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How-To Videos

How to Fix a Clogged Kitchen Garbage Disposal

By: Danny Lipford
Using an Allen wrench to unclog a jammed kitchen garbage disposal.

Using an Allen wrench to unclog a jammed kitchen garbage disposal.

To fix a clogged or jammed garbage disposal:

  1. Turn the garbage disposal off.
  2. Insert the correct size hex or Allen wrench in the six sided hole in the bottom of the garbage disposer motor.
  3. Move the wrench back and forth to dislodge whatever it is that’s clogging it.

To clean a kitchen garbage disposal:

  1. Pour a small amount of baking soda in the garbage disposal.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the disposal on top of the baking soda.
  3. Allow the mixture to work for a few minutes.
  4. Pour boiling water in the garbage disposal.
  5. Allow the hot water to remain in the disposal for a few minutes.
  6. Turn the garbage disposal on, and flush it out with water from the sink faucet.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: Rebecca asks, “If my garbage disposal is stuck, is it time to buy a new one?”

If your garbage disposal sounds like this, well, turn it off. Because it’s in a bind, and if you leave it that way, it’ll end up tripping the reset button on the bottom of the disposal or even a circuit breaker in your home.

But to dislodge whatever’s causing it to be in a bind you can use the hex wrench that came with the garbage disposal. I know most people lose them, that’s okay. Grab your set of Allen wrenches, get the right size, insert it into the recess hole right in the bottom of the disposal, and turn it left and right until you dislodge whatever caused it to get into a bind.

Then a little extreme cleaning may be good. Put a little baking soda in, a half a cup of vinegar; and then, after about five minutes, boiling water. That should help clean it, and keep it from being a problem in the future.


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2 Comments on “How to Fix a Clogged Kitchen Garbage Disposal”

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  • D. Dreinhofer Says:
    March 6th, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Cleaning your garbage disposal should also include cleaning the
    black rubber guard below the collar. Wear rubber gloves and use Clorox wipes or a Shop Towel dipped in a liquid cleanser.
    Reach down into the (non-working) disposal and clean under the guard, lifting each section to wipe until debris is gone. This step will help eliminate odors, as well as deter any tiny kitchen ants during warm summer months. You will be amazed at how dirty this part of your disposal can get due to neglect.



  • Hilda Says:
    February 24th, 2018 at 9:16 am

    My garbage disposal was clogged and had water slowly dripping from under the disposal. Just small drips. I followed your instructions and unclogged the disposal. The ran fine and the drip stopped. However, the drip has started again whenever water runs in that sink.


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How to Fix a Clogged Kitchen Garbage Disposal