Can You Compost Yogurt? (And Is It Good For Plants?)

Yogurt is that delicious and mostly non-fattening cool drink that everyone loves. It comes in different flavors, too and is awesome on a summer afternoon. Yogurt also has several benefits it offers the body, which makes it a popular choice.

As such, you may find yourself acquiring this tasty drink in bulk; after all, it’s much cheaper when you buy large quantities of it. But again, yogurt is a very sensitive dairy product, which means that exposing it to air for too long can spoil it.

Now, after that large purchase of yogurt, you may find one or two bad cups, and you’ll be left to dispose of the waste. So, can you compost it? Well, if that’s what you’re curious about, then please, read on. We aim to answer some environmentally related questions about yogurt.

Let’s get started!

Can You Put Yogurt in Your Compost?

Yogurt is a tasty and healthy dish, and it certainly comes in very handy in the summer. You also don’t need to always visit an ice cream store every time you need a bowl. Instead, you can buy from any supermarket, and this may result in bulk purchases sometimes.

When you have too many leftovers, you might be wondering what to do with them. Can you wash it down the drain or simply throw it out?

It seems pretty easy; after all, yogurt is liquid waste. The short-term effects of doing these might not be so damaging, but in the long run, washing your yogurt down the drain can be harmful to aquatic life, and throwing it out is just wasteful.

So, you ask, what can I do with my leftover yogurt that’s not wasteful or harmful to aquatic life? You can put your leftover yogurt for more useful purposes.

If you’re wondering if you can put your yogurt in your compost pile or bin, then the answer is a resounding yes! While some say you shouldn’t practice composting dairy products such as yogurt but it’s perfectly okay to do so.

Their reason for this stance is that yogurt is an organic product that’ll eventually degrade, but its degradation attracts vermin such as small insects and animals. These insects and animals will not hesitate to destroy your compost pile to get to the attractive aroma of the decomposing yogurt.

On the other hand, using yogurt in your compost is quite beneficial when you do it in a way that traps the odor that it inevitably emits.

You can trap the odor from composting yogurt by burying it deep within the compost pile and mixing properly with leaves. You can also choose to add a small amount of yogurt to the compost components, or you can use an automated indoor composter. When you do these properly, rodents won’t detect the odor emanating from the decomposing material.

Adding yogurt to compost promotes soil fertility and improves the microbial rate of the soil, so when next you have to dispose of some leftover yogurt, you may want to consider composting it instead of washing it down the drain.

Is Yogurt Good For Plants?

Plants, like humans and other living things, require nutrients to survive and grow. Many of these nutrients are naturally occurring in the soil and are absorbed by plants for use.

Some of these nutrients are gotten from organic human wastes, such as wastes from food. Adding some of these organic wastes to the soil has varying beneficial effects on plants growth.

Yogurt has many health benefits for humans because it contains probiotics that aid digestion and immunity; it’s also beneficial to plants. The bacteria in yogurt work together to break down large molecules and convert them into nutrients for plants.

Yogurt is an organic product, and adding it to the soil is very good for plants because it increases both the organic matter and the nitrogen contents of the soil. Yogurt and water, in the correct ratio, can serve as a good antifungal treatment for plants.

Yogurt contains two strains of probiotic bacteria; Streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus, which help to convert macromolecules like sugars and other carbohydrates to nutrients for plants. Yogurt is a natural organic fertilizer, and when you add it to the soil, it fertilizes plants and improves growth.

When pests don’t attack plants, they grow and thrive. The probiotics in yogurt work together to produce humic acid, which is a natural pest repellant. Now, you don’t need to rely on pesticides that contain acids to repel pests in your garden.

Can You Throw Yogurt Down the Drain?

We sometimes forget that the little things that we do every day become part of our daily routine, and habits are difficult to break. For instance, cleaning your dishes. Do you rinse the food scraps directly down the drain, or do you scrape them off the plate and into the trash?

If you’re already in the habit of rinsing your food scraps down the drain, you need to make a conscious effort to stop, as these food scraps can accumulate and end up causing problems for you.

The drainage system is a large network of interconnected piping that carries liquid wastes to their disposal point. No matter how small, throwing or rinsing food down the drain shouldn’t be your go-to method for clearing your food wastes. There are several other less damaging and less wasteful methods to dispose of food wastes. 

Microorganisms cannot easily break down dairy products like yogurt because of their complex enzymes. As a result, you shouldn’t wash it down the drain. However, washing them down the drain can still affect the drainage system even in minute quantities.

The process of breaking down or decomposing yogurt by bacteria requires a high amount of oxygen. So, when you pour it down the drain, it significantly reduces the oxygen required for aquatic life.

The most suitable way to dispose of yogurt is to decompose it in a compost bin. If you don’t have one, you can check with your community to find their composting waste provisions.

Can Yogurt Go Bad?

Flavored or unflavored, we all quite enjoy our yogurt. That rich, creamy and tangy taste is why we choose it as a delicious quick snack over milk. Its versatile use is why it has become a staple in many of our homes.

But, what happens when we buy more than we can use at once, or when we forget that we have this delicious dairy product stored in our fridge before buying a new batch?

Can your yogurt go bad? Well, it can, and it goes bad when it’s exposed to the slightest unfavorable conditions. However, there is more to yogurt going bad than just saying it has gone bad.

Yogurt in itself contains many different kinds of bacteria, which are called good bacteria. However, the fact that it contains ‘good’ bacteria doesn’t make it resistant to growing bad bacteria.

Many food products go bad due to the presence of bacterial or microbial growth, and yogurt isn’t any different. As such, like any other food product, yogurt that isn’t properly stored will go bad.

Some physical conditions, such as warm temperatures or exposure to heat, cause the growth of the bad kind of bacteria in yogurt. One sure way to tell if your yogurt has gone bad is the presence of mold.

To avoid stomach complications, make sure to store your yogurt properly and check it thoroughly before you dig in.

Can You Freeze Yogurt?

Freezing is one sure way to preserve and make your food products last longer. But, of course, frozen food doesn’t mean the food won’t go bad; it just increases the shelf life of the food.

So whether you’re looking to prolong the shelf life of your yogurt or looking to make yourself a delicious frozen treat, the question you ask yourself is can you freeze yogurt without changing the taste and quality?

As with many food products, you can freeze yogurt to preserve it. The probiotic bacteria present in yogurt are thermophilic, which means they can thrive and survive in relatively high temperatures.

This property of the bacteria present in yogurt allows it to be stored in the freezer for several weeks without going bad. Freezing is best done when the yogurt container hasn’t been broken.

Freezing yogurt is a great method of preserving it, but freezing can affect its texture once it is thawed. For example, the yogurt might look grainier and not as smooth as it looked when it wasn’t frozen. A quick and easy fix to this grainy texture is to stir the yogurt vigorously for a few minutes.

Can You Eat Expired Yogurt?

Yogurt is a yummy treat, no doubt about it. Quite many people enjoy it so much, they devour several tubs of yogurt at a go, while some of us only pick at it when we decide we want to eat a healthy meal.

No matter the category of yogurt eater you fall into, you’re bound to find some leftover or uneaten tubs of yogurt somewhere in your fridge or freezer at some point.

Unfortunately, the surprise leftover yogurt isn’t always found in the best of conditions. Still, sometimes you might be lucky enough to find it just as it’s expiring or only a few days past its expiration date.

Most packaged goods come with an expiry date written at the back of them. The expiry date put on these packaged manufactured products is more guidance for stores than consumers.

So, just because your yogurt has been in your refrigerator or freezer for a very long time doesn’t mean you cannot still eat it. And there is your answer; you can, in fact, eat expired yogurt as long as it’s still within a week or two of its expiration.

Expired yogurt doesn’t always look like you’d expect it to. Your yogurt can be expired without mold growing on it, especially within the first few weeks after expiration.

This doesn’t mean you should throw all caution to the wind and consume it without checking for things like a bad smell, green or yellowish discoloration, mold and other things that’ll let you know whether or not it’s gone bad.

While eating yogurt that is only a few days’ post-expiration dates won’t negatively affect you, eating yogurt that is well past its expiration date can have varying bothersome effects on your body system.


Yogurt is a satisfying, tasty and healthy snack that can also serve as a meal. Its multipurpose nature makes it such a popular dish, and you’ll find it in virtually every household.

However, this meal is very sensitive – it can go bad within minutes of exposing it to the wrong conditions. As such, we’ll inevitably all have to deal with spoilt yogurt at one point or the other. This blog post can serve as a guide for environmentally conscious decisions regarding yogurt. So please, read up and make better decisions.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.