Garbage disposals have revolutionized the way we manage kitchen waste. However, as many homeowners know, it’s all too common for unwanted items to accidentally find their way into these devices. Whether it’s a piece of silverware, a bone, or another foreign object, safe removal is essential to prevent damage to both the disposal and the person attempting to retrieve the item. If you ever find yourself in this situation, follow these expert tips from Make It Drain Plumbing & Rooter to safely and effectively resolve the issue.

1. Safety First

Power Down

Before attempting any retrieval, ensure that the garbage disposal is entirely powered down to prevent potential injuries. To do this:

  • Locate the switch that controls the garbage disposal, usually positioned beneath the sink or on the wall behind, and turn it to the OFF position.
  • For added safety, go below the sink and unplug the garbage disposal unit from the electrical outlet. If you’re unable to find the plug, or if it’s hardwired, turn off the circuit breaker that powers the disposal.

Never Use Your Hand Directly

Contrary to what many believe, it’s not safe to use your hand to feel around or retrieve an object. There are sharp blades inside the disposal that can cause injury, even when it’s off.

2. Tools & Techniques

Tongs or Pliers

With the garbage disposal off and unplugged, use a pair of long needle-nose pliers or tongs to reach in and grab the obstructing object. This method provides a safe distance between your hand and the disposal blades.


Shine a flashlight into the disposal to get a clear view of the lodged item. This will help you locate the object and make the removal process smoother.

3. What if You Can’t Remove the Object?

If you’ve tried the methods above and can’t dislodge the item, it’s time to call a professional plumber. At Make It Drain Plumbing & Rooter, we have experienced plumbers on standby to assist with these situations. Avoid using chemicals or trying to force the object out, as this could cause further damage.

4. Prevent Future Incidents

Use a Disposal Cover

Many garbage disposal incidents can be prevented by simply using a cover or strainer. This will prevent larger items from slipping into the disposal accidentally.

Educate Household Members

Let everyone in the house know what can and cannot go down the disposal. Most importantly, ensure that everyone knows to avoid placing hands directly into the device.

5. Why Choose Professional Help?

While many of us might consider ourselves handy, there are times when calling in a local plumber or one of the best plumbing companies in the area is the safest option. Here’s why:

  • Expertise: A professional plumber, like those at *Make It Drain Plumbing & Rooter*, will have the skills and experience to safely retrieve items without damaging your appliance.
  • Safety: Plumbers have the proper tools and knowledge to handle the situation without risking injury.
  • Peace of Mind: By choosing to work with professional plumbing companies, you’re ensuring that the job is done correctly the first time, saving you time and potential repair costs down the line.


While garbage disposals are incredibly useful, they can also present challenges when unwanted items become lodged within them. Always prioritize safety by never inserting your hand directly and using tools like pliers or tongs. If you’re ever in doubt, remember: it’s always a good idea to call in the best plumber for assistance. Make It Drain Plumbing & Rooter is always here to help with your plumbing needs. Whether you need advice or immediate assistance, our team of local plumbers is just a call away. Safe plumbing is smart plumbing!

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