What to do with used coffee grounds

There is no doubt that coffee is one of the most loved beverages in the world. It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee is consumed daily. And this generates a lot of waste in the form of spent coffee grounds.

Most of us dispose of the used coffee grounds in the garbage. I used to do the same before I discovered that there are plenty of ways these spent coffee grounds can be used effectively.

In this article, I will share 20 creative ways you can use old coffee grounds. I bet after reading this article you will think twice while disposing of used grounds.

You can use spent coffee grounds as a fertilizer for your garden, you can use them to prepare body scrubs for your skin, also you can use them for cleaning purposes, and there are many more unusual uses. 

20 creative ways to use Spent Coffee Grounds

Here’s a chart for 20 creative uses of spent coffee grounds. Save this chart, this will help to figure out what to do with grounds after brewing a cup of coffee

Uses of Spent coffee grounds
Uses of Spent coffee grounds

1- Use coffee grounds in the garden

You can use spent coffee grounds either as compost material or directly as a fertilizer. 

Composting is a natural process of creating fertilizer using organic waste such as leaves, waste food material, and animal waste. According to a study, compost made with spent coffee grounds has way more nutrients than normal compost.

The main benefit of using coffee grounds as a fertilizer is that it adds many valuable nutrients to the soil which increases soil aeration and water retention in the soil. Also, microorganisms beneficial for plants can flourish on used coffee grounds. 

Coffee grounds also attract earthworms which are very beneficial for the soil. 

So, from now, instead of throwing coffee grounds into waste beans throw them in your garden and make them useful. 

Compost for garden

2- Use them as insecticide or pesticide

According to a study, spent coffee grounds still has some leftover caffeine and related methylxanthines which are very toxic for pests and small insects.

So, you can use spent coffee grounds to repel bugs or small insects and you can also use them as a pesticide for your plants.

To use them as a pesticide, simply sprinkle them on the soil and leaves of your plants. To use them as insecticide you can keep them in a bowl in your living room or you can also burn them (as they are more effective when they are burned). 

3- Make a body scrub out of old coffee grounds

You can make a DIY body scrub at your home for nourishing and moisturizing your skin using spent coffee grounds.

Simply mix the used coffee grounds with coconut oil, brown sugar, and some water and scrub it on your skin and see the magic.

Coffee grounds are abrasive in nature and scrub away dead cells from your skin and give a fresher look.

Body scrub

4- Make coffee candles

Coffee has a very intoxicating smell which feels very pleasurable. You can make a DIY candle with spent coffee grounds at your home to fill your living room with that intoxicating smell.

To make coffee candles, follow these steps

  • Melt palm wax on the stovetop
  • Pour a layer of melted palm wax into a cup
  • Sprinkle one tablespoon of used coffee grounds over that layer.
  • Similarly, make three to four layers of melted wax and spent coffee grounds
  • Again, at the top sprinkle one tablespoon of used coffee grounds
  • Add a wick in the center, and let it dry for one hour

You can burn the mixture once it is dried and enjoy the sweet coffee aroma.

Coffee candles

5- Eliminate odors with used grounds

You can use spent coffee grounds as a natural deodorizer. According to a study, the presence of nitrogen in coffee grounds can make activated carbon which absorbs foul-smelling Hydrogen sulfide gas.

Simply place a bowl of used coffee grounds and it will absorb the odors from foul-smelling foods.

You can also place the used grounds in your socks, gym bags, or shoes to odorize them.

6- Scrap your dishes

The abrasive nature of coarse coffee grounds makes them ideal to remove stubborn stains from your dishes.

Simply put the used coffee grounds into the utensil you want to clean and scrub as usual and it will make it clean as new.

Dish cleaning

7- Use old coffee grounds as a natural dye

You know if the coffee is spilled on your shirt by mistake it leaves a stain that can’t be easily removed. That means you can use coffee grounds as a natural dye.

To dye your hairs with used coffee grounds, follow these steps

  • Mix two cups of shampoo with 4 tablespoons of spent coffee grounds
  • Thoroughly wash your hair with a regular shampoo
  • Now soak your hair with the mixture prepared in the first step. Thoroughly spread the mixture all over your head with your fingers and make sure it gets to the roots of your hair.
  • After sixty to ninety minutes, wash your hair as you regularly do. Make sure to remove all the coffee residue from your hairs
  • That’s it! I’m sure your hair will look lovely with the beautiful dark brown tune.

There are many benefits of using coffee as a natural dye for your hair. According to a study, coffee can actually stimulate the growth of your hair. Moreover, coffee can darken your hair and make them healthy and shiny.

hair dye

8- Clean Your Fireplace with used coffee grounds

There’s another use for used coffee grounds if you live in a colder place and have a fireplace in your living room.

Cleaning the fireplace can be very messy because while cleaning dust can fly all over your room. 

Here’s a simple way to clean your fireplace.

  • Brew a pot of coffee for you and your family.
  • Take out the spent coffee grounds and sprinkle them all over the fireplace.
  • Now clean your fireplace as usual, and I am sure you will notice ash flying all over your room as usual.
  • Enjoy the pot of coffee with your family.

The denser coffee particles will weigh down the ash particles and prevent them from flying and forming ash clouds.

fireplace

9- Polish your scratched furniture

There is a usual problem with wooden furniture that it deteriorates with scratches as time passes. 

Well, you can buy a polish from the store to cover these scratches. But why not cover these scratches with used coffee grounds? 

To polish your furniture with spent coffee grounds, follow these steps

  • Prepare a paste by mixing used coffee grounds and water
  • Apply this paste with a cotton swab to scratches on your furniture.
  • Let it sit for ten to twenty minutes
  • Now gently wipe away the coffee grounds

Where are the scratches? They are gone!

furniture polishing

10- Melt ice on sideways in winter

Usually, salt is used as a deicer to melt ice on the sideways and roads. Used coffee grounds act in a similar way as salt and you can use them to melt ice in the front of your home.

Used coffee grounds are slightly acidic in nature and contain a large amount of nitrogen which makes them good to be used as a deicer.

So, instead of throwing used coffee grounds in the waste bin throw them on the ice in front of your home in cold winters.

11- Use for art and crafts

You can prepare a coffee dough with old coffee grounds and use them to create coffee paintings which can be fun for kids or artistic adults

They can be used to make inexpensive crafts to decorate your homes or you can prepare colors from them for painting.

12- Use old ground for fishing

If you are a fan of fishing then I am sure you will love to use spent coffee grounds on your next fishing trip.

Fishermen can use coffee grounds to keep alive their fish bait worms. Worms love coffee grounds as food that keeps them alive for longer.

And also, according to experts, the coffee-flavored worms can attract bass and trout. These fishes love the smell of coffee and are attracted to it.

So, next time on a fishing trip instead of disposing of the grounds from your morning coffee put them in the bag of worms. I am sure you will catch a lot of coffee-loving fishes that way.

fishing worms

13- Keep your flowers fresh for longer

Cut flowers used in the homes for decoration can’t stay fresh longer on just water. And they don’t last longer than a day or two.

You can use spent coffee grounds as a source of nourishment that can keep your decorative flowers fresh for longer.

Spent coffee grounds have a lot of nitrogen which can act as food for plants. Simply add one to two tablespoons of coffee grounds into a vase of flowers containing water and see the magic.

flowers

14- Use to reduce dark eye circles

If the 5th cup of coffee is not enough for keeping the dark circle under your eyes away you can use spent coffee grounds to make them right.

The skin under the eye is very sensitive and it may get darker with age or dark circles might appear if you haven’t slept properly.

According to a study, the caffeine content in the spent coffee grounds have anti-inflammatory properties which increase the blood flow in the skin surrounding your eyes and prevent the appearance of dark circles.

Many skin and cosmetic products use coffee or caffeine as an ingredient because of its immense usefulness.

Prepare a scrub by adding coffee grounds to water or coconut oil and apply it skin surrounding your skin. Let it sit for ten to twenty minutes and wash your face as usual.

15- Remove odors from your hands

While preparing the food your hands can become smelly because of chopping onions or garlic. And that smell is annoying, it doesn’t go away no matter how hard you wash your hands. It even worsens when you wash your hand with soap or handwash.

Spent coffee grounds can rescue this problem too as they are a natural deodorizer.

Keep a bowl of old coffee grounds near your sink and simply rub them on your hands after cutting onions or garlic. Magic again! You will not notice any smell.

hand washing

16- Trap cockroaches with used grounds

Almost every one of us hates cockroaches in our houses and we use different kinds of cockroach repellents to keep them away.

Well, you can also use spent coffee grounds to trap cockroaches and throw them out of our home. Like humans, cockroaches also love the smell of coffee and are attracted to it, and here you can make a trap for them.

  • Fill a large glass jar with water and mix spent coffee grounds in it.
  • Cockroaches will be attracted by the scent of coffee and will enter the jar.
  • Once they enter the jar, they will unable to escape because of the water. 
  • Now simply discard this water out of your home.

17- Reduce cellulite using old grounds

Cellulite is a very common skin condition that causes lumpy flesh on thighs, hips, or buttocks. Although, this is a harmless condition but it ruins the beauty of your skin and it is mostly found in women.

Spent coffee grounds can be very useful to treat this condition.

Simply prepare a scrub by mixing coffee grounds with water or coconut oil and apply it to the affected area for ten to twenty minutes once or twice a week.

The caffeine content in the coffee grounds increases the blood flow through that area which breakdown the lumpy tissues and reduces the cellulite.

18- Use them as a dark dye for clothes

You can use spent coffee ground as a natural dark brown colored dye for your clothes.

We all know that getting rid of the stain from the coffee on our cloth is not an easy task. So, they can be used as a permanent dye.

Simply add a lot of spent coffee grounds in some large utensils containing water. Boil the mixture and add the piece of clothing to it. Let the cloth soak completely in water for thirty to forty minutes and then hang it to dry completely. You can also run the iron over it to make the color more stable.

19- Use them while bathing your pets

While some insects love the scent of coffee, luckily fleas hate it. You can use spent coffee grounds to keep fleas away from your pet. 

Usually, pets with large hairs or furs on their skin attract fleas which ruins the ambiance of the home. There are several flea-repellant chemicals available on the market but why spend money on them when you can do it for free? 

While bathing your pets, rub their hairs with spent coffee grounds and then clean it off with water. 

After doing this, I am sure you will love the scent of your pet, and fleas will hate it, and that’s exactly what we want.

Pet washing

20- Marinate the meat

You can marinate chicken or red meat with used coffee grounds. Simply put the meat in water and add two tablespoons of spent coffee grounds to it. Leave it overnight and cook the meat next, I bet you will enjoy the taste of that meat.

Coffee contains acids and enzymes that are effective for tenderizing meat.  

If you want to do barbeque, instead of adding water, you can simply apply the spent coffee grounds to the meat and grill it on coals. This way you will have a nice smoky and crispy flavor that you will love.

meat

Final Thoughts

The caffeine, nitrogen, and natural antioxidants present in spent coffee grounds are very valuable and you should use them in a better way instead of throwing them out.

All the uses I have mentioned above are completely natural and can save you a lot of bucks if you apply them. 

I hope after reading these 20 amazing uses of spent coffee grounds you will never discard the grounds after drinking coffee and repurpose them in a better way.

FAQs

Are Coffee Grounds Good For The Garden?

Yes, coffee grounds are very useful for home gardens. Coffee grounds have a lot of nitrogen content, along with many vital nutrients which are good for the soil. In compost, they make a healthy mixture that increases the ability of soil to hold water for longer which is certainly good for plants.

What Animals Do Coffee Grounds Keep Away?

Coffee grounds can keep away snails, slugs, rabbits, and cats. These animals can ruin the plants and flowers in your garden. So, it will be a wise decision to throw spent coffee grounds in the soil of the garden instead of throwing them into waste.