Nothing compares to the delightful aroma of freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning. After emptying the pot, you’re left with a wet glob of coffee grounds. What to do now? If you’re in a hurry, you might toss them down the kitchen sink without thinking. But this seemingly innocent act might not be so harmless after all. Those mushy coffee grounds could set you up for a clogged sewer line and an expensive plumbing nightmare.
Why Coffee Grounds are Bad for Your Drain
Coffee grounds might look simple enough to wash down the sink—after all, your garbage disposal should take care of them, right? Wrong. Once mixed with water, these particles clump together, forming a dense, muddy paste. As this gunky layer narrows the pipe’s inner diameter, you may start noticing slow-draining sinks or even a main sewer line clog. Stubborn blockages like this may require professional help to unclog the sewer.
Other Foods that Shouldn’t Go Down the Drain
Coffee grounds aren’t the only things that should stay out of the drain. A long list of kitchen waste items can also wreak havoc on your disposal and plumbing system, including:
- Grease and oil: While liquid at room temperature, these substances cool into a thick glob, leading to severe clogs.
- Fibrous foods: Items like celery and onion skins can entangle garbage disposal blades.
- Starchy foods: Overcooked pasta or rice can gum up your pipes.
- Eggshells: Egg membranes can wrap around the shredder ring, and crushed eggshells can cause clogs.
- Hard materials: Items like bones or fruit pits can damage the disposal.
- Non-food items: These can wedge themselves around bends in the pipe, leading to blockages and slow drains.
What If I Accidentally Put Coffee Grounds Down the Sink?
It’s not the end of the world if you’ve poured coffee grounds down the drain once or twice, but don’t make it a habit. If it’s too late and your pipes have already clogged, drain cleaning is always an option to get things flowing again.
Put Your Coffee Grounds to Good Use
Rather than simply tossing coffee grounds in the trash, consider these creative and eco-friendly uses:
- Add coffee grounds to your garden soil or compost pile.
- Sprinkle coffee grounds in pest-ridden areas as a natural alternative to chemical insecticide.
- Place a dish of dry coffee grounds in your refrigerator or pantry to absorb odors.
- Mix coffee grounds with coconut oil for a natural skin exfoliant.
- Stain plain white paper with wet coffee grounds to give it an antique appearance.
Schedule Plumbing Services with Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling
If you’re facing a clogged sewer line or need professional plumbing assistance, look no further than Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. With over 40 years of experience, we know how to do the job right the first time. We are proud to be a family-owned company, giving your family the same attention we give ours. To request drain cleaning or other plumbing services, please reach out at 801-226-3033 if you live in Utah County, or call 801-229-2665 if you’re a Salt Lake County resident. You can also fill out our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you shortly.