If you are a daily maker and consumer of espresso or coffee at home and are currently dumping those spent grounds into the garbage every day, STOP the dumping part of it! (Or at least stop the dumping into the garbage or down your disposal part of it.) Here is a complete list of the best ways to recycle used coffee grounds
There are many, many different ways to use those leftover coffee grounds. Some of them may appeal to you, and some likely will not matter as much as others.
Here is a list of the many different uses for coffee grounds. Pick and choose the ones that would most benefit your busy lifestyle! If you can think of others, please add them in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
In addition, note that most coffee shops (most Starbucks included) have a plethora of used coffee grounds on a daily basis, and will be more than happy to provide you with used grounds if you don’t make a lot of coffee at home.
Great flea repellent for your dog.
The addition of some used coffee grounds to the normal shampoo you use for your pooch makes a great natural flea repellant.
If you have been wanting an alternative to the chemicals you are currently using on your dog to rid him or her of fleas, used coffee grounds are definitely an alternative you should give a try!
Remove dark circles from underneath your eyes.
Applying used coffee grounds works great by helping to reduce under-eye puffiness, as well as to tighten skin.
Not only does it work great for removing those dark circles and puffiness under your eyes, it also works great as a facial and body exfoliator. Go here for a great coffee ground facial recipe.
Attract more earth worms, which is great for gardening!
Note that this won’t work for raised gardens, or those in greenhouses. Spent coffee grounds are infamous for attracting worms.
You definitely do want a plethora of worms in your garden, and one way to attract more is to add to your gardens those used coffee grounds that you have been just throwing away.
Works great for compost
The use of coffee grounds in your compost pile does wonders for the condition of your compost.Used coffee grounds added to your compost provide the bacteria in the compost with the “energy” that the bacteria requires to successfully transform organic matter to compost.
Be sure, however, to limit the amount of grounds you add to your compost, as adding too much will throw off the ratio of “green” to “brown.”
Great refrigerator deodorizer
Out of baking soda?
Note that used coffee grounds also make a wonderful deodorizer for your refrigerator.
Simply put a bowl of dry spent grounds into your fridge or freezer.
This will neutralize those horrible odors that spoiled or stale food has left behind.
Great scouring agent for pots and pans
Out of those “scrubbie” things you see pictured on the left?
Spent coffee grounds make a great scouring agent if you don’t have a “green scrubbie thingy” available. After getting the grime off with the coffee grounds and your sponge or rag, be sure to give a good, thorough rinse.
Hide scratches in furniture
Get yourself some wet brewed coffee grounds and go to work hiding those annoying scratches on your wood furniture.
You will find that this works great the majority of the time, to make scratches less conspicuous.
However, first check the result you will get on an inconspicuous area of the furniture, prior to using this method on the actual scratches.
Make your own antique paper
Need some antique-looking paper for that upcoming special event?
Simply mix together some used coffee grounds and water in something such as a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan, add your white or light colored paper of choice (white works best for this), let sit for one to two minutes, remove, allow time dry, and then brush off the grounds.
Great for repelling some insects and other pests
If slugs, snails, or ants are your problem, note that used coffee grounds placed around your favorite flower or vegetable garden will create a protective border, and will repel these unwanted pests.
In addition, if it is a cat who keeps intruding in your flower or vegetable garden, ground coffee, in addition to orange peels or rosemary oil, will help to deter that pesky cat.
Make certain flowers have more vivid colors
Working some used ground coffee into the soil of your hydrangeas, azaleas, camellias, roses, rhododendrons, and other plants that benefit from added acid will work wonders for the brilliance in the color of your flowers from these bushes. This works best if you mix your coffee grounds with some brown leaves, dry straw, or grass clippings.
Used coffee grounds increases the acid level of the soil which, in turn, assists the shrubs in absorbing more nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium, resulting in a healthier plant that will produce much more dazzling, vibrant-colored flowers.
Get control of those fireplace ashes and associated dust!
Simply sprinkling damp used coffee grounds on your fireplace ashes just prior to cleaning them will reduce the amount of flying dust when sweeping up the ashes.
Great exfoliating hand cleaner
Utilizing a scoop of used coffee grounds works great for cleaning, exfoliating, and deodorizing your hands. The coarseness of the grounds works great as an exfoliant to remove loose skin. The properties of used coffee grounds also help to get rid of strong odors that are emitted from foods such as onion, garlic, and fish.
Definitely remember this tip when you are camping.
Are cockroaches a problem?
Then make your own roach trap — simply fill a jar, can, or other container with one to two inches of moist coffee grounds.
After that, line the remaining top of the container you have used with extra-sticky double-sided tape.
The scent of the coffee will attract the roaches and they will become stuck on the tape.
Starting a garden?
Used grounds make a great nitrogen booster for those seedlings you are planting. You can either add a small amount of used grounds into the soil you are planting the seedlings in, or you can add some grounds to your watering can.
Carrots and radishes in particular will benefit greatly from some grounds added to the soil at seed planting time. Use this method and you are almost guaranteed to end up with better, and bigger, produce, not to mention the additional advantage of warding off some types of pests during the growing process.
Spent grounds are great for those of you who like to grow carrots and/or radishes. If you mix carrot and/or radish seeds with spent coffee grounds prior to planting those seeds, it will detract the pests that like these types of veggies, resulting in a greatly increased harvest of these vegetables.
Great for adding color to craft items
There are many different craft items that can be changed to a beautiful golden color by using spent coffee grounds that have been re-moistened. These would include things such as feathers and cloth, or even Easter eggs.
You can even mix some spent coffee grounds with some water and use the result for a great nontoxic paint.
The longer you let the grounds sit in water, the darker color of “dye” you will get.
Make a homemade candle
A great craft for children! Simply grab a paper coffee cup (the hot/cold kind are preferable), a couple of tablespoons of used coffee grounds, some wax, and a candle wick.
This craft project is also great for someone who absolutely loves the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Detailed instructions can be found here!
Great for using on your hair
We must first note that this idea is not recommended for use on blonde hair, as coffee does have staining/darkening properties. Works great on brunette or black hair.
Used coffee grounds are wonderful for removing built-up residue that ends up being on your hair from the use of today’s shampoos and conditioners.Will give your hair a lift and natural shine.
Just prior to shampooing, grab yourself a handful of spent coffee grounds and give them a good massage into your hair. Follow with your normal shampooing and conditioning.
Helps get rid of cellulitis
That bothersome cellulitis that so many people end up getting is really a shorts-stopper!
No, you most likely won’t end up with what is pictured to your left, but you definitely can improve the current cellulitis on your legs with the help of used coffee grounds.
There are numerous recipes online for getting rid of cellulite. However, note that simply mixing used coffee grounds and some warm water also works great, without any other ingredients. Simply using this scrub on areas with cellulite for 10 minutes per day, 2 times per week will start to show results in 4 weeks, or even less, after regular use.
In addition, Pinterest also has a great page we found that has varied recipes with everyday household items in addition to the coffee grounds. You can find that page here.
Great for growing mushrooms
Not only do you love coffee — mushrooms also absolutely love coffee!
If you like to grow mushrooms for cooking, try giving them a boost with the simple addition of some used grounds into your mushroom growing medium.
Works great as a meat rub
Making used coffee grounds a part of your next meat rub results in a somewhat smoky meat flavor.
Give it a try!
Need a pin cushion refill?
Make a homemade pin cushion and fill it with used dry coffee grounds.
Works well for deodorizing a room, and will also prevent rust from forming on your pins.
Make sure the used grounds are entirely dry prior to using them for this purpose.
Lengthen the life of your cut flowers
Mix some soil and used coffee grounds together, moisten well (very well) with some water, and you will increase the length of time that your flowers will stay fresh.
Also has the added bonus of making a great room deodorizer!
Make up some cleaning tablets for your kitchen garbage disposal
Here is a great recipe for making some garbage disposal cleaning tablets, to keep your garbage disposal in tip-top shape, and smelling great at the same time.
The basic ingredients for this recipe include dry used coffee grounds, Epsom salts, baking soda, vinegar, and vanilla extract (optional). Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph for details of this recipe.
Great for ridding your sidewalk of slippery ice
Used coffee grounds not only provide great traction for those icy walkways, they also contain a high amount of acid-like components, which helps to melt snow and ice more quickly.
One important note before you try this tip – those of you with white or light-colored carpet may wish not to try this suggestion, at least on walkways near entryways, because, as we all know, coffee does stain, and coffee grounds tracked in on light-colored carpeting is not suggested.
Filed under: Espresso Machine and Barista Basics Articles