My garbage disposal currently has a thin piece (head of a butter knife) of metal lodged between the teeth and the wall. I’ve tried using a flat head screw driver, butter knives , etc., but have had no luck on being able to get this un-wedged. The piece of metal is tight on the bottom and the back side of the knife is jammed into the slits that release the water. Any suggestions on how I would be able to get this out?

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4 Answers 4


There should be a hole in the center of the bottom of the disposal. A 1/4" allen wrench fits in there so you can spin the insides and loosen stuff stuck in there. You might also be able to jar it loose by rotating a broomstick inside the disposal and wedging it between some of the blades in there. Make sure you unplug it before doing any work. There's also a reset button on the bottom that might have to be reset.


A painter's tool would probably let you pull it free. You'll need to flex it a bit but it should pop out. Look for one with a sharp hook, like this one. Some are much flatter.

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I think your challenge will be to get something underneath to help pry it up, since you can't really come at it from the side due to it being jammed down in the disposal by the disposal tooth. Maybe use a metal paint can opener to use it's opening hook to get underneath the jammed spoon a bit and lift it up?


Mike, you can go underneath the sink and disconnect the entire unit. Once off it'd be easier to pry that piece out.

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    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 12:32
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    I can't see how it'd be easier. While mounted, the disposal is fixed in place so I can lever against the obstruction or try to force the shaft using the hex wrench. While dismounted, someone has to hold the disposal down to try any of that. Beyond that, disposals are heavy and in cramped quarters. For me at least, removing and installing one involves considerable swearing. Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 18:29
  • @WayneConrad I'm no expert in garbage disposals, but I wonder if Justin thought that working upside down would help, with gravity to get it out once it was free
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 9:48
  • Please see How to Ask and take the tour. While it may be good advice, this doesn't answer the question.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:49

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