Glass Went Into My Garbage Disposal – What Do I Do?

[fa icon="calendar"] October 04, 2019 / by Home Services Expert

kitchen sinkIt’s frustrating. You’re working in the kitchen and something made from glass ends up breaking, sending shards all over the kitchen. It’s inconvenient to say the least, but one of the least convenient places is when the glass goes into the garbage disposal. No one wants to reach down into a garbage disposal ever if we’re honest, but the thought of reaching into one with glass is even worse. So, what can you do? How do you do it safely? Here are some tips to help you if glass has broken and gone into your disposal:

First, Think Safety

Before we list some of the recommendations let’s talk about safety. Rule number one: turn off power to the disposal. You don’t want any accidents to happen and this is the best way to ensure that. Rule number two: never stick your hand into the disposal to collect pieces of glass even if the power is off. This could cut your hand.


Ways to Remove Glass from a Garbage Disposal

Needle Nose Pliers

This is a good first step. Once the power to the disposal is shut off, you can take a pair of needle nosed pliers and try and get the pieces out that way. You won’t likely get all of them this way but you can get the larger pieces out of the way.


The Potato Method

potatoYes, you heard me right. One of the ways to get glass out of a garbage disposal recommended by is by using a potato:

“Another method that works quite well is to cut the bottom off a large, raw potato that will fit through the opening of the disposal. Then jam the potato down onto the bottom surface of your disposal. The force of entry will embed some of the glass pieces into the potato. Continue the process with additional potatoes until you have removed all the large glass pieces.”



Another step is to vacuum using a shop vac. You will need to figure out if the hose will fit and go far enough down to pick up the glass. If you need a thinner hose you will need to find an attachment for your shop vac that is sized correctly, or duct tape thinner PEX tubing to the shop vac hose that will act as a temporary attachment. Vacuum up all of the remaining shards of glass that you can this way.


Allen Wrench (If Necessary)

By this point you should have all of the bigger problematic pieces of glass out of the disposal. If you are confident you do, you can restore power to the disposal and turn it on to test it. If tiny fragments of glass are still in there they should be ground up this way. If there are still larger fragments and they get stuck in the blades, you will need to disconnect power once again to the disposal, and place an allen wrench in the exterior bottom of the disposal. You can turn this wrench and loosen up the blades. Then repeat the above steps to get the larger pieces of glass out of the disposal.


Back In Business

Now that you’ve cleaned the pieces of glass out of the disposal, you should be back in business. If you are still having problems and can't get your disposal to turn, it may be best to call a local plumber.

If you do need a service call for this or any other home maintenance issue, give our Experts a call today!

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