Used Coffee Grounds: 17 Unexpected Things You Can Do With Old Coffee Grinds

After you have had your caffeine fix, what do you do with the old coffee grounds?

For an average coffee drinker, the grounds are dumped in the trash can or even in the sink, contributing to possible future clogging of the kitchen drain.

close up of old c

Used coffee grounds can be reused for other needs. In fact, coffee is downright versatile… So how exactly can you recycle your old coffee grounds? Read on to learn more about things to do with coffee grounds.

#1 – Compost

Composting, of course, is the most obvious way to recycle used coffee grounds for the garden. Combining coffee grinds with other biodegradable items you have such as orange peels, egg shells, old tea bags, vegetable stalks, and basically anything that rots overtime.

You can use compost for your garden, turning it into fertilizer to build soil and adding it into the soil for your next planting.

#2 – Dump It Direct

Coffee grounds can act as fertilizer for plants – even to grow your own coffee plant. Just dump it directly on the soil and nature will take care of the rest.

Coffee grounds are full of vitamins and minerals providing your plants a boost during growth, ensuring that they come up great for harvest.

#3 – Pesticide

Pests hate coffee making for an excellent natural repellent for your garden. Specifically, the grounds can be used against snails, slugs, ants, and even cats that just won’t stop wandering around the garden.

Basic coffee grounds will work well against the ants and snails and slugs but if your problem is the feline kind, you will have to add some orange peel into the mix to keep the cats away.

How And Why We Use Them In Our Garden

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#4 – Carrots Love Coffee

Not just carrots but radishes too love coffee. No – you do not have to sprinkle it on the soil upon planting. Instead, mix the seed with the coffee grounds, allowing them to stay there overnight before sowing.

The carrot and radish seeds manage to absorb all the positive aspects of coffee, allowing for a better and stronger growth of these plants.

Expect a plentiful harvest with this simple technique – especially since the inclusion of coffee lets the carrot naturally resist pests.

#5 – Color them Blue

Have you ever seen blue hydrangeas? You will be amazed at how just adding coffee grounds in the hydrangea soil can help change the color of the flowers.

This is because coffee changes the pH level of the soil and the hydrangeas react by changing their own colors. Don’t worry – it is perfectly harmless and actually promotes better blooms of your flowers.

#6 – Cellulite Remover

This one is actually still in doubt, but there is no harm in trying, right? There are actually celebrities who follow this regimen and so far, none of them seems to walk with cellulite on the red carpet.

Combine egg white and coffee grounds in a bowl, microwave the two of them, and spread the thick paste on problem areas. Wrap it with a cloth and just leave it there for a few hours.

You will probably have to do this several times in order to get the results you want but just imagine how much you will save if it actually works.

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#7 – Get Rid of Fleas

Apparently, fleas don’t get along with coffee grounds. When giving your cat or dog a bath, rub some of the grounds on their fur, making sure that it gets all the way to the scalp where most of the fleas reside.

Leave it there for a few minutes before completely washing off the material. Voila – your pet is now flea free!

Of course, you will have to repeat the process because the results are not permanent. Plus, your dog will suddenly have that intoxicating smell of coffee that will serve as a bonus whenever you are hugging your pet.

#8 – Use the Dye

The color of coffee may not look good on your pristine white shirt, but it works for all other mediums, apparently.

Boil coffee grounds and use the resulting liquid as a dye when coloring practically anything.

Some people use it as an additional shade when painting Easter Eggs while others actually use the liquid for painting.

In some cases, even the coffee grounds themselves are incorporated into artwork. You can also try dyeing cloth, feathers, cotton, and so much more.

The dyeing options are limitless and the depth of the shade depends entirely on you.

# 9 – Remove the Snow

Combine coffee and salt when trying to get rid of snow littered in your walkway. The coffee actually helps get rid of the snow since the acid essentially aids with the melting process.

Since the coffee does not melt, the grounds will also provide additional friction on the gravel, limiting the chance of slippage while walking on the surface.

This is perfect for the snow season and should limit the amount of snow you will have to shovel in the morning. Make sure to keep your coffee grounds safe and abundant when the weather turns sour.

# 10 – Tan Up

Getting tanned and looking gorgeous is every girl’s dream – but the way to achieve that tan can be risky.

It does not matter if you are under the sun or going to the spa – both options pose risks to your overall health.

But what about a coffee scrub?

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Boil some of your old coffee grounds and when the heat is tolerable, start rubbing them all over your body. The natural color of coffee rubs off on your skin and would not wash off quickly, giving you a perfectly even tan.

On the plus side, you will also be giving your whole body a luxurious scrub that removes all the dead skin cells and gets rid of any dirt trapped between the pores.

Do this on a routine basis and you should be ready for the summer anytime.

# 11 – Rejuvenate Furniture

Wood scratches can be frustrating, but the use of coffee grounds will help that wood look as good as new.

Mix the grounds with vinegar and hot water to create a thick paste. Rub that paste on the wood scratches before carefully wiping it off with a rag. The scratches will disappear completely and your furniture will look as good as new.

This works since the coffee lends its color to the wood, perfectly blending with the surface and filling in the scratched area.

You can do this with big scratches too but be prepared to repeat the process several times in order to get a near-perfect result. Watch the video here.


used coffee grounds help rejuvenate furniture

# 12 – Cleaning Agent

Did your pans lose their brilliant gleam after long term use? Use your old coffee grounds as scouring agents. Just place some of these grounds on a rag and start scraping away.

You will be amazed at how well this works for most types of metal. If your utensils are the types that stain easily, you might want to skip the whole coffee thing and just use a more color-friendly item like diatomaceous earth.

Another use of coffee grounds as a cleaning agent has something to do with sweeping up your fireplace. If the dust is just too much, place some wet coffee grounds on the pile of ash before sweeping away. The coffee manages to absorb some of the dust so you don’t have to worry about the ash being airborne and going everywhere.

# 13 – Tenderize the Meat

Coffee can be used to make your meat more tender, plus it adds a distinct flavor that makes your dishes even more delicious.

Coffee locks in the moisture of the meat so you will have a very juicy barbeque with a sweet caramel-like taste that will make your mouth water.

This works for all types of meat but apparently, coffee grounds work best when used with pork meat.

After barbequing the meat, you will be amazed at just how tender it can be, practically melting in your mouth when eaten.

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# 14 – Anti Eye Bags

Didn’t sleep well last night? Got puppy eyes and dark circles? After getting your jolt of caffeine, grab the spent coffee grounds, put them in a cloth and just place them over your eyes.

It doesn’t matter if the coffee grounds are still warm or not – just their introduction will help remove the swelling.

Of course, if they still have a little heat on them, you will find that this will work so much better for your eye problem.

You can also go the whole nine yards and just put the coffee grounds completely on your face, spreading them around and just leaving them there for a few minutes.

This cheap facial mask will work well as a facelift, not to mention it will scrub off any dirt stuck in your pores. Watch here.

# 15 – Hair Rejuvenation

You have read it right, coffee can be used to rejuvenate your hair, specifically improve the color of your locks and make it shinier, healthier, and thicker.

This only works for brunettes and redheads – blondes will have to take a backseat on this one.

To use old coffee grounds, just put them in a bowl of warm water and let the liquid grow dark from the leftover coffee. Rinse your hair in this water, making sure that it gets right through the scalp and just let it dry like this.

Make sure you are not getting the grounds in your hair although if this happens, you can always wash it right out.

NOTE: A coffee shop (such as Starbucks) has bags of used grounds you can have for free!

# 16 – Remove Nasty Odors

Put some old coffee grounds in a small box or bowl and place it in the corner of your refrigerator.

This will remove the smell that might be lingering inside even smoke odor. Obviously, you will have to replace the coffee grounds every few weeks or so, or whenever you have got fresh supply.

Note though that this does not just work with the fridge. You can also use this for the trash can, the bathroom or basically anywhere else where bad smell tends to linger.

If you dry the coffee grounds up, you can also put it in a stocking and just hang it in your car as a makeshift freshener.

This is an excellent idea if you are the type who drives long distances and tend to fall asleep during travel.

# 17 – Candles and Soap

You can use old coffee grounds as an ingredient to candles and soap. With candles, you will be able to detect a faint smell of coffee in the air. If you are the type who loves this aroma – you will definitely get a kick out of it.

For most people, just the smell of coffee in the morning gets them up so you will definitely love having this one for Monday mornings.

As for soap, you can also find DIY instructions on how to create one with coffee grounds added in it.

You will be surprised at how well coffee works for the skin, providing minerals while offering very gentle scrubbing that cleans the pores and rejuvenates your dermis.

This technique is especially good for people who suffer from dry skin.

Of course, those are just few of the uses for old coffee grounds that you can have.

The fact is that coffee can be used for a variety of needs so keep your imagination open and try it out for various purposes. You will never know what you might discover and perhaps – you can add something to this list.