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Remove Glass Cup Stuck In Garbage Disposal: Follow These Simple Steps

Have you ever had a glass cup fall into your garbage disposal? Well, you are not the only one with that bad experience. If a glass cup or a jar ends up in your garbage disposal, here is how to take it out;

You can take a glass cup or jar out of garbage disposal using needle-nose pliers. If the cup is too big or inverted, you can use a shop vac and slowly bring the cup out of the disposal. If the cup or jar is made of plastic, you can heat the edge of a knife, cut the plastic and take out the pieces.

A cup stuck in a garbage disposal

Here is a detailed guide to getting cups and jars that fell into your garbage disposal;

How to get a shot glass out of garbage disposal

Shot glasses are prone to fall into your garbage disposal, especially if you had too many shots! Shot glasses are small, and hence they make their way easily into the grinding chamber of the disposal.

You can take out the shot glass in your garbage disposal with the help of a needle-nose plier. If the glass is broken, all the large pieces should be removed with pliers, and then use a shop vac to remove the tiny pieces. Wash away any debris left with plenty of water.

If a shot glass falls into your disposal, here is how to get it out. Please note that the point here is to free the garbage disposal of the shot glass, it is not about getting the shot glass intact.

  1. Disconnect the garbage disposal: In most cases, the garbage disposal will be running when a shot glass accidentally falls in it. If this happens, immediately shut down the garbage disposal. If you don’t, the shot glass will break (you are lucky if you get it out intact), causing damage to your garbage disposals and yourself.
  2. Fish out the pieces using a needle-nose plier: As mentioned before, the shot glass is possibly broken since the garbage disposal was running. If it was not, you are lucky. Now that the garbage disposal is off, use a needle-nose plier to remove all the pieces you can carefully. In most cases, there won’t be more than two or three pieces if you managed to shut down the garbage disposal in time.
  3. Use a shop vac to remove all the small pieces: There can be tiny shattered pieces of glass in the garbage disposal. These need to be sucked up using a shop vac. A shop vac is recommended since there can be water in the disposal. You can also use a home vac if you are confident.
  4. Rotate the blades to dislodge any debris and vac again: Tiny pieces of glass can be stuck beneath the grinding components of your garbage disposal, which were not sucked up by the vac on your first attempt. You can dislodge them by rotating the garbage disposal blades. Once the blades are moved, use the shop vac again to remove all the glass left in the disposal.
  5. Wash away debris with water: Once all the pieces of the shot glass are taken out, run plenty of water and wash away any debris left in the disposal.

Shot glasses are easier to take out since they are tiny. But glass cups and jars are not so.

How to get a glass cup or a bottle out of garbage disposal

Have you ever noticed that some glass cups, bottles, and jars are made in the exact dimension of the kitchen sinkhole? They can easily slip down the drain hole and into the garbage disposal, but it is hard as hell to get them out,

This happens more often than you can imagine, and so there are many ‘experienced’ people on the subject and many creative solutions to this problem. Here are some of those;

Get the cup or jar out using duct tape

This is one creative solution I recently found from YouTube. Here, the guy uses duct tape, some WD-40, some hand gel, and some tissue papers to get the job done.

First, spray the WD-40 around the sink flange. Then add some hand gel onto the cup to loosen it. Then wipe the glass and sink of any excess WD-40. Once clean, use two long duct tape pieces and paste one end of them onto the insides of the cup, all the while leaving the rest outside. Grab the ends of the tape and pull the cup or jar out of the garbage disposal.

How to get cup out of garbage disposal with duct tape

Using reverse opening pliers

It can be tough to get hold of a cup or jar in the garbage disposal using regular pliers. The cups are often the size of the drain hole, so it won’t leave any room for the pliers to grab them. In this case, you can use reverse-opening pliers. These pliers open up when you exert pressure on their handles. Remove the cup or jar by grabbing it from its inside using a reverse-opening plier and pull it out of the garbage disposal.

This method won’t work if the cup is lying inverted.

Getting an inverted cup out of garbage disposal using a glue gun

If the cup is in the inverted position, it is impossible to get it out using pliers. In this case, you can glue a handle onto the top of the cup or jar using a glue gun and pull out the cup using it. When doing this, make sure that the cup’s surface is dry so you can glue the handle properly.

Here is a video showing how this is done;

Getting cup out of garbage disposal using a glue gun

How to remove broken glass bottle in garbage disposal sink

Even if you are careful, there are chances of you breaking a glass bottle or a cup with its broken pieces ending up in the garbage disposal.

Here is what to do;

  1. Remove large pieces of broken glass from the garbage disposal using a pair of tongs.
  2. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck out smaller glass pieces.
  3. Rotate the garbage disposal blades using a hex key to dislodge any stuck glass pieces and vacuum again.
  4. Use a piece of a wet sponge to sponge out the tiny glass pieces left inside the garbage disposal.
  5. Run plenty of water through the garbage disposal to wash away any tiny glass pieces left

How to get a plastic cup out of a garbage disposal

You can use any of the above methods to get the cup or jar out of your garbage disposal, irrespective of what they are made of. If the cup is made of plastic, and you are not keen on getting it out intact, use this method.

Heat a knife or any sharp tool. When hot, pierce it into the plastic cup stuck inside the garbage disposal. Keep the knife there for a few seconds, so it cools down. Once you get a good grip on the cup, pull it out slowly with the knife.

If the cup is hard to remove, use the hot knife to cut the cup into pieces. Then remove these pieces using pliers.

How to remove a cup that is stuck in the sink drain

Sometimes a cup can get stuck in the sink drain connecting the sink and the garbage disposal. This can happen even if you don’t have a garbage disposal. Often, the cup can be hard to remove with force as it is vacuum sealed into the drain hole. The use of excessive force can break the cup and cause more problems. Here is a simple trick to unstuck a cup from the sink drain;

A cup stuck in the sink drain can be removed by loosening the tight vacuum seal around it. This is done by letting air on the cup’s bottom side by disconnecting the p-trap under the sink. Removing the p-trap will loosen the cup, and you can simply lift it out.

You can also find more creative methods of getting a cup out of a garbage disposal by searching YouTube. Like I said before, a lot of people run into this problem, and they make their own solutions. If you have any creative ideas to share with us, let me know in the comments.

Further Reading:

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.