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Can You Put Coffee Grounds in the Drain?

Have you ever put something questionable down the drain without really thinking about it? What about coffee grounds? You may have heard the rumor that washing certain foods, like coffee grounds, down the sink can be healthy for your drain—but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Washing coffee grounds down the sink can lead to serious problems for your pipes. Coffee grounds were once sturdy, rock-hard beans, and they maintain that firm quality even after they are ground down. 

Over time, the grounds clump together, creating build-up in your pipes. These partial clogs can be especially problematic if you have a garbage disposal, as other food debris will slowly accumulate. The result is a stinky, messy blob that eventually forms a full blockage.

Worse, when your garbage disposal attempts to grind up coffee grounds, it wears down the blades, making it more difficult to grind food waste in the future, leading to a costly replacement.

Along with coffee grounds, avoid putting these foods down the drain:

  • Pasta, rice, or other starchy foods
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit pits
  • Grease
  • Bones

Regular drain cleaning and proper garbage disposal use are key to preventing plumbing problems. 

What Should I Do If I Put Coffee Grounds Down the Drain? 

If you’ve already made the mistake of putting coffee grounds down your drain, don’t sweat it. At O’Connor Plumbing, we offer affordable drain cleaning and repair services to resolve the issue. We’ll repair any damage that has already been done and clean your drain. 

You may need a drain cleaning or repair service if you notice:

  • Water or food backing up into your sink
  • Water draining slower than normal
  • Gurgling noises or bubbling
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Drain flies

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Outside of the issues above, we recommend scheduling a drain cleaning service about once a year, possibly twice a year, if you have a garbage disposal or hard water. When estimating a cleaning schedule, it helps to note how often you have issues with your drain and base your cleaning frequency on that.

Frequent clogs may be an indicator of another issue with your plumbing—assuming you aren’t putting things down the drain that you shouldn’t—like coffee grounds. If the issue is in your plumbing, we’re happy to fix that too. Our team can do it all!

What Can I Do with My Coffee Grounds Instead?

Dumping your coffee grounds in the trash is just as quick and easy and washing them down the drain. If your grounds are fresh out of the coffee maker, you’ll want to let them dry out before you throw them away to prevent any water from leaking through your garbage bag. 

Aside from throwing your grounds in the trash, there are several other uses for coffee grounds that are far more eco-friendly. Coffee grounds can be used as:

  • Fertilizer:  Coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer for your garden. They contain minerals that are not found in typical soil, providing your plants with essential nutrients to help them grow. Coffee grounds also attract worms, which are healthy for your garden as well.
  • Compost: A compost bin is a fantastic way to get rid of food waste that you do not have an immediate use for, and coffee grounds make the compost richer than if it just contained traditional food waste. You can use compost in your yard or garden to provide nutrients, just like you would use fertilizer. 
  • Insect and Flea Repellant: Coffee grounds naturally repel bugs, and you can use them in place of traditional bug spray. Setting a bowl of coffee grounds on your deck or patio will keep bugs away, and rubbing the grounds into your pets’ fur will repel fleas. 
  • Eliminate or Neutralize Odors: The strong scent of coffee grounds can help get rid of odors in your fridge, pantry, bathroom, or car. Just place a small bowl of grounds near the odor’s source to allow them to eliminate the smell. 
  • Natural Exfoliator: Coffee grounds can be used in your skincare routine. Just mix them with coconut oil to make an exfoliating scrub. 

With so many ways to use coffee grounds, there is no reason for them to end up in your drain.  

Drain Cleaning and Repair Services in Loudon County, VA

Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve put the wrong foods down your drain. We’ve all made the same mistake once or twice, and when myths about certain foods being healthy for your drain are spread, it can be challenging to separate the truth from the rumors. However, now you know which foods to avoid putting down the drain and what to do if your drain begins acting up in the future. 

Call O’Connor Plumbing at 1-833-744-4644 to schedule a drain cleaning or repair today and get your drain back to working order.