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I think it’s safe to say that we all love and enjoy brewing our coffee in the morning. Nothing beats the anticipation and excitement of that first drop of coffee on your tongue that rejuvenates you from your night’s slumber.  But what do you do with the leftover coffee grounds? Did you know that there are uses for used coffee grounds?

Many people resort to just binning or rinsing out their used coffee grounds into the sink. Did you know that used coffee grounds have many practical uses around the house? For example, they are excellent for your garden, compost and work great for neutralizing odours. Let’s take a look at all the practical uses for used coffee grounds.

The Uses For Used Coffee Grounds Outdoors And In the Garden

Coffee Ground Compost

Discard your used coffee grounds into your compost. Coffee grounds are considered green compost and are rich in nitrogen (1.45%) and many other nutrients. If you are going to be using coffee grounds for compost, just make sure you have a balance with brown compost. You should have a 4:1 ratio of brown compost to green compost. Having too much green compost will result in smelly compost, and not having enough will prevent the pile from heating up.

Coffee Grounds In Garden

Used Coffee Grounds For The Garden

Using coffee grounds in the garden as a fertilizer is a great way to give your garden essential nutrients for plant growth. When plants grow, they absorb all the valuable nutrients from the soil eventually consuming all of the soil’s nutrients. So keeping an eye on the garden’s fertilization is important. Ground coffee can also aid with the absorption of heavy metals that tend to contaminate the soil. (1

Some of the essential nutrients that coffee grounds hold for plant growth are: 

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium,
  • Magnesium,
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen
  • Chromium

As you can see, used coffee grounds can offer your garden quite a lot! It also attracts worms to your garden which works in your favour since the worm’s waste known as “castings” offer the same type of nutrients as coffee does! 

To use coffee grounds in your garden, simply sprinkle the grounds over the top of the soil, you can also scratch the grounds in an inch deep into the soil for faster absorption. If you’re looking to do a large batch, you can create a “coffee ground tea”. For this, you will require a large bucket (with 5 gallons of water) mixed with two cups of used coffee grounds. Once mixed properly, let the mixture sit for a few hours or overnight. This will create a wonderful liquid fertilizer that you can use all around your garden. 

Excellent For Repelling Fleas

Excellent At Repelling Fleas

Fleas can be quite an uncomfortable problem for you and your pet. Treatments can become quite costly and may contain harmful chemicals that may cause side-effects. But did you know that Fleas dislike coffee? This why coffee grounds make an excellent treatment for repelling them. Apply the treatment by gently rubbing the coffee grounds into your pet’s coat. This is best after shampooing your pet. Rinse your pet and air dry. Some claim that the coffee grounds enriches the pet’s coat, so that’s a bonus!

If this treatment doesn’t do the job, consulting your vet should be your next option.

Excellent For Repelling Pests And Insects

Great Insect Repellent

Just like Fleas, Insects and pests also hate coffee. The caffeine and a chemical compound called “diterpene” are highly toxic to pests and insects which makes coffee grounds excellent at repelling these buggers. So the next time you’re on your patio and getting attacked by mosquitos, be sure to sprinkle some coffee grounds around the terrace and seating area. You can also set up a few bowls full of coffee grounds to keep the repellent neat and organized. 

Help Grow Mushrooms

Coffee Grounds Help Grow Mushrooms

Unlike your common plants and vegetables, mushrooms require a particular environment and the right conditions to properly grow. Since they can’t grow in regular garden soil they require an underlying substance or layer where organisms can thrive on known as a substrate. Used coffee grounds act as an excellent substrate since they are filled with the appropriate nutrients that mushrooms need to grow and they’ve already been sterilized during the coffee’s brewing processes.

Use Coffee Grounds As A De-Icer

Coffee Grounds For De-Icing

If you’re lucky enough to reside in a region where you get to experience winter at its finest, then you know all about the salting of sidewalks and roads to prevent ice formation or break up any that may have formed. Just like salt, coffee grounds are excellent for de-icing or preventing any slips during those post-storm mornings. The nitrogen in coffee is the key element that helps with this matter, used coffee grounds also increase the friction on the surface to prevent any risks of slipping. So the next time you need to de-ice your driveway, grab the used coffee grounds instead of the ice! 

Uses For Used Coffee Grounds Around The Kitchen And House

Kill Cockroaches Using Coffee Grounds

While the majority of pests and insects despise coffee grounds, cockroaches surprisingly love them. Using coffee grounds, you can lure these buggers to their ultimate death. You can easily create this coffee ground trap by filling up a large glass jar halfway with water and inserting a small cup of moist coffee grounds in the middle. Place the jar around the baseboards of your home or anywhere you’d suspect their presence. Once the roaches fall into the jar, they’re not going anywhere.

Help Eliminate Odours

Coffee grounds do an excellent job of eliminating and absorbing unpleasant odours. It contains nitrogen which aids in expelling the unpleasant sulfur gas from the air. If you’re running short on baking soda, you can resort to using a bowl of coffee grounds in your freezer or fridge to neutralize any unpleasant odours that might be coming from aromatic or spoiled foods. To neutralize any unpleasant stenches from your gym bag, shoes or closets, you can do so by filling socks or pantyhose with ground coffee and creating small air fresheners. These little pouches are great for just about anywhere you need a little freshening! 

Great Scrub For Tough Dishes

Coffee Grounds for Dish Scrub

Coffee Grounds make for an excellent dish scrub due to its coarse texture. So if you’re experiencing hard to clean dishes and tough pots, sprinkle some coffee grounds right onto the affected area and give it a nice scrub. Rinse thoroughly and it should be good as new! 

Makes A Natural Scrub

Just as it makes a great dish scrub, coffee grounds also make a great all-around abrasive scrub that can help loosen up and clean stubborn food build-ups. If you’re into chemical-free products, then a coffee grounds scrub is perfect for you. You can use it to clean your sink, your grill and even polish your kitchenware. It is coffee though, so keep in mind it has the potential of staining porous materials. 

It’s A Natural Dye

As mentioned above, coffee, stains. If you ever had an accident with coffee, you know that it can leave a quite a tough stain to clean. So with this in mind, coffee makes a great natural dye that can be used to colour your cotton shirts, linen towels and paper for creative projects. Many people like to experiment with the dye and use it for arts and crafts like creating vintage looking paper or darkening faded fabrics. During Easter time, you can use coffee grounds to dye your eggs, unlike food colouring, coffee is a great non-toxic option. Some people even resort to darkening their hair colour with coffee, a great chemical-free alternative to the usual peroxide dyes. Just keep in mind that if you are dying anything to wear, give it a gentle wash afterwards, to prevent further staining.  

Can Help Clean Fireplaces

Clean Fireplace with Coffee Grounds

The task of cleaning up a fireplace can be quite tedious and messy. Any sudden movement can send a cloud of ashes up in the air, all over your room and into your respiratory system. This is where coffee grounds can save the day. Gently sprinkling the coffee grounds over the fireplace ash can help secure all the small and loose particles down for easy cleanup. For your safety, always make sure you are wearing a mask and gloves during this task. 

Fix Nicks And Scratches On Furniture

Wooden furniture is notorious for getting scratched or nicked throughout its lifetime, while some enjoy the scratches for it brings the piece character, others strive to fix them. There are many products on the market that can help lessen the appearances of scratches, but using coffee grounds can be an affordable solution that will save you time and money.  You can do this by creating a paste by mixing water and coffee grounds. Dab the paste with a cotton swab and apply it to the affected area. Let the paste sit for 10 minutes and then wipe it off with a gentle rag. This treatment should help lessen the appearance of the scratch by dying it. Continue the treatment as needed but wait a few hours between each application.

Great For Tenderizing Meat

Tenderize Your Meat

As you’re probably aware meat contains many muscle fibres that give it that tough and fleshy texture. During meal preparation, one would tenderize their meat to help break down the fibres and soften up the textures. Some common meat tenderizers people resort to are salt, vinegar, enzymes, baking soda and natural acids. This is where coffee grounds can help! Did you know that coffee is greatly efficient at tenderizing meat? It contains enzymes and natural acids. To tenderize your meat with coffee, simply brew a strong pot of coffee and let it cool to room temperature and marinate the meat in the brew for about 24 hours. After you tenderize the meat, use the coffee grounds to make a delicious meat rub and let sit for two hours before cooking.  The coffee grounds work well to caramelize the meat, while the acidity of the coffee emphasises the flavours.

Uses For Used Coffee Grounds For Beauty

Help Treat Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

Many people experience dark circles underneath their eyes, it is a common condition that can be caused by fatigue, eye strain, overexposure to the sun, dehydration and genetics. The skin around the eyes is very delicate and thin, making it very susceptible to early signs of ageing. Since coffee grounds are high in antioxidants and caffeine, they make a promising solution to prevent the signs of ageing and stimulating blood circulation to reduce the appearances of dark circles.

To create a ground coffee treatment for dark circles, mix coconut oil, water and coffee grounds to form a nice dense paste. Apply the paste underneath your eyes gently, in a dabbing motion and leave it on for about ten minutes before rinsing. Incorporate this into your daily beauty routine for best results.

Remove Scalp Buildup And Stimulate Hair Growth

Using various styling products and shampoos can leave you scalp clogged up with product residue and dead skin cells. This can leave your hair looking greasy, dirty and unhealthy. Coffee grounds make a great exfoliating scrub that can help remove scalp build-up, dead skin cells and increase blood flow to your scalp which would promote and stimulate hair growth. So the next time you shower, massage a handful of coffee grounds into your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes and rinse properly before proceeding to the shampoo. It’s recommended to do this at least twice a week for best results.

Use Coffee Grounds To Exfoliate Your Skin And Reduce Cellulite

Depending on your coffee grind size, the majority of used coffee grounds can be used as an exfoliating scrub to help remove dead skin cells and dirt from your skin. There are many health benefits to using a coffee scrub on your face, one of them being the antioxidant properties in coffee and the other being caffeine which helps to increase blood flow and enhance the appearance of your skin. Aside from being an excellent exfoliator, a coffee scrub can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is a harmless skin condition that creates dimples and lumps in common areas like the thighs, hips, abs and buttocks. It affects about 80% to 90% of adult women. For more information about the benefits and coffee scrub recipe, check out our guide on How to Make a Coffee Scrub.


It’s amazing what coffee can do, not only is it a remarkably tasty and addictive beverage, but it can be used for so many other things! So with all the great uses for used coffee grounds, be sure to give some of these uses a try, and help spread the word about the wonders of used coffee grounds!

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