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Is It OK to Dump Coffee Grounds Down the Sink?

A fresh cup of coffee is a great way to start the day, but dumping those grounds down the sink could be problematic. While many people will dump them in the trash, others will dispose of them in the sink.

While the garbage disposal is handy for some food scraps, not everything should be put down there. It’s never a pleasant experience dealing with a clogged drain.

So what’s the right thing to do? Join us as we learn how to get rid of coffee grounds, and even put them to use.

Let’s find out!

Is It OK to Dump Coffee Grounds Down the Sink?

Some plumbers say it’s okay to put coffee grounds down the sink. However, plumbers tend to have a vested financial interest as they’re the ones you’ll call if you experience issues. While you can dump coffee grounds down the sink, it’s not a good idea, especially if you value your plumbing.

Instead of dumping your coffee grounds down the sink, tossing them in the trash is a better option. However, we’ll share some additional ideas with you later about properly disposing of coffee grounds. You’ll soon see that coffee is not only delicious but is useful in other ways too. Let’s get started!

What Happens When You Dump Coffee Grounds Down the Sink?

When coffee grounds get wet, they turn into a thick paste that can cause issues for your plumbing. If you must put coffee grounds down the drain, you should use a tremendous amount of water. This will reduce, but not eliminate, the chances of experiencing clogs in your plumbing system.

While you may think your garbage disposal can handle coffee grounds, it’s not a good idea. Coffee grounds can wreak just as much havoc on your garbage disposal as grease. We strongly suggest you keep coffee grounds out of your sink, whether you have a garbage disposal or not.

Pro Tip: Would you rather buy your coffee instead of make it? We uncovered What Fast Food Chain Has the Best (and Worst) Coffee?

Close up of coffee grinds in a pour over coffee maker
Never put your coffee grounds down the sink! Instead, compost them or put them in the garbage.

How Do You Dispose of Coffee Grinds? 

Knowing how to dispose of your coffee grounds properly is important. If you’re not careful, you could be causing yourself some serious issues down the line.

Let’s look at several alternatives to tossing coffee grounds down the sink.


One of the best uses for your coffee grounds is to put them in your compost. Coffee grounds can help improve your soil and are an excellent nitrogen source in a compost pile.

Many coffee drinkers with gardens will spread their coffee grounds around their gardens. However, if you don’t have a garden, sprinkling coffee grounds onto your lawn can help improve the overall quality of your grass.


The easiest method for disposing of coffee grounds is to throw them in the trash. However, the easiest method isn’t always the best one.

Tossing your coffee grounds into the trash is fine, but you’ll be throwing away the benefit of using them in your compost. However, if you have more coffee grounds than you know what to do with, the trash is perfectly OK.

Woman using coffee grinds to exfoliate skin
Use your coffee grounds to give yourself an at home spa treatment.

Can You Pour Coffee Grounds Outside?

It is safe to put coffee grounds outside. They provide a tremendous benefit to the soil and can help enrich its nutrients.

If you have a flower bed or vegetable garden, the grounds can be a great source of fertilizer for all your plants. They can even benefit indoor plants too. Just work the grounds into your soil or sprinkle them over the top, whichever works best for your situation.

Why Do People Put Coffee Grounds in Flower Beds? 

Coffee grounds are tremendously beneficial to plants. They increase the soil’s nitrogen content and help improve the soil’s ability to hold water. They’re tremendously helpful for plants like azaleas and blueberries, which love acidic nutrients.

However, you don’t want to overdo it with your coffee grounds. It can increase nitrogen levels to the point where it could stunt the growth of fruits, flowers, and other vegetation.

Do Coffee Grounds Attract Anything?

By mixing coffee grounds into your soil, you create an ideal environment for worms. These beneficial garden creatures are great for your garden and can help improve the soil conditions for your garden or lawn.

While coffee grounds attract worms, they also do a fantastic job of repelling insects you want to keep away from your plants.

Pro Tip: Always start your day with the perfect cup of coffee by getting one of these 5 Best RV Coffee Makers.

Person putting coffee grinds in a plant pot
Feed your plants with some nutrient-rich coffee grinds.

What Pests Do Coffee Grounds Repel?

While you may love the smell and taste of coffee, many pests do not. The strong smell and taste of coffee drive them crazy.

Coffee grounds can keep rats, mice, and insects like wasps, snails, and mosquitoes away from your garden. If you want to keep these pests away from your garden, consider storing your coffee grounds and mixing them into the soil.

Is Left Over Coffee Good for Plants?

Your leftover coffee can be a great source of nutrition for your plants. Avoid going overboard with the coffee grounds, or you could do more harm than good.

When properly used, you’ll create a nutrient-rich environment for your plants to grow and thrive. Your plants and the worms that call your soil home will thank you.

Use Those Coffee Grounds Instead of Tossing Them

Now you have some ideas of how you can put those coffee grounds to work instead of clogging up your sink. The plants in your garden, not to mention those helpful worms, will be much happier.

Use an old mason jar to store any grounds you can’t use immediately. Or maybe ask your neighbors if they want you to help fertilize their garden beds. There are so many better ways to dispose of coffee grounds than tossing them in the sink or garbage disposal.

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