Tag Archives: reuse

22 Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee drinker, chances are you brew coffee each day. That leaves you with a load of used coffee grounds to dispose of. Here are 22 ways to make use of spent coffee grounds, culled from around the web. I haven’t tested all of these, so YMMV.

  1. Deodorizer: To remove unwanted food smells inside the fridge or freezer, dry the coffee grounds in the oven, on a cookie sheet and then put it in a bowl in your fridge. Fill old pantyhose with the dry grounds and tie off the ends. Hang this in closets and it will absorb odors.
  2. Plant food: Those plants that prefer acidic soil will benefit from coffee grounds sprinkled around the plant. Also, the grounds can add nutrients if you are composting plant waste.
  3. Grow your own mushrooms: One of the most interesting uses for used coffee grounds, as well as a technique you can enjoy indoors year-round. If you are a fan of mushrooms and coffee, you will be surprised at how easy it is to combine them and have your own mushrooms growing within days.
  4. Insect repellant: Coffee grounds are a good ant repellent. Sprinkle coffee grounds around ant hills. Coffee grounds also repel snails and slugs. Sprinkling coffee grounds around your garden eliminates cutworms and ants. To get rid of ants in the lawn, mix 1 pound of used grounds in 1 quart of hot water and pour on ant hills.
  5. Dye: By steeping coffee grounds in hot water, you can make brown dye for fabric, paper and even Easter eggs.
  6. Furniture scratch repair: Make a paste of coffee grounds and a little water and apply to furniture scratches with a Q-tip.
  7. Cleaning: If you have tough grease on dishes, or on floors, coffee grounds act as an abrasive and can be used as a scouring agent. Flush them down your drains to clean the pipes.
  8. Freezer deodorant. Put a bowl full of coffee grounds in the freezer overnight. For a flavored coffee scent, add a couple drops of vanilla to the grounds.
  9. Fireplace clean-up: The next time you go to shovel the ashes from your fireplace sprinkle wet coffee grounds on top of them first. The wet grounds will damp down dust from the ashes and make them easier to scoop up.
  10. Kitty repellent: To keep cats from using the garden as their personal toilet, sprinkle coffee grounds mixed with orange peels around your plants.
  11. Flea dip: Rid your pets of fleas with old coffee grounds. Shampoo your dog or cat as usual and while they are still wet, rub their fur with coffee grounds all the way to their skin. Rinse the coffee grounds away. This will make the pet’s fur soft and clean and fleas will disappear.
  12. Cellulite reducer: Here is the procedure: Mix 1/4 cup warm used coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While standing over an old towel or newspaper, apply the mixture to your problem areas. Wrap the area with plastic wrap and leave on for several minutes. Unwind the wrap, brush loose grounds off your skin and then shower with warm water.
  13. Skin care: Used grounds make a good skin facial pack like a mud pack. They can be used for skin dermabrasion.
  14. Hair care: Brunettes can benefit from rinsing their hair in coffee. Darker redheads can also use coffee to rejuvenate the color of their hair. Steep used coffee grounds in two cups hot water for 15 minutes or so and then rinse through hair for a darker, more vibrant shine.
  15. Tanning: Here’s a cool way to rejuvenate your summer tan without damaging your skin with the sun’s harmful rays. Add a cup of water to the day’s old coffee grounds and boil. When it is cool to the touch rub it all over your body, you can even put it in a sprayer, get in the shower and soak yourself down that way. Let your skin absorb the coffee for about twenty minutes and then rinse in cool water. The coffee will stain your slightly to give your tan an extended life.
  16. Cooking: For cooking, don’t reach for those used coffee grounds. Instead, opt for your leftover coffee or fresh grounds. Rather than throwing away the leftover coffee in the bottom of the pot, use it as a meat tenderizer; marinate your steak to add a great new flavour. You can also add fresh grounds to chocolate cakes and brownies for a richer flavour.
  17. Trick or Treat: Beards for Halloween costumes can be made with a little honey and coffee grounds. Warm up a little bit of honey in the microwave until it is warm and runny, but not so hot that it burns the skin. Spread the warm honey over the face in the pattern of a mustache and beard. Spread coffee grounds that have been dried out over the honey.
  18. Children’s toy: Coffee grounds are great for making homemade play dough. Mix a bunch of old used coffee grounds with ½ cup of salt, 1 ½ cups of cornmeal and add enough water to moisten it into a dough. You decide how sticky and wet you want your play dough.
  19. Crafts and Hobbies: Make Treasure Stones for a children’s party.
  20. Tats: Fans of homemade tattoos sometimes mix coffee and henna to create a dye for permanent tattoos.
  21. Fireplace fuel: The Java Log fire log is made from used coffee grounds, wax, and molasses.
  22. Keep bait worms alive by mixing coffee grounds into the soil before you add worms

If you don’t have enough used grounds to meet your demands, local coffee shops often package their used grounds, and you can have them for free.