There is a reason people complain about smelly garbage disposals. They do a lot of hard work on our behalf! When working properly, garbage disposals will grind up scrap pieces of food and condiments rinsed off of lunch and dinner plates every day. It’s no wonder that after processing food for us all day every day, garbage disposals eventually develop a stinky smell!
The good news is, it’s easy to keep your garbage disposal fresh and clean with just a few household products.
How to Make Coffee Grounds Garbage Disposal Tablets
- 1 cup Dry Coffee Grounds (used or fresh)
- ¾ cup Epsom Salt
- ½ cup Baking Soda
- 3 tbsp Distilled White Vinegar
Step 1: Dry Your Coffee Grounds
If you drink coffee each morning, this is a great way to recycle your coffee grounds! After your morning cup, sprinkle the used coffee grounds on a large plate or baking sheet to dry completely. Store the dried grounds in a container and continue adding to it until you have 1 cup worth.
(NOTE: You can also use fresh ground coffee in this recipe if you don’t have the patience to dry and recycle each morning.)
Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients
Grab a large bowl and combine all of the dry ingredients: coffee grounds, Epsom salt, and baking soda. Mix well!
Step 3: Add Vinegar
Slowly add distilled white vinegar to your mixture. You will notice a fizzing reaction between the baking soda and vinegar, but this will subside quickly. Stir in the vinegar until the mixture starts to clump together. Add vinegar ½ tsp at a time until the mixture clumps into a ball.
Step 4: Scoop Your Tablets
Use a lemon baller, small scoop, or spoon to scoop and pack the tablet mixture into small tablets. Lay each tablet on parchment paper until completely dry. You can store these tablets in a jar or other container in your kitchen.
How to Use:
The next time you notice your garbage disposal could use a refresh, pop one or two tablets down your garbage disposal while it’s running and rinse it down with running water.
For even more cleaning power, follow these tablets with 1-2 frozen vinegar cubes. I have a container full of these in my freezer at all times! These will also help eliminate funky smells as well as sharpen your garbage disposal blades. You can also try citrus garbage disposal refreshers, which are better looking and will have a similar effect.
I think part of the worrisome thing about putting coffee grounds down the disposer is the fact that people put them in wet and usually it's enough to gag a horse, let alone a drain pipe. These tablets are just a little spoonful and you are supposed to run plenty of water with them. Shouldn't cause big problems. And why would anyone be putting that much grease down the drain, anyway?????
Ryan Adler says
This whole time I’ve avoided putting coffee grounds in my disposal because I thought it might be bad for it or something… and now you’re telling me I can actually use them to clean my disposal?! Haha. I’ll be sure to start saving my coffee grounds from now on.
Ashley, do you have any response to the people commenting about coffee grounds being bad for plumbing?
A plumber told me recently to NEVER put Coffee Grounds down our sinks, because nothing causes more blockages and clogged pipes than coffee grounds and grease. Even if we don’t put them down the drain at the same time, they’ll meet up and form a sludgy impenetrable nightmare.
I use the tablets to put in my Food Waste Recycle Bins,as Council empty the bins once a fortnight, or spread the Coffee Grounds round my Garden. All plant life can benefit from the used coffee grounds; you don’t have to compost. Just spread ‘em around in your garden to repel insects like ants and slugs and stimulate your plants. If you don’t have a garden, start compiling them in a container and give them to someone who does. If you have houseplants, you can put both coffee grounds and spent tea in them.
A friend uses them when she makes her Candles – Coffee-scented candles: Melt wax, mix with grounds, pour into paper cup with candlewick. Cut away the cup and enjoy! (Not tried this myself, yet)
Diane S. says
Talked to a plummer not too long ago and he said one of the things you should not put down your garbage disposal was coffee. Would these be OK as long as it is not straight coffee grounds?
Carla Taylor says
Awesome idea! !!!!! Can’t wait to try it!!!
Glad to know another way to use old coffee grounds! But I have learned over the years that the most important step in cleaning a disposal is to first scrub the crud from under the flaps of the splash guard. A long handled rounded brush and baking soda paste works well. I’m going to add to that by finishing with your deodorizing tablets.
Ashley Davenport says
Great idea! I’ve been saving my grounds for body scrub, but I have way more grounds than I need. Now I don’t have to waste them:)