Can coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal? We will discuss some reasons to prevent coffee grounds from going down the drain and ways to tackle if coffee grounds go in the garbage disposal.

Can coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal?

Coffee grounds can go down the garbage disposal. However, you should refrain from doing so. Coffee grounds will not cause harm to the garbage disposal and can help to combat off-odor. 

In contradiction, you need to avoid putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal to prevent the clogging of pipes and drains. Overtime accumulation of coffee particles can cause you the hassle of unclogging your drains and pipes.

Why can’t coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal system?

Although coffee grounds may not be harmful to the garbage disposal system, it is still highly discouraged because of the sedimentary nature of coffee. Coffee grounds build up inside the plumbing system, especially if it is old and has not been cleaned in a long time. 

Coffee grounds stick to the grease particles in the disposal system. The sink pipe has organic particles and grease lumps that attract the coffee grounds and hinder them from moving ahead. Coffee grounds form part of the drained sludge as they stay behind and intact.

Being sedimentary, coffee accumulates rather than keep moving through the path. Not only coffee but eggshells similarly pile in the plumbing system. 

If you pour coffee grounds down the drain, do it slowly to prevent the grounds from piling up. If you put too much, either an immediate blockage could occur or cause a slow-drain problem.

Put only a minute volume of coffee grounds at a time, followed by a cold flush of water. A stream of cold water makes sure that things keep moving in the garbage disposal system.

You do not need to worry if you accidentally pour the coffee grounds into the garbage disposal. Following the mishap, run lots of cold water immediately to prevent the coffee grounds from settling between the impellers or the pipe. 

After the coffee grounds have stuck to the pipe, they will not be able to move and exit the passage even if you flush plenty of cold water. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly run cold water to prevent particles and debris from clogging up the plumbing system.

How does garbage disposal work?

Garbage disposal is a kitchen appliance that breaks down the food particles so that they do not clog your plumbing system. A garbage disposal works with small food particles and shreds them up so that they do not choke your pipes.

When you run garbage disposal regularly, it keeps it clean. As you let cold water flow through, the oil and grease solidify and shred to ensure that they pass through easily. However, putting oil and grease down the garbage disposal is also prohibited.

The garbage disposal is fixed under the kitchen sink. Food collects in a space called the grinding chamber which, has an impeller that rotates as you turn on the garbage disposal. The impeller grinds the food particles into tiny pieces, as it grinds the food waste against the wall of the grinding chamber. 

As water flushes through the system, the crushed-up pieces are forced into the holes and escape. 

The waste must be added in small quantities to ensure that the path keeps running smoothly. The amount and kind of waste that the garbage disposal system can take; depends on the condition and the technology that it uses.

Some garbage wasted disposal systems use a Multi Grind Technology. Multi Grinding technology repeats the grinding process more than one time to help break down tough food waste. Hence, garbage disposals that use advanced technology will help you work with tough foods that would otherwise not be recommended. 

What are some things that you must refrain from putting in a garbage disposal?

You must not put hard objects and peels that you risk might clog the pipes. Tough peels such as that of potatoes do not belong in the garbage disposal. Other tough and fibrous pieces of food and food waste need to be thrown in the trash rather than waste disposal. 

If you put such items in the garbage disposal, it not only clogs the machine but makes it malfunction. As the garbage disposal malfunctions, water appears back to the sink, makes a gurgling sound, and takes a long time for the water to drain.

If your garbage disposal shows signs of malfunction, make sure to call an expert.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal? We discussed some reasons to prevent coffee grounds from going the drain and ways to tackle if coffee grounds go in the garbage disposal.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.