You may have heard that putting coffee grounds down the sink (or garbage disposal) can clean and freshen the scent in the drain. While they won’t harm the garbage disposal, and they will help eliminate odors, grounds will accumulate in drains and pipes. This will lead to clogs, so it’s best to avoid. Your garbage disposal is not a trash can, and shouldn’t be treated that way. There are better ways to dispose of coffee grounds.
Why can’t coffee grounds go down the drain if food can?
Unlike most foods, coffee grounds clump together in water while many foods break down. Over time the grounds will build up and create clogs that don’t allow the drains to properly move water.
While we’re on the subject, other items that should go in the garbage and not in the sink include:
- Starchy foods like potatoes, rice and pasta
- Eggshells, fish skins, celery and banana peels
- Grease, oil and fats
- Anything that is not food! Never dispose of metal, wood, glass, and cigarette butts in the sink.
The rule of thumb is – when it doubt throw it out (in the trash).
When to call a professional
There are signs you need help with a clogged drain or glitchy garbage disposal; they include:
- Food particles in the sink after the dishwasher has run
- Slow draining water
- A gurgling noise coming from the drain
- Water backing up
- Odor of rotting food coming up from the sink
Better ways to dispose of coffee grounds
So, if you can’t flush your grounds, are there things you can do to make the most of this waste? Yes!
Other ways to dispose of coffee grounds include:
- Garden – They are a nice fertilizer for your garden if you have a green thumb. Plants benefit from coffee grounds. And even if you do not have a full compost, grounds will work by themselves. In addition to providing nutrients, grounds spread in your garden repel insects such as slugs and ants.
- Indoor house plants – The same goes for indoor plants!
- Exfoliate skin – You can scrub away dead cells from your skin when you mix used coffee grounds with coconut oil.
- Cleaner hair – Take a handful of grounds and massage them through your head and rinse. This will clean out built-up remains from styling products.
- Absorb food odor – An opened container of coffee grounds may also help to absorb stinky smell from a refrigerator, in the same way baking soda works.
Need help from a professional? Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Electrical at 800.461.3010.