Top 10 Uses For Used Coffee Grounds

Top 10 Uses For Used Coffee Grounds

1. Deodorizer. Dry them out on a cookie sheet and then put them in a bowl in your refrigerator or freezer, or rub them on your hands to get rid of food prep smells.



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2. Plant food. Plants such as rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreen and camellias that prefer acidic soils will appreciate the leftovers from your morning cup. Also, grounds can add nutrients to your compost bin.

3. Insect repellent. Sprinkle old grounds around places you don’t want ants, or on the ant piles themselves. The little buggers will move on or stay away. Used grounds are also said to repel snails and slugs.

4. Dye. By steeping grounds in hot water, you can make brown dye for fabric, paper and even Easter eggs.

5. Furniture scratch cover-up. Steep grounds and apply a bit of the liquid to furniture scratches with a Q-tip.

6. Cleaning product. As they’re slightly abrasive, grounds can be used as a scouring agent for greasy and grimy stain-resistant objects.

7. Kitty repellent. To keep kitty from using the garden as her personal powder room, sprinkle grounds mixed with orange peels around your plants.

8. Boost your carrot harvest. Mixing fresh grounds with the tiny seeds makes them easier to sow and may repel root maggots and other wee beasties. 

9. Dust inhibitor. Before you clean out the fireplace, toss wet coffee grounds over the ashes to keep the ash dust under control.

And, finally, the top use for used coffee grounds....drum roll here....

10. Cellulite reducer. I kid you not.  We're supposed to mix 1/4 cup warm, used coffee grounds with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then, while standing over an old towel or newspaper, we're to apply the mixture to our "problem areas". Next, wrap the areas with shrink wrap and leave on for several minutes. Unwind the wrap, brush loose grounds off our skin and then shower with warm water. For best results, it is recommended to repeat this procedure twice a week. A little weird to be sure, but as high priced cellulite creams actually have coffee in them, it just might work.


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For even more uses of spent coffee grounds, visit essortment.com and rd.com. And if you have any secret uses for your used grounds, please share!

Love learning about alternative uses for everyday things? Check out our Cheat Sheet section right here.


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Luis Aponte on Apr 11, 2014:

You forgot to mention that used coffee grounds are also a creative source for biodiesel. :) Check out Facebook.com/DeathOfAGasGuzzler

linda on Apr 07, 2014:

warm coffee grinds works as an excellent facial scrubs. The courseness of the grinds exfoliates dead skin while the caffeine stimulate. I have been doing this for years followed by  slight dab of olive oil. At 60 years old I get many compliments on my skin.

Anonymous on Sep 22, 2013:

I have started using grounds as filler in between the bricks of walkway in my backyard.

natural handcrafted soap on Sep 17, 2013:

That is true I make coffee soap scrub

Anonymous on Jun 03, 2013:

I live in Tasmania and have wallabies in my garden. They began eating the buds and flowers on my geraniums. I added coffee grounds to my watering can and sprayed the leaves and plants- it deterred the wallabies.

Anna on May 22, 2013:

I have been making compost and a friend told me to go to the corner coffee place and get free coffee grounds, they just throw them away anyhow. I use the grounds in the compost. ALSO, about a week ago I began seeing holes in my backyard a friend confirmed my suspicion that I have golphers out there!! They had already destroyed three of my plants and I was afraid they would go to my young zucchini plants next. I read online that those critters don't like coffee grounds, so off to the coffee place I went and brought back abour 40 lbs of grounds and spread them all over the garden. Watered it in and no more golphers! FYI, I also bought three plants called gopher purge and that has helped as well. I have also been putting a ring around all of my plants, it looks nice, is good for most plants and keeps those critters away. A win, win situation all around.

Greater2give on Mar 14, 2013:

Coffee grounds or beans can be used in testing perfumes. Have you ever noticed when you smell of more than a couple different perfumes the scents begin to mix and you cannot differentiate the scents ? If you will smell the coffee beans or grounds in between the different scents, it clears your sinuses and " resets " your ability to find your favorite scent.

M. on Nov 13, 2012:

About point number eight, if Coffee grounds will keep away snails, If so, theb throwing a bunch of it may do harm those snails that live in and contribute to Compost/Humus formation. Just my two cents, but you may correct me if I'm wrong :)


Denise on Oct 06, 2012:

Eggs shells "captured" the coffee grounds and caused them to precipitate out and sink to the bottom of the pot. That way, your cofee didn't get stronger and stronger as it sat around, and you didn't get grounds in your cup of coffee.  This was from WAAAAY before percolators, Mr. Coffee, and Keurig.

ivy on Aug 18, 2012:

Has any one ever heard fo brewing coffe grounds with raw eggs for flavor????  I read it in a book once and couldn't understand why?

Anonymous on Aug 02, 2012:

Does anyone know if coffee grounds will help with dog urine smell in my backyard. We just got a dog a year ago and everytime I go out to sit on my back porch that is all I smell is dog urine. Can' stand it!!

Java George on Aug 01, 2012:

The tomatoes and chillies just love coffee grounds. I have posted pics on my projectgreenbean.com website. Next attempt in on my watermelons. I will post pics later in the month.

Fit on Aug 01, 2012:

Exercise & a healthy food regiment are very effective in getting rid of cellulite.

Leslie on Jul 30, 2012:

Coffee doesn't repel ants. It is attractive to them and they will carry it home. It disappears and then they do. It grows a fungus that is not harmful to humans or the environment when taken under ground. Thats why they seem to stay away, it wipes out the whole colony. This doesn't happen if they live in your walls or foundation, though they will still appreciate it and tote it off... 

Java George on Jul 04, 2012:

I am working on using coffee grounds on my lawn. I live in Georgia USA and I have heard coffee grounds helps keep the earthworms happy and they in return will keep my lawn healthy. I will to post pictures of the progress. 

Anonymous on Jun 29, 2012:

Does anyone know if the coffee grounds will clog a shower drain? I've heard you shouldn't use it in kitchen sink (attracts grease), but will using it in the shower do any harm (like if I mixed it in my condition or used it as an exfoliant)?

Peter on Jun 23, 2012:

And for the Home Black & White Film Developer, Coffee can be use as a main ingreant for Film Developer,http://content.photojojo.com/tutorials/coffee-caffenol-film-developing/

Formula for 12 oz. of developer:

  • 12 oz. water

  • 5 teaspoons instant coffee crystals (non-decaf)

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons washing soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin C powder

Muffie on Jun 22, 2012:

The one about absorbing smells is absolutely true...I work in a hospital and the smell of bloody stool is enough to kill you!! We put coffee grounds in a pan under the culprits bed! works like a charm!

Maureen on May 28, 2012:

I like Peg's idea of spreading used coffee grounds, instead of environmentally horrible salt, to provide traction on icy pavement; however I doubt it's the acid in them that helps melt the ice.  Most likely, it's their dark colour.  Even through cloud, sunlight will heat each dark particle before it warms the snow, cement, or other pale surfaces around.  So every warm particle melts the ice around it, and then melts its way down through ice until it warms the pavement itself; and as the grounds get trodden flat they catch even more rays and the process accelerates.

Beeswax on Apr 17, 2012:

Here's another coffee tip. I've used multiple thin applications of coffee to stain a spot on a beige sisal rug back to normal after I scrubbed the color out it with carpet cleaner. It really worked. I used a little craft brush and the last sip of my morning coffee each day for a few days. now the spot is barely noticeable.

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