DIY Tips to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are one of the modern conveniences homeowners take advantage of today. They make kitchen cleanup easy and aid in preventing drain blockages by breaking up food that gets into your kitchen sink drain.


Since garbage disposals use an electric motor with blades that break down food, you are bound to experience some issues along the way. Although they are a great asset to your kitchen, there are still some things you should avoid putting down the drain. One of the biggest problems homeowners face with garbage disposals occurs when they try to break down certain foods that aren’t meant to be used in these appliances. Shells, bones, pits, and other foods that don’t break down quickly can keep your garbage disposal from operating.


Even if you are careful, garbage disposal clogs can happen. Luckily, there are several easy ways to prevent clogs and to fix them yourself if they occur. Let’s dive in!


4 Tips to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal


Here are four tips to fix clogged garbage disposals:


1.   Use Tongs and a Plunger


Before you do anything, make sure your disposal is powered off. Look for any visible objects that are obstructing your drain. You should remove these with a pair of tongs. Never stick your hand down the disposal, even if it’s powered off. Once you’ve removed the blockage, run hot water down your drain to break down any additional residue.


If your garbage disposal is still blocked, you can try using a plunger to clear it. Simply put the opening of the plunger over your sink’s drain and plunge the drain. Once the water goes down, run hot water into your drain and plunge again to ensure the clog has resolved.


2. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda


Another great way to unclog your drain is to use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This homemade drain cleaner can actually be used for any drain clogs and is a safer, natural alternative to chemical drain cleaners. Start by pouring one part baking soda down your drain. Add three parts vinegar and listen to the mixture fizz. Let that sit in your drain for at least an hour, overnight if possible. Once the time has passed, pour hot water down your drain to break up the remaining blockage.


One of the biggest complaints with this method is that people don’t like the smell of vinegar. You can cut up a couple of oranges or lemons and run the rinds through your garbage disposal to eliminate the odor.


3. Use Lemon Juice to Clean Clog


Once or twice a month, you can pour lemon juice down your drain to clean your disposal and prevent blockages. Cleaning the garbage disposal naturally can help remove buildup and eliminate odors. You can run lemon juice into the garbage disposal and leave it for a few minutes before using hot water to wash the drain. The acidic juices of the lemon will remove blockages.


4. Use Cold Water


After your garbage disposal has finished crushing your food, flush it with cold water for at least 30 seconds to prevent sediment build-up. Water also helps to prevent food from adhering to your pipes or the blades of your disposal.


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