non disposal side and then two cups of white vinegar. If I see the bubbles come up through the disposal, then I know it isn't the disposal. If I don't see them, then I do the same thing on the disposal side. Let it set for 5 minutes then flush with boiling water, on both sides. Repeat if needed, but do not run the disposal while you are treating the drain. Once the clog has moved on, run the disposal with the hot water running for about 10 minutes. (06/23/2009)

    By ScottishYankee

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    The same day my garbage disposal stopped working, I noticed my roommate's aquarium was gone, and there were suspicious blue and green aquarium rocks in the stove.

    My co-worker lent me a long socket wrench with the correct size socket. I locked onto the bolt inside the disposal between the blades, was able to wiggle it, then turn in a clockwise direction. The water in the sink drained, and I felt inside the disposal for any dislodged items, nothing. I turned on the disposal, it ran perfectly, and I could hear small rocks that sounded blue and green ricochet deep inside the disposal until they fell through. Although I won't have to replace the garbage disposal, I may need to replace the roommate. (09/12/2009)

    By ubersh*t

    RE:

    Spent 300$ last year after I (stupidly) put sunflower stems down my disposal. This time used hot water and plunger after I clogged it with beet greens. Time to compost. (btw-wanted to try baking soda and vinegar trick, but my husband insisted on hot water and plunger.) (09/12/2009)

    By landolove

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    My garbage disposal is clogged. What should I do?

    By Tanya from Flint, MI

    Feedback:

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    We called a plumber when it happened to us, and he showed us a little notch on the bottom of the unit under the sink. An Allen wrench fits into it and then you just turn it to loosen the clog. There is also a reset button on the bottom we had to push after unclogging. Hope this helps. (10/18/2009)

    By suzanne831

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    My husband had tried to plunge, it didn't work. Baking soda and vinegar, then hot water. Plunged a few times and it drained out. Saved the expense of the plumber coming out. (10/22/2009)

    By tromano

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    I tried 3 cans of Pepsi and the plunger; it worked perfectly. Thanks for the insight, who would've known? (11/03/2009)

    By jcaliber31

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    How do I unclog a garbage disposal using apple cider and baking soda?

    By Joel from Kansas City

    Feedback:

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    Take the allen wrench that came with the disposal and insert it into the hole at the bottom of the disposal and turn it counterclock wise. If you have lost the allen wrench go to a big box store and buy one. The size of the wrench is a standard size. The people in the plumbing dept should be able to help you locate one. Then after using it tape the wrench to the disposal so you know where it is the next time you need to use it. (12/02/2009)

    By foxrun41

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    I hope you meant apple cider vinegar, and not just plain apple cider?

    To keep the drain lines clean from food fat/grease buildup, occasionally heat up about 1.5 gallons of water, pour into a bucket; then add 1 cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and pour into the disposal while it is "on", be careful not to spill this mixture onto the sink surface. It will dull/discolor. but it will definitely clean out the drain line. Years ago, it was used for cleansing car radiators.

    Oops, forgot to answer your question. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain; then pour 3/4 cup of vinegar (clear one). Let it remain for about 30 minutes, then pour 1-2 qts. of very hot water. This should eliminate the stubborn drain. (12/02/2009)

    By Cajun62234

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    My garbage disposal will not drain. I tried the vinegar/baking soda/boiling water thing, as well as the plunger. The funky water retires to the top of the disposal/bottom of the sink level. When the disposal is turned on the water level sucks down an inch or so swirls around. When turned off it comes erupting up a few inches, then fills the sink about an inch or so, then slowly drains back to starting position.

    By Stan from Kansas City, KS

    Feedback:

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    Use 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 1/3 cup of baking soda and let sit. Use plunger. If it doesn't work, repeat. You don't have to turn on the disposal because it automatically will go down. We had to do it twice before it went down and you have to plunge it a lot. (07/13/2010)

    By joj129

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    Your trouble is in the trap below the water level.
    You will have to scoop out the water, then you can unscrew the elbow from below, having a bucket underneath to catch the little bit of water you can't scoop.

    Once that is clean, keep these tips in mind.

    Rice, spuds, and other starchy fibrous veggies will swell and you will literally have glue.
    Don't use celery, cantaloupe skins, meat, or fats, or bones in it.

    Most people just stuff it full, then turn it on, then add the water.

    It goes water first, then a little of the substance at a time, then water still on for about 15 seconds to wash it down the drain.

    I guarantee that you will find what I have come to affectionately call "food buggers" so wear gloves.

    Good luck! (07/13/2010)

    By Poor But Proud

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    If after you clean out the elbow as described in the previous post it still doesn't drain it could be a partial or complete clog in the vent pipe. You may need a snake to fix it. (07/14/2010)

    By Cleo1978

    Archive: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    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. All I did prior to this mess was put a bunch of old cabbage down the disposer. Help.

    By Lin

    Feedback:

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    The problem is probably the pipe under the garbage disposal being plugged. Try putting some drain cleaner in the left drain (which leads to a common pipe) to see if that will help. (08/21/2010)

    By pamphyila

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    Run a little water into the sink and use your bathroom plunger. Always works for me. (08/24/2010)

    By Noella

    RE: Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

    I have been without the use of my kitchen sink for days because of a garbage disposal clog. I even tried a plumber to snake the drain. I saw this blog with recommendation of baking soda and vinegar. I had to do it twice. The second time I went for broke and used 1 cup of each. I poured hot water down drain and then plunged until my hands hurt. I have my disposal and sink back Thank you so much! It really works. (11/09/2010)

    By ecorbrn

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