Plumber's Horror Clip Shows why Coffee Grounds Shouldn't Be Put in the Sink

A plumber has shared a video warning people not to put used coffee grounds down the drain.

Josh from New Zealand runs the TikTok account HoleInPlumb where he shares content from his jobs. Specializing in plumbing and gas fitting for commercial buildings and homes, he shares everything from toilet leaks to blocked pipes.

On Friday, he posted a video that captured viral attention and now has more than 2 million views—a blocked kitchen waste pipe.

Blocked Pipes

In the video, he shares how the pipe is blocked full of used coffee grounds, slowly pushing the compacted coffee out of the pipe.

After working in plumbing and gas fitting for nine years, Josh shared the eye-opening video to show others what can happen when things that shouldn't go down the drain are put down the sink.

Josh told Newsweek: "From what I understand coffee grounds don't break down in water. As you can see in the video it sticks together and can cause blockages."

Plumber shows coffee grounds blocking pipes
Shots from the viral video shared by a New Zealand plumber to show viewers what happens when you put used coffee grounds down the sink. The video has been viewed millions of times and shocked TikTok users. HoleInPlumb/TikTok

The sink in the video was inside a commercial building where multiple staff have been sharing the same sink, but the effects over time are the same when putting used coffee straight down the sink at home.

Especially when combined with other foodstuffs in the drain, coffee grounds will settle and solidify, blocking plumbing and requiring a potentially expensive fix.

What Should I Do With Used Coffee Grounds?

Thankfully, there are plenty of much better options for what to do with your used coffee grounds. Aside from putting them into general waste where they will be landfilled or incinerated, there are even more eco-friendly options.

Coffee grounds can be composted. Thanks to their nitrogen content, they can help break down organic materials into mulch, over time creating a nutrient-rich fertilizer you can use in your garden.

They can also be used to absorb strong smells around your home. Extremely absorbent, placing a jar of used and dried coffee grounds in your fridge can help keep any unwanted food smells at bay.

Many gardeners also utilize their used coffee as a chemical-free way to deter pests. The texture of used grounds has been known to deter slugs and snails from getting to your much-loved flowerbeds. While cats aren't fond of the strong smell and so sprinkling them around your outdoor space can prevent unwanted visitors.

Educating Others

"Omg, I always put mine down the sink," said one shocked viewer of the video on TikTok. Meanwhile, another commenter joked: "Maybe that's why rats in the sewer system are so wired."

"I do that for my landlord to fix," joked another commenter. While another agreed and wrote: "Note to self for things to put down [the] sink to f*** over my landlord."

"My original intention was to show my colleagues in a workshop," said Josh: "I thought it quite unusual how it was unblocking itself as you don't usually see it come out like that. Someone in the workshop jokingly said it could make a good TikTok video, so I uploaded it."

"It has been really cool to see how many people have commented to say it ended up being quite educational for them," he said: "It might open some people's eyes to the possible risks of putting certain things down your sink."