Turn the garbage disposal off at the switch. Make sure nothing is near the switch. You don't want to proceed and have something bump the switch, turning on the garbage disposal.
Reach your hand into the sink carefully. Remove any dirty dishes, taking care not to cut yourself on any sharp objects. You want to be especially careful if you suspect there may be any shards of glass or broken porcelain in the sink or in the disposal itself. Swish your hand around gently to remove all objects from the sink.
Turn on the faucet and then flip the switch to turn on the garbage disposal for just a moment; then quickly turn it off. Quickly turn it on and off again. Ideally, running the garbage disposal for a moment once or twice will be enough to allow the sink to drain properly. Then, with the water still flowing from the faucet, run the disposal long enough for the contents to finish grinding while running the water.
Do not stand over the disposal when it is engaged--you don't want to be hit by any objects that might shoot out of the disposal. Be prepared to shut it off quickly if you hear any abnormal grinding sounds.
Turn the garbage disposal off if you hear a humming noise but the disposal does not move. Carefully reach into the disposal. Grab any objects you can feel around the edges and remove them. Try moving the inside plate to the left or the right with your fingers, releasing the water and allowing it to drain. If moving the plate by hand doesn't work, remove your hand and try turning on the garbage disposal again.
Get the toilet plunger if the disposal is still clogged. Place the plunger over the top of the drain, making sure it has a tight seal, and plunge the sink, the same way you plunge the toilet. This should release the clog.
Call a plumber if you are not successful using these ideas.
Things You Will Need
- Toilet plunger (optional)
- Safety gloves, protective against cuts (optional)
- Not all food scraps can be put down the disposal. Avoid putting in things like banana peels, celery, bones of any kind, fish heads and large chunks of raw foods.
- Avoid using hot water when running the disposal as it softens and liquifies grease and fats. Always use cold water so the fats and grease will stay solidified and can be chopped up and washed away.
- If you chose to use a toilet plunger to unclog your kitchen sink, be sure to thoroughly disinfect your sink and wash your hands afterwards to avoid the spread of germs.