Many coffee lovers assume that pouring their used coffee grounds down the sink is right. Maybe you have done it before without clogging the sink drain. After brewing your morning cup of coffee, you are likely to dump the used coffee grounds on your sink when washing the carafe, cafetiere, or coffee pot.
Besides, there is a common myth that says coffee grounds are good for cleaning the drain pipes, thanks to their abrasiveness. However, can coffee grounds go down the sin without causing any issues? Read on to find out.
Can You Put Used Coffee Grounds Down the Sink Drain?
Although dry coffee grounds look like a powder that can wash away quickly, that is not the case. When wet, coffee grounds become a clumpy paste that can cause massive problems in your drainage system. You are likely to clog the drain pipes with wet coffee grounds when they clump together inside the plumbing.
Sometimes, your compost or garbage may be fully packed. In that case, you may have no other choice than to dump ground coffee down the sink. However, you should only do this on rare occasions. And if you must do it, it is recommended to run a large volume of water down the drain alongside the ground coffee to ensure they are completely flushed. Also, the water will rinse the drain pipe thoroughly.
Also, if you accidentally pour ground coffee down the sink disposal, run a lot of water to flush them. If you fail to flush them with a lot of water, the grounds will accumulate in the drain. Consequently, they will block the drain.
Can Ground Coffee Go Down Your Garbage Disposal?
A garbage disposal handles a wide range of dense foods. So why would anyone think that it cannot handle coffee grounds? Well, it is advisable to keep ground coffee out of your garbage disposal. While most foods break down when wet, coffee grounds get denser.
When you dump coffee grounds in your garbage disposal, they will become denser and clog the pipes. Clogging is often worse on the U-shaped section under the sink. The problem can worsen when the grounds are mixed with other kitchen waste.
Can Ground Coffee Go Down a City Sewer or Septic Tank?
Some people argue that it is not a big issue to pour used grounds down the shower drain or toilet. The assumption is that the toilet and shower drains are wider than the sink drain. If you reside on a property that uses a septic waste disposal system, ground coffee will not break down in the septic tank.
What will happen is that the grounds will form a thick layer of non-decomposed solid waste. If you dump spent ground coffee down the toilet or shower drain regularly, you will find yourself pumping out the septic tank more often than usual.
Consequently, you will spend a lot of money pumping the septic tank. You can save money by disposing of used ground coffee the right way. Besides, the grounds will interfere with the pH level of your septic tank due to their acidity. They acidify the septic tank. As a result, they will interfere with the functioning of the bacteria in the septic tank. The result is disruption to the decomposition process of natural waste material in the septic.
How to Dispose of Used Coffee Grounds
Since professional plumbers do not advocate for throwing coffee grounds down the sink, toilet, shower drain, or garbage disposal, how are you supposed to dispose them of? There are numerous good ways of disposing of ground coffee without risking your drains to clogging problems.
One of the best ways to dispose them of is by throwing them in the trash. Also, you can add them to your compost. Also, you can add paper coffee filters to your compost. Gardeners can benefit from used coffee grounds by mixing them with the soil. They will add macronutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
Also, coffee grounds attract beneficial earthworms and absorb heavy materials. Additionally, they improve soil drainage, aeration, and water retention. However, they may increase soil acidity. Thus, only use them in a garden that requires acidification or for acid-loving plants.
If you are not a gardener, there are still many ways of recycling used ground coffee including:
- Removing fleas from pets such as cats and dogs- In this case, shampoo your pet. Then rub ground coffee in their fur. Rinse it off and allow the fur to dry.
- Eliminating odors- Coffee grounds eliminate odors like baking soda. For instance, place the grounds in a bowl. Then place the bowl in your fridge. Allow them to do the magic of eliminating odors from your refrigerator.
- Body scrub- Coffee grounds are naturally abrasive. You can use them to make a body or face scrub. For instance, you can mix them with coconut oil to make a body scrub or to minimize the appearance of cellulite.
Although you may have been pouring used coffee grounds down your sink drain for years now without experiencing any plumbing issues, it does not mean it is right to continue doing so. Even if the grounds go down the drain daily, eventually, they will cause problems in your drainage. You never know when they will form a clump and clog the drain pipes.
Do not wait for a plumbing disaster to occur to stop putting grounds in your sink. So can coffee grounds go down the drain? Well, the right thing to do is to recycle coffee grounds in your compost pile, do gardening, make a body scrub, or just throw them into the trash can rather than throwing them down the sink drain.