Adding a garbage disposal to your kitchen sink can make life a bit easier by saving you time and cutting down on the amount of food waste you throw away. At the same time, if you don’t treat it the way it was intended, you can potentially end up with a costly repair bill.
While most food items are perfectly safe to send through your garbage disposal, some are better off being composted or thrown in your trash bin. If you’re unsure whether or not something is safe to put down your sink, it’s wise to do a bit of research before attempting it.
I grind my own coffee beans, and with coffee being a top beverage choice among the working class, I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering whether or not it’s safe to put the grounds in the disposal. After all, we’d prefer to keep those grounds out of the trash bin, if at all possible.
So, can a garbage disposal handle coffee grounds? Let’s find out!
Is it Safe to Put Coffee Grounds in Your Garbage Disposal?
While no damage will be caused to the blades or motor, it is not safe to put coffee grounds in your garbage disposal. This is due to the fact that coffee grounds will clump and accumulate in your drainage pipes over time, eventually leading to a slow drain or clog.
For most, the first thought with coffee grounds is that since they’re already ground up, they should have no problems going through a garbage disposal. This logic makes sense, and in reality, your garbage disposal will not complain.
In fact, coffee grounds are said to help with reducing odor when used this way.
Again, it’s not the disposal itself you need to worry about; it’s the drainage pipes that your disposal is connected to. While some people claim to have never had an issue when putting coffee grounds down their sink (with or without a disposal), it’s highly discouraged.
What Should You Do with Your Coffee Grounds Instead?
Don’t give up your delicious coffee drinking habit just yet. Although your grounds are not safe for the garbage disposal, you do have other options to consider.
1 – Add Them to Your Compost
One of the best places to put your coffee grounds is in your compost pile. Coffee grounds are considered a green material (nitrogen rich), contributing to the carbon/nitrogen ratio in your compost.
Even your coffee filters can be composted, as long as you choose the right type. Filters add brown material (carbon rich) to your compost.
2 – Use as Mulch
Another great use for your coffee grounds is to use them as mulch in your garden. While they’re great for adding to your compost, as mentioned above, they even works well as a fertilizer when added directly to your soil.
Again, coffee grounds add nitrogen-rich material to your soil, giving the microbes something to munch on. Just be aware that there are some concerns about a small amount of caffeine getting into the soil, which may have a negative effect on plants.
3 – Use as a Face Scrub
An interesting use of used coffee grounds is to use them as a face scrub. Coffee grounds are slightly abrasive, providing a natural way to exfoliate your skin. Coffee is also full of compounds known to improve your health, inside and out.
4 – Throw It Away
If the options above don’t suit you, you can always simply put your coffee grounds and filters right in the trash. In all likelihood, that’s where most of them end up anyway (not that that’s a good thing).
This short list isn’t exhaustive by any means. A quick online search will result in several alternative uses for your spent coffee grounds.
The main takeaway is to know that you have options for your coffee grounds, even if your garbage disposal isn’t one of them.
As tempting as it might be to dump your coffee grounds into your garbage disposal, resist the urge. Although they’ll go through the disposal itself without issue, you’ll run the risk of slowly causing a clog in your plumbing lines, potentially leading to a costly repair bill.
Don’t be too discouraged though. As mentioned above, you’re still left with plenty of options when it comes to disposing, or repurposing, your spent coffee grounds.