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Can You Put Coffee Grounds Down the Sink or Garbage Disposal? Dispose Grounds Properly!

I know it’s easy to dump that sloppy mess of used coffee grounds right down your sink, but I’m here to tell you to RESIST that temptation. Not only will you harm your plumbing, but you’re also missing the opportunity to put those grounds to better use!

Have I piqued your curiosity? Then keep reading.

how to dispose of coffee grounds
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Can you put coffee grounds down the drain or sink?

Can you put coffee grounds down the sink? Sure. Should you? Not.

Even though dry ground coffee looks like a fine powder that will wash quickly away, in this case, looks are deceiving. Once wet, ground coffee turns into a thick and clumpy paste that will wreak havoc on your plumbing. You’ll experience coffee grounds clogging the drain.

If you do it regularly, you’re sure to develop serious clogs that will require the attention of a plumber.

If your garbage or compost is packed to the brim, and you’re desperate, it’s okay to put the coffee down the drain on rare occasions. If you must do it, plumbers recommend that you run a lot of water at the same time to ensure everything is adequately rinsed through.

Can coffee grounds go down garbage disposal?

Your garbage disposal can handle so many dense foods; it seems crazy to think it can’t handle ground coffee beans. But indeed, coffee is best kept out of the garbage disposal as well.

Unlike most food, which breaks down when it gets wet, ground coffee gets denser. That makes it prone to clogging your pipes, especially the U-shaped segment under the kitchen sink. And the problem gets worse when mixed with other kitchen scraps.

Nothing causes more blockages and clogged drains than coffee grounds and grease. Even if you don’t put them down the drain at the same time, they’ll meet up and form a sludgy impenetrable nightmare.

Ask any plumber you meet, and they’ll have a story about scooping a thick mass of ground coffee sludge from a pipe.

How to dispose of coffee grounds

There are several ways to dispose of coffee grounds without clogging your drains. Fortunately, many of the methods add value to your morning java.

The obvious one is to throw your used coffee grounds in the trash. Perhaps it is not the most environmentally friendly choice, but it is still a step up from rinsing them down the sink. A better option? Toss them in the compost. If you’re making coffee with a paper filter, it too can generally go right in the compost, making this a straightforward option.

If you have a garden, you don’t want to waste your ground coffee. Adding it to the soil adds vital nutrients like nitrogen and potassium, absorbs heavy metals, and attracts beneficial earthworms (1).

Not a gardener? There are plenty of other ways to use coffee or recycle your used coffee grounds.

This video has some great tips:

Some of my favourites? Ground coffee makes an excellent exfoliating scrub for you or a furry friend. It can act as a natural insect repellent or air freshener, and you can even put it to work tenderising meat before your next BBQ! Similarly, use it for scrubbing stubborn household spots like showers, tubs, or pots and pans.

Wrapping Up

So now you know. Coffee grounds should never go down your sink. Not only are they bad for your plumbing, but you’re rinsing away all sorts of potential. Make your morning coffee twice as good by recycling your coffee grounds around your home or garden!

FAQs

No, even though the toilet has a larger drain, you’ll still be faced with coffee’s tendency to clump, which means you’ll still end up with clogs.

To dissolve ground coffee, if you’ve ended up with a clog, you can use strong acids or cleaning products, but these run the risk of also damaging your sink. A better option is to use a specific coffee cleaning product, like Cafiza.

Yes. Even if you don’t have a garden, your lawn will also benefit from ground coffee. In particular, the earthworms attracted by ground coffee work to aerate your lawn.

  1. Lines-Kelly, R. (1992, October). Plant nutrients in the soil. Retrieved from https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/soils/soil-testing-and-analysis/plant-nutrients
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I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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