The garbage disposal grinds all forms of food waste in the kitchen, but the broken glass isn’t part of the things it grinds. The other thing is that it can work as often as you need it to. What this means is that if you keep or leave it open you could accidentally have utensils fall in.
Unfortunately, this may cause a significant hazard to the drainage system and even the disposal itself. This is why you should always collect the leftover food in a different basin to confirm there are no utensils in the mix.
There will be accidents though, and while you may have done your best to take care of the disposal something may go wrong. Something as minimal as a broken glass going into the garbage disposal.
More About Broken Glass in Garbage Disposal
At least you noticed sooner that the glass went into the garbage disposal. When it goes unnoticed it will flow into the waste line and the drain pipes.
Although most people say that tiny glass pieces can’t harm the disposer, if you keep letting them in, it will eventually damage the garbage disposal.
It goes right to the disposal shredders and dulls them. That means that in time you won’t use the disposer unless you sharpen the shredders.
Since this is a foreign object, the possibility of causing a jam is more real. The next thing is that you hear it produce a weird sound while it doesn’t grind. Some people would think well, I can use the reset button, but that may worsen the issue.
This leaves you with one choice to remove the glass.
Removing the Glass from The Disposer
Things you will need for the process
You can use different things when you wish to remove the glass, but one thing you should never use is your hands. Even though the glass may be significant and visible don’t put your hands in the disposer.
Flashlight: naturally the garbage disposal inner part is dark, so the flashlight will show you where the glass is. The first step to safely removing the glass is by knowing where it is.
A plate or bucket: the plate is where you will put the glass pieces once you have removed them inside. You should not put the pieces over the counter or on the floor. This may cause accidents.
Needle nose pliers: from clogs to hard foods these pliers help in removing things in the disposer. You can use it to remove the pieces from the drain or disposer. It will even help in removing the tiny pieces.
Allen key wrench: most disposers have this instrument. This one gives you access to the complete garbage disposal. You can use it to access the disposer from the port. It then helps you move the shredders manually. It’s particularly essential if you have a jam.
The Allen wrench will move the blades to remove any pieces of glass that are lodged in the disposer.
Wet dry vacuum cleaner: This is another popular tool in the kitchen that you may use to suck any of the tiny glass pieces remaining. Since you want the disposer to be free of the glasses, use the wet dry vacuum cleaner for the final cleansing.
Always know that the glass pieces can cut you so you should maintain your safety and that of the garbage disposal.
Switch off the power and wear protective gear
Never try to repair or touch the disposer with the power still on. So cut the power off from the wall circuit. You should also unplug it from the power circuit. In this step, you focus on the safety of the disposer and yourself.
The plumbers and electricians will always wear their safety gear. Similarly, you should wear gloves to protect your hands. Although you won’t dip your hands into the disposer, you should have the gloves on just in case you have to touch the glass pieces.
Sometimes you will even touch other sharp objects. Other plumbers insist that it’s important to wear the work goggles. In case you are dislodging, you might have to deal with a splashed tiny piece of glass. You don’t want glass to fall on your eyes.
Let‘s remove the larger pieces
Since its easier to see the larger pieces, it will be vital to remove those large pieces first. Take your nose pliers or kitchen tongs to start getting a hold of the pieces. Insert the tongs into the disposer and grasp the glass piece. Pull it out and put it in the old plate.
Keep doing this until you finish all the large pieces of glass. Lucky for you, the larger pieces will most likely be at the top surface, so you don’t have to go deep.
The manual dislodging
After you have removed the large pieces, you shouldn’t leave it at that because there will still be more tiny pieces. If you notice that the disposal has jammed, you will need to unjam it.
Use the Allen wrench to dislodge the blades. Insert it in the port that is below the garbage disposal. Next, turn the Allen wrench to the left and right only being stopped by the obstruction if there’s any. In doing this, you dislodge the glass pieces that may be on the shredders.
Wet vacuum or just burst it
This will help to remove the tiny pieces of glass. You should vacuum the sink lines, and that will help to get rid of the small pieces in the garbage disposal. The good thing about the wet vacuum cleaner is that it has a suction power.
With its suction power, it should suck out all the remaining tiny pieces on the sink and in the disposer. For those who have a double sink, when you are vacuuming, cover the other sink. Also, for effectivity, turn the vacuum to high suction; thus it will pull out all the tiny pieces.
Go on to turn the blades, to pick the glass pieces in every part of the disposer.
Finally, reset the disposal
You will need to try and see whether it has unjammed. Reset the disposer using the bottom red button. Reinstall the pipes you may have removed and then plug it on power and switch it on again. Finish off by following the waste grinding sequence.
Run the water in the sink and into the disposer and then turn on the garbage disposal. It should work by now and if it doesn’t then dispose of the water and let it rest a bit then restart it again. If it still doesn’t, let’s try the final step.
Remove the garbage disposal
This is often unnecessary, but for when it refuses to work as needed. Thus, remove the disposer unit under the sink. Make sure you unplug every form of power that may cause a trip. Put it on the table and remove any pieces of glass you may have still stuck.
You can use the manual to guide you on how to remove the disposer unit from the power source. If this disposer is old and has been around for more than ten years, maybe you should replace it with a new type.
In the end
You have to reinstall the garbage disposal to position, and at this point we expect that it should work. If you know how to remove it then you should know how to reinstall it.
However, if you aren’t comfortable, call the plumber to do it for you. Finish up by turning on the power and rerunning it.
Disposing of the Glass
Now that you removed all the garbage disposal glass pieces, you should find ways to dispose it safely. Since the glass pieces typically have sharp edges, you should eliminate them in the garbage cans.
However, put them all together in the cardboard box and if possible, write on the cardboard that its broken glass. We all want to take care of each other. Therefore, we should help the garbage collectors be safe.
Also, ensure you keep the broken glass box at the very top of the garbage bag. Even if you have to wait for the collection date to put it in, do so.
Break the large pieces
If you have large pieces of glass, hammer it to break them to tinier pieces. Put it in a bit of cloth, then tie it and then start to hammer. Once you finish, confirm that you don’t have the pieces around.
You can then put the content in a card box with the indication that its broken glass. Alternatively, wrap it in another old cloth and tie it securely then show that it’s the broken glass by writing on a tape.
In all this though don’t you put the glass in a newspaper and throw in the bin because it will tear through and spread in the can. Also, don’t scatter it in the trash bag because you are risking the safety of the garbage collector and yourself.
With this said you should get the glass out quickly. However, if you think you can’t then seek the plumber’s help.