How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades easy

Loose garbage disposal blades are one of the most common problems that garbage disposals can develop over the years. This is why it will be essential if you can learn how to tighten garbage disposal blades as well as how to sharpen garbage disposal blades in case you suspect that your unit’s blades are also getting dull.   

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

Sink garbage disposals are designed to grind solid food waste so that these could be flushed out into the  drain pipes or septic tank in bits and pieces. They are installed under the sink so being a crusher and disposer of waste, it is equipped with what we call the impellers. The impellers are not actually blades but more like two metal teeth that are installed over a metal plate with holes that resemble a cheese grater. Moreover, we still call them blades because they also do their work in slashing up the food waste into bits.

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

The garbage disposals work simply by grinding food waste. When food waste is dumped into the sink, the unit’s plate catches the waste. Turning the machine on, the plate will spin at high speed creating a centrifugal force. So all the food that gets into the chamber will be smashed by the impellers while forcing these against the grind ring making the food more finely cut. Adding cold water from the faucet will liquefy the grounded food waste until it drops out from the plate’s hole and goes out through the disposer and into the sewage pipe. The mixture of ground waste will now flow to the wastewater treatment plant or your septic tank. 

However, the problem with garbage disposals is that, because they have moving parts, they can also develop issues over time like blades getting loose or getting dull. This is why we need to know how to tighten garbage disposal blades and also how to sharpen garbage disposal blades so that when blade issues occur, you know what to do.

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

The Importance of Knowing How to Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades?

The impellers or blades are the most essential parts of any garbage disposal. So if there are loose or dull blades, we can say we have a malfunctioning unit. Moreover, if you have adequate knowledge about tightening the garbage disposal blades, this can save you a lot of money rather than paying for the repair.  

Here are some of the most significant maintenance tips and basic troubleshooting if you are looking for solutions on how to tighten garbage disposal blades. We will also provide you simple tricks on how to sharpen garbage disposal blades in case you suspect that your unit’s blades are getting dull or are loaded up with sticky food waste that render them dull and inefficient.

How to Tighten your Blades

One indication that your garbage disposal machine has an issue with loose blades is when you hear a rattling or clanking sound inside the chamber while the plate spins. Loose blades can be caused by many factors. It could be because of wear and tear or you are disposing of hard food waste into your unit like large animal bones that continuously crashed into the impellers. So here are the procedures on how to tighten garbage disposal blades:

Preparing the Unit for Fixing

Step 1 –  Unplug the Unit

The same when you need to troubleshoot any electrical appliance, always unplug your unit from its energy source to avoid accidental running. If the unit is directly connected to a switch, better switch off the unit’s breaker.

Step 2 – Check For Any Stuck Objects

Use a flashlight to check for any obstruction that might have lodged inside the chamber. Sometimes you’ll find bones in there or fork or spoon and these can loosen up the blades and can even damage the impellers and the grind ring. 

If there is metal or a hard bone in there, try to reach the blockage with your finger or use a thong or long-nose pliers to pick these up. After removing the blockage, nudge the impellers using a long screwdriver and see if they seemed to be loose and wiggly. If the impellers wiggle, the case is loose impellers and you need to tighten up their screws. 

Step 3 – Fixing The Blades

For you to proceed to tighten the garbage disposal blades, the first thing that you have to do is uninstalling the unit from the sink. Start by unscrewing all the connections underneath the sink that are connected to the garbage disposal including pipes, hoses, nuts, and screws.  

Disassemble the middle part and the bottom sections of the unit until you see the screws that are holding up the impellers. These disassembling parts are based on the type of unit you have because other products have single chambers only and without the bottom part.

To ensure that the screws that hold the impellers will be tightened, unscrew them first and detach the impellers. Then check for any obstructions in their sockets. Check also the screws if their threads are still intact. If everything is clear and good, reinstall the screws and tightly secure the impellers. If the impellers of your unit are designed to move back and forth, don’t over-tighten the screws. But if the impellers are designed to be stationary, tighten them up as needed.  

Step 4 – Clean It

Before reinstalling the unit, you have to clean the sink and everything that’s under it. Get a clean cloth and wipe the sink rim. Plug the unit and check if everything runs smoothly and without any rickety or clanking sound. Observe, look and listen. If the machine staggers or sometimes stops, find the reset button and it’s usually located at the bottom of the unit. Press it to restore the motor into default and the machine should be running smoothly again. If the motor still struggles, press the reset button again and start the motor. Reinstall the unit when everything is fine. And this is how to tighten garbage disposal blades.

How To Sharpen Blades

Some people think that when their garbage disposal units don’t grind food like they used to or takes them longer to ground and flush out hard food waste, they can quickly resort to buying new sets of blades. However, let’s try saving your money first by trying some of our proven tips on how to sharpen garbage disposal blades then let’s see if these will work on your unit. Basically, impellers are not designed to be sharp and their purpose is not to cut but to smash the food and force it to grind against the grind ring.

So if you think that your unit’s blade became dull, you may be wrong. The thing is, some food may have been trapped on the impellers due to the wrong type of waste that you have been disposing of. And over time, these impellers have eventually accumulated some gunk.   

So think about this, how to sharpen garbage disposal blades start by not dumping food waste that could clog up the impellers. These food include the following:

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades


This is a fibrous food that the impellers cannot afford to disintegrate its fiber and these may accumulate into the edges of the impellers.  


The same reason as with the celery. How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

Corn Husks 

These materials may disintegrate but some of the fibers may also lodge and accumulate under the impellers while preventing them to move. 

Potato Skins 

Its starchy component can thicken other food waste and can get stuck on the side of the impellers.

Banana Peels 

Its sticky materials may contribute to the gluing of food materials onto the side of the impellers.

Bones or shells 

Some of its broken small pieces may get stuck under the impellers and can attract more waste to accumulate. This event may also prevent the movement of movable impellers and restrict their capacities to slice food efficiently.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

How to sharpen garbage disposal blades is quite simple but you have to start by keeping the impellers well-maintained and clean. How could you do that? Let’s go for the most proven means and that is by dropping a handful of ice cubes into the sink, including a few slices of lemon, or limes, or oranges along with their peelings then turn the machine on. Let the cold water from the faucet flow and after the food waste has been flushed out, use a flashlight to check on the blades if they are clean.  This process can also help in preventing the bad odor that comes from your unit while helping your sink have a pleasant and more refreshing smell. how to clean a garbage disposal

So before you hire a professional plumber to check on your unit, why not try this trick first because this is one of the most effective ways on how to sharpen garbage disposal blades. You can always apply this method as part of your maintenance procedures to keep your unit running smoothly and smelling clean. 

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

Does Ice Sharpen Blades?

Sharpening the blades is an essential part of the garbage disposal’s maintenance and part of this maintenance process is knowing how to tighten garbage disposal blades and how to sharpen garbage disposal blades. So as part of our cleaning the impeller methods, we suggested the use of ice. But does ice sharpen garbage disposal blades? If it can, how does it work? 

Many experts say that putting ice cubes into the garbage disposal can do wonders. Accordingly, the hard structures of ice cubes can dislodge any material that’s in the waste chamber including under and around the impellers. Added to that, the cold water can help solidify the accumulated grease thus easier for the impellers to dislodge accumulated food out from the chamber. So if we think about it, we can assume the best answer to the question is does ice sharpen garbage disposal blades? Yes,

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

Even professional plumbers also use and advise this trick. Ice is also safe and its crushed components can act as scrubbers. It can even clean hard-to-reach crevices. To use ice cubes, dump about a half-pitcher of ice cubes into the sink and instead of pouring in tap water, pour in a bottle of vinegar instead. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and a deodorizer and has the potential to clean out sticky gunk to whatever it reaches.   Ice also cannot damage metals and cannot even scratch stainless or aluminum surfaces. So if you need to sharpen up the blades of your unit and you see that more and more gunk is getting hard to eliminate inside the grinder of your unit, try using ice cubes and add vinegar for multipurpose cleaning.

Do Eggshells Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades?

Another question we always get about how to sharpen garbage disposal blades is about the use of eggshells. Do eggshells sharpen garbage disposal blades?  Let’s see first what eggshells got and why people think that they can become effective means of sharpening garbage disposal blades.

Eggshells contain calcium, proteins, and small amounts of other minerals like strontium, fluoride, magnesium, and selenium. Though these components can help in cleaning out dirt in liquid form, they won’t be usable when they are in solid form. However, many homeowners believe that when eggshells are crushed and grounded inside the garbage disposal, they can also dislodge accumulated dirt in there. More so, throwing eggshells into the sink may also bring some disadvantages to the unit.

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

For example, the bits and pieces of the shell can lodge under the impellers making it hard for you to dislodge them. Eggshells when in crushed, fine form can also form into sediments and cannot be easily flushed out with water. Eggshells also take time to decay which can cause clogging to your drain pipes. So going back to the question “do eggshells sharpen garbage disposal blades?” The answer is, there’s a 50-50 chance it could. So if you are not sure, don’t bother to risk the health of your garbage disposal unit. 

But then, don’t think that eggshells are useless. In fact, you can also use it for many useful purposes. And though we cannot totally agree about them being dumped into the sink, we would like to share with you how you can use eggshells to your advantage.


How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

Integrate them into your soil.

You’ll be able to utilize eggshells in your yard or garden to provide additional nutrients for your soil. Pound the shells into tiny pieces and sprinkle them into your yard’s soil. Eggshells can prevent soil compaction while it can add nutrients into the soil as it decays. 

Include it into your compost.

By adding the crushed eggshells into your compost will not only hasten the decomposition process of the organic materials but being rich in calcium and minerals, these can also give your compost an enriching boost while helping the compost to become loose.  

For planting seedlings.

Perhaps you’ve seen on some videos that eggshells can be used to grow seedlings too before transplanting them to pots. So rather than buying a seed-starter pot, utilize your eggshells wisely in propagating your plants.

How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

In Summary

A garbage disposal can be your most useful inside your kitchen. And though we have the green bins for our kitchen waste, garbage disposals are a great help in easing up our waste disposal problems  especially with regards to kitchen waste disposal. They are also environment-friendly as they help us avoid becoming contributors to the greenhouse effect by reducing the amount of organic waste getting dumped into landfills. 

So hopefully, you learned tips on how to tighten garbage disposal blades as well as how to sharpen garbage disposal blades using ice including understanding the myth behind the use of eggshells in sharpening garbage disposal blades. Does you garbage disposal stink click here

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