Uh-oh! You took your ring off to wash your hands in the sink, it slipped off the ledge, and as you desperately reached for it your suds-covered fingers sent it spinning and clanging wildly against the sink walls until it succumbed to the inevitable and fell down the dark hole of the garbage disposal. In your shock and dismay, you may immediately jam yourself wrist deep into the sink attempting to pull it out, but you shouldn’t. Let’s take a moment to relax, read this article, and figure out the best strategy for safely recovering your lost ring.

Don’t endanger yourself for an object

Jamming your hand into your garbage disposal is highly unwise and if you’re not sure why then you’re probably unsure what a garbage disposal system does. Garbage disposals grind up your food and garbage with a sharp and rapidly shifting contraption inside your sink. You probably can’t see it, but if you’ve ever turned your garbage disposal on then you know there is a motor inside doing the work. Essentially, your garbage disposal will do to your hand what it does to chunks of carrot and banana peels: dispose of it.

You might be thinking: I’ll just turn my garbage disposal off, even unplug it, and my hand will be safe. You would be wrong. The sharp surfaces inside your garbage disposal are sharp even if they’re not grinding up your fingers, and worse, they’re extremely dirty. A simple cut from a blade or other sharp edge could easily become infected, so don’t jam your hand in there even if your main circuit breaker is off.

Outsmart your garbage disposal to retrieve your ring

Firstly, unplug your garbage disposal. Even if you aren’t silly enough to place your hand in it, you could easily break a finger if you use any tools to dig around and the disposal system kicks on. Get creative with what you have in your kitchen to retrieve your ring. Do you have some long tongs or pincers you can use to fish around for your ring? If you don’t, consider using a magnet that fits into your disposal system. If your ring is gold or silver, it’s not going to stick to a magnet, but thankfully there are other ways to retrieve your ring, especially if you aren’t able to retrieve it with a magnet or tools.

It’s possible your ring fell straight through the disposal system and down into the u-shaped bend of your pipes. A simple search there can quickly end your heartbreak, just make sure you have a bucket underneath the pipe to catch whatever falls out when you remove the pipe. Hopefully, your ring will land in your handy bucket.

If you’re unable to find your ring using any of these methods, it’s time to call a professional plumber. You probably need your garbage disposal unit taken apart to find your ring. Until then, don’t use it or you might not have a ring any longer, or a functioning garbage disposal unit for that matter.


To save your fingers, ring, and garbage disposal unit all at the same time, keep the aforementioned tips in mind. It’d be an utter shame to lose all three in one day, far worse than simply losing the ring and nothing more. Besides, without a finger, your ring has nowhere to go, and you’ll be unable to chop up carrots and peel bananas anyway. Thus, you would be rendering the garbage disposal pointless. Instead, keep your calm, keep your fingers, and find your ring safely or with the use of a professional who won’t endanger their digits in the process.