15 Uses for Coffee Grounds

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15 uses for coffee grounds

Giving Coffee Grounds Another Life

The sweet, rich, delicious aroma wakes us up every morning.  It helps us keep up our mid-morning stride at work.  Coffee makes the world go round, some might say.  But what happens to all those coffee grounds?  Many of them make their way to landfills.  Why send coffee grounds to landfills though when they have so many other uses that are helpful?  Here are my favorite ways to use coffee grounds.

15 Uses for Coffee Grounds

1.  Hair Rinse – Steep coffee grounds in hot water for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and rinse clean brown or dark red hair for shine and rich color.

2.  Garbage Disposer Cleaner – Add a half a cup of coffee grounds to your garbage disposer and turn on, running cold water, until the grounds are cleared.  Your disposer will be fresh and clean!

3.  Facial Exfoliator – Add a teaspoon to facial cleanser for a great exfoliating wash.

4.  Cat Deterrent – Mix coffee grounds and orange peels, then spread them around gardens that are under attack by cats.  The grounds will fertilize the garden while preventing cats from entering.

5.  Body Scrub – Many of the pricy cellulite washes contain caffeine.  Why spend big bucks when you can make a scrub at home easily with leftover grounds?  Mix ¼ C coffee grounds with ¼ C brown sugar and ¼ C coconut oil.  Use it in a warm shower to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.

6.  Plant Booster – Sprinkle coffee grounds around acid loving plants, such as tomatoes, roses, azaleas and rhododendrons.  The grounds will work their way into the soil and provide much needed nutrients to the plants for beautiful blooms and better yields.

7.  Ant Deterrent – Sprinkle coffee grounds around where ants are nesting to rid your yard and home of the pesky little critters.  (Have I said how much I dislike ants?)

8.  Scratch Cover-Up on Wood Furniture – Steep coffee grounds for a dark, rich brew, then brush on wood scratches for a great easy cover-up.

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9.  Fireplace Cleaning – Sprinkle damp coffee grounds over ashes to keep dust down while you clean your fireplace out.

10.  Hand Wash – Remove grease and odors from your hands easily, even hard things like car grease and garlic odors.  There are two ways you can do this.  Make a bar of soap by simply melting shredded ivory soap in the microwave, then mix in 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds.  Press into a plastic dish to allow to cool.  Use as you would any handsoap.  Or, you can just rub the grounds into your hands and wash as usual.  It will remove not only the dirt but the odors.

11.  Keep Away Gophers – If you have gophers in your yard, or they are in the neighbor’s yard and you want to keep it that way, sprinkle coffee grounds around your yard, and especially in the holes and tunnels they leave behind.  They hate coffee and will vacate the area.

12.  Melt Icy Driveways – Dry out your grounds and store them for winter.  They are an amazing way to melt icy driveways.  Simply sprinkle as you would salt, and watch it go.  Instead of chemically melting the snow, they will absorb the sunlight, even on cloudy days, and melt the snow and ice.  Plus, it won’t leave the edges of your driveway barren of plant life in the spring.

13.  Compost Activator – Worms love coffee.  Add coffee grounds to your compost bin or pile and watch it attract worms.  Your compost will be amazing!

14.  Eliminate Refrigerator Odors – Dry out some coffee grounds and place in a plastic dish, such as a clean margarine tub.  Punch holes in the lid, cover, and place in your refrigerator.  The grounds will absorb any odors.  Check on it every other week to make sure it’s not growing any mold.

15.  Dishwashing Abrasive – If you run out of your favorite abrasive or just want a more natural one, mix some coffee grounds with your dishwashing soap and use it to scrub your pots and pans clean!

Not a Coffee Drinker?  You Can Still Use Coffee Grounds

Even if you don’t drink coffee, many coffee houses give away their used coffee grounds in handy packaging for FREE!  Check with a local coffee house and let them know you are interested. It’s a great way to use something and keep it out of landfills!

Sound off below if you have other ways you use coffee grounds!


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  1. Oh wow! I never knew half of these. Definitely need to try to keep cats out of the yard.

    found this on Wonderful Wednesdays

  2. What…! I had no idea. :) I drink so much coffee. Thanks for the list.

  3. Loving all these ideas for coffee grounds – recently started to drink coffee again to cut down on the amount of sodas a day I was drinking. I make my coffee in a single-serve press pot, so I usually just pour the grounds down the disposal. Nice to know that they might actually help keep my disposal smelling fresh!

  4. Really cool ideas (:

    Visiting from http://www.andieconn.com

  5. Who knew? Especially love the driveway ice melt and body scrub! Thank you.

  6. Great ideas and great post! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. This is a great list!!! I just did a post last week on making a simple scrub using coffee grounds. Thanks for sharing so many other ideas.

  8. Meredith Crumb says:

    Coffee Grounds (and a bit of coffee) are great for making ‘antique’ paper….just place in cookie sheet and soak paper, then dry….can be used as a ‘stain’ in some manners too, just rub on (why it works for nicks & scratches on furniture)…great coloring. :)

  9. I know they are also good for scent overload, when looking for new perfumes sniff coffee between each so they don’t all start smelling the same.

  10. Lots of great ideas here – I put them in my compost bin and around my plants in the garden. I didn’t know they would keep ants away. I also might try that hair rinse – maybe it will cover some gray ones… I have heard of using it as a facial scrub but haven’t tried that yet either.

  11. Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the great tips!

    We use coffee grounds, without soap, to scrub cast iron skillets.

  12. Really!? These are so cool! I had no idea. I drink a ridiculous amount of coffee. Can’t wait to try the hair rinse!

  13. These are awesome ideas! Thanks!

  14. I knew some of these, but not all…stumbled!

  15. When I first started my composting, I called the Starbucks closest to me and asked if they had any grounds I could have. I ended up with a small garbage bag of the stuff. I was one happy lady :) Now I just have to remind my hubby to save the grounds when he makes coffee…

  16. Wow – awesome post! Just another great reason to drink coffee!!

  17. These are really good ideas! I’m going to try it as an exfoliator–what a great idea! Pinning this!
    I host a weekly blog hop called Frugal Crafty Home that goes live tonight at 8 Central time. I’d love to see your post there!

  18. Coffee grounds are loaded with nitrogen which will help to “heat up” your compost pile. I used to mix it into my compost bin and it would heat up to the point of heavy steaming while it “cooked” into awesomeness for my garden!

  19. It’s also supposed to neutralize the odor of vomit. I told this to my friend whose daughter threw up in her car and she had tried everything to get rid of the smell to no avail. I told her about the coffee grounds, but I didn’t know if you were supposed to rub it in or what and she set the coffee grounds in a bowl next to the area with vomit and she said the smell was gone within three days.

  20. Great tips!

  21. What great ideas!! I especially like the refrigerator deodorizer… thanks


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  6. […] I’m a sucker for being green. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When something can be reused, re-purposed, I’m all over it. My pick this week hit really close to home. I attend a moms group twice a month where the coffee is free and hot! We go through 5 coffee pots every meeting. That’s a lot of coffee grounds! As our meetings were ending for the year, I started saving the grounds to toss in my compost bin but that’s where my ‘green’ ended. Modern Christian Homemaker shared a fantastic post containing so many more useful and inventive ideas to do with those grounds than just tossing them. You can see all of her ideas by clicking <HERE> […]

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