How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal?

Although the garbage disposal features quality material and powerful motor for grinding different types of food wastes, they are bound to block ones in a while, mainly when used continuously. Therefore, you must know how to unclog your garbage disposal in case of a blockage.

Each brand of garbage disposal has the right steps to follow when unblocking, mainly in terms of the parts to remove when unblocking. But, generally, all brands use similar and the same steps when unblocking. So, if you are having a problem with a blocked disposal unit in your home, this article features the steps to follow to unblock it.


How to Unclog a Garbage Disposal

how to unclog a garbage disposal

1. Get the Right Materials

The first step is to get all the elements that you need to unblock the garbage disposal unit. The materials useful for unblocking these units include;

  • Flashlight

A flashlight is required to offer illumination for clear visibility of the unit in case there is some darkness around the area you have installed it. Most of the garbage disposal units are installed under the sink, and these areas are a bit dark. So, you will need a flashlight for lighting.

  • Long handheld tongs and pliers

The tong is suitable for removing all the blocking substances from the drainage system, and the plier is useful for holding the removed item from the disposal unit due to its durable gripping design.

  • Plunger

A plunger is a standard tool used by plumbers for unblocking drains either in the kitchen or toilet. The device features rubber suction in the form of a cup attached to a stick for easy use.

  • White vinegar

White vinegar is suitable in unblocking the garbage drainage systems since it helps eliminate harmful odor around the sink and the garbage drainage system.

  • Baking soda

Baking soda works best when mixed with the white vinegar since when the two ingredients are combined, they neutralize to loosen all the residuals, causing a blocked sink and drainage system.


2. Turn Off the Breaker and Disconnect the Disposal Unit from the Power

The second step requires one to detach the garbage disposal unit from the breaker so you can be comfortable to work. A garbage disposal unit breaker is the device that automatically controls the electric switch to protect the electrical circuit connected to the unit from damage. The breaker helps to prevent excessive current, which occurs as a result of overloaded or short circuits.


3. Check out the Disposal Unit to Detect the Issue

After the electric breaker is turned off, the next step is to check the garbage disposal units to determine the cause for blockage or the area that is blocked to rectify the problem.

In this case, you can use a flashlight to get a closer and unobstructed view of the interior part of the garbage disposal unit. Ones you have detected the cause for blockage, the next step is to put all the tools into work.


4. Remove the Blocking Substance

Using the handheld tong, insert it to the garbage disposal and remove the substances causing the unit to block. If you are unable to remove the blocking materials with the tong, use pliers to hold it firmly for easy removal.

Make sure to do this slowly, so you don’t crumble the residuals. Using the plunger removes other small blocking debris that cannot be removed with the tong and pliers.


5. Check if the Unit is Clear

Using the flashlight ones again, check if all the residuals have been removed from the garbage disposal unit. If there is some residual remaining, repeat step number 4 until everything is off the unit.


6. Turn on the Breaker

This step is crucial since it helps to test if the garbage disposal unit has entirely unclogged. So, connect the breaker and turn on the disposal unit. When doing this, make sure to press the reset button to restart the unit.

If you notice the disposal unit is draining water smoothly and at high speed, well, knows the unit is unblocked. But, if you see the water is stagnating on the unit before removing, well, you may need to repeat the unblocking process.


7. Clean the Disposal

Cleaning garbage disposal is important. Pour or sprinkle half cup of baking soda into the sink drain, followed by a full cup of white vinegar on top. Leave the two mixtures to settle for about 15 minutes. Note that you will hear some fizzling sound and formation of bubbles when you mix the two ingredients.

After 15 minutes, rinse the product by pouring hot water. Make sure the garbage disposal is running when you pour the boiling water. Then squeeze in lemon juice since it acts as bleach.


How to Unclog the Garbage Disposal Pipe?

unclog garbage disposal pipe

The garbage disposal unit is attached to the pipe referred to as P or S strap as they feature a design of either the two letters. The pipe connects the trap arm located, and to the disposal unit. This pipe tends to trap small residuals that do are passed through the garbage disposal. So, remove it t clear off these residuals.

1. Put a Bucket and a Duster Under the Pipe

Make sure to place a duster and a bucket under the pipe to prevent dirty water from spilling on the floor. The bucket also collects all the dirt coming from the hose when disassembled.

2. Loosen the Nuts on the Trap

As said earlier, the drainage pipes are connected to the trap arm and, thus, you have to loosen it to remove the tube by unscrewing the nuts to loosen it.

3. Clean the Pipe Drain

Ones you remove the trap and the pipe, the next step is to clean the two pieces. Remove all residuals that are on the tube and then run hot water through the pipe to rinse off the dirt.


Recommended Garbage Disposal Models On the Market

  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 1/3 HP, 1900 RPM (115v) permanent magnet motor jams less
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable splashguard for easy cleaning
  • NO ELECTRICAL EXPERTISE NEEDED: Garbage disposer has pre-installed power cord, no electrical work is required
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Compact and lightweight low profile garbage disposal saves space under the sink
  • TWO YEAR PROTECTION: Two-year limited warranty
  • A MUST HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN: This space-saving garbage disposal easily fits under your sink, perfect for small households or houses with restricted cabinet space.It is a reliable & affordable choice for home kitchen & commercial use.
  • LOW NOISE AND POWERFUL: This innovative food waste disposal features our exclusive 3/4 hp Dura-Drive Induction Motor with sound seal technology for reducing noise, 2-Stage multi grind technology to handle the toughest food scraps.
  • SAVE TIME AND ECO-FRIENDLY: From meal prep to cleanup, food waste disposal helps make it fast & easy to keep your kitchen clean.It also reduce waste sent to landfills, making them an eco-friendly option for your home.
  • NOTE: Item do not come with a power cord attached, it is a separate add-on accessory.
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We believe the quality of our products. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, please contact us. We provide 30-day money back and 3 year warranty.
  • RELIABLE & EASY INSTALL: Badger Series disposers are a reliable & functional choice when affordability is the prime concern, and features a compact, space-saving design that fits existing InSinkErator hardware for a quick and easy install.
  • DURABLE COMPONENTS: This garbage disposal features our exclusive 1/2 hp Dura-Drive Induction Motor and long lasting galvanized steel components to ensure a dependable grind for everyday food scraps.
  • AMERICA'S #1 DISPOSER BRAND: There are more American-built InSinkErator garbage disposals in US homes than all other brands combined. A full line of models means there's one right for every need and budget.
  • FASTER, CLEANER, SMARTER: From meal prep to cleanup, InSinkErator helps make it fast & easy to keep your kitchen clean with our iconic appliances: garbage disposals & instant hot water dispensers.
  • A HISTORY OF INNOVATION FOR THE SINK: We invented garbage disposals in 1927, & we're the world’s largest manufacturer of garbage disposals & instant hot water dispensers for home & commercial use.
  • Voltage: 120 V



If you are experiencing a blocked garbage drainage system or pipes in your home, the above are the steps to follow when unblocking the units. The processes are quite easy to follow since the cleaning materials are readily available, and the steps are easy. You can also check the manual guide to see the processes that you are expected to follow to clean the garbage disposal unit model or brand you have. If you are having a problem unblocking the unit, call in a plumber to do it for you.