plunge this?

May 5, 2011

I don’t know what the deal is with modern garbage disposals, but I have a similar problem with cell phone coverage.

That is, it’s 2011 for crying out loud. We should have coverage on the moon and at the center of the earth, no exceptions.

And garbage disposals should be able to digest anything from spaghetti leftovers to a lamp post. I should never have to say “wait, for the love of all that’s holy, DON’T put that head of lettuce in the garbage disposal, we won’t be able to use that sink for a week!”

My sister was over last Sunday, and we were making some food to take to my mom’s for Easter, and Leslie was doing the salad. We discovered too late that some of the lettuce was past its prime, and ended up down the drain.

Well, to be exact, I discovered it when we were about to walk out the door, and Leslie said “Sorry, I think I’ve clogged your garbage disposal with a giant head of lettuce.” Apparently she has the same expectations of garbage disposals I do, but her expectations are untempered by sad reality. She’s still in the Matrix, while I’ve been unplugged.

Unfortunately, we were already late for Easter dinner, and I had to leave it there in all its glory. And stink.

At my mom’s I complained about having to go home and get under the sink, remove all the crap that’s collected there since the last time I had to disassemble the pipes (so glad we don’t have copper pipes like our ancestors did), put my whole head under the sink and directly into the stink, yada yada yada.

And Steve leaned forward and lowered his voice a little. And as if he were EF Hutton, I leaned forward too.

“I’m going to tell you the secret to garbage disposal clogs. It’s a little gross, so don’t freak out, but I swear, it works like a charm.”

I waited.

“A plunger.”

Yup. A plunger.

Sure enough, it worked like a charm.

Holden was at the table, and kind of looked up after I finished plunging and congratulating myself, and said “um, did you just use our plunger to unclog the kitchen sink?”


“Yes you did. I’m never using that sink again.’

So, Kim? If you’re reading, we need more bleach. And a sharpie to label our plungers.


10 Responses to “plunge this?”

  1. Nate K. Says:

    I too have used the plunger. I bought a small plunger for the sink but sometimes ya gotta get out the big daddy! Did any water splash up on your face?

  2. VaLene Says:

    Our garbage disposal is a pansy. I am not ashamed to say that I’ve used the plunger many times. Quick spray with disinfectant, a little scrub, and I call it good. I really should just buy a “kitchen only” plunger. That would be smart.

  3. Chad Says:

    My garbage disposal clogged this winter from a similar expectation that lettuce should be easily digested by a monstrous metal rotating contraption of death. We tried plunging, but got no joy since the disposal was also connected to the dishwasher and all of the air the plunger was forcing down the disposal went into the dishwasher rather than into the blockage. So we were prepared to take the drain apart when we tried a different solution found by googling: baking soda and vinegar. We did not imagine this would be successful but it was easy to do (since we had these things at hand) and was not likely to add to the problem. So we dumped in like a 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by a similar quantity of vinegar and quickly popped the disposal cover on. 1 high-school-science-experiment moment later and the clog was cleared. WAY better than using your plunger in your sink. For future disposal de-clogging reference.

  4. bikemike Says:

    my plumbing is so bad in the kitchen that i have to go to the kitchen sink and get the plunger when the toilet backs up.

    your son may not be as “rugged” as you think he is.

  5. steve Says:

    works on bath tub drains too. I have 5 daughters with long hair. their bathroom takes a bit more forceful plunging with more water in tne tub.

  6. KanyonKris Says:

    Good post, got many laughs from our household.

    That plunger looks familiar.

    I dig the plunger trick, I’ll remember that.

    Another tip: if the disposal is gunked up and stinky feed it some ice cubes, they scour it out.

  7. rick Says:

    I worked in the kitchen in our college dorm where we had a disposal with a 2 HP motor on it. I never tried a head of lettuce, but i know for a fact that it could digest a half grapefruit without hesitation. One day I saw a glass bowl heading for the hole. I hit the deck, fearing a shower of glass. But, after a slight rumble, I looked up and … nothing! It ate it up and swallowed it. The only thing we found that it would reject was cherry pits. They would just sit in there and rattle around until you reached in and pulled them out.

  8. Scott Says:

    You can also try piranha solution, a very strongly oxidizing acid. The downside is that it’s explosively reactive and will dissolve your skin, but it’ll clear out the drain in a few seconds.

  9. Michele Says:

    In reading your comments, I am glad to know that I am not the only one that has used the plunger not only on the kitchen sink but the bathtub too. It works best when you can close up all the other holes so sometimes having someone plug the other side of the kitchen sink is good. And then sometimes they are the one that gets sprayed. Not that I would know.

  10. Andrew Says:

    @Chad – that’s brilliant! I hope you dropped in some red food coloring just to finish the volcano effect!

    I plunge mine all the time and just break out the bleach after the fact. We finally bought a kitchen-sink-only plunger just to curb the gross-out effect.

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