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14 Surprising Uses for Old Coffee Grounds

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
September 04, 2016 · 3k Views

Stop chucking the coffee grounds left over from the morning’s brew into the garbage. Leftover coffee grounds are surprisingly versatile and come in handy when doing chores like gardening and cleaning, and even taking care of your skin. Check out this list of recycling tips and tricks and see how you can use old coffee grounds to enhance your everyday life.

If you want to give these cool tricks a run and you're low on coffee grounds, visit our coupon pages for Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco, Safeway, and Vons to see all the sales, deals, and coupons available.


  1. Compost

    Source: wimp.com
    Throw old coffee grounds onto your compost heap. Because the grounds are high in nitrogen, they make a good “green” matter. Don’t throw on too much though – it will offset the balance of “green” and “brown” matter. For more information on using coffee grounds in compost.

     SEE MORE: 6 Veggies You Can Easily Regrow from Kitchen Scraps
  2. Pest repellent

    Keep hazardous garden pests such as ants, slugs, and snails at bay by sprinkling coffee grounds around plants.

  3. Give your carrot crop a boost

    Source: logrofarms.com

    Mix just-used coffee grounds with the tiny carrot seeds and they will be easier to sow. The grounds will also add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

  4. Add grounds to the bait box

    Here’s a tip for anyone who lists fishing as a favorite pastime. Before dumping worms into your bait box, mix coffee grounds with the soil. Worms love coffee and the added nutrients in the soil will help them live longer.

  5. Feritilizer

    Source: youtube.com
    Use coffee grounds as fertilizer for acid-loving plants such as hydrangeas, azaleas, and roses. First, you’ll want to neutralize the acid by mix the grounds with dead grass clippings or dry straw. Then just spread them in the garden.

     SEE MORE: 7 Easy Ways to Add Plants to Any Small Space
  6. Deodorize your fridge

    You meant to clean out the crisper before leaving on a week long vacation. But you forgot and are now left with a very ripe smelling refrigerator. Remedy the stench by placing a bowl of coffee grounds inside – it will help neutralize the odor.

  7. Clean your kitchen

    Source: thekrazycouponlady.com

    Coffee grounds can be used as a natural cleaner in place of products packed full of chemicals. Sprinkle on a cleaning cloth and use it to scrub away any caked-on food you see on counters, tables, and dishes.

  8. Clean a dirty grill

    Nobody wants to clean a grill grate with caked-on grease. The job is made little easier with the help of coffee grounds. Pour the grounds onto a damp rag and scrub away – the course texture of the grains will help remove grease build-up.

  9. Erase scratches off furniture

    Source: bestofweb.com.br

    If you have kids or pets, you most likely have furniture with scratches too. Get rid of these unsightly blemishes by mixing coffee grounds with vinegar and warm water, and then rub the mixture with a cloth on to any scratches you see. Use a q-tip for smaller, faint scratches.

  10. Make antique paper

    This DIY project lets you create beautiful, aged-looking paper that can be used for wedding invitations, to make art, or express a favorite quote or poem. Check out this tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

  11. Exfoliate your skin

    Source: myphamsakura.net

    Use coffee grounds to take your skin-care regimen to the next level. Mix the grounds with a little water and oil (we suggest coconut oil because of its lovely smell) and scrub on your skin in areas that need exfoliating.

  12. DIY Facemask

    While not exactly what you’ll get at a spa, this coffee ground facemask does the job when it comes to waking up tired skin. Mix 2 tablespoons of coffee grinds, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons of whole milk, heavy cream or yogurt, and 1-tablespoon of honey together. Apply the mixture on your face, let sit for 15 minutes, and then wash away with a warm cloth. Coffee has antioxidants, an additional benefit for your skin.

     SEE MORE: 7 Natural Beauty Products You Can Make Using Superfood at Home

  13. Remove hair build-up

    Source: wikihow.com

    Styling products can help make your hair look fabulous. But they can also leave a layer of build-up over time. Coffee grounds can be used to help rejuvenate your tresses and get back their natural shine. Massage the coffee grounds into your hair before shampooing. Their coarse texture works to breakdown build-up leftover from styling products. Then rinse the grounds out and wash as usual.

  14. Treat cellulite

    Cellulite, it happens to all of us. There’s a market for expensive creams claiming to get rid of those annoying dimples – most do not work. One thing that does work in fighting cellulite though is caffeine. When applied, it tightens and provides skin-boosting antioxidants. To create this inexpensive and effective cellulite scrub, you will need 1 cup coffee grounds, 6 tablespoons of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of sea salt or sugar, an empty jar, and dry brush (optional). Click here for step-by-step instructions.


catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.