Home Mindful Living 18 Amazing Things You Can Do With Used Coffee Grounds

18 Amazing Things You Can Do With Used Coffee Grounds

by Vidya Sury June 1, 2023 0 comment
Coffee Grounds use in gardening

As a coffee lover, one thing that would freak me out was having to throw away the cup of coffee grounds after making coffee. Sure, we used it in composting when we had a garden. But now we don’t. We still make coffee the traditional South Indian way with a steel filter, where we fill the top container with freshly ground coffee powder, pour boiling water over it, and wait eagerly for the coffee to drip into the lower chamber. Sweet sigh!

Anyway, emptying out the used coffee grounds into the trash always made me think–surely there are a zillion ways to reuse this?

Well, turns out there is.

The world consumes over 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day. World Population Review states that Finland is the highest coffee consumer in the world. Not surprisingly –they are also no.1 in the happiness index. What? Coffee is happiness in a mug.

So can you imagine the amount of coffee grounds dumped in the trash? Whether you are a coffee drinker or not, consider the following ways to make good use of coffee grounds.

And oh–before I forget, I was fascinated to see used coffee grounds packets being offered for free at airport lounges–encouraging people to take them and use them. I believe Starbucks also does this for use at home or in your garden.

Here are 18 ways to use coffee grounds–they totally work.

. . . and reduce your carbon footprint in the process!

Zap smells

1. Get rid of smells

Dry the coffee grounds. Then place some in a bowl in your fridge/freezer, closet, or any space to get rid of smells. You can also freeze the coffee grounds into cubes. My friend says she drops one in her garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh. I realized–maybe this is why my kitchen dustbin never stinks! The coffee grounds just absorb the odor and neutralize it!

2. Hands smelling of garlic? This works

After chopping onions/garlic or anything else whose smell you want to get rid of, rub some coffee grounds over your hands. Then rinse. Another totally effective way? Just rub your hands on a stainless-steel utensil. Works!

coffee grounds in gardening Person Holding Cup With Green Plant

In Gardening

3. Supercharge the flowers in your garden

Since coffee grounds are acidic, mix them in the soil for plants like hydrangeas, azaleas, rhododendrons, etc that love acid. Then watch those flowers bloom larger!

4. Use for composting

Coffee grounds are excellent for composting as they are rich in potassium, magnesium, and copper and also release nitrogen as they break down. This makes great compost.

5. Feed the Worms

Have a worm bin at home? Add your coffee grounds to it to make eco-friendly fertilizer and compost.

6. TLC for your seedlings

Mix coffee grounds in soil or in your watering can for a shot of nitrogen to encourage your seedlings to grow better.

7. Boost your harvest

Yep – still in the garden! If you are planting carrot or radish, mix the seeds with coffee grounds and plant. Gardeners swear that you can enjoy double the crop!

Home care

8. Fix scratches on your furniture

If your furniture has scratches or scuff marks, mix a teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of coffee grounds and apply this with a cotton ball on the affected areas. Then wipe them dry. Test first, though.

Beauty and Skincare

9. Make your own exfoliating soap

Melt a bar of soap and add a quarter cup of coffee grounds to it. Pour into molds. Once hardened, use it to exfoliate your hands, especially after heavy-duty work to get the dirt off.

exfoliating scrub with coffee grounds

10. Fight acne

Coffee is naturally astringent and has antioxidants and is great for skincare, especially if you’re fighting acne. Mix coffee grounds with milk to make a paste. Apply on the skin. Wait for 20 minutes. Rub your skin for about a minute. Then rinse the mask off.

11. Enjoy shinier Dark hair

If you have dark hair, rinse it with strong cool coffee to add shine to it. For darker hair, steep coffee grounds in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes. Cool. Then rinse your hair with it.

12. Sayonara Cellulite

Make your own cellulite cream by mixing one-fourth cup of coffee grounds with 1 tablespoon of warm olive oil. Apply this to the affected area and cover it with plastic. Wait ten minutes. Uncover and shower.

13. DIY Scrub

Coffee grounds are fabulous for exfoliating and tightening the skin. Thanks to the caffeine. Here’s the recipe: coconut oil + coffee grounds. You can add a teaspoon of cinnamon or a few drops of vanilla if you wish. Rub over your skin in a circular motion. Then shower. Scrub away dead cells and clogged pores.

Get rid of pests

14. Catch Cockroaches

In a can or jar, add an inch or two of coffee grounds. Moisten. Line the neck of the can with sticky tape. This smell will attract cockroaches and trap them.

15. Goodbye ants and pests

Sprinkle coffee grounds over ant-infested areas. Also repels slugs and snails.

Petcare with coffee grounds labrador retriever, dog, pet


16. Zap Fleas

Got pets? Once you shampoo your furbaby, rub coffee grounds into the fur and rinse well. This will kill fleas. Added bonus? Silky smooth fur.

Use in Cooking

17. Make chocolate chocolatier

To make your chocolate cake more delicious, add instant coffee grounds or even brewed coffee–the flavor is just out of this world! How to do this? Substitute some of the water in the recipe with strong coffee for a richer taste.

18. Tenderize Meat

This tip is from my friend–she says adding a tablespoon of fresh coffee grounds to your marinade will tenderize the meat and even give it that gentle smoky flavor.

There you go! I would love to hear your tips for coffee grounds!

Also check out: What’s your coffee personality?

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