Home Plumbing: Can You Put Coffee Grounds Down The Drain?

One of the most common reasons people need to call an emergency plumber is a backed-up drain. The kitchen sink takes a lot of abuse; food scraps being tossed down, standing water hanging out for hours, and dirty dishes breed bacteria. Because of how prevalent kitchen sink issues are, you must take care of it in every way possible. One of the mildest plumbing damage prevention methods is to avoid tossing coffee grounds down the drain. They may not seem particularly dangerous, but this innocuous waste product can cause severe damage to your kitchen drain. How do coffee grounds affect your drain so much? We’ve got the details for you!

Where Did The Coffee Ground Cleaning Method Originate?

We have to admit: the idea of putting coffee grounds down the sink has solid theoretical backing. An abrasive agent is often a pretty effective cleaner! Someone started a rumor back in the earliest days of garbage disposals that putting coffee grounds down the kitchen drain and running the disposal would clean the blades. Similar to how Comet cleansers work, they supposedly acted like a biodegradable scrubbing agent to gently remove built-up grease and food scraps. Coffee is well known to be an odor blocker, and this cleaning hack offered the bonus of extracting unpleasant fragrances emanating from this drain. The bad news is that, while the theory is sound, it doesn’t hold up in practice. Regularly putting coffee grounds down your drain is a recipe for disaster. More than a handful of instances, and you’ll undoubtedly be left contacting a plumber for repairs.

Your Drain Is Not A Second Trash Can

Many homeowners don’t realize the garbage disposal should not be used to dispose of trash. The appliance was recognized to clear small food scraps in a way that wouldn’t clog up the pipes. Biodegradable, small scraps such as citrus peel scraps, carrot shavings, or tiny fish bones are all a-ok to toss down the disposal. Materials change properties when confronted with water. Items such as grease harden when chill, pasta expands when wet, and coffee grounds clumps together easily all get trapped in the blades of the garbage disposal. Substantially clogs the drain, leading to an unhygienic buildup in both your sink bowl and pipes.

What To Do If You Accidentally Put Coffee Grounds Down the Drain?

Accidentally putting coffee grounds down the drain is a common occurrence. Maybe you didn’t notice grounds in the bottom of your cup, or a well-meaning little one tossed the filter in the sink on accident. Things happen! As long as it isn’t a regular phenomenon, you should be fine. If it happens once or twice, fill an ice cube tray with vinegar and freeze. Toss a few of the vinegar cubes down the drain, turn on the faucet to a lukewarm stream, and run the disposal for a few minutes. After three or four minutes, crush the ice cube to a few pieces, gently push the coffee grounds of your drain walls and down the pipe. The flowing water helps move the excess material down the drain, eliminating clogs. If you find yourself on the wrong end of a clog, don’t hesitate to call an emergency plumber. Drain clogs are crucial and should never be left to stagnate due to flourishing bacteria growth. For more common plumbing and other related tips, please contact Sin City Plumbing.

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