Will Coffee Grounds Harm Your Garbage Disposal?

Here’s What You Need To Know

Coffee is a staple in many households, providing that much-needed caffeine boost to start the day. But what happens when you pour coffee grounds into your garbage disposal? Unfortunately, it’s not as harmless as it seems.

Below, Avid Plumbing explains why coffee grounds and other foods should not be put down the garbage disposal.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Coffee Grounds Down a Garbage Disposal

Person's hands washing vegetable scraps into a garbage disposal in a stainless steel sink.

Coffee grounds may seem small and harmless, but they can cause significant problems for your garbage disposal and pipes. Here’s why:

  • Coffee grounds don’t break down in water. Instead, they clump together, forming a thick paste that can easily clog your pipes. This buildup restricts water flow and can lead to severe blockages.
  • While coffee grounds aren’t inherently hard, the paste they create can dull the blades of your garbage disposal over time.
  • Coffee grounds’ paste-like consistency can stick to the sides of your disposal and pipes, leading to slow drainage and potential backups.

If coffee grounds get in your disposal, turn it off and check for clogs. Then, flush the disposal with hot water to remove the grounds. Toss an ice cube down your disposal and turn it on to help break up any remaining clogs.

Other Foods You Should Avoid Putting in a Garbage Disposal

While coffee grounds are a well-known culprit, other foods can also wreak havoc on garbage disposals. Never put these items down your disposal:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Grease or fats
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bones
  • Fruit pits
  • Hard plastic or metal objects

Signs That Your Garbage Disposal Needs Repair

Recognizing the signs of a malfunctioning garbage disposal can save you from bigger issues in the future. Here are some signs that your disposal might need repairs:

  • Grinding or clanking sounds indicate there’s an object stuck in the blades.
  • A high-pitched squeal can occur with a worn-out bearing.
  • Buzzing or humming means there’s an issue with the motor.
  • A clogged drain line prevents water and food from draining.
  • There’s a leak in the drain line or disposal flange.
  • A broken or jammed reset button could keep it from turning on.
  • Clogged food scraps or grease can jam your disposal’s blades.
  • Smoking or sparks means there’s an electrical issue.

If you notice any of these signs, we recommend contacting a plumber as soon as possible.

Schedule Garbage Disposal Services in Madison, WI

When it comes to garbage disposal maintenance and repair, Avid Plumbing is your go-to expert in Madison, WI. We stand behind our work and have a minimum one-year labor and material warranty. Our technicians are available same-day and are ready with fully stocked trucks to reduce delays.

Avid Plumbing is your one-stop shop if you’re looking for competitive and honest pricing backed by a satisfaction guarantee in Madison.

Don’t wait for a small issue to become a big problem. Trust Avid Plumbing to keep your garbage disposal running smoothly. Call today to schedule an appointment.