Can Coffee Grounds Go Down the Sink?

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Many people are putting their used coffee grounds down the kitchen sink without ever having an issue with a clogged drain.

It might be easy to flush used coffee grounds down the sink, but it’s not a wise thing to do. Not only will you damage your plumbing and can cause a blockage, but you’ll miss the opportunity to make better use of the grounds. 

Can coffee grounds go down the sink? Read on to learn everything you need to know about safely disposing of used coffee grounds.

Can Coffee Grounds Go Down the Sink?

Coffee grounds going down the sink

Although coffee grounds can go down the sink, at least until the drain is clogged, we do not recommend doing this.

Dry ground coffee may look like a fine powder that washes out quickly, but appearances can be deceiving in this case. Once ground coffee is wet, it quickly turns into a thick, lumpy paste that wreaks havoc in your pipes. The coffee grounds clog the drain. Coffee grounds can also clog your Keurig coffee maker and many other coffee-making equipments which can be an inconvenience.

If you dump your used coffee ground down the sink regularly, it can cause serious clogs that require the help of a plumber. Based on our recent experiences, a good professional plumber may be hard to find, and it is even harder to find one who is available on short notice.

If your garbage or compost is full to the brim and you’re desperate, it’s okay to dump coffee down the drain on rare occasions. If you must do it, plumbers recommend running lots of water at the same time to make sure everything gets cleaned properly.

How to Dispose Coffee Grounds

Gardening soil mixed with coffee grounds

There are many ways to dispose of coffee grounds without clogging drains. Fortunately, many of these methods make additional use of your morning coffee:

  • The most obvious is to throw used coffee grounds in the trash. This may not be the most environmentally friendly option, but it’s still a step up from pouring it down the sink.
  • A better option? Throw them in the compost. If you brew your coffee with a paper filter, it can usually be put directly into the compost as well, which is an easy option.
  • If you have a garden, you don’t want to waste your coffee grounds. Adding them to soils adds vital nutrients like nitrogen and potassium.

There are many other ways to use coffee or recycle used coffee grounds:

  • Coffee grounds are a great exfoliant for the skin. 
  • Coffee grounds can serve as a natural insect repellent or air freshener.
  • You can even use it to tenderize meat before your next barbecue. 
  • You can use it to scrub stubborn stains around the house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Coffee Grounds Clog a Garbage Disposal?

Yes. Therefore you might want to avoid pouring coffee grounds into the garbage. Coffee grounds are not only a major cause of clogged drains but also clogged garbage disposals.

However, if you accidentally flush coffee grounds down the sink, run enough water to wash them out.

How Do You Dissolve Ground Coffee?

To dissolve ground coffee when you have a clog, you can use strong acids or detergents, but again, you risk damaging your sink. It’s better to use a coffee-specific cleaner.

Can You Throw Coffee Grounds On Your Lawn?

Yes, even if you don’t have a garden, your lawn can benefit from coffee grounds. In particular, the earthworms that are attracted to coffee grounds will aerate your lawn.

Can Coffee Grounds Be Flushed Down The Toilet?

No, even if the toilet has a larger drain, the coffee tends to clump, which means you can still expect clogs.


So can coffee grounds go down the sink? Coffee grounds should never end up in the sink. Not only are they bad for plumbing, but used coffee grounds can be easily recycled and have various potential use cases and benefits.

You can make your morning coffee twice as good by recycling coffee grounds in your home or the garden.

Featured Image Credit: Maksim Goncharenok, Pexels