If you love coffee a smooch as we do, then you know that all those used coffee grounds can really add up.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with used coffee grounds, you’re in luck!
We’ve pulled together 50 of the best uses for spent coffee grounds.
Whether you want to use your coffee grounds for gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, or pet care, there’s so much to explore with this incredibly versatile material!
Check out these useful and creative tips and see which ones you want to try!
Table of Contents
What to Do With Used Coffee Grounds (50 Creative Uses)
If you love coffee but hate waste then you are in the right place! as we have put in hours of research to ensure you can make use of all your spent coffee grounds.
Please remember – Even though some of the ideas we have shared here may sound a little too outside of the box to be practical at first, ALL of the ideas are widely used and recommended!
Here’s our 50 creative and useful ideas for used coffee grounds…
To compost coffee grounds, simply add them to your compost pile along with other organic materials like food scraps and garden waste.
You can also mix them into the soil of your garden to give your plants a boost! Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen, which is an important nutrient for plants, and they also help to aerate the soil to keep the compost pile from getting too soggy.
2. Face Mask For Acne
Looking for a cheap and easy way to make your own DIY face mask? Look no further than your coffee grounds!
Just mix a few spoonfuls of coffee grounds with some water and apply it to your face. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
Your skin will feel softer and smoother after exfoliating your face, and the antioxidants and chlorogenic acid (CGA) in the coffee can provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
3. Home Cleaning Product
Are you tired of using expensive, harsh chemicals to clean your home? If so, you may be interested to learn that coffee grounds can be used to clean everything from your kitchen counters to your bathroom sink.
Coffee grounds are a great alternative to chemical cleaners because they are natural and non-toxic.
Simply sprinkle the coffee grounds onto the surfaces you want to clean, and scrub with a sponge or rag dipped in hot water. Your wallet and your health will thank you!
4. Flavoring For Chili
This might be a controversial statement, but we believe that coffee grounds can actually improve the flavor of chili!
Here’s how to do it: Just cook your chili as usual, add a handful of coffee grounds to the pot, stir, and let the chili simmer for a few more minutes.
The coffee grounds will give the chili a deeper, more robust flavor. Just be sure to use a good quality coffee – we recommend our dark roast beans for this dish.
5. Hand Scrub
But did you know that coffee grounds can also be used to keep your hands soft and smooth?
Since coffee grounds work as a gentle exfoliant, using them as a hand scrub is perfect for getting rid of dry, flaky skin and it’s gentle enough to use daily.
Plus, it smells amazing! Simply add a few spoonfuls of coffee grounds to wet hands and rub them together for a minute or two.
If you like, you could also add some coconut oil or sugar to the mix. Rinse off with warm water and enjoy your soft and refreshed hands.
6. Tinted Hair Rinse
Here’s a weird tip for all you coffee drinkers out there: use coffee grounds to rinse your hair! It sounds strange, but using coffee grounds as a hair rinse can actually be quite beneficial for your hair.
Coffee grounds can help to add volume to your hair, and they can also help to absorb excess oil.
Plus, they can even help to get rid of dandruff. Even better, coffee grounds can add a rich brown tint to your hair temporarily, so if you’re looking for a natural way to give your brown, red, or black hair a little boost, coffee grounds may be the way to go.
7. Cleaner for Dishes, Pots, and Pans
Next time your dishes need a good cleaning, reach for the coffee grounds instead. It’s true— coffee grounds can be used as a natural, non-toxic way to clean your dishes.
Just wet a paper towel or scrub brush with coffee grounds and water and scrub away. The coffee grounds will act as a natural abrasive and help remove stubborn stains and stuck-on food.
Plus, this hack is environmentally friendly and budget-friendly since you won’t need to buy chemical cleaners or detergents.
8. Cellulite Buster
Is cellulite bugging you? If so, you’re not alone – about 90% of women and up to 10% of men have cellulite.
But there’s no need to fret, because there is an easy and natural way to reduce the appearance of cellulite – coffee grounds! When you rub coffee grounds into your skin, the caffeine helps to break down fat cells and improve circulation.
Plus, the massage can help to break up any toxins that may be contributing to cellulite.
9. Slug Repellent
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly and effective way to keep slugs out of your garden, look no further than coffee grounds!
Just sprinkle your used coffee grounds around the perimeter of your garden, and the slugs will stay away. This is because coffee is essentially a slug poison, so they will avoid it at all costs.
10. Sidewalk Ice Melt
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice in the winter, then you know that ice melt is a must-have during the colder months.
So the next time you have some extra coffee grounds, don’t throw them out – use them to melt some ice!
Simply sprinkle some coffee grounds on the area and watch the ice melt away. It’s an effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional ice melt that can leak into the ground and present a danger to pets.
11. Fishing Bait Upgrade
So the next time you’re heading out for a day of fishing, be sure to bring along some coffee grounds to use in your bait.
That’s because coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is a key ingredient in fish food. When used in bait, coffee grounds can help to attract fish to your line.
Additionally, the strong aroma of coffee can also be used to mask the scent of your bait, making it more difficult for fish to resist.
12. Body Soap
Love to make your own handmade soaps? Coffee grounds are a great way to add texture and scrubbing power to your soap, and they smell amazing too.
Plus, they’re a natural way to color your soap – simply add them in during the mixing process and they’ll infuse your soap with a beautiful brown hue. It may even help treat inflammation and fight acne!
13. Pet Flea Remover
Looking for a natural and effective flea treatment for your pet? Rather than shop for expensive flea treatments, why not try coffee grounds instead?
Just rub some coffee grounds into your pet’s fur and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, brush out the grounds and you’re done! Not only is this flea treatment completely safe for your pet, but it’s also very affordable.
14. Furniture Repair
If you need a quick and easy way to repair scuffs and scratches in your wooden furniture, simply break out your used coffee grounds.
First, find a container that is big enough to hold the number of coffee grounds you need. Next, put the coffee grounds into the container and add enough water to wet them.
Then, take a cloth and dip it into the mixture. Apply the mixture to the scratches, let it dry, and then buff it off with a soft cloth. The coffee grounds will fill in the scratch and make it disappear.
15. A Dry Rub for Meat
Since the taste of coffee pairs so well with lots of different foods, coffee grounds also make an excellent dry rub for meat.
Just mix them with some salt, pepper, paprika, and any other spices of your choice, and you’re good to go.
Rub the mixture onto your meat of choice, and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking. You’ll be amazed at the flavor the coffee brings to your dish!
16. Fireplace Cleaner
Are you tired of soot and ashes making a mess of your fireplace? Cleaning a fireplace can be a messy hassle, and it can also be a health hazard with all that dust and ash.
If you’re looking for an easy way to clean your fireplace, look no further than your spent coffee grounds.
To use coffee grounds to clean your fireplace, simply sprinkle them over the fireplace grates and let them sit for a few minutes.
Then, use a brush to scrub the grates clean. The coffee grounds will help weigh down the soot and ashes, making them easier to sweep up.
17. Grow Mushrooms
Those used coffee grounds that you would normally throw away can be used to grow your very own mushrooms. Here’s how: mix your coffee grounds with water 1:1 ratio.
Then, add your mushroom spores. You can get these from a variety of sources, including online retailers.
Add the grounds and sports to your grow space (a plastic container, milk carton, or commercial mushroom grow space will work) and then mist them with some water.
You’ll need to mist them daily, and before you know it, you’ll have your own home-grown mushrooms!
18. Plant Feed
If you’re looking for a way to give your plants a little extra boost, you can try using coffee grounds as a homemade plant feed.
Just add a few tablespoons of coffee grounds to your soil and mix it in. Your plants will love the extra nutrients!
And if you want to keep your plants looking extra green, you can also use used coffee grounds as mulch. Just spread them around the base of your plants, and they’ll help keep the moisture in.
19. Reduce Undereye Circles
If you often find yourself waking up with dark bags under your eyes, don’t worry—those pesky dark circles can be reduced with the help of some used coffee grounds.
The caffeine in coffee helps to constrict blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of blood that pools under the skin.
This can help to reduce the appearance of undereye circles. And not only that, but coffee can also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
So not only will you look more awake, but you’ll also seem more refreshed.
20. Refrigerator Deodorizer
If your fridge is starting to smell a little bit like, well, old food, don’t reach for the chemical-laden air fresheners.
Instead, try using coffee grounds! Just put a bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge and let it do its work. The coffee grounds will absorb the bad smells and leave your fridge smelling fresh and clean.
Coffee is a natural deodorizer that works similarly to baking soda when left in the fridge. It absorbs unpleasant odors and might even leave a faint coffee smell in its place!
21. Garden Fertilizer
Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen, which is an important nutrient for plants. Plus, they can help improve drainage and aeration in the soil.
So next time you’re about to throw away your used coffee grounds, think twice – they might just be the key to a healthy and productive garden! Simply mix the spent coffee grounds with water to create a liquid fertilizer, or mix the coffee grounds into your soil when potting your plants. You can also just sprinkle the coffee around the base of your plants to give them a boost.
22. Beer Brewing Agent
If you’re looking to add a little something extra to your next batch of beer, try adding some coffee grounds. You might just be surprised at how good it tastes.
The coffee grounds will add a coffee flavor to your beer that is similar to using coffee in a stout. There are lots of different ways that you can add coffee during the homebrew process, from pre-boil to post-fermentation.
23. Arts & Crafts
If you’re looking for a new and creative way to use your coffee grounds, why not try using them for arts and crafts?
There are all sorts of ways to use coffee grounds to create beautiful works of art. You can use them to make stained glass, paintings, sculptures, and so much more.
And the best part is that you can recycle your used coffee grounds to create something new and unique, which helps cut down on waste and trash.
24. Cockroach Bait
So if you’re struggling with a cockroach problem, don’t reach for the pesticides – reach for the coffee instead.
All you need to do is put some coffee grounds in a container with a narrow opening, like a plastic bottle, and place it near where you think the cockroaches are coming from.
The coffee grounds will attract the cockroaches, and they’ll crawl into the container and get stuck. You can then dispose of the jar and its contents for good.
25. Garden Seed Spreader
Do you hate wasting coffee grounds? Put them to good use by spreading them in your garden to help spread seeds!
This trick is especially effective for small seeds like tomatoes, carrots, and peppers. Just mix some coffee grounds in with your seeds before sowing them; the coffee grounds help to separate out the tiny seeds from each other so you get much more even coverage over your growing area.
Plus, they’re packed with nutrients that will help your plants grow healthy and strong.
26. Candle Making
There’s nothing like the smell of coffee in the morning! But if you’re craving that coffee smell all day, why not make a coffee-scented candle (or five)?
If you love making your own candles at home, or just want to give it a try, then coffee grounds are your best friend.
All you have to do is add coffee grounds to your favorite standard candle recipe, and you’ll have a fantastic-smelling candle in no time.
27. Mosquito Repellent
Yes, you read that correctly. Coffee grounds can actually help keep mosquitoes away, thanks to the strong scent of coffee.
Simply pour the grounds into a bowl or container. light the coffee grounds on fire, and let them burn for a few minutes.
Mosquitos have a very strong sense of smell, and the scent of burning coffee grounds is overwhelming for them, so they’ll stay away from the area where you’re burning the grounds.
It’s an eco-friendly alternative to chemical bug sprays, and you get to enjoy those summer evenings bug-free.
28. Exfoliant and Body Scrub
If you’re looking for a way to give yourself a little extra scrub-down, you might want to try using coffee grounds as a natural exfoliating body scrub.
To use coffee grounds as a body scrub, simply mix them with a little water to form a paste (you can also add coconut oil, sugar, or essential oils to the mix if you like).
Then, rub the paste onto your skin in a circular motion and rinse it off with warm water. You can use this scrub on your face or body, or both!
Just make sure to use gentle pressure if you’re scrubbing your face, as the coffee grounds can be a little harsh on sensitive skin.
29. Cat Repellent
Looking for a natural and humane way to keep your feline friends away from your garden? Whether your outdoor cats are snooping around your plants or you have a problem with strays, try using coffee grounds!
Cats are sensitive to the smell of coffee, so placing coffee grounds in your garden will help keep them away. Just spread the grounds around your garden and décor, and you’ll keep the kitties at bay.
30. Hair Mask
Okay, so you might be thinking, “Coffee grounds in my hair? Gross!” But hear us out – coffee grounds can actually make a great hair mask.
If your hair is looking a little lackluster, coffee grounds can help to revive it and give it a nice boost of shine.
Plus, the grounds can help to absorb excess oil and dirt, leaving your hair looking and feeling cleaner. To use coffee grounds as a hair mask, simply mix them with some water to form a paste.
Then apply the paste to your hair and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse it out with shampoo and conditioner as usual.
31. Garbage Disposal Deodorizer
If your garbage disposal starts to smell, don’t reach for the chemicals! Coffee grounds are a great natural deodorizer, and they can help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh.
Just toss a handful of coffee grounds into the disposal and run it for a few seconds. The coffee grounds will absorb any bad smells, leaving your garbage disposal smelling fresh and clean. It’s a natural, effective, and cheap way to keep your disposal smelling great.
32. Pest Repellent
Coffee grounds are a great pest repellent because they are acidic and also have a strong scent that is irritating to pests that are sensitive to smell.
Just sprinkle some coffee grounds around your garden or home and you’ll keep pests like ants away.
You can even use them to deter rodents like mice and rats. So the next time you make a pot of coffee, don’t throw out the grounds. Use them to keep your home pest-free.
33. Natural Wood Stain
Coffee grounds can be a great way to give your wood furniture a unique stain. Just mix them with a little bit of warm water, apply them to the wood, let them sit for a few minutes, and then wipe them off.
The longer you let the coffee grounds sit, the darker the stain will be. You can also add a few drops of coffee grounds to your regular wood stain to give it a little extra color.
Plus, they’re environmentally friendly – unlike chemical-based wood stains, coffee grounds are natural and biodegradable.
34. Worm Food
Worms love coffee grounds! Just add a scoop or two of used coffee grounds to your worm bin, and they’ll be happy as can be.
Coffee grounds provide the worms with essential nutrients that they need to live and thrive. Plus, using coffee grounds as worm food is a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
By diverting coffee grounds from the landfill, you’re helping to reduce methane emissions and creating a healthy and sustainable environment for your worms (and the rest of us, too!).
35. Cut Flower Food
The next time you’re making a pot of coffee, don’t throw out the grounds. Instead, put them to good use and give your cut flowers a little boost.
Just mix a cup of coffee grounds with a cup of water and pour it into the vase. The coffee grounds will help to keep the water fresh and the flowers will absorb the nutrients they need to stay healthy and vibrant.
The coffee grounds also help to retain moisture, which is essential for keeping your flowers healthy.
36. Watercolor Paint
This may sound like a strange idea, but coffee grounds can actually make for some pretty good watercolor paint.
They’re made of all-natural materials, they’re environmentally friendly, and they’re free! Plus, they add a unique texture and color to your paintings.
All you have to do is add some coffee grounds to hot water and allow them to cool, basically into a weak version of coffee.
From there, you can use it the same way you would regular watercolors. It’s a fun and easy way to add a little something extra to your next watercolor painting.
37. Fabric Dye
Want to dye a garment or piece of fabric a beautiful brown? First, gather your coffee grounds. You’ll want a lot of them, at least a few cups, depending on the amount of fabric you’re dying. Then you’re going to add them to boiling water to create, well, coffee.
You want it to be strong and dark, especially if you’re going for a deep brown color. Then, add your fabric in and stir it until it turns to the right shade that you want.
When it’s done, pull it out and immediately rinse the fabric in cold water. Keep in mind that this method only works with natural materials like cotton, linen, or silk.
38. Coffee Cented Bath Bombs
Bath bombs are a great way to relax and they smell amazing. And when you use coffee grounds to make them, you get the added bonus of a delicious coffee smell.
Here’s how it works: first, you’ll need to gather your coffee grounds. You can then add them to your favorite bath bomb recipe (usually baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, water, and essential oils).
Then, just add some water and let the mixture fizz and foamy. Add the foamy mixture to silicone bath bomb molds and allow them to dry.
39. Homemade Espresso Powder for Baking
This powder is great for adding a boost of coffee flavor to cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. Plus, it’s super easy to make!
All you have to do is take your leftover coffee grounds from your morning coffee and roast them at a low level in the oven until they’re dry.
Then, put them in a coffee grinder and grind them to the finest setting possible, and then store it in an airtight container.
When you’re ready to use it, simply add a few tablespoons to your recipe. Enjoy!
40. Clean Gardening Tools and Pots
We all know that coffee is great for other gardening projects, like composting, pest repellents, and fertilizer.
But did you know that coffee grounds can also be used to clean your gardening tools and pots? Just mix a few grounds with some water and use it to scrub away dirt and grime.
They’re abrasive enough to remove the dirt but gentle enough that they won’t damage the tools.
41. Deodorize Shoes
If you love the smell of freshly brewed coffee, then you’ll love this hack on how to use coffee grounds to deodorize your shoes.
Just sprinkle some coffee grounds into your shoes and let them sit overnight, preferably in a place with good airflow. In the morning, you’ll wake up to shoes that smell like coffee!
Of course, this isn’t a foolproof method – if your shoes are exceptionally smelly, you might need to take more drastic measures.
But if they just have a mild odor, coffee grounds should do the trick.
42. Pie Shell Weight
If you’ve ever made a pie crust, you know that one of the most important steps is to weigh it down so it doesn’t puff up during baking.
But what can you use as a weight if you don’t have pie weights? People often used uncooked beans, but they can’t be used for cooking afterwards.
A better option is to use coffee grounds. Just put a layer of tinfoil over your pie crust before baking, add coffee grounds on top of the foil, and bake the dough as usual.
The coffee grounds will weigh down the dough and prevent it from puffing up.
43. Coffee-Flavored Ice Cream
Who needs expensive coffee ice cream when you can make your own at home using coffee grounds?
Just add a few spoonfuls of coffee grounds to your favorite ice cream recipe and voila – you’ve got coffee-flavored ice cream!
It’s easy to do and it’s a great way to get that rich coffee flavor in your ice cream. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover coffee grounds.
If you want to get really fancy, you can even add a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings on top.
44. Pet Shampoo
If you’re looking to save money on expensive pet shampoos while naturally cleaning your pet’s fur, then consider coffee grounds.
Wet your pet’s fur with warm water and massage the coffee grounds into their fur. Then rinse your pet off with warm water and dry them with a towel.
Repeat as needed until your pet is clean and fresh-smelling. Keep in mind that this method will work much better for dogs than it will for cats, as most cats don’t like the smell of coffee.
45. A Natural Air Freshener
Want to make your home smell like a coffee shop? Just put some coffee grounds in a bowl and place them around your house!
You can also create your own DIY air fresheners using coffee grounds. The coffee grounds will absorb any bad odors and make your house smell nice and fresh.
Plus, they’re cheap and easy to find! This trick is especially effective in the kitchen, where coffee grounds can neutralize cooking smells.
46. Grow Blue Hydrangeas
Looking for a fun and easy way to add some color to your garden? Then look no further than coffee grounds!
Coffee grounds can actually be used to grow blue hydrangeas, and all you need is a little patience (and a lot of grounds).
The color of hydrangeas is determined by the pH level in the soil, and the higher the acidity in the soil, the bluer the hydrangeas will grow.
The coffee grounds will change the pH of the soil, making it more acidic. This will in turn cause your hydrangeas to turn blue.
Just add coffee to the soil around the base of your hydrangeas, then sit back and watch your hydrangeas turn blue before your eyes!
47. Fill Pincushions
Looking for a new way to use coffee grounds around your home? If you sew on a regular basis, then why not try filling pincushions with them!
Coffee grounds make great stuffing for pincushions because they’re firm and they hold their shape well but still have a good amount of give.
Plus, they have a pleasant smell that will help keep your sewing space smelling fresh.
48. Use Spent Grounds in Cooking
We all know coffee grounds can be used to make a delicious cup of coffee. But did you know that coffee grounds can also be used in cooking?
From savory dishes to sweet desserts, coffee grounds can add a unique flavor to any dish. It makes an excellent dry rub for meats and a great additive to items like chili and barbecue sauce.
And of course, it pairs beautifully with sweet foods. Consider adding it to your baked goods or a pancake syrup!
49. DIY Play-Doh
That’s right – coffee grounds can be used in place of flour to make a homemade play-doh that’s non-toxic and safe for kids to play with.
The best part is that it smells just like coffee! You’ll need coffee grounds, water, salt, and food coloring.
Just mix everything together until it has the consistency of moldable clay and let the kids have fun!
50. Clean Stainless Steel Surfaces
Coffee grounds are the perfect tool for cleaning your stainless steel appliances – and they’re probably already sitting in your kitchen right now.
They’re abrasive enough to clean up tough stains but gentle enough that they won’t damage your surfaces.
First, wet the surface you’re going to clean with a damp cloth. Then, sprinkle coffee grounds over the wet surface and rub the coffee grounds into the surface in a circular motion.
Finally, rinse the surface with clean water and dry the surface with a soft cloth.
We’re willing to bet you didn’t realize that there were this many uses for leftover coffee grounds! After seeing some of the things you can do with them, we’re willing to bet you’ll think twice the next time you go to throw away the spent grounds.
Whether you’re a gardener, a homemaker, an artist, or a pet lover, there’s so much you can do with coffee grounds to make your life a bit easier.
Try some of these tips for yourself next time you brew a cup!
Ok, so what next? Well, why not find out which Countries surprisingly drink the most coffee here…