How to Get Glass Out of the Garbage Disposal

How to Get Glass Out of the Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a small, powerful appliance installed under a kitchen sink. Its purpose is to grind up food waste before you can flush it down the drain. 

A garbage disposal has metal housing, a rotating metal grinding disc, and a removable stopper. If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of getting glass stuck in your garbage disposal, you know how frustrating it can be. 

Not only is it difficult to remove the glass, but it can also damage your disposal. This will cause a lot of unnecessary mess. In this blog post, we will discuss how to get glass out of the garbage disposal.

Signs of Broken Glass in the Garbage Disposal

If you have ever dropped a glass in the sink, you know how frustrating it can be to fish out all the glass shards. Even worse is the thought of those glass shards ending up in your garbage disposal. 

Although it grinds up food waste, glass can damage the disposal’s blades. If you suspect that there may be glass in your disposal, it is important to take action right away.

It is important to understand that glass can break when it comes into contact with the blades of a garbage disposal. As a result, if you see broken glass in your kitchen sink or on the rubber drain baffle, this is a sign that glass has become stuck in your garbage disposal. 

If your garbage disposal overheats often, this could also be a sign that glass is stuck in the blades.

One of the most obvious signs of glass in the disposal is a loud grinding noise. If you hear this while running the disposal, turn it off immediately and check for any visible signs of glass. You may also notice that the blades seem to be catching on something or that the disposal is leaking water.

If you see any of these red flags, it is time to call in a professional to help remove the glass and inspect the disposal for damage. With a little care and attention, you can keep your garbage disposal running well for years to come.

Why You Need to Remove Glass from Your Garbage Disposal

Glass is one of the most common materials found in households, and it is not unusual for it to end up in the garbage disposal. Glass can be very damaging to your disposal and you should remove it right away.

The blades and flywheels grind food waste, not hard objects like glass. Over time, the glass will dull the blades and cause the flywheel to become unbalanced. This leads to poor performance and increased wear and tear.

Small glass pieces can break off and become lodged in the disposal, causing clogs and making it difficult to use. For these reasons, it is best to remove any glass from your garbage disposal as soon as possible.

How to Get Glass Out of the Garbage Disposal

If you have ever dropped a piece of glass into your garbage disposal, you know that it can be a frustrating experience. There are a few simple steps you can follow to learn how to get glass out of the garbage disposal.

Gather these tools:

  • Allen wrench (hex key)
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Broom handle
  • Cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX)
  • Shop vacuum

Switch off the Power

Anytime you are working with your garbage disposal, it is important to first make sure that the power is off. Some devices include a power switch. If not, you will need to shut off the circuit breaker for the garbage disposal. 

The last thing you want is to turn on the disposal while your hand is in there. Once the power is off, you can proceed to the next step.

Retrieve Large Pieces With Needle-Nose Pliers

Now that the power source is off, it is time to reach in and grab the glass. You may need a flashlight to see what you are doing, but try to avoid using anything sharp like a knife or screwdriver. If possible, try to grab any larger pieces with a pair of pliers. 

Once you have removed the large chunks of glass, you can then begin working on removing the smaller pieces.

Though it may be tempting to grab larger pieces of glass with your hand to pull them out of the disposal, this is a bad idea. If the glass is sharp, you could cut yourself. Even if the glass is not sharp, there is a risk that you could drop it and still cut yourself. 

Use Allen Wrench to Dislodge the Glass

Locate the Allen-wrench port on the bottom of the disposal (it is usually located under the sink). If your model has this port, insert an Allen wrench into the port and turn it back and forth. Do this until the masher plate dislodges and the glass falls out. 

If your unit does not have a hex key insert, try using a broomstick. You should put it through the disposal at the top. Then turn the blade manually until the glass comes loose. 

Shop-Vac the Drain

If you have a shop vacuum, use it to suction the glass out of the disposal. Put the vacuum hose over the drain and turn on the vacuum. Move the hose around until you have suctioned up all the glass. 

Drain the vacuum into a trash can and dispose of the glass properly. Use cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX) to make a temporary hose if your hose is too short or too wide to go down far enough

If you do not have a shop vacuum, you can try using a regular vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment. Again, place the hose over the drain and turn on the vacuum. Be very careful not to let the vacuum get too close to the blades of the disposal. 

Otherwise, you could damage your vacuum. Again, move the hose around until you have suctioned up all the glass. Drain the vacuum into a trash can and dispose of the glass properly. 

This method may not work if your vacuum does not have enough suction power. 

Turn the Power Back On

Turn the power back on to the disposal. You might need to reset your garbage disposal if it will not turn on by disconnecting it once more. Start by pressing the reset button on the disposal’s bottom and then plug it back in. If you hear a loud grinding, the engine and blades are still being hampered by pieces of glass and you need to clean it better.

Run Cold Water Down the Drain

Water running down a metal drain.

Once all the glass has been removed, run cold water down the drain to flush any remaining fragments. It is crucial to keep your face away from the garbage disposal when doing this or place a plate over it to prevent accidents from glass flying out. 

If your disposal is still not working you may need to call a plumber for further assistance. By following these steps, you will have your garbage disposal working like new in no time!


Will broken glass ruin a garbage disposal?

While it is true that broken glass can damage the blades of the garbage disposal, it is not likely to cause long-term damage if the glass is removed. If bits of glass build up in the unit, they can cause the blades to dull or break. 

Does glass sharpen garbage disposal? 

No, glass does not sharpen garbage disposal. It is important to avoid putting anything other than food or organic material down your disposal. Be sure to dispose of all glass in the trash.

How can I prevent glass from getting into my garbage disposal?

The best way to avoid problems is to avoid putting glass down the drain. Instead, dispose of glass in the trash can. You can also use a screen cover to cover the drain.

When should I call a professional?

If you can not remove glass that is stuck in your garbage disposal yourself, it is time to call a plumber. You should also call a plumber if you are nervous to remove it yourself. This is a dangerous situation because the glass could break and cause serious injury. 

Final Thoughts

If you have ever dropped a piece of glass into your garbage disposal, you know how frustrating it can be to try to remove it. First, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove any large pieces of glass. 

Then, insert an Allen wrench into the hole at the bottom of the disposal and twist back and forth until the glass is dislodged. Finally, use a shop vac to suction up any small pieces left behind. 

Always exercise caution when dealing with broken glass. While the steps above will help you to remove the glass from your disposal, there is always a risk of injury. If you do not feel comfortable completing the task yourself, it is best to call a professional. 

With that said, following the steps above will help you learn how to get glass out of the garbage disposal.

Learn how to get glass out of the garbage disposal unit so you can avoid costly repairs.


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