How To Dispose Of Coffee Grounds

Should you put your coffee grounds in the garbage disposal? Or is there a better use for it?

Brewing coffee at home has become more popular, but it can generate lots of coffee grounds. So how do you dispose of coffee grounds?

In this article, we offer some practical tips so your coffee grounds don’t block the garbage disposal. And we explain what else you can do with disposed coffee grounds.

Let's dive in.

How to get rid of Coffee grounds - dispose of coffee grounds
There are some interesting ways to dispose of coffee grounds

How To Remove Coffee Grounds From Garbage Disposals

While it seems you can put used coffee grounds down the garbage disposal, this is not the best way to dispose of coffee grounds after you have enjoyed a cup of coffee.

Disposing of used coffee grounds in the garbage disposer can clog the sink drain and pipes with the fatty acids in the coffee grounds and cause grease buildup, clogged drain lines, or a total drain pipe blockage.

If you have mistakenly put coffee grounds down the garbage disposal, you can easily fix the buildup. Try one of these DIY ways to unclog your garbage disposal before you call a plumber:

Use A Plunger on a Clogged Drain

Put the plunger over the garbage disposer's drain, allowing water to flow into the drain. Fill the garbage disposer with water until the water covers the plunger cup.

Put a rubber stop on the other side of the drain and pump the plunger up and down 10 or 15 times to clear the clog.

Clean the P-Trap

The P-Trap is the half-circle part of your kitchen sink's plumbing that drains wastewater. Trying putting baking soda and water down it.

Place a bucket under the sink, then unscrew the P-Trap and pull it away in the bucket. Clear the P-Trap manually and rinse the inside with cold water.

Reconnect the P-Trap.

How To Keep the Garbage Disposal Clear

Keeping the garbage disposal clear may seem difficult, but the task is easy when you know how. Simply pour degreasing liquid dish soap down the disposer at least once every month.

Don’t pour commercial drain cleaning agents down your garbage disposal, especially if you have plastic pipes. These highly acidic drain cleaners can erode plastic plumbing and cause leaks.

So if you're not going to bin coffee grounds or wash them down the kitchen sink, what else can you do to dispose of coffee grounds?

Five Great Recycling Ways to Dispose of Coffee Grounds

While you can dump coffee grounds in the trash can, you can also repurpose them. You can reuse coffee grounds in many ways instead of adding to food waste.

1. In the Garden

Coffee is a useful addition to your home and garden and can be used to prevent ants from entering your home and enhance garden soil. Be aware when applying these techniques that coffee grounds are highly toxic to dogs and cats.

Here are some ways coffee grounds can benefit your garden:

2. Repel Pests

Common pests will abandon your house and garden when you apply coffee grounds. The acids in coffee grounds can repel and destroy ants, snails, and slugs.

Spread a line of coffee grounds one-to-two-inches thick around your home every two weeks. To target ants directly, apply used coffee grounds to the boundaries of a mound and sprinkle more on top of the hill.

In addition, bury coffee grounds into the anthill or pour hot coffee on the anthill to kill ants.

Snails and slugs also detest coffee grounds. Sprinkle some in your garden to ward off these pests.

3. Composting

Composting creates a natural fertilizer of decomposing organic matter that you can add to garden soil to nourish your plants. Used coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which attracts worms to your compost bin and garden.

Coffee is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals.

Spread coffee grounds in your garden or rake them into the soil. Don’t add coffee grounds where you grow plants that need soil with low acid content.

4. Use Coffee Grounds Around The House

Coffee grounds are useful for keeping your furniture looking good, preventing odors, and winterizing.

To hide unsightly scratches or dings on furniture, make a staining paste from coffee grounds. Pour a few drops of water onto the grounds, then dip a cotton swab into the moist grounds.

Dab the swab on the scratched area, then wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the wood to absorb the coffee. Buff the wood with a soft rag. Repeat the process to get a deeper shade.

Coffee grounds are good not only for hiding scratches but also for keeping odors away. Coffee grounds soak up odors while giving off an aromatic scent.

Put dried used coffee grounds in a shallow jar, then place the jar in your fridge or any area where you want to remove bad odors.

Use coffee grounds to winterize your home if you live in an area where winter brings ice and snow. The nitrogen in coffee grounds acts as a deicer.

While salt is the usual remedy for slippery sidewalks, coffee grounds are not toxic to plants. Salt can dry out plants and cause them to die.

Sprinkle coffee grounds on sidewalks and steps to help to prevent falls.

5. Add Coffee Grounds In Beauty Recipes

Coffee grounds’ gritty and acidic texture is useful for your beauty regime. Using a few simple ingredients, you can make your own hair and skin formulas.


Conditioner can leave a residue that dulls your hair. Coffee grounds mixed with your favorite shampoo can return shine to your hair by stripping conditioner residue from your tresses.

High quality, freshly ground coffee beans work better than grounds from instant or packaged coffee.


Coffee grounds can add nutrients to your skin. The primary nutrient found in coffee grounds is caffeic acid, an antioxidant that may boost collagen levels.

Coffee grounds are also antimicrobial and may protect your skin from germs such as those that cause acne.

Use coffee grounds for exfoliation. Mix coffee grounds with brown sugar and lemon drops to make a scrub. Rinse your skin with cool water and pat it dry after exfoliation.

Coffee grounds can help to reduce puffy eyes, give sun protection, and provide a soothing foot bath too.

How to Dispose of Coffee Grounds: The Final Word

You can use coffee grounds in many creative ways to keep them from blocking your drain or going to waste. With these in mind, your daily coffee can go beyond a relaxing ritual to help improve your body, home, and garden.

Want to learn more about what to do after your cup of coffee? Read our guides:

How To Get Coffee Stains Out Of Clothing How To Get Coffee Stains Out of Your Teeth