Garbage disposals are useful kitchen tools that can save time and energy. They also come in handy when you are cleaning up after cooking. However, sometimes these devices become clogged and stop working properly.
This can cause problems such as food waste buildup and odors. If you've ever had to clean out a clogged garbage disposal before, you'll know that it can be a real pain to try and sort out.
Unclogging a garbage disposal doesn't have to be difficult, however, and there are several methods you can use to make getting your garbage disposal in order much more quick and easy.
In this guide we've compiled some simple ways to unclog a garbage disposal without any hassle, as well as what might have caused the clog to start off with.
So let's get started!
What Causes A Garbage Disposal To Get Clogged?
To figure out how to unclog your garbage disposal, you need to know what might have caused it to clog up in the first place. There are several reasons why garbage disposals can be clogged.
These include putting the wrong materials into the garbage disposal such as metal cutlery, putting too many things in at once, or if there isn't enough water flowing through to clear out waste.
They can also get clogged if they aren't properly maintained, as pieces of food and other waste can build up over time; these can be food particles that get stuck in the grinder, or solidified oils and fats that stop the garbage disposal from spinning.
Take a look at your garbage disposal to try and figure out the cause. If there's a visible obstruction you'll know the issue straight away, but if you can't see the problem then it can be harder to find your culprit.
Test the water flow to make sure there's enough water going into the garbage disposal, and try to remember how long it's been since it was last cleaned. There are also some ways you can troubleshoot the problem, but we'll get to those later.
Using a clogged garbage disposal can be dangerous. Even if it's still running but has lower performance, you need to make sure that you unclog it as soon as possible and don't use it in the meantime.
If you try to use a clogged garbage disposal, it's at risk of overheating or even breaking down entirely. It's a lot more convenient and much less expensive to simply deal with the clog as soon as it occurs, and these techniques will make this quick and easy.
How To Unclog Your Garbage Disposal: 3 Simple Methods
There are several ways you can unclog a garbage disposal. Here are 3 of the best.
Remove The Clog Manually
One of the simplest ways to get rid of a clog is to try and remove it manually. This is probably the most common way of doing it, but if you don't do it properly then you could be giving yourself much more work.
First of all, check to see if there is any visible debris. If there is, use a pair of pliers or tongs to remove the obstruction. You can also use a scraper to get any gunk off of the walls or mechanisms within the garbage disposal.
Check whether the blades move freely by spinning them with your tongs, or use the hex wrench hole beneath the garbage disposal (if your one has it!) to see how they turn.
While this can be a more time-consuming and tricky task, you can speed things up by checking for visible waste, getting rid of any obstructions within the garbage disposal, and by using the right tools.
Wash It Out With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are a great combination when it comes to cleaning things. The acid in vinegar helps break down dirt and grime, while the baking soda balances it out and reduces bad odors.
Baking soda and vinegar doesn't just clear out surface dirt - it also removes less-visible issues such as oils and fats that are blocking the garbage disposal.
Begin by pouring some baking powder into and around the drain. From there, add vinegar and leave it for half an hour so the two can react. This cuts through the dirt and grime within the garbage disposal, and can break down obstructions that are clogging the garbage disposal up.
Rinse the solution out with hot water to melt any residual deposits of oils, and you'll be left with a working and odorless garbage disposal.
Use A Plunger
A plunger can be effective at removing harder-to-clear clogs. By using water pressure to loosen the clog, the plunger can then force it down the drain just like it would for a sink or toilet.
Make sure that the entire mouth of the garbage disposal is covered and that there is a secure seal around the drain. If air can get between the plunger and the drain, then you won't be able to create the water pressure needed to shift the clog.
From there, plunge up and down in a vigorous and rhythmic way. You should be able to feel the water being pulled in and out of the drain. Check the garbage disposal every so often to see if the clog has been removed.
If everything is working properly then it means the clog is gone. Otherwise, you'll need to keep on plunging until the clog is forced through.
If all else fails, you may need to call a plumber to take a look at your garbage disposal. Stubborn clogs can be hard to clear, and you're better off getting a professional to fix your garbage disposal than risk damaging it more through further use or an improper fix.
So now you know a bit more about why your garbage disposal might be clogged, as well as some ways you can unclog it. By using these simple methods, you can identify the causes of your clog, and take steps to get rid of it.
Taking care of your kitchen tools is important, and regularly cleaning your garbage disposal is a great way to prevent clogs and keep your kitchen in order. So say goodbye to your clogged garbage disposal, and get ready to never worry about dealing with clogs again!