Can You Put Coffee Grounds In The Garbage Disposal?

Would you like to know if you can put coffee grounds in the garbage disposal? Well, we have researched this topic and have answers for you. It is essential to know if you can put something in a garbage disposal before you do.

It would be best if you didn't put coffee grounds in the garbage disposal. Coffee grounds don't damage your garbage disposal but can build up in your plumbing system and create blockages.

This article will learn if you can put coffee grounds in the garbage disposal. We will also cover some other interesting related questions like how you dispose of coffee grounds and what items you should not put down a garbage disposal. Keep reading to learn more.

Fresh ground coffee from the coffee grinder, Can You Put Coffee Grounds In The Garbage Disposal?

Can You Put Coffee Grounds In The Garbage Disposal?

There are a few reasons someone may want to put coffee grounds in the garbage disposal. Some want to reduce how much trash they produce, and others want to remove foul odors from their garbage disposal. Whatever the reason may be, you shouldn't put coffee grounds in your garbage disposal, and here's why.

Scooping a spoonful of ground coffee beans

It Creates Blockages

Let's first cover the main reason you shouldn't put coffee grounds in your garbage disposal; it creates blockages. While coffee grounds may not get stuck in your garbage disposal, the same can't be said about your plumbing system.

As coffee grounds travel down the pipes in your house, they can be prone to get stuck. Over time more coffee grounds begin to accumulate until it creates a blockage. Hiring a plumber to flush out the blockage can be expensive.

It Doesn't Reduce Trash Much

Many want to help the planet by reducing their trash. While this is a noble goal, there are two things wrong with thinking that not throwing away coffee grounds is helping the planet.

Coffee grounds don't take up much space. Even if you make multiple pots of coffee a day, you will find that it only produces a small number of total coffee grounds. Placing coffee grounds in the garbage will not significantly increase your trash production.

Also, coffee grounds are biodegradable. In about three months in a landfill, they will fully decompose. This means that adding coffee grounds to your local landfill will not be part of the trash problem.

How Do You Dispose Of Coffee Grounds?

A coffee filter used in straining coffee grains with coffee beans on the side

So if you are looking for an excellent way to dispose of your coffee grounds, just put them in the trash. This is the quickest solution that won't create blockages in your pipes.

Coffee grounds are also natural odor absorbers. This means that adding coffee grounds to your garbage will reduce foul smells.

Now, if you still don't like the idea of throwing away the coffee grounds, there is another solution. There are several other uses for your old coffee grounds other than throwing them away.

What Can I Do With My Old Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds can be helpful for many things, but while they are wet, they are prone to mold. Before you store coffee grounds for later use, be sure to dry them thoroughly.

You can do this by spreading them flat on a cookie sheet and letting them dry in the sun for a few days. If that isn't an option where you live, you can also dry them in your oven.

An up close photo of freshly ground black coffee beans

To dry them in the oven, heat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about half an hour. Be sure to stir the coffee grounds once or twice while they bake to help them dry evenly.

Once dry, coffee grounds have many uses. Here are some of the best uses for your old coffee grounds.


Coffee grounds can be added to a compost pile. When coffee grounds break down, they release nutrients used as fertilizer for your plants or garden.

When composting coffee grounds, be sure to add enough water to the compost pile that it is damp but not soaked. This will help the coffee grounds break down faster. Rotating the compost pile once a week will also help the coffee grounds break down.

Insect Repellent

Coffee grounds contain toxic chemicals to many insects, slugs, and snails. This makes coffee grounds the perfect insect repellent as it is non-toxic to humans.

To keep bugs out of your house, sprinkle some coffee grounds around the outside of entrances and windows of your home. Bugs will avoid the area keeping them out of your house.

The non-toxic properties of coffee grounds also make it a safer alternative for insect repellent in your garden. Coffee grounds will keep insects out of your garden, and they will also deter slugs and snails who don't like to cross over them.

Not only are coffee grounds a safer insect repellent for your garden, but it is also a natural fertilizer. If you add coffee grounds to your garden, you can expect healthier bug-free plants.

Dish Scrubber

Coffee grounds are acidic and abrasive, and this makes them perfect for getting stuck food off of your dishes.

To use coffee grounds as a dish scrubber, pour a small amount on a dirty dish, add a little water, and scrub with a sponge. The coffee grounds will help to break apart and remove the stuck food.

You can use coffee grounds to clean any place that food gets stuck, like a cooking pot or a barbeque grill.


Coffee grounds have many uses beyond just throwing them away. Be sure to try one of these ideas next time you dispose of your coffee grounds.

What Items Should You Not Put Down A Garbage Disposal?

A detailed photo of ground coffee beans

Garbage disposals can be a great way to remove extra food from your plate and save some space in your trashcan. There are, however, some things that you should never put down your garbage disposal.

We already covered how coffee grounds should not be put in the garbage disposal. Here are some other things you should never put down your garbage disposal.

Bread Pasta and Rice

These starchy food items should not be placed down your garbage disposal. All of these food items expand when they absorb water. This makes them prone to creating clogs in your plumbing system.

Be sure to put bread, pasta, and rice in your garbage instead of the garbage disposal to prevent blockages.


When your garbage disposal breaks apart eggshells, it smashes them into small pieces resembling sand. This eggshell sand can get stuck in your pipes and build up. To prevent drainage problems, never place eggshells in your garbage disposal.

Potato Peels

Potato peels shouldn't be placed in your garbage disposal. When the potato peels are ground up, they create a starchy paste. This paste is resistant to flowing down your drains and may create a blockage.

Potato peels, as well as other highly starchy foods, like beans, should be placed in your trash.

Grease And Oil

When cooking with hot oil, you have to let it cool down before throwing it away, so it doesn't melt through your trash bag. You may be thinking that you can pour it down your garbage disposal to save time, but you should never do this.

As oil or grease makes its way down your sink, it will begin to cool. Once it has cooled enough, it will start to solidify. Solid oil or grease in your pipes can create a significant clog.

These grease and oil clogs can be a hassle to remove, often requiring a strong drain cleaner to fix. You may have to hire a plumber to remove the clog at worst.

Be sure to dispose of grease and oil in the trash properly. The same goes for any especially greasy food, like gravy.


While garbage disposals can handle many food items, there are limits to their power. Be sure not to put anything on this list down your garbage disposal. Also, if you are unsure if something can be put in your garbage disposal, look it up before putting it down your drain.

What Can You Put Down A Garbage Disposal To Make It Smell Better?

Water going down the drain

When your garbage disposal begins to smell foul, it can be unpleasant. Here are some simple solutions to make your garbage disposal smell better.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar react together to create carbon dioxide. This fizzing reaction is famous for making science volcanos and naturally killing bacteria. These bacteria that it kills are responsible for the foul odors you smell emanating from your disposal.

For the best result, pour about half a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down your garbage disposal. Allow it to fizz for a few minutes. This will give the baking soda and vinegar a chance to kill all the bacteria.

Then rinse the combination down the drain. Your disposal should now smell better.

Salt And Ice

Salt and ice help break apart stuck food in your disposal that causes bad smells. Pour some salt and ice into your garbage disposal and turn it on. The salt and ice will scrub the disposal blades, clean them, and remove foul smells.


Citrus fruits have anti-bacterial oils. To get the best use of citrus, take the peels of lemon, limes, or oranges and slice them into small slices.

Place these slices into your garbage disposal and turn it on. The oils will kill the bacteria that cause the foul smells and leave the whole thing smelling citrus fresh.

Final Thoughts

Ground coffee beans photographed in selective focus

In this article, we learned you shouldn't put coffee grounds down your garbage disposal because it can create blockages. We also learned that coffee grounds have many uses beyond throwing them away. These uses include fertilizer, insect repellent, and dish scrubber.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to learn more, check out some of these other posts.

How To Keep Coffee Grounds Out Of A Percolator

How To Reset A Garbage Disposal In 4 Steps

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