How to Get Glass Out of Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposal is usually an electrically powered device installed under a kitchen sink between the drain and the trap. The disposal grinds food waste into small pieces that can safely be flushed down the sewer line.

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of dropping a piece of glass into your garbage disposal, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only does the glass make a lot of noise as it grinds around in the disposal, but it can also cause damage to the unit.

This blog post will discuss how to get glass out of garbage disposal without causing any further damage.

Broken Glass
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Tools Required to Get Glass Out of a Garbage Disposal

  • Needle-nose Pliers
  • Shop Vacuum
  • Hex Key

How to Get Glass Out of Garbage Disposal?

1. Cut Off the Power

The first thing we’ll do is turn off the electricity. Disconnect the garbage disposal from the circuit breaker and unplug it to be safe. The first step is crucial because small shards of glass might escape if the disposal switch turns on suddenly, causing you harm.

2. Locate and Remove the Glass

Now it’s time to locate the glass. If you can see it, great! If not, feel around with your hand (wearing gloves) until you find it. Once you have located the glass, use a set of needle-nose pliers to remove it from the disposal. If the glass is stuck and won’t budge, try using a hex key to loosen it. Don’t try to remove the broken glass by sticking your bare hands in the garbage disposal; you might hurt yourself badly.

Some people prefer to use tongs because they provide less grip on the glass and will make removing it more difficult and time-consuming. Remove the primary shards of visible glass with the assistance of needle-nose pliers. A flashlight or a lamp may also be used to look inside the garbage disposal and remove any pieces that are readily accessible. Do your best to remove as many fragments as possible.

3. Use a Shop Vacuum

It’s time to get your Shop Vacuum now. If you don’t have a shop vacuum, we’ll recommend one for you. They’re useful in cases like this, and you can’t use your regular vacuum cleaner. Ensure the garbage disposal is disconnected, and no water is running before running the shop vacuum.

Remove the smaller components from the garbage disposal with the little attachment that comes with the shop vacuum. If you get big pieces caught in the vacuum’s mouth, remove them very slowly. Now check for anything unusual inside your garbage disposal with a flashlight. If nothing is left, go to the next step.

Want to buy a shop vacuum?

This Shop Vacuum is perfect for wet or dry cleaning applications. It includes a wet + dry floor brush, dust brush, crevice nozzle, and 3 extension tubes. It also has a reusable HEPA filtration system and foam filer. The 5-gallon tank is removable for emptying dirt, debris, and liquids easily. It has a powerful 10-amp/7 HP motor.

Sun Joe SWD5000 5-Gallon
  • Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
  • ACCESSORIES: Includes wet + dry floor brush, dust brush, crevice nozzle, and 3 extension tubes
  • VERSATILE: For wet or dry cleaning applications
  • MOBILITY: Two 360º front caster wheels + easy-carry handle provides maximum mobility
  • FILTRATION: Reusable HEPA filtration system + foam filer
  • REMOVABLE TANK: 5-gallon tank is to be removed for easy emptying of dirt, debris and liquids
  • POWERFUL: 10-amp/7 HP motor

4. Use Hex Key to Unjam the Blades

After removing the tiny components with the shop vacuum, we will manually turn the garbage disposal blades using a hex key. Now that you’ve got yourself under the sink go to the bottom side of the garbage disposer and look for a hole. Insert a hex key into this hole and twist it. If anything is caught in the blades, they’ll be hard to move using only the key.

You may take advantage of your shop vacuum to remove the components until it’s no longer difficult to move the blades with the hex key. The blades will be manually moved, eliminating all trapped material and allowing your garbage disposal to work properly.

5. Discard Glass Pieces Safely

Once you have successfully removed all of the glass from your garbage disposal, it’s time to dispose of it properly. Avoid throwing the shards in the trash can as they might puncture the bag and cause injuries. Please place them in a sturdy box or container before taking them outside to your garbage bin.

6. Reassemble and Test

Now that the garbage disposal is unclogged, it’s time to put everything back together. Reattach the parts you’ve taken off and turn off the power before testing the unit. Slowly turn on the water and run the garbage disposal. If it sounds different than before, don’t worry; this is normal.

If your garbage disposal is still not working properly or glass continues to come out when you run it, we recommend calling a professional for assistance.

Precautionary Measures

To prevent the glass from going down your drain in the future, be sure to dispose of it properly. Please do not put it in the sink or run water over it in the trash can. Place all broken glass in a container before taking it outside to your garbage bin.

You should also avoid using your garbage disposal as a way to get rid of food waste. While some think running food scraps down the drain will sharpen the blades, this is a myth. It’s best to compost food waste or throw it in the trash.


We hope this guide helped teach you how to get the glass out of the garbage disposal. Remember to be careful when working with broken glass and always dispose of it properly. If your garbage disposal is still not working after following these steps, please get in touch with a professional for assistance.


Can I put broken glass in my garbage disposal?

No, you should not put broken glass in your garbage disposal as it can cause serious injuries. Place the shards in a sturdy box or container before taking them outside to your garbage bin.

Why is my garbage disposal making a weird noise?

If your garbage disposal is making a weird noise, it may be because something is caught in the blades.

My garbage disposal won’t turn on. What should I do?

If your garbage disposal doesn’t turn on, make sure it’s plugged in, and there is power. You may also need to reset the unit by flipping the switch at the breaker box. If none of these solutions work, call a professional for assistance.

Additional Contents

  1. How to Make Garbage Disposal Smell Better
  2. How to Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Smell
  3. How to Reset A Garbage Disposal
  4. How To Clean Garbage Disposal With Ice
  5. How to Dispose of Helium Tank: 2 Best Disposal Options

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