Informational Guide

Garbage Disposal Making Noise

In this guide, we discuss the common causes of noisy garbage disposals and how to fix them yourself.

by Caitlin Shaffer

A garbage disposal in your kitchen can make cleanup easier than ever before, but only if it works efficiently. If the blades are dull or the disposal starts to make funny noises, you need to take a look and see what is wrong. 

When the garbage disposal is making noise, you need to dive right in to see what the loud grinding noises are and how you can fix them for the best results.  

Many homeowners have the misconception that the blades of their garbage disposal will cut up the food that you put down the drain.

This is not true. The oval metal object at the bottom of this unit is an impeller, and it works to fling the food to the side, where it is shredded up.  

If there is a hard object inside of the disposal, it will get flung into the shredder ring, which can make a loud sound.

The good news is that the sound is worse than it appears, and the object is not going to damage the impellers or the parts inside. Just remove the object, and everything will be fine.  

Garbage Disposal Making Noise (How To Fix Loud Grinding Sounds)

Common Causes Of Garbage Disposal Grinding Sounds 

When the garbage disposal is making loud noises, the most common reason for the noise is a hard or big object is stuck inside. You can simply remove that item, and everything should work normally again.  

However, if you search for an object and nothing is there or remove the object and the garbage disposal is still making loud noises, it is time to look deeper into the problem. The most common reasons for the grinding sound from your garbage disposal include: 

  1. 1
    The blades are loose and have started to hit each other. These blades can be tightened fairly easily.  
  2. 2
    There is a loose bearing present and it is grinding away.  
  3. 3
    The rivet is loose, and this allows the blades to move from one direction to the other.  
  4. 4
    There is a smaller object made of metal that is there, and it is hard to see.  
  5. 5
    Something in the garbage disposal is broken.  

You should turn the power off to the garbage disposal and then check to see which problem is causing the most noise. This will keep you safe and let you dig around in the sink without having to worry about getting hurt. A few minutes is often enough to figure out what is causing the issues with the blades and the garbage disposal.  

How To Stop Garbage Disposal Making Loud Noises

When the garbage disposal starts to make loud noises, you need to fix it as soon as possible. As soon as the noise occurs, you need to turn the unit off to make sure further damage does not happen. Unplug the whole unit before sticking your hand inside to check to see what is inside.  

Once you are certain the disposal is not connected to the power, bring out your flashlight and inspect the drain. If you can see the garbage disposal is blocked, you can do a few things. When it is close to the garbage disposal, just reach in and get it with your hand. You can also use tongs or another long tool if the object goes further down the drain.  

Some homeowners may need to use a vacuum cleaner if it is too stuck to get with your hand. If none of these options work, you can try to get the jam from the bottom and dislodge it from there. This takes a few more steps but can help get some of the objects that are really stuck.  

Sometimes the garbage disposal is going to be too hard to unblock. You will need to take the garbage disposal out to see what is going on. The problem could be something wrong with the unit itself. You can choose to remove it on your own or have a professional come in to take a look.  

Once you have fixed the disposal, you can plug the disposal back into the power source and check to make sure that it works without any of the clanking or loud noises. Removing the object will often help you to get the disposal to stop making the noise. If this does not work, then you did not get it removed and should restart the process again.  

person fixing a loud garbage disposal

Common Garbage Disposal Sound Questions

Why is my garbage disposal making clicking sounds? 

The garbage disposal will make some clicking sounds when there is an item that is stuck inside. Usually it is something hard in this case, like bones, silverware, broken glass, plastic, and even toys from the kids.  

Can you lubricate your garbage disposal? 

The best way to lubricate your garbage disposal is to use water. This can help keep the blades safe and will prevent any grinding when you turn on the unit. You should flush water through your sink any time you plan to use the garbage disposal.  

What does the garbage disposal loud squealing sound mean? 

When the garbage disposal is making a loud squealing noise, this is a sign that the grinding chamber is jammed. You will need to turn off the power source to the garbage disposal and then remove the object that is in the way to help fix this issue.  

Can you overheat a garbage disposal? 

It is possible to overheat the garbage disposal. You may notice this happening if you turn on the unit and you do not hear any noise. This is because the overfilling has triggered your breaker, which causes the overheating. Go under the unit to see the red overload button. Press it to fix the issue.  


Your garbage disposal is an important appliance for the kitchen. Taking the time to take care of it and remove any objects that are in the way will ensure that it works for a long time and will not get broken.  

Caitlin Shaffer has been traveling & working as a content writer & SCUBA dive instructor since 2014. Having lived in Central & South America, Southeast Asia, India, & Australia, Caitlin has had many years of experience with a variety of kitchen, bathroom, plumbing systems & common household products. Other than writing about her plumbing experiences & knowledge, her main passions are yoga, ocean conservation, & sustainable development.