Thinking about what to do with used coffee grounds? You might be eyeing the garbage can, but before you do, know that there is a multitude of uses for used coffee grounds that require little to no extra work or supplies!

In this article, we share 10 ways you can recycle used coffee grounds, from enhancing your garden to treating your skin, and so much more!

Plants Love Used Ground Coffee

A person in an orange T-shirt adds half a teaspoon of used ground coffee to the soil of a small potted plant

Seasoned gardeners know that most soil is nutrient deficient, which is why fertilizer is often relied upon to ensure plants, vegetables, and herbs get the nourishment they need to thrive.

The thing is, many fertilizers contain unnatural chemicals. Instead, go the organic route and save money on fertilizer by recycling your used coffee beans.

Coffee grounds are chock full of key nutrients that plants crave, including nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, chromium, and iron.

It can also absorb heavy metals, helping balance soil PH with its nitrogen-rich properties when added to compost.

Composting With Used Coffee Grounds

Fertilizing your garden with coffee grounds is as easy as sprinkling it on top of your soil or around your plants, or you can save it for later by adding it to your compost heap.

Composting naturally breaks down organic scraps—such as food leftovers, eggshells, and leaves—into a nutrient-dense fertilizer.

Used coffee grounds for the garden also enhance the nutrition of your compost by attracting earthworms.

These wiggly friends play a vital role in garden health. As bacteria and fungi break down the chemical composition of coffee grounds, the earthworms consume the grounds and further disperse them deep in the soil.

Ground Coffee Keeps the Pests Away

A wooden spoon and bowl full of finely ground coffee

Another effective use for coffee grounds is to set out a few small used coffee grounds containers where you notice the most pest activity around your property.

Several varieties of insects are repelled by coffee, including mosquitos, fruit flies, and beetles.

If you’re using coffee grounds as fertilizer in your garden, it will also barricade your plants from slugs and snails—they dislike crawling over that ground coffee texture!

Used Coffee Grounds for Face & Body

A woman sitting in a tub & scrubbing her right leg with coffee grounds made into a paste

Coffee is an antioxidant superstar, making it an ideal addition to your daily skincare routine. These antioxidants (phenols) help minimize sun damage, facilitate blood circulation, and exfoliate the surface to remove dead skin cells.

To create an exfoliating coffee grounds scrub, mix used grounds with coconut oil or water and apply the mixture directly to your skin. You can also add honey to soothe dry lips.

And that’s not all, coffee grounds benefit other areas of the body, too!

Treating Cellulite

Cellulite is a common occurrence from fat deposits that emerge through the connective tissue, usually on the thighs and glutes.

Caffeine has been shown to break down fat cells and improve blood circulation to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

You can use the same grounds and coconut oil mixture to scrub affected areas for 10 minutes, twice a week.

Treating the Eye Areas

The caffeine found in coffee grounds can also help reduce signs of aging and puffiness in the eye areas, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that fight free radicals.

Take your coffee grounds and coconut oil mixture and gently apply it underneath your eyes, then let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off. You can do this daily or as needed.

Make a Coffee Grounds Scrub for Cleaning

A woman scrubbing a paste of used ground coffee on the back of her left hand

The abrasive texture of coffee grounds is not only an incredible skin exfoliant but it can be used in place of chemical cleaners to remove dirt and grime from household surfaces.

Studies show the grounds dissolve stinky odors, and the antibacterial and antiviral properties might even sanitize surfaces.

You can use coffee grounds to scrub your pots, pans, grill, sink, and counters. Just be careful not to mix it with a porous material, as this can cause brown stains.

You can store a small dish of used grounds in the fridge to get rid of food odors. Washing your hands with the grounds after cooking fish or chopping onions will neutralize the strong scent that tends to linger on the skin.

Dye Fabrics and Paper With Used Coffee Grounds

A person in a white long-sleeved shirt dyeing a cloth inside a stock pot

If you enjoy crafting, then you might be pleased to know that coffee grounds can be used as an all-natural, non-toxic dye for lending a “vintage” tint to a wide array of fabrics and materials.

If your white linen or a towel has a stain, hide it by dying these items with coffee grounds. It can be used to dye easter eggs, rayon, cellophane, cotton, and paper.

Used Coffee Powder Makes It Easier to Clean the Fireplace

A woman in an orange shirt and blue rubber gloves, wiping the glass of the fireplace with a yellow sponge

Fireplaces are relaxing, but the upkeep can be tedious. Cleaning ashes from a wood-burning fireplace creates more smoke clouds that travel to other rooms in your house, plus it’s not healthy to breathe it in.

Scattering used coffee grounds on top of the ashes first can help weigh them down, making it easier to sweep up without smoky dust flying all over you and your home.

Used Coffee Grounds Can be Effective for Treating Scratched Furniture

A wooden table with whole coffee beans and a wooden spoonful of finely ground coffee

Once you spy a scratch or scuff mark on your wooden furniture, it’s bound to torment you for days. But before beelining it to your local hardware store for a chemical cover-up, try using coffee grounds instead!

Mix a thick paste with water and use a cotton swab to gently rub it into the scratch. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe it clean with a rag.

This dyes the wood brown, buffing out the mark so it’s unnoticeable. You can continue to dab on the paste and wipe it clean until you’re satisfied with the results.

Used Coffee Grounds Can Foster Hair Growth

A woman wearing black disposable gloves and using a small brush to dye the roots of her hair

Exfoliating your scalp with used coffee beans might just be the answer to livening up your locks.

Studies show that traditional styling products leave behind residue that builds up over time and dries out hair, causing breakage.

Coffee grounds can remove unwanted chemical buildup and clear away dead skin cells for fresh, healthy skin and hair. The stimulation may even foster hair growth.

Before shampooing your head in the shower, scoop a handful of used coffee grounds and spend a few minutes massaging it into your scalp and hair—from root to end. Try this routine 1-2 times per week for the best results.

Used Coffee Is an Excellent Meat Tenderizer

Dry rub on two pieces of meat on a table

Coffee is naturally acidic, which makes it effective at tenderizing the tough fibers in meat. Not only will it break down the proteins to be softer but the coffee also adds a distinct flavor that enhances the taste of the meat, like a marinade.

After rubbing the meat down with coffee grounds and letting it sit for a couple of hours, you can cook the meat with the grounds rubbed into it, forming a fine crispy crust.

Or, you can rebrew the grounds and apply the watered-down coffee to the meat in an airtight bag, letting it sit in the fridge for up to 24 hours before firing up the grill.

Used Coffee Grounds Can Remove Fleas

A wooden bowl and spoon with ground coffee paste, and a table with whole coffee beans

Last but not least, did you know that coffee grounds work against fleas? You can rub used coffee grounds on your fur baby’s coat instead of opting for chemical shampoos.

Get them into the bathtub for a good wash, working the coffee grounds into their fur, going against the hair.

The abrasive texture of the grounds pries fleas loose so you can wash them down the drain, never to be seen again.

Note that you need to be careful about keeping the coffee grounds away from your dog’s mouth. If consumed, it can be toxic to your pup.

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds Conclusion

Coffee is much more than the burst of life that helps us get up and going in the mornings. It’s an antioxidant-rich treasure trove, and the spent grounds from your coffee machine can be recycled in numerous ways to reap the benefits.

From enhancing the health of your garden to boosting your health, the uses for used coffee grounds continue to be studied with promising results.

If you’re wondering where to get used coffee grounds, you can always go to your local cafe and ask for a bag if you don’t have enough at home!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *