Have you ever felt tired waking up to commute to work and you go to the kitchen to make your favourite hot coffee to give you that caffeine boost. While your coffee is being made, you sit down to scroll through your social media and suddenly you realize you are going to be late for work. So you dash to the kitchen sink, realize there is no time to dump the coffee grounds into the trash can and wash it down the sink. At this point, you probably don’t think much of what you have done, since it is just coffee grounds. But what we don’t realize is that those tiny granules can create extreme blockages in your pipes. Yes, it is quite surprising but along with grease, coffee grounds are one of the leading causes of pipe blockages.
Let’s dive into the root causes of these blockages and come up with solutions if you have already committed this atrocious act. Just joking! If you have done this, do not feel guilty because if we are being honest with ourselves, we have all done this. So, let’s explore the causes and solutions.
What are the root causes for the blockages?
We have all had this same question, “If food can go down the garburator, why can’t we put coffee grounds down the sink?”. Here is the unfortunate truth, coffee grounds often clump up together in water rather than breaking down. Eventually, the coffee grounds can accumulate up into a big enough clump inside your sink drains which creates blockages that can prohibit the drains from doing their job.
Oftentimes, some people say coffee grounds can be washed down the drain as long as you pour enough water down the drain to flush them out completely. This is true; however, it will use up a lot of water to rinse them out completely. Not only is it a waste of water, but it will also cost you a lot more in water bills from just making a coffee. Therefore, this method is not recommended by the experts since it is very inefficient and not sustainable.
What else can you not wash down the drain?
Since we already know that coffee grounds belong in the garbage, there are few other things that you cannot wash down the drain, this includes:
- Grease such as oil and fats from cooked meat
- Egg Shells & Banana Peels
- Any non-food items such as cigarette butts, paper towels, and sponges
What are some alternate methods to dispose coffee grounds?
If you want an alternate method for disposing coffee grounds besides putting them in the garbage, you can always put them in your compost since they offer great acidity for plants. It is also highly valued as a natural fertilizer, so you can sprinkle it around your vegetable plants and flowers.
Another way you use some of the coffee grounds is to put it in a recycled container and put the lid on with some holes punched through it and then place it at the back of your fridge. The coffee grounds will act as a natural absorbent of bad odours in your fridge leaving it fresh and clean smelling.
What are some home remedies for blockage?
If you are already putting your coffee grounds down your drain and you suspect coffee grounds are the main culprit behind it, then you need to clean them out immediately. All you need to clean your drain is some baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. Follow these instructions step by step and you will have a clean drain:
- Boil some water, preferably a full kettle of water.
- Put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda on the drain. Make sure it goes down the drain.
- Take half a cup of vinegar and slowly pour it over the drain with the baking soda.
- You will not notice a lot of bubbling up and that is a good sign.
- Let it sit for 15-20 min
- Take your boiled water and pour it down the drain to rinse out the pipes.
- Repeat again as necessary
When is it too late for home remedies?
Oftentimes, the blockages are too thick for homemade remedies and there are signs that will indicate you need help from a professional plumber. These signs include:
If you notice any of this or find a clog that is hard to remove, there is no need to panic. Immediately call CJ Drain & Plumbing to book an appointment with one of our plumbers. All it takes is a simple cleaning by our professional plumbers to get rid of the sludge buildup. Just make sure not to continue filling the drains with coffee grounds and you too can have healthy drains that will save you a lot of hassle.