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How To Clear A Clog In Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage can accumulate quickly, but with a disposal unit at your fingertips, the process is much easier and healthier. All you need to do to keep it running is to use a bit of common sense and perform maintenance on a regular basis. However, sometimes, no matter what, it will become clogged and require a bit of extra work to make it functional. Several things should be avoided, such as what types of food you dump in the unit. You also should proceed slowly when you dump the garbage in the disposal.

Check the Pipes

Step 1: The first step when the drain quits working or is sluggish is to check the 'S' or 'P' shaped pipes under the sink.

Step 2: Disconnect, remove, and clean the pipes and check for any blockage.

Step 3: If the clog is not there, it will require going past the pipe and into the wall.


Start with the simplest approaches before you pull out the big tools.

Approach 1: Use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to see if the clog dissipates. You can also use lemon peel and ice cubes as a natural method, because the acid of the lemon might help clean the pipes and disposal unit. It may be grease clogging the drain.

Approach 2: If you have metal pipes, try using some boiling water to dissolve the debris. However, if you have plastic (PVC) pipes, boiling water may damage them or loosen the joints.

Approach 3: Try using a plunger to loosen the clog. It might be a combination of waste causing the problem. The suction may break up the 'muck.' Remove the basket strainer before you begin plunging.

Approach 4: First, look to see if you can see the clog. Never put chemical cleaners in the drain. Not only can it damage the pipes and the unit, it can also be very caustic to your skin if the clog isn't removed.

Approach 5: Be sure the unit is turned off. Check the switch located close to the garbage disposal unit or on the wall. You can also turn the breaker off. Don't put your hand in the disposal at any time. Turn off the water supply before you try to do any repairs.

It may be necessary to remove the disposal and pipes to locate the clog if these suggestions don't remedy the problem. It will save a lot of time and money if you can do the work without calling in the professionals. Click here for more information about drain cleaning.