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Have you ever been through the trouble of a clogged drain in your kitchen? Well I’ve been through it. What a mess. An unpleasant surprise which takes you in and you have to waste time and money over it. It happened to me last year and what I found was another surprise. It was my coffee which troubled me that much. I wondered, Can you put coffee grounds down the sink or not?
So it is a big no. Despite the old wives myth, coffee clogs the drain rather than opening it. Once in water, coffee grounds clump together and get stuck in the drain pipe inviting a mess which would ask for a plumber at home.
The story is not the only statement given above, there is a lot more that you can do to avoid drain blocking through coffee. You can even find ways to dispose of coffee grounds and can also get advantages from the leftovers of coffee grounds.
Let us explore together.
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Can you put coffee grounds down the sink?
No, you can not believe the myth that they are good as a drain opener. In actual they clump in heaps when they get wet and become almost impossible to decompose.
The heaps of coffee grounds stick to the drain pipe in your kitchen and block it. You could experience the following problems:
- Water backing up from the pipe to the sink
- A pungent or rotten smell from the pipe
- Complete blocking of pipe as water would not go in
- Small particles of food swirling in the sink when you wash the dishes
There can be more than one reason for this problem but if you throw the coffee grounds in the sink, it may be one of the biggest reasons.
On apparent grounds, someone can say, how can a powder, rather a fine powdery coffee cause a blocked drain. Well, coffee grounds are that much deceiving.
When wet, its particles join like magnets to each other. Ask a plumber and he would tell you that coffee and grease are the biggest enemies to your sink drain.
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Should you put coffee grounds down the garbage disposal?
Putting coffee grounds in the garbage disposal is not at all a good idea. The reason behind is the same which we talked about. Despite the apparent softness and tiny size of the coffee grounds, they aren’t friendly to the garbage disposal.
It is due to the clump making nature of wet coffee grounds. Instead, you can use InSinkErator Garbage Disposal for your sink to avoid clogging by garbage going down the sink. A garbage disposal unit is a device that you attach underneath the sink.
The garbage is not grinded in the unit. It is rather squashed with water which makes the food scraps smaller in size. Remember, not every food scrap can go in the garbage disposal unit or the garburator.
The fruit or vegetable peels are most welcomed in the garburator. But egg shells, rice, pasta, coffee grounds, hard foods, dry expandable food and grease are some of the things which should never go inside the garbage disposal unit.
A garbage disposal can not remain dry and when you let the coffee grounds go in the garbage disposal, they eventually clump in the lower pipe with grease and oil causing blockage. So, your coffee grounds would give you double trouble even after being so small.
Can you put coffee grounds in your septic system?
No, the septic tank also does not entertain your coffee grounds due to their texture and piling up action. They rather act as gravel in the septic tank which of course is nothing but a solid to fill your tank space creating problems.
Let us see how a septic tank works:
- It is an underground plastic or concrete chamber which allows the domestic water to pass through for filtration.
- It separates the solids from the water and stores them. Rest of the water passes through and moves ahead.
- The solid left behind is decomposed through microbes in the tank which are poured in there in the start.
Thus the coffee grounds take the place of microbes and slow down the process of decomposition. It can also alter the PH level of the septic tank as it adds in more acid to the tank.
What can be done to get rid of the coffee grounds debris?
Well it depends if you are having the clogging or if you want to refrain from the harm:
Aftermath of the clogging due to coffee grounds:
- One way is to use baking soda to remove the clumps of coffee grounds
- Using the plunger in the sink can also help you do the service. The way to do it is simple . You fill up the sink with water after covering the drain hole with the plunger. Make sure the plunger is submerged in water. Now suck in the water by pulling and pushing the plunger on the hole without removing it. Do it more than 10 times. The coffee grounds would come up in the plunger such as NEIKO 60169A Toilet Plunger.
- If the technique won’t work, you can also open the P-trap and use a screwdriver or an iron bar to scoop out the debris.
Avoiding the hassle by using coffee grounds somewhere else:
- Put them straight into the dust bin.
- Use them in compost to use as a fertilizer in your garden.
- Roughly through them in the soil of your garden as a fertilizer and pest repellent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What if you happen to throw coffee grounds in the sink?
If there is blockage, use a plunger or manually clean the pipes.
What quick action to take if you throw coffee grounds in the sink?
Initially, use boiling water to soften the build up. Then use baking soda to break down the clumping.
Can you put coffee grounds down the sink with a septic tank?
Unfortunately, the septic tank is also not a helping hand to digest the coffee grounds. Rather, they settle at the base of the chamber disturbing the process of microbes.
Will coffee grounds hurt my septic system?
Yes, there is a chance of malfunctioning of the septic tank when coffee grounds go in it as they disturb the PH level of the tank by adding acid to the tank.
Thus, the simplest way possible is to throw the coffee grounds right into the dustbin. To avoid the problems of drain blockage, to save your money from the plumbing session and to keep your garburator and septic tank working, plan ahead of time and play smart. As you see, prevention is better than cure.