Right next to the water, tea sits firmly on the most consumed beverage in the entire world. Among the thousands of distinct flavors and smells available, there’s something for everyone, from cool, fresh, and herbaceous to floral and spicy. Drinking tea offers a wide range of health benefits while also being a delectable beverage to enjoy.
Popular tea leaves are collected from Camellia sinesis—including green, black, red, white, Pu-erh, and oolong tea variants. The processing process of tea leaves gives the tea its distinctive smell and diverse flavor profiles. In addition, spices and flower components such as unopened buds and stems are used to make herbal infusions and tisanes.
To get a great cup of tea, steeping loose tea leaves is a great option. However, the process is time-consuming and messy. It’s a shame that leaves can’t go down the drain, but they’re all right to toss in the garbage or compost bin. It’s a common misconception that food waste can be washed down the kitchen sink drain if the sink has a garbage disposal.
This can’t possibly be the case.
Stuff like grease, coffee grounds, and tea leaves that don’t break down will accumulate in your pipes and clog your drain over time. According to most plumbers, tea leaves are the most common source of clogs. Small particles like to stick to the inner workings of the tubes, slowing down a large flow and eventually plugging them up and causing a backup.
Are Tea Leaves Good for Drains?
Dishwashing is the last thing anyone wants to do after a meal. All minor food scraps end up in the drain because we’re too lazy to dispose of them properly. But how much trouble is this going to be? Much more than you could anticipate.
Putting tea leaves in the garbage disposal won’t help since they will still clog the pipes. Also, tea leaves should not be flushed down the toilet or the sink drain. As the tea leaves swell, they may get stuck in the curve of your sink and clog your pipes and drains.
To properly discard your used tea leaves, follow these steps:
- Dispose of the tea leaves in the garbage or compost bin. Then, remove the infuser basket from the tea and toss the leaves into the trash or compost bin after steeping them for whatever length you like. In case you haven’t used your infuser basket, place a strainer over your teapot before pouring.
- Tea leaves should not be flushed down the toilet or the sink drain. To avoid a plumbing disaster, always dispose of used tea leaves in the garbage or compost bin. As mentioned earlier, tea leaves can swell that could get stuck in the curve of your sink and clog your pipes.
- To clean the teapot, use either hot or cold water. Fill the teapot halfway with water and give it a few swirls to catch the tea leaves. Tea leaves attached to the pot’s sides can be retrieved by providing the teapot several whirls to circulate the tea.
- Rinse the teapot until it’s completely clear of tea leaves, then check inside. Pour the teapot’s water through a metal strainer set over the sink. The sieve prevents the leaves from going down the drain by collecting them.
Can Loose Leaf Tea Go Down the Drain?
To someone who isn’t familiar with plumbing, the kitchen sink drain may appear to be a simple spot to dump all waste. Unfortunately, many individuals unknowingly clog and damage their gutters by pouring stuff down them that their plumbing cannot handle, even though they’re not meant to be used for anything other than water disposal.
Drain blockages are widespread plumbing problems that consumers encounter. But, even if a plumbing-savvy homeowner can clear the clog on their own, it’s best to leave it to the pros.
If you don’t want to dispose of your used tea leaves, consider using these methods to reuse your tea leaves:
- Light tea leaves variants such as green tea, white tea, and Pu-erh can be used for food preparation. Tea leaves can be added to Asian cuisines such as noodles, salad, and even fried rice. It can also be prepared for a pickle solution, adding a distinct earthy and leafy note to your brine.
- Used tea leaves can be effectively repurposed as a deodorizer. Dried tea leaves can be placed inside a cheesecloth or muslin bag to absorb excess moisture inside your home. You can also infuse these dried tea leaves with essential oils to improve their scent.
- Surprisingly, tea leaves can also be used as a cleaning agent. Clean your used cutting board, dirty dishes, and windows by using the actual tea leaves. It will effectively maintain a squeaky-clean finish in your room.
- You can infuse tea leaves into your skincare routine. Tea leaves are natural antioxidants, and they can effectively improve your skin. For example, mix dried tea leaves into your scrub, mask, and tonic. It can also remove the puffiness and redness of your skin.
- Tea leaves can be used for painting. Like trendy coffee art, tea leaves can also give you the same brown hue that complements most artwork and crafts. Mix your brewed tea leaves with other variants to produce different color intensities.
Can You Flush Tea Leave Down the Toilet?
Tea leaves may appear innocuous, but they are a common cause of clogged S bends due to their small size and looseness. Tea may be beneficial to our health, but it’s not so great for the draining system. So if you’re using loose leaf tea, be careful only to pour a few of the leaves down the drain. If they’re not dealt with, the problem will only get worse.
While toilet pipe drains are relatively more significant than kitchen drains, you cannot still use this to dispose of your tea leaves for good. While tea leaves look harmless—they can swell and form a build-up to your significant toilet drain. This will create a thick, leafy pulp that can clog your toilet for no good.
Contacting plumbing professionals is recommended in case you get your plumbing system clogged with tea leaves.