Coffee grounds down the drain ...

Can they be used to keep pipes clean?
My roomy says that would work. His logic, coffee doesn’t form a hard mass in the drain, like mashed potatoes, etc. So the coffee would slide down “scouring” the pipe and knocking off all the fat that collects from when he pours bacon grease down.
So far we’ve had no problems, but I’m sure this can’t work, can it?

you’re likely to clog your trap that way. Grounds are heavy, and will get stuck in the trap.

No, grounds are not heavy, they usually float, which would “scour” at the water line, not the bottom, but maybe that’s what you want.

Actually, checking a DIY site, they say sending ice cubes down your garbage grinder will scour the pipes, and that certainly won’t leave a residue. But they don’t talk about grounds, which roomy prefers.

The better plan for keeping the plumbing happy is to not put bacon grease down the drain in the first place.

No, they sink. In my experience, they always sink. If I dump a percolator basket of used grounds into the kitchen sink, odds are that the sink will clog up. With a disposer, the remedy is simple - turn on the disposer and the grounds are sent on down the pipe. It’s not so happy in a sink without a disposer.

Oh yeah? Do a Google search for “coffee grounds drain trap” and see how many people agree…

Whether grounds float or sink may depend on how darkly they are roasted. However, our sink when it clogs always yields coffee grounds when it’s unplugged.

Earlier this year I had to have my sewer snaked. It wasn’t because of coffee grounds.

However, I had to wait for the plumber, who was working on a clogged drain in a kithen sink. It was clogged with coffee grounds.

Don’t put coffee grounds down the drain.

The OP is obviously a renter, not an owner.

When you own the pipes (and pay the plumber) you take better care of the plumbing, and don’t do stupid things.

You’re better off throwing your coffee grounds into your garden.

I think the coffee grounds thing is to be blamed on advice columnists telling people they made a garbage disposal smell better. You know how people change things by word of mouth.

You really ought to read the OP before you comment.
Since you failed to do that, you made three mistakes: I never pretended to be an owner. The word “roomate” should have tipped you off that it’s not a house, it’s a room. And it’s not me putting anything down the drain, it’s my roommate.
And I’m not stupid for doubting my roommate.
So try to get your facts straight before you post.

I think you hit on the answer. I’ll pass it by Roomie and see if it rings a bell. Thanks for the observation.

Well, I’ll note that postcards’ comment didn’t imply that you had claimed to be the owner, and could be taken to apply to your roommate, not to you. IOW, it wasn’t necessarily a serious snark.
My experience of clearing clogged drains has led me to place my coffee grounds in the garbage. Expecting them to improve the plumbing seems like wishful thinking.

The term “roommate” is commonly used to describe a person sharing any living arrangement, whether a room, a house or an apartment. This usage, while technically incorrect, is common enough that no assumptions can be made in regards to the type of living arrangement based on the use of the word alone.

… (assuming you mean into a composter) along with vegetable peelings, fruit, shredded paper, tea bags, egg shells and any old fruit/vegetables but definitely NOT bacon grease or anything cooked.

When I was a kid, I spent a day with my dad (he was a plumber) working on a neighbor’s house. Their drain could not be cleared by a standard snake. The problem was a totally blocked 3 inch pipe plugged solid with coffee grounds.

I work in rental property management, and I says, I says:


If they do clog it up, they are a bitch to get out.

And if you have a grease clog, do not use drain cleaner, which is lye. The two combine to make soap!

Annie-Xmas, head of the Straight Dope Marching Band & Anti-Drano Society

When I was on a navy ship the practice for making na new urn of coffee in my third deck flag office involved dumping the old grounds down the commode in the head across the passageway. Then one day, it wouldn’t flusl so they had to get a firehose and force it down the commode to clear it. Then they had to clean the passageway. A true SNAFU.

But why would soap in your pipes be a bad thing? Wouldn’t it wash away and eliminate the clog?

I understand that coffee grounds are quite good for your garden- straight, not in a composter.

Make the pipes smell better? Doubtful, although citrus peels chopped by the disposal smell great because of the oils.

Most kitchen sink pipes have a pretty significant u-bend in them. We once had a terrible experience in our kitchen involving coffee grounds and egg shells down the drain. Nasty.