How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

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Even if you are quite cautious concerning what you put on your garbage disposal, clogs will always occur. Therefore, understanding how to unclog a garbage disposal is necessary. Oftentimes, you can simply deal with a clog by yourself. However, referring to your manufacturer’s manual before doing so is advised. In this guide, you will learn how to easily components from the clogged garbage disposal.

Step By Step Process

Ascertain the source of the clog

What is the best way to confirm the source of the clog on your disposal?

First of all, you should turn off the disposal before doing anything. Basically, this is to ensure that any injury or accident does not occur.

To determine what is causing the clogging problem, use a spotlight to look down the drain. Remember, the tools you will use will depend on the sort of blockage you will observe.

Physically turn the blades to try to break up clogged stuff. Sometimes, you may discover that your disposer is jammed under your sink. If that is the case, you will have to manually run it to eliminate the clog.

Should you drain chemicals down a garbage disposal?

Indeed, that will depend on some factors. Unblocking a kitchen sink is not the same as unblocking garbage disposals. Actually, the chemicals applied to unclog a drain can damage the plastic components of your disposal.

Completely shut off any electricity to your garbage disposal

In case you find out that you require to manually remove wreckage from the disposal, turn off the switch. Next, cut the power your disposal using the breaker box. You will need to do this if the switch is faulty.

Unclog with plunger and Pliers

Using long-handled tongs or pair of pliers, spike the end via the disposal, throughout the blades.

✔️ If you notice some buildup that you can reach with pliers or tongs, remove the slack materials first.

✔️ Never try to put your hands in the garbage disposal. Normally, the blades are very sharp and can simply cut you even without the motor running.

Use tongs or pliers to pull out any slack objects

After removing all large wreck, you can examine the drain again and get prepared to plunge.

a) Using a plunger, lift out other wreckage that is causing the clog. Subsequently, run the disposal again to find out if it is unclogged. In case it is still clogged, you can apply a plunger to draw up stuck components. Keep plunging till you feel that there is nothing coming up then shovel the components you pulled up.

b) Switch on the power that feeds the garbage disposal. Next, run water via the drain then run the disposal to find out if it works again.

Ensure that you unclamp your drain line after the plunging and before trial. If the disposal is operating again then you are all set.

Read more: Best Kitchen Soap Dispenser

Clean the P-Trap

What is the P-Trap?

P-Trap is the pipe that appears like “P” behind the disposal unit. Typically, it joins the tram arm on the back wall of the cabinet.

Before Disassembling and removing the P-trap, put a bucket and towels under it. This is essential in minimizing the mess that might be caused by opening this section.

Removing and cleaning the trap

Certainly, you will find grime and other substances like ground coffee if you remove the trap.

✔️ Some traps have a plug at the bottom that enables you to clean without pulling the trap. In case yours does not have this, you will simply have to remove it. Since you have a bucket under the trap, you will have nothing to worry about.

✔️ You may need to pull out some debris with your hand before rinsing the trap with hot water. Alternatively, you can use a coat hanger to eliminate the debris.

✔️ As you rinse your trap, keep the bucket beneath the trap, particularly when rinsing it in the sink. Always ensure the materials do not go back down as you rinse the trap in a sink.

✔️ After cleaning out the trap, carefully reattach it. Be sure not to over tighten and break any of the parts. Note that plastic components easily snap hence, try to tighten them snugly.

To this point, your trap should have no draining issues. Nevertheless, if the problem persists, you may need to snake the whole drain.


Undoubtedly, knowing how to unclog a garbage disposal is essential. However, the process can be quite costly and you would want to minimize the clogging as much as possible. Therefore, learning how to maintain your garbage disposal is recommended. If you can master this, your garbage disposal will take long before it clogs. That way, you will greatly reduce the overall running cost of the entire drainage system in your residence.

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