Disposing coffee grounds is a dilemma many coffee lovers contend with, and in most cases, the sink becomes the most preferred place to dump the coffee grounds.
Sinks are conveniently placed, and in most cases, flushing the coffee grounds down the drain is a natural process since that is where dirty utensils used during the brewing of coffee are washed. These utensils contain the used coffee grounds stuck on them, and during the washing process, the coffee grounds are pushed down the sink as a way of getting rid of them.
But should you put coffee grounds down the sink? You cannot put coffee grounds down the sink because it will result in clogging or blockage in your drain. The coffee grounds also start sticking together after some time and can trap organic materials going down your drains resulting in an unpleasant smell.
The plumber experts at Mid-City Plumbers that service Vancouver, Canada, state that coffee grounds are the main reason that kitchen sinks become clogged. The grounds stick together and form a rough surface that can entrap other materials that enter the drain.
Is it bad to wash coffee grounds down the sink?
Sinks are very convenient when washing utensils, cups, and coffee makers, and in most cases, coffee brewers use them all the time to get rid of used coffee grounds.
If you are worried that someone that is using your coffee machine might be adding grounds to your sink, I suggest that you grind your coffee well just in case. I recommend that you check out the Black + Decker Grinder that is available on Amazon.
The coffee grounds are flushed down the sinks, together with left-over foods, greasy dirt on plates, cups and utensils and soapy water used in washing these utensils. For most people, the idea of dumping coffee grounds down the sinks and its impact on their drainage pipes is not a consideration they make. This is because they have never had a problem with their drainage, and chances are they have washed the coffee grounds down the sinks for months.
However, the fact that coffee brewers who drain their coffee grounds down the sink have not experienced any problems in the past is not a guarantee that it won’t happen to you and cause clogging, blockage and trapping of food materials in your sink drainage system.
First, coffee grounds come from coffee beans, which are rock hard by the time they are brewed. After brewing the coffee grounds, they don’t soften, and although in most cases they are small, draining them down your sink over time can cause accumulation, resulting in clogging and blockage of your drainage system.
Secondly, in a sink drainage system that also serves as a gateway for oily food products that can easily stick to pipes, draining coffee grounds down the sink is a bad idea. This is because the sticky and oily food leftovers can trap coffee beans and, over time, as the coffee grounds increase in accumulation, can trap even more leftover foods, resulting in total blockage of your pipes.
When this happens, the process involved in unblocking such blockages is expensive since the coffee grounds are mostly hard and cannot be easily flushed down the drain.
The third reason it is a bad idea is that coffee grounds clamp together and pack the drain until it develops a clog. Unlike other organic foods that mostly cause clogs, if your sink drainage is caused by coffee grounds, chances are it won’t break down.
In cases where the only option you have is putting your coffee grounds down the sink, it is important to run enough water to completely flush the coffee grounds of your drainage pipes. However, this only works when the coffee grounds have not formed clogs or clamps; otherwise, it becomes hard to flush them down.
How do you dispose of coffee grounds?
We have looked at why putting coffee grounds down the drain is not a promising idea. But how do you dispose of coffee grounds without creating new problems?
There are many ways you can dispose of coffee grounds, and here are just a few tips you can use to dispose of them:
- Throwing your coffee grounds away
This is the simplest method to get rid of coffee grounds and involves using a trash bin to store your used coffee beans until you can safely dispose of them, or they are collected by waste collectors.
To properly dispose of your coffee grounds using this method, place the grounds in the trash you normally use for other non-hazardous household waste. The best part about this process is that coffee grounds can help reduce the odor coming from your garbage bin because they are able to absorb odors, keeping trash from smelling bad.
You can also throw away your coffee grounds using your local composite services. These are services that are offered in some areas by government or private companies that provide bins for compostable food waste, including coffee grounds and filters. You can search online to see if your area is supported by such services.
One precaution you should take when throwing away your coffee grounds is to avoid throwing the coffee grounds in toilets and sinks. This will create more problems in the future and can lead to clogging.
- Dispose of coffee grounds in your garden
Coffee grounds are rich in nutrients, and if you don’t have a proper way of disposing of them and you have a garden outside your house, you should consider spreading them around. All plant life can benefit from the used coffee grounds and can help stimulate their growth and repel insects that destroy plants.
Here is a video for you to watch that explains the pros and cons of allowing your plants to consume coffee grounds:
- Reuse used coffee grounds
Coffee grounds have a lot of uses, including creating coffee-scented candles, creating dyes for your clothes, and making beauty products. Therefore, if you are not sure how to dispose of your used coffee grounds, consider making any of the above homemade products for yourself.
I scanned numerous forums on coffee to find out various uses by actual coffee drinkers of used coffee grounds. Here is what I discovered:
|What can you do with used coffee grounds?||Percentage of total responses|
|You can add used coffee ground to your compost, and then add them to your garden soil.||54%|
|Adding your wasted coffee grinds to a small container and then placing it into the fridge will absorb fridge smells.||8%|
|If you are having trouble with cats in your garden, using used coffee grounds will repel them.||12%|
|Slugs that are on flowers in your yard will love to have used coffee grinds around to repel them.||26%|
Do coffee grounds keep drains clear?
One myth is very prevalent in online forums, “putting coffee grounds down the sink is good for plumbing” and can help clear your clogged pipes. Unfortunately, these tales are wrong, and you should never put coffee grounds down your sink as a method to keep them clear.
For starters, coffee grounds are one of the contributing factors that lead to clogging in sink drainage. This is caused by clamping coffee grounds together as increasingly they are pushed down the sink.
As you continue to wash utensils, dishes and cups used during the preparation of coffee, and coffee grounds drip inside your sink drainage; they start collecting. This is accelerated in situations where leftover foods are also pushed down the sink drains, resulting in sticky surfaces that prevent coffee grounds from moving down the drain and trapping them inside the pipes. This results in clogging and blockage in your pipes.
However, there are cases where your coffee grounds going down your sink drains has no impact on your pipes, and these are situations where a lot of water is run after coffee grounds are drained down the sink. In these types of situations, it is more than likely that the coffee grounds will not have an impact on your sink, and it is safe to drain them down your sink.
The best way to keep your sink drain clear is by keeping away food, coffee grounds, and grease out of your kitchen drains. You can also ensure that the leftover food goes in the trash or compost heap instead of your drains and avoid using the garbage disposal.
Keeping dental floss, feminine hygiene products and other household waste away from your sink and into the trash will also ensure that you do not have to use your sink drainage as a method of disposing of these products.
Therefore, do not, at all costs, use coffee grounds as one of your arsenals for combatting clogged and blocked sink drainage. This is because it will end up causing more clogging and blockage and might result in financial losses in the form of repairs and damage to your drainage system.
Will coffee grounds hurt your plumbing?
An efficient and effective drainage system is expensive to construct and even more expensive to repair or replace.
Therefore, most homeowners will do anything to keep their pipes as clear as possible, and in cases where they notice a problem, they try to rectify the problem as soon as possible. However, there are instances where users don’t know if what they are doing will impact their drainage system, and if yes, how it will impact the drainage system. One of those situations is coffee grounds down the drain.
So how do coffee grounds hurt your plumbing? Coffee grounds are able to block your drainage system or form clogs that are much harder to remove or clear as they are settled. The problem is exacerbated when the coffee grounds combine with leftover foods and grease in the drainage system, resulting in the formation of clogs and blockages.
There is also the issue of clamps of coffee grounds forming inside your drainage system. These clamps quickly turn to blockages, and because coffee grounds are hardened, they become very hard to remove or scrape when repairing drainage, and in most cases, require a complete overhaul of the drainage systems.
Coffee grounds in your drainage system can also trap leftover foods and greasy materials inside your pipes, resulting in the destruction of your drainage system. For instance, a severely blocked drainage system can result in water not flowing through at all, and after some time, your sink will become flooded with dirty water coming down your drainage system. This can lead to unpleasant smells, and in some instances, become a health hazard due to the unhygienic nature of the water being trapped.
Scraping clamped coffee grounds from your pipe is also harder than leftover foods and grease. This is because coffee grounds are much harder than both and hence can require you to replace the pipes.
Can you put coffee grounds down the toilet?
Chances are, as you were going through this article, you wondered if it was plausible to use a toilet to flush down your coffee grounds.
The idea itself is not far-fetched, and there are reasons why you may think that it is a clever idea, including the fact that the drainage system of toilets is much wider than sinks, which we have discussed above. However, flushing coffee grounds down the toilet is also a bad idea, and here is why:
- Coffee grounds easily form hard clamps
Unlike other waste products that can be easily flushed down the toilet with no long-lasting impact, when coffee grounds start clamping together, they can be dangerous and are able to accumulate at a faster rate resulting in blockage of the drainage system. They form hard clamps that can trap other waste also, creating a clog in your toilets.
- Coffee grounds are not broken down easily
When coffee grounds find themselves in your pipes, they are not easily broken down due to their harder outer core. This causes a long-lasting impact on your toilet drainage system, especially when they are flushed down the toilets on a regular basis resulting in clamps.
- They are not easily flushed down
You cannot easily flush down coffee grounds. This is because they are heavier, solid, and hard; hence you will require more water to flush them down. Rather than taking a chance that the coffee grounds will flush, it is important to avoid putting them in toilet drainage systems.
Will vinegar dissolve coffee grounds
Many people wonder how you can unclog a drainage system resulting from coffee grounds, and in most cases, they tend to lean towards vinegar as a solution.
But is vinegar efficient in dissolving coffee grounds from your drainage system? Yes, vinegar is used to unclog drainage systems, but it does not dissolve coffee grounds. Vinegar dissolves the oil and any other debris holding the coffee grounds together, resulting in unclogging of the drainage system.
However, vinegar does not always do the trick, especially in cases where the blockage is very severe, to a point where the coffee grounds are tightly bound together. The vinegar solution, in these cases, is not strong enough to eat through the bonds connecting the coffee grounds, and hence you require professional help to repair or replace your drainage system.
Java Chat Center
If you open a new package of coffee, how long do coffee grounds last once in the open air? If your coffee drip machine needs a filter and you are all out, learning how to make coffee without a filter is crucial. It is nice to know before a huge party how much coffee grounds per cup exactly.