Can Coffee Grounds Go Down the Drain?
A common myth for cleaning and deodorizing your disposal is dumping coffee grounds down your drain. While it is true that this morning essential can eliminate pesky odors, they will wreak havoc on your pipes. Here are why coffee grounds can hurt your plumbing as well as alternatives for disposing of them.
What Happens When You Throw Coffee Grounds Down the Drain
Unlike other foods, coffee grounds don’t break down in water. When they get wet, they clump together to form a more substantial mass, particularly if other hazards like grease are also present. If that occurs in your plumbing, the grounds will build up and eventually create a substantial blockage in your drain.
If your primary motivation for dumping coffee grounds down your drain is to keep it odor-free, other options won’t harm your plumbing. A plumber’s favorite is anti-grease dish soap and hot water. Once a month, squeeze a little soap down your drain and let the hot water run for around 30 seconds.
What You Can Do With Used Coffee Grounds
Use as Fertilizer
Composting your kitchen scraps is an excellent way to fertilize your home’s garden, and coffee grounds are a particularly useful asset. Compost is rich in nutrients and can condition the soil to stimulate plant growth. Coffee grounds can also repel harmful insects, such as ants and slugs, when sprinkled over your garden. This option can even apply to indoor plants for a garden application all year long.
Deodorize Beyond the Sink
While it isn’t the right call to eliminate odors in your plumbing with coffee grounds, they can come to the rescue in other smelly situations. If there’s a pesky stench in your refrigerator from a forgotten, rotten fruit, for example, place a small container of used grounds on a back shelf to neutralize it.
Exfoliate Your Skin
Used coffee grounds make an excellent exfoliant when mixed with coconut oil. Give yourself a natural facial treatment by mixing two spoons of used grounds, two spoons of cocoa powder, three spoons of milk, and one big spoon of honey. If you have lingering smells or fluids on your hands from tasks like mechanical work, you can also use this mixture to scrub away the stubborn odors.
When Paul Bunyan’s trusty chef, Sourdough Sam, makes mountains of hotcakes and coffee for breakfast, he makes sure those coffee grounds steer clear of their drains. When grounds or grease find their way into the pipes, however, Paul turns to his friends at Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains for expert plumbers to come to the rescue. For more information about our full range of plumbing services, give us a call today at 612-340-1444.