Garbage disposals are simple kitchen appliances that make our lives easy as well as cut down the amount of food that goes into the garbage. Isn’t it so convenient to wash that food off of your dishes and not have to think about it ever again?
But if you use a reusable filter like a gold filter or a french press, you might wonder, if you can put those coffee grounds down the drain or garbage disposal.
The short answer is no.
Even though it looks like coffee grind will go down the drain it just won’t all go down and it won’t go down all the way. Slowly sediment will accumulate and you’ll have a big problem on your hands.
Is it Safe to Put Coffee Grounds in the Garbage Disposal?
It may seem harmless washing those grinds down, but years of buildup can make a big sludgy blockage as hard as concrete and as difficult to remove.
Coffee has sediment after all, so it is no wonder that it can cause further problems in your pipes. Even coffee shops know to keep the grounds out of the sink as best as possible to avoid costly repairs.
There are many articles singing the praises of coffee grounds as the best deodorizer for your disposal, even claiming they sharpen the blades. But in reality, old wet coffee doesn’t smell that great anyway and you risk clogging your plumbing. You will have better luck with a slice of lemon than with coffee grounds.
But instead of throwing them away, why not reuse them?
Here are some great ideas on how to reuse and repurpose what’s left of your old brew.
Use Coffee Grounds In the Garden Instead
Make Coffee Ground Compost
Composting is the most common way to reuse those grounds, especially when using a paper filter which will add carbon to your pile as a bonus. Just keep a small bin under your sink and when it’s full, take it out and throw it on your compost pile.
First, it will attract worms which are your friends when it comes to turning organic matter into soil. For some reason, they love coffee and we can’t blame them.
Second, it is going to add nitrogen. Coffee grounds have the same carbon to nitrogen ratio as animal manure. That is a double bonus, so you don’t have to buy smelly bags of the stuff and sling it around.
A composting study showed that coffee grounds that made up 25% of the compost pile caused the compost pile to stay hotter longer than animal manure which kills pathogens and weed seeds.
Coffee outperforms poop, awesome!
Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer to Boost Veggie Growth
Coffee can give that extra boost to root veggies like carrots and radishes if you plant the seeds with coffee grounds. Just mix the seeds with used, dry coffee grounds and sow them as usual.
Not only will the seeds germinate well, but you will get bigger, better carrots and radishes. It seems they like the caffeine too.
Coffee is a Natural Slug Deterrent
Sprinkle those used coffee grounds around the base of your plants and vegetables that slugs and snails love, and you will keep them away. It turns out that those coffee grounds have sharp edges like diatomaceous earth and it’s abrasive to them.
Now you can use coffee and your stale beer to get rid of slugs.
If you grow these colorful bushes at home, you will know that different ph and nutrient factors affect the color of the blooms. Well, coffee supposedly turns them the most incredible blue hue.
Just walk out every morning after you brew your cup of joe and pour your coffee grounds right at the base of the plant.
Uses for Coffee Grounds in the Home
Use Coffee as a Fridge and Freezer Deodorizer
Like baking soda, coffee can be used in the same way, just put a small bowl of dry grounds in the back of your fridge and freezer. Simply replenish every few weeks. You will notice cleaner smelling appliances.
Use as a Natural Cleaner
For those who love to clean without chemicals like I do, coffee can be used to scour pots and pans like baking soda. In fact, you can mix it with baking soda for double the impact. The small amount of coffee grounds you will use to do this will not cause trouble for your plumbing.
Neutralize Odors on Your Hands
There is a reason why perfume counters have small bowls of coffee beans to cleanse your nose between smells. Coffee is a natural deodorizer and can remove odors from the air and hands. You can use old grounds with soap after you have cut garlic, onions or cooked fish to remove those pesky odors.
True story about coffee beans and odors. My husband bought a used square register off Craigslist for his business from a local cannabis store. Of course, the previous owner used to store some of his “goods” in the cash drawer. When we brought it home, we cleaned it with olive oil, but the cash drawer still smelled dank. I put a handful of beans and closed the drawer for a couple of weeks. And magically, the smell went away. I can’t tell you how amazing coffee is to neutralize odors.
You Can Even Grow Mushrooms with Coffee Grounds!
That’s right, if you love mushrooms, especially oyster or crimini, you can grow them at home using your very own coffee grounds. Just use a 5 gallon bucket with some holes drilled into the side and fill it half full with coffee grounds, then mix up some soil with it and put your mushroom spawn in. To find out how to do this click here.
Give paper an antique or vintage look by dipping it in water mixed heavily with used coffee grounds. Dry on a line with clothespins, and you will have some beautiful hand dyed craft paper to work with.
Health and Beauty Ideas for Coffee
Try the Ever Popular Coffee Facial
Not for the faint of heart but it turns out that caffeine actually causes a tightening effect on the skin. Mix coffee grounds with some coconut oil and lather your face, especially under your eyes. You will see a reduction in bags under your eyes with this treatment.
Something to Brew About
We hope we gave you some new ideas to try to do with your old coffee grounds. It’s a shame to waste something so useful even after it has served its primary purpose.
If you find that you can’t get enough coffee grounds to use at home. Ask your local coffee shop. They would love to get rid of their extra grounds and you get to benefit from their surplus.
There are so many more uses for spent coffee; these are just some that we found most useful or interesting. We hope you found them helpful too.
Let us know what you do with your coffee!