Garbage Disposal Nightmares: When Objects Get Stuck

published Aug 24, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

So it turns out that my small tumblers are the exact same size as my garbage disposal. I learned this to my dismay late Sunday night and started panicking as idea after idea failed to extract it from the belly of my sink. You’ll never guess what finally did the trick.

When I say this tumbler is the exact size of our garbage disposal, I mean the exact size. I could grab the lip of the cup and pull it up, but it would get stuck in the opening, manhole-cover-style. I also couldn’t flip the cup over to grab it by its more narrow base. The only way that glass was coming out was straight up. And its chances weren’t looking good.

Tongs were too big to grab the cup without hitting the sides of the disposal chute. I tried spreading my fingers inside the cup and exerting force outward to lift it up (if that makes any sense), but it slipped away every time. My father-in-law suggested “reverse pliers,” which sound like they would work…provided you have a pair and can identify them among the other pliers in the toolbox. In a fit of desperation, I even tried a toilet plunger.

Finally I just walked away, resigned to calling my landlord the next day.

And I think walking away is what finally did the trick. That and a pair of tweezers. When I came back for one last attempt before going to bed, the cup and the sink had dried out so I could actually grip the glass with my fingertips and get it at least partway up the disposal chute. Then I slipped a pair of tweezers into the very narrow space between the glass and disposal chute wall, grabbed it closer to the base, and lifted the glass out.

I could hardly believe it worked. And add another point in favor of tweezers in the kitchen.

Has something like this ever happened to you? What did you do?