I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve had plenty of practice making it at various jobs in the past. So when I ran across an article talking about the many uses of used coffee grounds, I was intrigued! Who knew that brown gunk was actually good for something?! :-)
The average American consumes about 3 cups of coffee a day, which means there are a lot of used coffee grounds out there that are most likely getting dumped right in the trash! Before you throw them out, consider some of the following very useful and resourceful options for putting those grounds to good use!
20 Uses For Coffee Grounds
#1 – Dry the grounds out on a cookie sheet and then put them in a bowl in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize odors. (This also works well to get rid of Mothball smells from closets or campers!) Another useful odor-eating way to utilize coffee grounds is to make them into frozen tablets to drop into your garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh. (You can get all the details about that by following the link below!)
#2 – Keep some grounds in a small can under the sink, then the next time you chop an onion or fresh garlic, scoop out a small amount, rub them over your hands and rinse. Odor gone!
#3 – Coffee grounds are highly acidic, so spread them generously over the flower beds of acid loving plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and Hydrangeas, for amazing blooms!
#4 – Coffee grounds are loaded with phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper. They’re a tad acidic and as they degrade they release nitrogen which makes for especially rich compost.
#5 – Give seedlings a nitrogen boost by stirring grounds into soil or a watering can.
#6 – When planting carrot and radish seeds, mix them liberally with coffee grounds before you plant. You will double your harvest!
#7 – Make your own gardeners soap by melting a bar of glycerin soap and adding 1/3 cup coffee grounds, reshape bar in a mold and use. Great scrubbing and exfoliating action at the same time!
Repair Scratched Furniture
#8 – Mix 1 tablespoon coffee grounds with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Apply with a cotton swab or cotton ball, wipe dry. Test in an inconspicuous area first.
#9 – If you like fishing and have a wormbed at home, add coffee grounds! The BEST worm bed mix is aged horse manure and coffee grounds. You’ll grow some nice fat ones for fishing!
#10 – Fill a can or jar with an inch or two of moistened coffee grounds, then line the container’s neck with extra-sticky double-sided tape. The scent will draw cockroaches into the trap.
#11 – Sprinkle old grounds around places you don’t want or want to get rid of ants, or on the ant hills themselves. Used grounds also repel snails and slugs.
Dogs And Cats
#12 – After bathing your dog, rub 1 to 2 cups of coffee grounds into his fur and rinse well. Not only does this kill fleas, but will make his fur silky smooth.
#13 – Mix used grounds with chopped orange peels and sprinkle liberally around your garden and flowerbeds to keep your cat from using your garden as a restroom.
#14 – Adding instant coffee grounds or brewed coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate cakes and chili. Substitute strong coffee for some of a recipe’s water for a richer, bolder flavor.
#15 – Adding a tablespoon of fresh coffee grounds to meat marinades will tenderize the meat and give it a mild smokiness.
Clear Up Acne
#16 – Coffee has natural astringent and antioxidant properties which make it a great cleanser and toner for your face. Just mix your coffee grounds with enough milk to make a paste. Rub it on for about a minute, then relax and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse clean.
#17 – Not sure if I “buy” this one….but…coffee IS the main ingredient in many of those high-priced cellulite creams. Simply mix 1/4 cup warm coffee grounds with 1 tablespoon olive oil and apply liberally to problem areas, wrap with plastic wrap. Let set for 10 minutes, unwrap and shower normally. Couldn’t hurt!
Highlight Hair Naturally
#18 – Brunettes and darker redheads can turn up the shine in their hair by rinsing dry, clean hair with strong, cooled coffee. Steep used coffee grounds in 2 cups hot water for 15 minutes or so and then rinse through hair for a darker, more vibrant shine. You can also pour 1-2 tablespoons straight into your conditioner. Not recommended for blonde or silver hair.
#19 – The caffeine in coffee helps stimulate skin cells and promotes healthier, tighter skin. Simply add coconut oil, vitamin E oil or jojoba oil to coffee grounds and massage it on in the shower.
Freshen Your Clothes
#20 – Add a pot of freshly brewed coffee and the grounds to a load of wash, toss in any brown clothing and walk away. The coffee stains the material and keeps dark colors looking great.
Bonus Tip – You can usually get your hands on used coffee grounds pretty easily, even if you’re not an avid coffee-drinker. Ask around at your local coffee shops! Many shops, including many Starbucks locations, will happily give bags of used grounds away to people who want to use them for their home and gardens.
Those little brown granules sure can do a lot more that just perk up your morning! I hope some of these were as helpful to you as they were to me. What uses for coffee grounds would you add to this list?