Informational Guide

Can You Put Coffee Grounds Down The Sink?

Take a look at our guide for how to dispose of coffee grounds safely and efficiently instead of putting them down the sink.

by Caitlin Shaffer

One of the most common things people put down their kitchen drain is coffee grounds. Did you know that coffee grounds can clog the sink and cause damage over time? Most people are not aware of this. Take a look at our guide for how to dispose of coffee grounds safely and efficiently instead of putting them down the sink.

While it is true that coffee grounds have a deodorizing quality, it is not recommended that you use this method to clean your sink drain. A large number of coffee grounds in the drain at one time may cause it to clog. There are many safer alternatives to clean your drains, such as using baking soda and vinegar, lemon peels, or soap and water.

Why Coffee Grounds Cannot Go Down the Sink

We recommend you never put coffee grounds in your kitchen sink. There are many disadvantages to this. You should always dispose of or reuse coffee grounds using other methods.

The number one reason you should not put coffee grounds in your sink is that it can cause it to clog. Coffee grounds tend to stick together when they get wet. If you throw a large amount down the drain, the moisture can cause them to stick together and create a blockage.

Coffee grounds can also cause your sink drain to become damaged over time since they do not break down in water. They will remain in the drain for some time, especially at the U-bend in the pipe. They can become tightly packed and cause damage to the plumbing pipes. It can create weak areas if they stay there for a long time. We recommend using alternative methods to clean your sink drain.

coffee grounds

Alternative Ways to Dispose of Coffee Grounds

  • Plant Fertilizer
    Coffee grounds will produce a lot of nitrogen and calcium, which is ideal for plant soil. You can use a small amount of coffee grounds to mix into the top layer of soil.
  • Body or Face Scrub 
    Coffee grounds are a great exfoliant since they do not dissolve in water. They can be used to remove dead skin cells. To create a coffee scrub, you should use a quarter cup of coffee grounds, a quarter cup of brown sugar, and lemon juice
  • Hair Mask or Serum 
    A coffee ground hair mask can stimulate roots to create growth. To create a simple coffee ground hair mask, mix a tablespoon of coffee grounds with an egg yolk.
  • Odor Neutralizer
    You can place a cup of coffee grounds in a room to eliminate lingering odors. Coffee grounds are a good way to deodorize any area.
  • Insect or Pest Repellent 
    You can even use coffee grounds as an insect repellent. Fill a small bowl or tray with dry, used coffee grounds and burn them as you would incense. Pests hate the strong smell, and it is safe for the environment.

How to Remove Sink Clogs Caused By Coffee Grounds

  • Step 1: Place an ordinary toilet plunger over the hole in the sink.
  • Step 2: Fill the sink with water until it covers the bottom of the plunger.
  • Step 3: If you have a double-sided sink, plug the unclogged side with a stopper.
  • Step 4: Vigorously plunge the sink a few times to see if the water drains from the sink.
  • Clear the Sink P-Trap 
  • Step 1: Place a bucket under the pipe and sink P-trap.
  • Step 2: Loosen the nuts around the pipe and remove the P-trap.
  • Step 3: Remove any obstructions that may be in the pipes.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you put coffee grounds down the sink with a septic tank?

You should not put coffee grounds down the kitchen sink if your home has a septic tank. The coffee grounds will not dissolve in the septic tank, which can cause problems later.

Is it okay to flush coffee grounds down the toilet?

For the same reasons you should not put coffee grounds in the sink, you should also not flush them down the toilet. They can cause damage and clogs within your plumbing system.

When should I call a plumber to fix sink clogs caused by coffee grounds?

We recommend calling a plumber if you think you might have a severely clogged drain. Try the methods we mentioned above before calling a plumber. If you still have a clog or the sink is draining slowly, then call in a professional plumber.


In this guide, we have cleared up one of the common myths about coffee grounds and your kitchen sink. The final verdict is never to put coffee grounds down your sink drain. It can cause clogs and pipe damage. Follow our tips above to dispose of coffee grounds in eco-friendly ways.

Caitlin Shaffer has been traveling & working as a content writer & SCUBA dive instructor since 2014. Having lived in Central & South America, Southeast Asia, India, & Australia, Caitlin has had many years of experience with a variety of kitchen, bathroom, plumbing systems & common household products. Other than writing about her plumbing experiences & knowledge, her main passions are yoga, ocean conservation, & sustainable development.