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How To Unclog A Kitchen Sink With A Garbage Disposal


If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you probably send a wide variety of things down the drain every day. Food scraps in small quantities can usually make it down without incident. But send a larger portion through, and you’ll likely encounter a problem.

When clogs occur, a natural reaction is to grab a chemical drain cleaner from a big box store and use it to solve the problem. However, chemical drain cleaners can corrode and damage your pipes. And if you have a garbage disposal, the chemicals can do irreparable damage to the plastic components and metal blades within the unit.

Think twice before pouring a chemical cleaner down the drain, and do this instead.

  1. Start by unplugging the garbage disposal. Never work on a drain where the garbage disposal has power.
  2. Use a natural cleaner made from ¼ cup baking soda followed by ½ cup vinegar. Allow it to fizz in the drain for a few minutes before washing it out using very hot water from the faucet.
  3. Allow water to run for a few minutes to clear the clog.
  4. Repeat as necessary.
  5. If the clog remains after using this procedure a few times, use a flashlight to peer into the drain. Sometimes you can see a foreign object in the drain – a bone or utensil. You can sometimes reach the item using a pair of tongs or a needle nose pliers.
  6. Plug the garbage disposal back in, run water and turn it on.
  7. If you still have a block, you can use a plunger to attempt to loosen the clog. If you have a dishwasher, it’s important to clamp the end of the dishwasher line where it enters the disposal to prevent the hose from popping off the disposal nozzle as you plunge the sink drain.
  8. Place the plunger directly over the sink drain, so the plunger completely covers the drain. Add water to the sink, so the lip of the plunger is covered in water. Then vigorously plunge the drain for a minute.
  9. Lift the plunger and check for water flow. If it remains clogged, you can repeat the process a few times to see if you can release the clog. If the clog dissipates, be sure to run hot water for a few minutes to carry away and built up residue.

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