Broken glass in garbage disposal: How to Remove it FAST

During a busy day, you might have accidentally glass stuck in your garbage disposal. Luckily this is quite easy to remove. Your garbage disposal will be working again in no time.

How to remove glass from a garbage disposal.

Garbage disposals exist to discard our waste so that it can be safely eliminated. When you put glass, plastic, wood, or anything else with sharp edges or points into your disposal, you run the risk of them damaging the internal components.

Not only that, but they could also cause a leak.  For this reason, it is important that you remove the glass from the garbage disposal immediately. Fixing the garbage disposal later on can lead to more work.


What can get stuck in a garbage disposer?

 The blades are very sharp and precise tools. Anything they come into contact with will be ground up.

The blades rotate at a high speed, so they have a tendency to wear down items that are not food-grade. This can create a hole in the blade or even break the blade itself.

Sharp objects can easily snap and create a mess. They can also easily damage the blades of your disposal. If this happens, you will have to remove the glass or pay for professional repair or buy a new disposal. This makes sense—you do not want something sharp cutting into the blades. At this point, the blades can break. This can create a very dangerous situation for the home if it is not handled correctly.

How to prevent objects from getting stuck in your garbage disposal

While there is not much you can do to prevent your disposal from being damaged by cutting items, there are a few things you can do to protect the blades from being cut in the first place. This will lower the chance of your disposal blades getting damaged, but it will also prevent the items from ever getting near the blades.

You can add a filter over the inlet to make sure that you don’t accidentally push objects into it. It is also possible that you keep the glass away from the sink. You should pay attention when you use a garbage disposal. Everyone can be distracted so let’s take a look at how we can remove glass from the garbage disposal.

These filters are quite cheap and easy to install.

Place the glass in a special bucket or bin as this can be quite dangerous. You might have to bring it to a recycling center if this is required in your area.

The easy fixes for sharp objects in the garbage disposal

If you accidentally put glass in your garbage disposal, there are a few easy ways to fix it. Always wear protective equipment such as goggles and gloves when you work on this.

First, turn the disposal off and unplug it.

Safety should always come first, so you must cut off all power sources to the unit before you come anywhere near a garbage disposal. This step is crucial to preventing any accidents and ensuring safety.

You should unplug your garbage disposal if it’s connected to an electrical outlet. You can go a step further by turning off the power to the unit at the circuit breaker, which you would if you have a hard-wired garbage disposal.

To double-check that the power to the unit is truly disconnected, turn on the voltage detector and place it on the wire at the sink.

If the detector lights up, it means that the power is still turned on. You’ll need to locate the correct circuit breaker to turn it off.

How to remove broken glass from a garbage disposal

Remove the item that is stuck. If you are lucky, it are big pieces of glass and it is easy to remove them. Use pliers or another item to do this. These parts can be sharp so be careful and put them in the glass bin.

It is also possible that smaller pieces have gotten into the garbage disposal and this can make it dangerous to turn it on again without opening it up. You should also keep in mind that some items, like small glass pieces, are very hard to remove. We can use a hex key on the bottom to turn the garbage disposal blades. Do this very slowly. We can then use a wet vacuum to remove the glass. It is possible that some liquids were stuck in the garbage disposal so a normal vacuum might break if you use it. 

 If you are having trouble removing the glass, you can use a prying tool. If there are more pieces, a professional might have to open up your garbage disposal. Check the manual on how to do this if you want to do it yourself. 

Another way is to remove the garbage disposal and turn it upside down. Pieces of glass might fall out of it. This is more work though and sometimes it is not allowed by the manufacturer to hold it upside down so check the manual to see what is allowed.

Remove the broken glass from the garbage disposal drain

It is possible that pieces of glass have gotten in the drain already. You can remove these to avoid clogs in your sink.

You also might want to remove the drain as glass particles can create clogs or other damage. You can run a camera in the drain to check if there is glass in it. If there is, you might want to remove it. Grab a bucket and some towels before you start.

To open up the drain, simply turn it and it should come loose. You can clean the drains and reattach them. Use a lot of water to clean the drains. Some PVC drains are glued and these can be harder to open up without cutting them open.

If you have a dishwasher, it’s most likely connected to the garbage disposal with a drainage hose.

To remove the dishwasher hose, squeeze the hose clamp with a pair of pliers and turn it counterclockwise. Once the clamp is loose enough, slide it off the hose end and pull the hose away from the unit.

Some hose clamps are loosened and tightened with a screw. If that’s the case with your dishwasher’s hose, just unscrew the clamp with a screwdriver enough that you can pull the hose

First, place a bucket under the drainpipe to catch any water in case there’s still some in the drain pipe.

Next, using the pliers, turn the slip nut counterclockwise and push it upwards. If the slip nut is made from plastic, you want to be careful with the pliers because the nut can bend or crack. Then, pull the drain pipe down and out.

In case it’s dim under the sink, you can use a headlamp light or a lantern to navigate your way clearly around the unit and pipes.

Make sure that all the glass is removed before you plug the garbage disposal back in. Also, check to make sure that the blades inside it are not damaged. You might have to hit the reset button before the garbage disposal works again. Be very careful when you use it again at first as tiny glass pieces can still be in it. 

Resetting your garbage disposal can help as well. Make sure that all the sharp items have been removed before you do this. Resetting the garbage disposal multiple times can cause problems.

Final thoughts

The dangers of putting glass in the garbage disposal are very clear. Removing some glass from a garbage disposal is possible but you have to be very careful and wear the proper protective equipment. 

Sometimes you will have to call in a professional to get it fixed as small glass pieces can be hard to remove and you might have to open up the garbage disposal. Plumbers will be able to do this for you. They have wet vacuums and other tools to make sure that the glass is completely removed. They can also maintain your garbage disposal and check your drains. This will make sure that your garbage disposal runs as new again.

Garbage disposals can last quite a long time if you don’t break them by placing the wrong items in them. Luckily it is often quite easy to remove these if needed.

The approach is the same for Waste King, InSinkErator, and Moen garbage disposals. With a few easy steps, you can remove glass or other sharp objects from them. Make sure to check the safety instructions in the manual and wear protective equipment.

Some of the garbage has to go in the bin. This will be collected by a specialized company.