To flush or not to flush: can coffee grounds damage your pipes?
Despite the old wives’ tale that putting coffee grounds down the sink each day is “good” for the plumbing, we at Atomic Plumbing are here to tell you the truth:
Nothing causes more blockages and clogged drains than coffee grounds and grease.
Even if you don’t put them down the drain at the same time, they’ll meet up and form a sludgy impenetrable nightmare.
Do you have a garden or access to one?
All plant life can benefit from the used coffee grounds; you don’t have to compost. Just spread around in your garden to repel insects like ants and slugs and stimulate your plants. If you don’t have a garden, start compiling them in a container and give them to someone who does. If you have houseplants, you can put both coffee grounds and spent tea in them.
What else can I do with used Coffee Grounds?
1. Set a small open container of used grounds in the back of your fridge to absorb food odors
2. Use as an exfoliant (Just a pinch of grounds won’t cause pipe problems!)
-On hands: to scrub away stubborn smells or fluids from mechanical work
-On body: mix with coconut oil and scrub away dead skin cells
3. Use as a dye
-White clothing into a golden hue
-Plain paper into ‘antique’ stationary
4. Make your own candles and soap
-Coffee-scented candles: Melt wax, mix with grounds, pour into paper cup with candlewick. Cut away the cup and enjoy!
-Homemade soap: Did you know that your skin can actually absorb caffeine?
5. Treat yourself to an all natural Spa day
-Facial treatment: 2 spoons of coffee grounds, 2 spoons of cocoa powder, 3 spoons of milk, and 1 big spoon of honey. Wipe clean with a towel and rinse off the remaining grounds in the sink.
-Cleanse your hair of built-up residue from styling products: massage a handful of grounds through hair and rinse out
(A small amount won’t hurt, but you may want to skip this one if you’ve got a lot of hair!)
What else can’t I flush down the sink?
1. Fat from cooked meat/Lard
2. Cooking oil/Margarine/Butter/Shortening
4. Dairy Products/Egg Shells
5. Solid items: Food Scraps, Rags, Paper Towels
Click here for a full list of things you should not put down the sink.
Some plumbers say coffee grounds down the drain are OK if you run enough water to flush them completely out of the plumbing system. It takes a lot of water in most houses to rinse them that far. If you put them down the sink, you might want to set aside a couple of bucks every time, so you have money to pay the plumber to clear the drains when the time comes. Unless, of course, you’re using a LOT of water to rinse them down, in which case you’re wasting water.
Kitchen trash can – or plants – not in the drain or garbage disposal! That’s the bottom line!