Why You Should Avoid Putting Coffee Grounds Down The Drain

Why You Should Avoid Putting Coffee Grounds Down The Drain

Sean Gregory
5 minute read

Have you ever heard that dumping coffee grounds down the drain helps clean or refresh the smell? Don't fall for the myth! Never treat your sink like a garbage can. Take it from us and resist the urge to pour coffee grounds down the drain unless you want to deal with some significant clogs.

You may think, "But I pour them down the sink drain every day, and I've never had a clogged drain!". However, coffee grounds are made from coffee beans, which are almost rock hard when they're ground and brewed.

You wouldn't want to grind up the pit from a hard nectarine, apricot, or peach since it wouldn't break down like other foods, and the same goes for coffee beans!

Unfortunately, coffee grounds do not dissolve in water, so they clump together instead of grinding up and washing away like normal meals. When wet, they will clump together, but as they dry, they can become hard balls or discs.

Anyone who has ever had to clean up spilled coffee grounds in the garbage after a dog has gotten into it will understand. Over time, the grounds can create a clump and pack the drain until it develops a clog.

Let's look at why this is a problem and what you can do if you've already committed the sin and are dealing with clogged kitchen sink drains.

Why You Shouldn't Dispose of Coffee Grounds in the Sink

We all know that certain foods can go down the garbage disposal, so why can't coffee grounds? Coffee grounds, unlike other foods, clump together in water rather than breaking down. The grounds can accumulate inside your sink drains over time, causing clogs that prevent the drains from functioning properly.

Coffee grounds should always be discarded or composted. If you have a green thumb, they can also be used as fertilizer in your garden. There will be more about what you can do with your coffee grounds instead later in this post.

While we are at it, there are other things that shouldn't be going down your drain, either. You should always limit anything but water going down the drain whenever possible. Things such as fats, oils, and grease can also cause clogs. Combine these with coffee grounds, and you have yourself a complete mess.

Other things that you should avoid are potato peels, potatoes, rice, and pasta. Clery, fish skins, banana peels, eggshells, and fish skins are fibrous materials that should be avoided. Anything other than food, such as sponges, glass, wood, and cigarette butts.

What to Do If You Flush the Wrong Things Down the Drain

Suppose you have found that you have put something down the drain that you shouldn't have and now are having drain problems. You will need to seek the help of a professional plumber. Typically DIY home methods will not help, especially if it is coffee grounds, as they will clump up and harden when dry.

This can cause a clog that is a solid mass that will need specialized tools to get unclogged. Sometimes the issue isn't with the pipes but at the garbage disposal level. If you are not sure if you have caused issues, here are some signs that you might have a problem with your garbage disposal or plumbing:

  • After running the dishwasher, food particles are visible in the sink.
  • The smell of rotting food emanates from the kitchen drain.
  • The sink is making a gurgling sound.
  • The sink water is draining slowly.
  • Water is oozing from the sink drain.

If you find any of these issues with your kitchen sink, it's time to contact a local plumber to have your kitchen plumbing and garbage disposal inspected. The professionals have the knowledge and tools that will help diagnose your issue and repair the situation.


What Should You Do With Coffee Grounds?

So, what do you do with coffee grounds if you can't flush them? You could, of course, throw them out. However, you should take some time to try some of these other practical applications for them.

You can use coffee grounds to fertilize your garden because they contain essential nutrients for plant growth. Coffee grounds are mineral-rich. But, they don't just fertilize. They are also excellent at absorbing pollutants in the soil, particularly heavy metals. Other ways coffee grounds are helpful to your garden is that they are thought to attract worms, which aid in the growth of plants.

coffee grounds to fertilize garden

You can use coffee grounds to repel insects or wash your pet with them, to help with fleas. Of course, rinse them off thoroughly and not in the sink, where the grounds will find their way down the drain.

Coffee grounds are perfect for eradicating odors. Some people put them in a bowl in their fridge, similar to baking soda.

There are many things you can do with your coffee grounds besides using them to clog up your sink. If none of these options work for you, you can simply dispose of them in the garbage and save yourself hassle and money by avoiding the drain.

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