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Garbage Disposal Under Kitchen Sink

How to Get Glass Out of Garbage Disposal

How to Get Glass Out of Garbage Disposal

Accidents happen, and sometimes that means glass ends up in places it shouldn’t be—like your garbage disposal. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, don’t panic. With the right steps, you can safely remove the glass and prevent any damage to your disposal unit. This guide will walk you through how to get glass out of a garbage disposal effectively and safely.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get Glass Out of Garbage Disposal

1. Safety First: Turn Off the Power

Before you do anything, make sure to turn off the power to your garbage disposal. This step is crucial to avoid any injuries. Unplug the disposal unit or switch off the circuit breaker that powers it. Never, under any circumstances, put your hand into the disposal while it’s connected to a power source.

2. Use a Flashlight to Locate the Glass

Shine a flashlight into the disposal to get a clear view of the broken glass. This will help you identify where the pieces are and how many there might be. Broken glass in a garbage disposal can be tricky to see, so take your time and ensure you spot all the pieces.

3. Retrieve the Larger Pieces of Glass

Using tools like long-handled tongs or pliers, carefully remove the larger pieces of glass. Be gentle to avoid pushing the glass further into the disposal or damaging any components. Avoid using your hands, even if you think the disposal is free of power; small, sharp glass fragments can cause serious cuts.

4. Clear Out Smaller Fragments

For smaller fragments, use a vacuum with a hose attachment. A wet-dry vacuum works best for this task. Place the hose inside the disposal and let it suck out the smaller pieces of glass. Be thorough, as any remaining glass can cause issues when the disposal is turned back on.

5. Turn the Disposal Manually

After removing as much glass as possible, try turning the disposal manually using an Allen wrench. Insert the wrench into the hex hole at the bottom of the unit and rotate it back and forth. This step helps dislodge any hidden glass fragments stuck in the blades.

6. Flush with Water

Run cold water into the disposal to rinse out any tiny glass particles you might have missed. Cold water helps solidify any grease that might have loosened during the process, ensuring it is flushed out rather than creating clogs.

7. Restore Power and Test

Once you are confident that all the glass is removed, restore the power to the garbage disposal. Run water and switch on the unit for a few seconds to make sure it operates smoothly. Listen for any unusual noises which could indicate remaining glass or other issues.

Preventing Future Incidents

While accidents can happen, there are steps you can take to prevent glass from ending up in your garbage disposal in the future:

  • Be Mindful of What Goes In: Avoid putting any non-food items down the disposal.
  • Use a Sink Strainer: A sink strainer can catch larger objects before they enter the disposal.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check and clean your disposal to ensure it is free of debris.

When to Call a Professional

If you have followed these steps and your disposal still isn’t functioning correctly, or if you’re uncomfortable attempting to remove the glass yourself, it’s time to call a professional. Continuing to use a damaged disposal can lead to more significant issues down the line, including potential damage to your plumbing system.


Handling broken glass in a garbage disposal can be a daunting task, but with careful attention to safety and these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively remove the glass and prevent damage to your disposal. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt or face difficulties, it’s always best to seek professional help.

For all your plumbing needs, including garbage disposal repairs, contact W.L. Staton. Our experienced plumbers are ready to assist with any issue, ensuring your kitchen runs smoothly and safely. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice and services.

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