How to Dissolve Rice Stuck in the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals, or "food waste disposal units," use tap water and grinding forces to break food into small particles that can pass through drainpipes into sewage containment systems. Although garbage disposals provide an efficient food disposal method, certain foods, such as rice, stick to the interior of the disposal or clump/swell, blocking the drain. In addition, many people try to force large amounts of food down a disposal, which can create blockages. Dissolving and removing rice stuck in a garbage disposal isn't difficult, though, as rice grains eventually soften and break down when exposed to hot water and/or acid.

kitchen sink
credit: kitchen sink image by jedphoto from <a href=''></a>

Step 1

Boil 2 cups of water in a teakettle or pot.

Step 2

Position your teakettle or pot directly over the drain opening for your garbage disposal and pour the hot water into the drain to begin dissolving any uncooked or clumped rice clogging the disposal. Wait 10 minutes.

Step 3

Run lukewarm tap water down the drain and turn on your disposal. If rice remains stuck in the disposal, repeat these steps. If the drain remains clogged after two attempts, go to Step 4.

Step 4

Pour 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda into your garbage disposal and then pour in an equal amount of white vinegar.

Step 5

Cover the drain opening with your drain/garbage disposal plug and wait 20 to 40 minutes.

Step 6

Repeat Step 3 to see if the foaming action of the abrasive baking soda and acid vinegar mixture dissolved and cleared the clog.

Irene A. Blake

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.