Even if you are careful, there are chances of you breaking a glass cup and its broken pieces ending up in the garbage disposal. This often happens with shot glasses. Here is how to get them out safely;
Large pieces of the broken glass should be taken out of the garbage disposal using a pair of tongs. The smaller pieces should be sucked out using a vacuum cleaner. You can also use a piece of wet sponge to sponge out the tiny glass pieces.
That’s all there is to say. But doing this is the hard part. Let me tell you the process in step by step;
Turn off the garbage disposal
Immediately turn off the garbage disposal if you recognize that glass pieces fell in it. This won’t be hard to notice because you will hear loud noises from inside the disposal. Trying to grind large pieces of glass can be dangerous. Shards of glass can fly through the sink opening and hurt anyone nearby. Broken glass will also jam the disposal blades causing the motor to overheat and trip. So you must turn off the garbage disposal immediately.
You should also unplug the garbage disposal cord from the power socket if possible. This will prevent any accidental damages to the disposal and yourself.
Remove large pieces of glass with tongs.
Use a flashlight to look into the garbage disposal’s grinding chamber and locate the large pieces of broken glass. Use a pair of tongs or pliers and fish out these pieces carefully. Please do not put these pieces back in the sink since they will slip back into the garbage disposal.
Remove as much glass as possible using the tongs.
Use a shop vac to suck up the small pieces
Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the remaining small pieces of broken glass. You will have to do a thorough job here since the glass pieces are wet and hard to dislodge. They can also be entangled with all the food waste debris, so this won’t be a pleasant job.
It is better not to use your home vacuum because the garbage disposal can have water in it. Home vacuum cleaners are not designed to suck up water, so it is safe not to use them. However, if the disposal is almost dry, there is no harm in using it. Use your judgment.
Rotate the disposal blades manually to dislodge any glass pieces
Using an Allen wrench or a broom handle, rotate the garbage disposal blades manually in both directions. This will dislodge any tiny pieces of glass stuck under the grinding components of the disposal. If you do not do this, the blades can stay jammed when you turn on the disposer. There is also the hazard of tiny glass pieces flying out of the disposal.
Vacuum the disposal again
Now that you dislodged tiny glass pieces, it is time to use the shop vac again and remove all the debris. Once this is done, check the inside of the garbage disposal for any visible glass pieces using a flashlight.
You can also use a peeled potato on a kitchen fork to remove the small glass pieces. Press the potato against the insides of the disposal’s grinding chamber to catch the tiny glass pieces left in there.
Run water to wash away glass particles
The last step to cleaning out glass from a garbage disposal is to wash away any possible glass pieces with water. Run water in full force for a minute or so. This will wash away any glass particles left in the disposal chamber.
Turn on the garbage disposal
Now that your garbage disposal is clean and clear of any glass pieces turn on the disposal. You may have to reset it using the red reset button on the disposal before running it.
Can glass sharpen garbage disposal blades?
I have heard of many people claiming that glass can sharpen garbage disposal blades. In truth, a garbage disposal doesn’t have blades. They use freely rotating lugs mounted on a fast rotating impeller to break down food wastes. These lugs are not sharp either.
Glass pieces cannot sharpen garbage disposal blades. Moreover, adding glass to your garbage disposal is a terrible idea; it can damage the disposal’s grinding components and can even cause personal injury.
Besides, if the grinding chamber of your garbage disposal is made of plastic, glass can damage it. Grinding glass can also remove the zinc coating over the galvanized iron components inside the garbage disposal, causing them to rust. In short, broken glass can ruin your garbage disposal in many ways.
Also, while there is no point in sharpening blades that don’t exist, it is a good idea to clean the disposal. This will help it to grind food wastes more efficiently. Here are a few good methods to clean a garbage disposal.
Can broken glass cause clogs in the drain pipes
Glass particles are sedimentary, so they will accumulate and cause clogs if they are in large quantities. They can also entangle with hair and fibers creating strong clogs.
But luckily, standard plumbing comes with a p-trap under the kitchen sink. So any glass particles that escaped through the garbage disposal will accumulate there. You can easily open the p-trap and wash away all the debris.
How to dispose of broken glass?
Broken glass is disposed of in the trash can. It is better to wrap them in a paper instead of directly putting them in the trash.
As you know, broken glass is recyclable. However, you cannot leave it in the recycle bin as it is hazardous to the employees handling the bins. So they are advised to be left in the trash can.