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Can a Garbage Disposal Cut Your Hand?

Vera Leigh

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, then you should be aware of the dangers of using it. Teaching your children about the dangers of garbage disposals is especially important should they ever be playing in your sink. Garbage disposals can and will cut your hand if you stick your hand into them. This is most likely to happen when the garbage disposal is on, and in this case, your hand can become mangled. This situation can turn into a life-threatening one quickly.

Garbage Disposal Parts

A garbage disposal has two main cutting parts -- called a shredder and an impeller -- that grind food remnants. The shredder has sharp slots for tearing apart the food remnants. The impeller has arms that spin around to further grind food. The parts are part of a larger garbage disposal housing that fits into the base of your sink and connects to your dishwasher. Do not try to disassemble the garbage disposal housing. Call a professional plumber to do this.

Do Nots

Never place your hand in a garbage disposal. This is a rule that you must follow at all times if you are to ensure that your hand is never cut from the disposal. Remember that placing your hand in the disposal could result in having your fingers cut off and losing enough blood that your situation could become fatal.

What To Do

If a spoon or another object besides food gets caught in your garbage disposal, make sure your garbage disposal is turned off before placing a tool into the disposal to retrieve the object. It is better in all cases to use tongs or some other type of retrieving tool such as needle-nosed pliers instead of your hand. Also make sure that nothing is close to the disposal switch -- such as a person or a coffee maker -- that could accidentally be bumped and turn on the disposal while you are retrieving the object.

Cover Your Disposal

If you are afraid your curious children might try to explore the garbage disposal, make sure to cover it with a safety disposal cover, which you can purchase from a home goods or kitchen supply store. You also might consider purchasing a garbage disposal that has a safety cover built in that will grind only when the cover is on the disposal.