How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal


Nov 16, 2015

Around the holidays, it is common to find yourself with a clogged garbage disposal. Check out these quick steps to return your disposal to proper working order.

Step 1. Turn the garbage disposal power off.

Step 2. Use a flashlight to see if there is any debris visibly blocking the garbage disposal blades and remove any debris that is visible.

Step 3. Locate the hole at the bottom center of the disposal. Insert an Allen wrench into the hole and jockey it back and forth until you are able to turn the wrench all the way around. 

(Sometimes your disposal will come with a wrench, so check to see if that is available to use.)

Step 4. If you do not have access to an Allen wrench, insert a broom handle into the opening of the garbage disposal and move the blades in a circular motion until the blades move freely.

Step 5. Push the reset button located on the bottom of your garbage disposal.

Step 6. Turn the power back on. 

Extra Tips:

To help keep your garbage disposal in good working condition, occasionally put a few ice cubes down the disposal and run it. The ice will help sharpen the blades as they get crushed.

If you ever have a foul odor coming from your disposal, try this:

  1. Disconnect the power.
  2. Reach through the garbage disposal opening and clean underneath the opening and around the disposal with a scouring pad.
  3. Place a sink stopper in the opening and fill the sink halfway with warm water.
  4. Mix a 1lb box of baking soda with the water.
  5. Turn garbage disposal on and remove the stopper to wash away loose particles.

You can also try occasionally adding lemon peels and grinding them up in the garbage disposal to let off a pleasant scent.