How to Unclog a Sink Clogged with Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds have a very fine consistency and they can stick onto fat and other debris that exist within the plumbing pipes. You should never dispose of your coffee grounds in the sink because it can lead to clogging.

If you’re suffering from this problem, then don’t despair. In this article, I’ll discuss several ways that will help you understand how to unclog a sink clogged with coffee grounds.

How to Unclog a Sink Clogged with Coffee Grounds

The following are some of the most effective ways that you can use to unclog a sink clogged with coffee grounds.

A close-up image of a sink drain

Method 1: Use Boiled Water

You should always start with the simplest method because it can save you a whole lot of time and effort. The first method is to use hot boiling water to unclog your sink. You can also add a tablespoon or two to the water to make it more effective. Use the following steps to complete this method.

  1. Add two to three liters of water to a big saucepan and place it on your stove.
  2. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the water.
  3. Turn the store on and select the highest temperature settings.
  4. Let the water boil, which will take about eight to 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the stove off once the water is boiled.
  6. Wear a pair of leather gloves and pick up the saucepan.
  7. Take the saucepan to your clogged sink. Be extra careful while moving because hot water can hurt you badly.
  8. Hold the handle of the saucepan with both hands and pour the water into the sink. Make sure that you stretch your both hands while pouring water to protect yourself from splashes.

If this method doesn’t unclog your sink, move to the next one listed below.  

Method 2: Using an Alkaline Cleaner

Many people use acidic solutions to break down coffee grounds blocking the sink pipe. While acidic solutions can break down coffee grounds, they’re not as effective as alkaline cleaners such as Urnex Cafiza.

You can also use baking soda for the same purpose because it’s also alkaline-based, but the product mentioned above is specially designed to remove coffee grounds by dissolving them. Use the following steps to unclog a sink using baking soda or a commercial alkaline cleaner.

  1. Remove the sink drain cover and add one tablespoon of alkaline cleaner to the drain.
  2. Pour some water so that the alkaline cleaner can reach the clogged area.
  3. Wait for 8 to 10 minutes to let the cleaner dissolve clogged up coffee grounds.
  4. Add three to four cups of water to a saucepan and heat it up for about a minute. Make sure that you don’t boil the water.
  5. Pour hot water into your sink drain.
  6. Turn the tap on to see if the problem is resolved.

If the alkaline cleaner fails to unclog your sink, move to the next method.

Method 3: Using the Plunger

Using a plunger is also an effective and simple way to unclog a sink clogged with coffee grounds. Use the following steps to complete this method effectively.

  1. Add water to the clogged side of your sink by turning the tap on until it’s half-filled.
  2. Place the plunger over the sink’s drain.
  3. Hold the plunger’s handle firmly and start pumping it in an up and down motion quickly.
  4. Stop pumping and remove the plunger if you start to hear the sound of water flowing. 

Once you have plunged the drain but your sink is still not draining smoothly, you’ll need to move to the next method.

Method 4: Using the Airsnake

Using the Airsnake is one of the most effective and efficient ways to unclog a sink clogged with coffee grounds. It’s a powerful tool that can clean even the most stubborn clogs. Use the following steps to complete this method. 

  1. Select the pressure using the variable pressure gauge given on the backside of the tool. I recommend you go for 15 PSI for this method.
  2. After that, press and hold the activation button located on the side of the tool near the trigger. The tool will build up the selected pressure. 
  3. Equip the tool with the one-inch plug because it’ll suit your sink drain size. 
  4. Remove the sink drain cover and place the plug on the drain.
  5. Put some pressure downward on the tool to seal the drain and pull the trigger. 
  6. Run the water to see if the blockage is cleared.
An image of a stainless steel sink

Method 5: Checking the P-Trap

Your P-Trap, an elbow or U-shaped pipe located underneath the sink, can also be responsible for a clogged sink. You’ll need to remove it in order to resolve the problem. Use the following steps to complete this method.

  1. Grab a plastic water tub or a big bucket and place it underneath the P-trap.
  2. Wear a plastic apron to protect your clothes from the water that’ll come out while opening the U-shaped pipe. 
  3. Remove the nuts located on both ends of the p-trap connecting it to the vertical drain pipe.
  4. Remove the p-trap from its place and inspect it for clogged up coffee grounds.
  5. If there is a blockage, use your fingers to remove the clogs. You can also use a screwdriver or Allen wrench for the same purpose.
  6. Rinse the p-trap thoroughly after clearing up the blockage thoroughly.
  7. You should also inspect the horizontal drainpipe to make sure it doesn’t have clogged up coffee grounds. 
  8. Once you have cleaned the p-trap, attach it back to its place and secure the nuts properly that you removed.
  9. Turn the tap on to see if the sink is draining properly.

How to Prevent Future Clogs?

The best way to prevent future clogs is to make sure that you don’t dispose of your coffee ground in the sink. I also recommend you use a high-quality mesh drain strainer. It’ll prevent all the nonliquids, descaled elements, including coffee grounds, from flowing down the drain.

You’ll only need to place the mesh drain strainer on your sink drain and it’ll start catching all the solid particles. It’ll come in handy even if you dispose of your coffee grounds in the sink mistakenly.

After placing the strainer in your sink drain, you’ll only need to pick it up and throw the solids in the garbage to keep your sink from clogging up.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is the list of some of the most commonly asked questions about unclogging a sink clogged with coffee grounds.

Why Do Coffee Grounds Clog Up the Sink?

Coffee grounds don’t break down or dissolve in water. Instead, they clump together and make a strong bond. If you pour them down your sink, they’ll develop a clog over time and block your sink drain. That’s why your coffee grounds should always go to compost or a garbage can.

How to Dispose of Coffee Grounds Properly?

The best way to dispose of your coffee grounds is to throw them in the garbage after collecting them from the coffee maker. You can also use your coffee grounds in your garden to fertilize your plants. But you must never pour them down your sink as they can block your sink pipe.

How Do You Know Your Drain Is Clogged?

A backlog of water is the most common sign that your kitchen drain is clogged. Keep in mind that it can be a gradual process. If your sink is taking a longer time than normal to drain, you should act quickly rather than allowing it to get more clogged and finally stop draining altogether. You may also notice some other signs with your drain, such as a greasy coating on the plughole or large air bubbles coming out of the drain.

Final Words

Having a clogged-up sink is a frustrating experience and it can happen if you pour the coffee grounds down your sink. I hope this guide will help you learn the most effective ways to unclog a sink clogged with coffee grounds.