General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Can glass be used to clean a garbage disposal?

Asked by LostInParadise (31902points) 1 month ago
31 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

Somebody just told me that someone cleaned their drain by putting in an empty glass soda bottle. Does that make sense? I am having trouble seeing how that would work.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

I wouldn’t think so….

ragingloli's avatar

You mean that horror movie shredder that colonials saw fit to put in their sinks?
Sounds like that is a great way to destroy the machine. Like chewing gravel to clean your teeth.

Blackberry's avatar

Probably a joke or way to troll people by hoping it catches on and ruins a bunch of units.
The pieces of glass would get stuck between the rotating piece and the base.

I worked on a few when I did apartment maintenance and any solid object will jam it easily.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I wouldn’t suggest it. I see it as a troll sitting back laughing at the idiots who tried it & ruined their disposals!!!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I wouldn’t do it, my machine is rated for chicken bones. It might clog the pipes going out the main sewer, guess who pays to clear the clog ?


JLeslie's avatar

Don’t do it! If you have a high quality disposal you could try ice, or a lemon rind.

Or, Drano. I do the Drano a small amount all around the drain (I use a restaurant condiment bottle, but you can just pour a very small amount all the way around the drain) and let gravity do it’s thing, then 15 minutes later rinse, run the disposal, your kitchen will smell cleaner than you expect.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

That’s a big negative. Glass will clog your pipes so bad that a professional may not even be able to clear them. Don’t use Draino near your disposal, that isn’t good for it. If it’s not organic or water it does not go down the disposal. There is a big list of organic things that should not go either like pumpkin seeds at Halloween or a large amount of rice.

What does work to clean safely is ice.

Zaku's avatar

Er, well, I dropped a glass in the sink not too long ago, and a lot of it went into the garbage disposal. I tried to limit how much, but a goodly amount went in, and I ran some water into it and then turned it on to work it out. It made an unhappy sound, but it did grind it all up and through. I don’t know what it did for the “cleanliness” of the garbage disposal, or whether it did any damage, but it’s been working fine for months since.

The sound it made, did not sound good, though. I would recommend against putting a bottle in one, also because if you really fed a long bottle in, part of the bottle would be sticking out when the bottom got ground up, which I expect would tend to shatter and scatter the rest of it in dangerous shards all around the area of the sink and nearby kitchen.

There are other (I expect better) ways to clean out a garbage disposal. Hot water, baking soda and vinegar, etc.

filmfann's avatar

Great Googley Woogley No!
It can ruin your disposal, and if you have a septic system!

MrGrimm888's avatar

My instincts are screaming
F*** No!

YARNLADY's avatar

I think they mean glass dust, not whole glass bottles

LuckyGuy's avatar

NO! We used carefully manufactured glass dust as an abrasive on special metal parts. If that stuff gets in the bearing it will wear them out quickly.
Don’t do it! And be sure to smack the person who passed the false information on to you!

cookieman's avatar

No. Bad idea.

I clean mine with a combination of Dawn dish liquid, crushed ice, and a chopped up lemon.

SnipSnip's avatar

You can’t clean mine that way. I use comet and ice cubes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think rocks would work best.

Brian1946's avatar


I think rocks could damage the blades and jam the disposal.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’ve never done it, so I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I very much suspect this can damage the disposal and also clog the drain. I have unclosed a pipe when my wife decided to use the disposal on a bunch of old celery. It was about > 24” of drain pipe packed with shredded celery that I had to disassemble the pluming to extract (in the middle of the night). I can’t imaging doing that with shards of broken glass. 0/10 not recommended.

RocketGuy's avatar

Don’t use glass. Glass has the same hardness as steel so will muck up the spinners of the disposal. Plus it will leave glass shards for the plumber to find if you ever need someone to clear your drains. I have used egg shells to clear out organic junk from disposals before. Seems to work fine.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I would not use egg shells, lye based drain cleaners won’t dissolve it very well. If there is an eggshell clog it’ll probably have to be snaked and that can get expensive if it happens far down the system. Ice is best IMO.

jca2's avatar

Just as an aside, a friend who repairs these things tells me that the reason why people have major leaks caused by clogged up garbage disposals is that the garbage disposals were never meant to receive whole meals. They were intended to grind up the little amounts of food that get stuck to your plates. People put cups and cups of food into the disposal and it’s too much for it.

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks all! My gut instinct was that glass would be about the worst thing to put in a garbage disposal, but someone told me that their drain was completely cleared by the use of glass.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Probably the same person who crooks chicken in a crackpot for 20 hours!

RocketGuy's avatar

Our plumber said that rice was a bad offender (after grease). Rice sticks to pipes then puffs up with water and grows mold. Eww!

SnipSnip's avatar

My method, mentioned above, came to me in a user book back in the 80s. Alternate ice cubes and comet then turn on the disposer and after about 15 seconds turn the cold water on low and increase until you can tell all of the slush has been rinsed out. If water rises in the disposal slow down the water or turn off for a few seconds. Ice is in the little holes. The inside shines like a new machine when you finish. I’ve had my current machine since 2016 and use same method.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I learned about rice the hard way.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Potatoe skins are evil!

MrGrimm888's avatar

If you cut/turn off the drain pipe, you could fill the disposal to the point it is completely full with Coke. Let it sit for a day.
Not that there’s anything wrong with any other suggestions.
I was just thinking of a method that doesn’t involve putting solids into the disposal.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III Do your potato skins have toes?

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I peel potatoes I quickly learned not to put them in the garbage disposal. It just mucks it up. Toes do too.

kritiper's avatar

Ice cubes work best.

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