Can Coffee Grounds Go Down The Sink Drain? (Safe Or Bad?)

When it comes to disposing of coffee grounds, many people’s first instinct is to throw them down the sink. This is because the sink seems like an easy choice; no need to scoop out the grounds, you just need to wash it down with water, and you can easily clean your pot while throwing the grounds away. Unfortunately, however, throwing the grounds down the sink isn’t as safe as most people think.  

In this article, we will discuss one of the biggest kitchen questions, “can coffee grounds go down the sink,” how to unclog the sink if you accidentally throw too many grounds, and the proper ways of disposing of coffee grounds.  

While throwing your grounds down the sink may seem natural, it isn’t safe, and it will likely clog up your drain. Coffee grounds are one of the reasons for drain clogs, especially in the kitchen. When wet, grounds can clump together and stick to the buildup of curdled grease and other organic materials that go down your kitchen sink drain pipe.  

Ground coffee beans don’t break down; they just accumulate until they become part of the drained sludge. So if you continuously dump coffee grounds in your sink, it will eventually cause a drain blockage, which will cost you money if overlooked.  

While coffee grounds aren’t the leading cause of kitchen drain clogs, they can heavily contribute to it. This is due to the fatty substances, such as oil, that go down the drain whenever you rinse your dishes. As the grease flows down, it thickens and sticks to the sides of the pipes, which then accumulate over time. So, when you put the coffee grounds in your sink, and even if you keep flushing them with lots of water, they just stick to the sludge buildup.  

That’s why it’s not safe to throw your coffee grounds in your sink. They can slow down your drain or eventually clog it. So, it’s safe to say that it’s a myth that coffee grounds can unclog your sink drains, and please don’t ever try it at home.  

Can Coffee Grounds Go Down The Sink Drain

How Do You Unclog A Sink With Coffee Grounds? 

If you have been disposing of your coffee grounds in your sink, you should stop now. It could lead to worse problems and eventually clog up your drain. The good news is unclogging your drain can be an easy task depending on the severity, and you can easily do it without the need of a plumber. We have listed down the different ways you can unclog your sink below.  

coffee grounds ready to throw away

Liquid Declogging Solutions & Chemical Drain Cleaners 

When a sink gets clogged, many homeowners turn to shelf products such as liquid declogging solutions and chemical drain cleaners, like Drano, to clear the drain. There’s no question about the effectiveness of drain cleaners. Unfortunately, however, these solutions can do more harm than good.  

Declogging solutions use powerful chemicals that can break down organic material and help dissolve small clogs, but they can corrode some drain materials, which can cause deterioration over time. They can also harm the environment because of the chemicals in them. 

However, if you really don’t have any option and would need to use a chemical drain cleaner, make sure to read the labels and only buy those that would work for your drain pipe material. But if you can, it is best to avoid them.  

Drain Snake 

If you like a more hands-on approach to fixing your clogged drain, you can try to use a drain snake to clear the clogs in your sink. A drain snake is a long piece of wire that you can push down your sink and unclog the blog by jiggling it around. However, this requires some basic plumbing knowledge and understanding to determine if the clog is in the drain trap, disposer, or beyond cleaning.   

Apart from that, using it can be a slippery slope. It can be easy to use, but if you don’t know how to handle it correctly, you might end up breaking your drain. So before doing this method, make sure to research how to use it and how to determine where the clog is.  

Plunger 

If you need a temporary fix and the clog isn’t from severe grease buildup, then a plunger will be your best friend. Most households already own a plunger, and many people are pretty familiar with how to use it. Here’s how you can use it to unclog your drain:  

  • 1
    Make sure to fill your sink with enough water to submerge the plunger’s rubber cup and cover it.  
  • 2
    If the sink has two sides, cover the other side using a drain stop. If you don’t own one, you can use a small towel.   
  • 3
    Plunge vigorously and wait until the drain unclogs. This may take a few tries, so be patient as the plunger does its job.  

Again, this is a temporary fix. If you're unable to clear the drain, you still need to call a plumber to fix the problem.  

Plumber 

If all else fails, it’s time to call for help. A plumber is equipped with the proper knowledge to unclog your drain quickly and remove any buildup stuck in your pipe. They might cost you money, but they can address your sink’s problem efficiently and can give you advice on what to throw and not to throw in it. Don’t be surprised if they tell you that coffee grounds shouldn’t be thrown in the sink because they are really bad for it.  

plumber fixing sink drain

How Do You Properly Dispose Of Coffee Grounds

Throwing coffee grounds in your sink is a big no-no, but no need to worry about how to dispose of them. We have listed below other things that you can do to them before chucking them in your garbage can:  

  • Plant Fertilizer
    Coffee grounds can be used as a plant fertilizer, and many plants can benefit from its nutrients. So, if you have a garden, sprinkle your coffee grounds there instead of your sink; your plants will thank you. 
  • Exfoliating Body Scrub
    You can use coffee grounds to pamper yourself by using it as a scrub to remove the dead cells from your skin. Simply add coconut oil or your favorite essential oil to level up your grounds. 
  • Hair Mask Or Serum
    Caffeine can promote hair growth, which is why it can do wonders to your hair if used as a hair mask or serum. 
  • Odor Neutralizer
    Coffee can neutralize foul and strong odors. You can use it in your freezer or your trash can to absorb foul odors. 
  • Insect and Pest Repellant
    Coffee can help deter pests and insects such as squirrels, chipmunks, and slugs. If you don’t like animals in your yard, sprinkle coffee on the ground. 
  • Nitrogen For Compost Pile
    Adding it to your compost will speed up the decomposition, thanks to its nitrogen content. 

Frequently Asked Coffee Ground Disposal Questions

Will Liquid Plumber dissolve coffee grounds? What about vinegar? 

Liquid Plumber can help unclog the drain, but it won't dissolve coffee grounds. It will also remove the grease buildup and other organic materials in the drain. It is also the same with vinegar.  

Can you flush coffee grounds? 

Flushing coffee grounds isn’t safe, like throwing it down the sink. They clump together, which can lead to buildups in your drain and eventually clog it.  

Is it safe to put coffee grounds in the septic system? 

No, it’s not. Coffee grounds solidify in your septic tank, which will make it difficult to empty your tank. To be safe, don’t throw coffee in your drain so it won’t go to your septic system.  

Can you put coffee grounds in the garbage disposal? 

Putting coffee grounds in your garbage disposal can also lead to clogged drains. So it is best to avoid throwing it there.  


Conclusion

Coffee grounds don’t dissolve in your drain, and anything that doesn't dissolve clumps together, which can clog your drain. So, if you can, always avoid throwing ground coffee beans in the sink to prevent any plumbing issues.