Using an Auger to Clean a Garbage Disposal

Are you having a hard time keeping your garbage disposal clean? A garbage disposal unit is probably overworked more than any other appliance on a daily basis. Most of us don’t think about the things that we toss into the sink and then carelessly turn on the switch of the garbage disposal to quickly try and grind up the waste. But disposal units often clog up easily after a very heavy usage or when things are ground up that should probably not be placed in the unit in the first place. We can avoid repeatedly clogging up our disposal units by understanding a little bit about why they get clogged up and how to properly clean and maintain them. There are some common reasons that the garbage disposal will clog up or get dirty and need to be cleaned or unclogged. This article will review some of those reasons and offer practical and easy suggestions on how to address them.

What Are the Most Common Foods that Will Case the Disposal to Backup?

Things such as coffee grounds, eggshells, banana peels and potato skins will usually not break up very well when mixed with water and they will cause the disposal to clog. The clog can also occur if there’s not enough water used when grinding up heavier foods. As a general rule, heavier foods should be broken up before being tossed into the garbage disposal and extra water should be added to the mix when you’re grinding up large chunks of waste.

Why Does the Disposal Unit Clog?

A clean, efficient and properly functioning garbage disposal grinds up waste and quickly disposes of it. If the food item, such as the ones listed above, does not mix well with water (gets stringy or pasty, etc.) or if heavier foods are not mixed with enough water, the waste will get stuck in the drainage trap, or P-Trap. Over time, the build-up in the P-Trap will need to be cleared for the disposal unit to function properly.

How Can the Disposal Be Cleaned or Unclogged?

Luckily, cleaning the garbage disposal is not a very difficult task to accomplish. Of course, you’d need to turn the device off before you begin to clean. Then you would simply unfasten the drainage trap and clean it using rag, water and pipe cleaner.

Using an Auger

If you are unable to remove the clog in the P-Trap, you can use an auger to reach down deeper into the unit to get rid of the clog. Reach the auger down into the pipes until you can feel where the clog is and then clear it out. Once it’s cleared, you’ll need to flush the system to clear it of any remaining residue.