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How to Empty a Garbage Disposal

Illustration of a garbage disposal attached to a kitchen sink

The garbage disposal also knows as kitchen waste savior is an incredible appliance that helps to clean away unwanted food waste in a jiffy. But occasionally you may find your garbage disposal, without warning, stops working efficiently, and water backs up. This happens because from time to time we put things down there that we should not like bones, paper towels, etc. These things clog up the garbage disposal and they also start smelling funny.

Well, in general, garbage disposals are normally a self-cleaning appliance, but from time to time it also craves love and attention just like us human beings. This keeps them in flawless condition and prevents odors from forming.

If you ever caught yourself in the same situation, your first reaction would be to call a plumber. There is no need to panic and call an expensive plumber. There are many ways in which you can empty garbage disposal efficiently using things you have around the home. You will find these methods much faster and cost-effective.

Methods to Empty your Garbage Disposal

Ice in a sink drain

Before starting with the methods, what we have to do is to remove the rubber fitting from the drain hole that keeps spoons and other stuff from falling down into the garbage disposal.

To remove that just stick two fingers through the middle and pop it out. That’s it. Before removing the fitting make sure to switch off the garbage disposal. (You do not want to lose your fingers)

Let’s get to the methods.

  1. Removing Lodged Objects – Take a flashlight and shine it into the drain to see if there is any object that has become lodged in the garbage disposal. Then use pliers or tongs to pull out whatever it is, being careful to avoid damaging the grinder.
  2. Using Ice Cubes and Salts – Take some ice and rock salt and fill up the drain with 2 cups of ice cubes and 1 cup of rock salt.  Now turn on the garbage disposal and run some cold water. As the ice cubes and salt gets crushed by the grinders, it will clean the chamber and remove all the debris that has been attached to it.

In addition to emptying garbage disposal, ice cubes and salts will also help to sharpen the blades and remove funny smells.

Methods to Remove Bad Odor

Pile of citrus on a wooden table
  1. Use Lemon or Citrus Fruits – To freshen up your garbage disposal and leave your kitchen smelling great, take a lemon, orange, or any other citrus fruit, drop it into the drain hole, and run the disposal for few minutes. The citrus acid will take care of everything. It will clean the blades and eliminate odor.

(There will be some splashing as the rubber fitting at the is removes, but that is perfectly okay, you can put it back if you want.)

2. Use baking soda and vinegar – Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain hole and then pour a cup of vinegar on the top. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Switch on the garbage disposal and then rinse it down with hot or boiling water.

Pro Tip:

Drain cleaner being poured down a drain

Avoid using drain cleaner bleach as there is ammonia in there which can harden the grease in your garbage disposal and will make it difficult to remove. Also, there is a strong chance of them splashing out and getting in your eyes or on your clothing and ruining everything. Therefore, it is not recommended to use it.

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