Nutrition Community

Ask the RD: How Can I Unclog a G-tube at Home?

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
01/31/13  9:15 PM PST
unclog a g-tube

How to unclog a G-tube

Feeding tubes can become clogged with dried formula and/or medications if not flushed properly. You may be able to unclog a G-tube yourself, using warm water.

You can also watch our video about how to unclog a G-tube at home:

Try these simple steps to unclog a G-tube at home:

  1. Attach a 60mL syringe to the feeding tube and pull back on the plunger to remove as much fluid as possible.
  2. Administer 10mL of warm water. Gently move the plunger back and forth to help loosen the blockage.
  3. If the blockage does not clear, clamp the tube for at least 5-15 minutes, allowing the warm water to soften the clog. If you can see the clog, massage that portion of the tube gently with your fingers.
  4. Unclamp the tube and repeat steps 2 and 3.

Prevent clogs by flushing the tube with water before and after each use, administering medications separately from one another and using diluted liquid forms of medications when possible.

For more information, see related articles and feeding tube resources here:

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DISCLAIMER: This information is designed for customer use only and does not represent the advice of a medical health professional. Please contact your doctor for explicit advice on your prescription and/or feeding program.