20 Creative Uses for Coffee Grounds

If you make coffee at home every day you’ll end up with a lot of used coffee grounds. You could make great use of these coffee grounds and they are a lot more versatile than you realize. Here are 20 uses for coffee grounds.

After you read this article you will not want to throw out your coffee grounds anymore.

1. Fertilize your Garden

One of the uses for coffee grounds is to grow plants

Coffee contains key minerals for plant growth. Here are some essential minerals contained in coffee that can help plants grow.

One of the uses for used coffee grounds is to help pH balance by turning the soil more acidic. This is because coffee is slightly acidic after brewing. However, if you rinse your coffee grounds after brewing you can turn them pH neutral and they will have no effect on the acidity levels of your soil.

To use coffee grounds as fertilizer just sprinkle thinly onto your soil or add them to a compost pile. If you are familiar with composting they are considered a “green” nitrogen-rich organic material. Make sure to balance the coffee grounds with enough “browns” like dried leave, wood, and newspaper. Small insects help break down this compost mix and turn it into a fertilizer that is safe for plants.

2. Composting

Worms love coffee grounds and that makes them a perfect candidate for composting. It is a natural process that turns your organic scraps into compost or humus. This can be used or stored.

By adding compost to your garden it can help soil and plants hold into nutrients and water. It has been proven that adding compost improves the health of your plants. Another study showed that compost made with coffee grounds was actually richer in nutrients than regular food wastes.

A batch of 40% coffee grounds and 60% other organic matter produced the fewest greenhouse gasses and highest quality compost.

3. Pest Repellent

Used coffee grounds still have many chemicals within them after brewing. Certain compounds such as caffeine and diterpenes are highly toxic to insects. Other pests simply do not like the smell of coffee. As a result, you can sprinkle coffee in areas you do not want pests to go to create a safe area. Squirrels, mosquitoes, slugs, and snails all dislike the smell of coffee.

One trick we use it we like setting out empty pots where we compost coffee grounds. This repels pests and makes useful humus for us to use later.

4. Burn Coffee Grounds as Mosquito Repellent

According to the EPA, using used coffee grounds is a safe and effective way to keep mosquitoes away. Like we said in our previous tip mosquitoes cannot stand the smell of coffee.

When you burn the coffee grounds it will keep all the flying pests away and extends the reach of the coffee smell. Insects also associate smoke with danger so the instinctively avoid smoke to find shelter elsewhere.

To do this safely you must start with dry coffee grounds. Place them in a bowl or plate and burn them as you would burn incense. Light one spot that you want to start burning. That’s all, now all you have to do is keep an eye on the embers!

You may need to set up a few of these for a large outdoor event, but it’s an extremely cheap way to repel mosquitoes especially if you have the coffee grounds on hand.

5. Purge Fleas From Your Home

When your pet has fleas it can be very costly to remove the insects from their fur. There are a lot of flea-removal products, but it usually has harsh chemicals, has side effects, and is expensive. It is also tough to apply.

You can use coffee grounds to remove fleas from your pets. Coffee grounds are a natural treatment because fleas don’t like coffee.

All you have to do is rub the coffee grounds thoroughly into the pet fur after washing. Leave it on for a few minutes while wet and then rinse and dry your dog as normal.

While the coffee grounds may be less effective than a prescription product it is cheaper and you can always try again. However, if this treatment doesn’t work you can try the other prescription products or contact a vet.

6. Exfoliate Your Face

If you coarsely grind your coffee it is great as an exfoliant. French presses regularly use coarsely ground coffee.

Coffee scrubs can be made easily. All you have to do is mix 1/2 cup coffee grounds and 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Shake up or mix this mixture then it is ready.

Alternatively, you can melt a bar of regular soap and then add your coffee grounds and reshape the bar. It gives your bar of soap great scrubbing and exfoliating power as well as the health benefits of caffeine and antioxidants contained in the coffee.

When you want to use this just rub it into wet skin and rinse it off to have smooth exfoliated skin.

7. Neutralize Odors

Coffee grounds contain nitrogen which eliminates sulfur from the air when combined with carbon. When you leave coffee grounds out it helps absorb and eliminate odors.

You can place a bowl of coffee grounds wherever to help absorb and eliminate the smells. For example, you can place these in your shoes, drawers, and in your car.

8. Meat Rub and Marinade

You can pair your meats with coffee. The acidic nature of coffee grounds can be used to marinate meat. Coffee is an ingredient that is used in a lot of sauces. You can mix coffee grounds with some spices to make a meat rub.

By adding coffee to meat you can also help tenderize the meat and give it a bit of smokey flavor. It helps because the natural acids and enzymes in the coffee break down tough muscle fibers and proteins in meat.

9. Use Coffee As Dye

When you are making your Easter Eggs you can make your eggs look “patinaed”. All you have to do is soak the eggs in water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of coffee grounds.

This turns the eggs light to dark brown depending on how long you leave the eggs in.

By rewetting coffee grounds, you can also use it as a dye as well for fabrics and other things. It can give a piece of wood a great dark stain. By making the coffee grounds into a paste you can use it to buff out scratches while keeping your wood dyed brown.

10. Grow Mushrooms

Surprisingly coffee grounds are a great medium to grow mushroom. All you need to do is fill a bucket with coffee grounds and some mushroom spores.

You can dry the coffee grounds and keep them in the refrigerator so they don’t get moldy. Once you have a bucket full you can fill up the bucket and add some water and drain it out. Then you mix mushroom spawn and stir it through the coffee grounds. Next, drill holes in the side of the bucket.

Just keep the coffee grounds moist for a few days and you should start seeing some white. This is not mold, it is mushroom mycelium. Soon you should see some young mushrooms emerge and grow into mature mushrooms.

11. Reduce Cellulite

Cellulite is a medical condition that affects 80-90% of adult women.

The caffeine in coffee grounds can be used to the skin topically to help with the cellulite. This is because of the caffeine in the coffee grounds helps stimulate blood flood to the areas applied.

Mix coffee grounds with water or coconut oil and scrub the areas with cellulite to decrease the appearance of cellulite.

12. Stimulating Hair Growth

One of our female favorites uses for coffee grounds is to exfoliate your scalp. This helps you remove the buildup of dead skin cells and other residues that are left behind from shampoos and styling products.

The caffeine stimulates blood flow and accelerates hair growth. Caffeine is being increasingly used in cosmetics because of its high ability to penetrate the skin barrier. It is great for the skin and also helps hair growth through the inhibition of the 5-α-reductase activity

13. Treat Bags Under Your Eyes

The area under your eyes is the place most susceptible to aging and other issues because of the low amount of fat tissue there. Whenever there is a health issue you will be able to see it in someone’s eyes.

There can be many causes of this such as fragile blood vessels, poor circulation or just bad skin quality. Coffee grounds can help with eye bags because of caffeine and antioxidants. It can prevent aging and reduce eye bags.

This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of caffeine. According to many articles, caffeine can help the body in ways we’ve never expected.

To use this method just mix coffee grounds with water or coconut oil and apply it to your face after washing. Leave it for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this once a day and you should see results as soon as 1 month in.

14. Coffee Grounds for Cleaning

Coffee grounds have a multitude of uses for cleaning. Here are some of the popular uses.

You can use them to clean ashes from a wood-burning fireplace. The coffee grounds can be used to cover the ashes like a blanket thus weighing them down and preventing the small particles from lifting up into the air. This makes it easier to remove and prevents dust from escaping into other places in the house.

The grounds can also be used as a scrub on tough stains on pots and pans that you cant get rid of. The grounds are not hard enough to scratch your pans but can scrub off stubborn caked-on food stains.

Lastly, you can use the coffee grounds to clean your garbage disposal. Just pour the damp grounds in and run some water. Then turn on the garbage disposal and it will clean itself! You can also mix them with some chemicals to create an even more potent cleaner for your garbage disposal. By mixing coffee grounds with Epsom salts, vinegar, and baking soda the resulting mixture can remove hard water stains and other buildups.

15. Create Antique Looking Paper

Coffee can be used in arts and crafts to make coffee-stained paper that looks like an antique piece of parchment paper.

Just use a baking tray and put a piece of paper into it. Submerge it into some coffee and pour the coffee grounds in as well. The grounds give the dying inconsistencies to make it look weathered and realistic. You can also crumple up the paper before you dunk it to give it a really vintage look.

Then use a hairdryer to dry the piece of paper on high heat. The result will be a brown piece of seemingly vintage parchment paper.

16. Create a Worm Bed

If you are a fisherman who needs worms as bait you can create a high producing worm bed with your coffee grounds.

While they might not the most appealing pets they are great for bait and gardening. Worms can turn the soil and fertilize it at the same time.

Worms are attracted to coffee grounds because of all the good nutrients inside of them. By adding some coffee grounds into a pile and adding some worms you could cultivate a nice worm farm for bait and have compost for your garden.

17. Unclog Your Drains

Coffee grounds are abrasive and can help you with a lot of things. To unclog a kitchen drain with coffee grounds pour your used coffee grounds down the sink or bathroom tub. Then, follow it by a few drops of dish soap and a pot of boiling water.

This helps clean up grease build-ups in your kitchen and doing this every once in a while can help keep your pipes clean.

18. Use them for Baking

There is a multitude of recipes that require coffee grounds as an ingredient. Some of these recipes are listed here:

I have only listed a few, but there are thousands of recipes out there that use coffee grounds. By using already brewed coffee grounds you will have a result that is less bitter and has less caffeine, but that may be desirable with some recipes.

19. Make a Coffee Air Freshener or Candle

If you really love the smell of coffee you can use coffee as an air freshener. We already told you that coffee neutralizes odors, and here I will teach you how to create an aromatic coffee-scented air freshener.

All you have to do is pour coffee grounds into a stocking and tie it off into a ball. The stocking should be thin enough to let the smell out of the bag, but not let any grounds out. You can hang this stocking ball anywhere you like to bring the scent of coffee around with you.

20. Melt Ice Without the Use of Chemicals

If you live in an area with colder climates, you should have experience sprinkling salt in the streets to melt ice. However, the salt actually damages the sidewalk and is bad for the environment. And what if you don’t have sidewalk salt available when a freak freeze occurs?

This is where leftover coffee grounds can save the day. Just sprinkle the already used coffee grounds onto your shoveled sideway or driveway to prevent ice. This helps because the acidity of the coffee grounds helps melt ice faster. The texture of the coffee grounds also helps with traction so you do not slip. Lastly, coffee grounds are all-natural so they will not do damage to the ecosystem.


Who knew used coffee grounds had so many uses. Want to make a cup of coffee now so you can try these new ways to use your coffee grounds? Check out our articles about how to make french press coffee and how to make americanos!

If you brew at least one cup of coffee at home a day you should seriously consider using any one of these uses for your coffee grounds. By reusing your waste you can limit your biological footprint and create less waste in landfills around the world.


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