If you’re one of the many billion people who consume coffee every day, you’ve probably thought about what to do with your excess coffee grounds. Well, most people follow their instincts and throw the grounds away. However, after reading this post, you might think twice before ditching your grounds.
Coffee grounds naturally contain essential nutrients that work tremendously in the garden and at home. Even if you’re not an avid coffee drinker, you can find coffee grounds at most coffee shops.
Here are 20+ uses of coffee grounds that you probably didn’t know about.
Let’s get grinding!
1. Manage Under-Eye Circles
The bags under your eyes are designer, right? We get circles under our eyes because the skin in that area is delicate and doesn’t contain a lot of fatty tissue. As a result, the skin under our eyes is generally the first place where aging is noticeable.
Several things can make the skin under your eyes appear dark and puffy, but the most common are poor skin hygiene, low blood circulation, or weak blood vessels.
Since coffee is a fantastic antioxidant and contains caffeine, it’s a viable solution to make the skin under your eyes look right as rain. Research shows that cosmetic lotions and creams that contain antioxidants or caffeine can make your skin look younger, especially under the eyes.
Caffeine alone helps reduce inflammation and encourages healthy blood flow, which will reduce the puffiness and dark color around your eyes.
Treating your under-eye circles with coffee grounds is incredibly easy. All you need to do is add some coffee grounds to coconut oil or water and create a smooth paste. Then, apply it on your skin as you would any other skincare product. Let the paste rest for around 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
2. Fertilize Garden Soil
Do you have a green thumb? If so, you probably already know that many soils on the market don’t contain the right amount of vitamins and nutrients plants need to thrive. As your plant grows, they eat more nutrients from the soil, which ultimately becomes deficient.
Therefore, you need to fertilize your soil to have a healthy garden. Coffee grounds carry several essential nutrients that will make your soil a plant paradise. Some of the nutrients you’ll find in coffee grounds are nitrogen, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
Also, coffee grounds can absorb harmful compounds that might jeopardize your soil’s quality and attract worms, which will help keep your soil rich.
Simply sprinkle your used grounds throughout your garden close to your plants and watch the magic happen.
3. Grow Your Own Mushrooms
Although this isn’t the most popular hobby in the world, there is a large enough mushroom growing community to make this a relevant use of fresh coffee grounds. Mushrooms require specific growing mediums to thrive and are known to be quite difficult to grow at home.
One tricky thing about mushrooms is that they can’t grow in ordinary garden soil. They need an underlying substance layer to thrive, and that’s where your coffee grounds come in handy.
Coffee grounds and mushrooms surprisingly are great companions when it comes to gardening. That’s because coffee grounds hold all of the vital nutrients mushrooms need for optimal growth. The best part is that coffee grounds sterilize during the brewing process, which allows you to skip that step when growing your own mushrooms at home.
To grow mushrooms using coffee grounds, follow this little guide:
- Collect Your Grounds. You’re going to need at least 5.5 pounds of coffee grounds to make this work. Once you have your grounds, keep them moist by occasionally spraying them with water.
- Get Mixing. Mix together your mushroom spores and sawdust solution.
- Store Your Mixture. Place your mixture in a grow bag, leaving roughly 30% of the container empty.
- Create Ventilation. Cut small holes in the bag to allow oxygen to flow into the container.
- Water. You’ll need to spray your mixture with water at least once per day.
- Change Location. Once you notice bulges coming from your mushrooms, move them to an area with fresh air.
- Harvest. You’ll know your mushrooms are ready when you see they are plump and facing upwards.
4. Create a Compost Collection
Above, we mention how coffee grounds make a wonderful fertilizer for your garden. If you don’t need fertilizer right away, what you can do is collect coffee grounds for future use.
Composting is a gardening technique where you turn food waste and other natural compounds into healthy, nutrient-rich soil. You’ll notice that when you grow plants using compost, they are healthier and taste better.
A coffee grounds garden is a happy garden. Studies show that coffee grounds produce fewer greenhouse gases and make for the best ingredient for compost.
Make sure your coffee grounds are making up for around 40% of your compost collection. Then, add other healthy ingredients such as eggshells, grass clippings, herbs, tree bark, and fruits and vegetable waste.
Try not to use any animal waste such as red meat, fish, or dairy. Also, avoid adding any oils to your compost as it might compromise the nutrients.
5. Create an All-Natural Dye
This might seem a bit far-fetched, but many people are using coffee grounds as an organic dye. Think about what coffee does to a white shirt. Well, the concept is similar to paper, cotton products, and linens.
By wetting your coffee grounds, you’ll have a low-cost, natural dye you can use just about on anything. This one of the easiest ways to provide a vintage touch to old letters and fabrics. Also, it’s a great way to mask other stains on linen sheets or furniture.
Standard dyes contain a ton of harmful chemicals. Coffee grounds are all-natural, and if you’re a habitual coffee drinker, you should have plenty of them. The best part? All you need to do is add some water and your dye is good to go. Now you have a more natural solution to dye all those Easter eggs!
6. Neutralize Odors
Don’t you just love the smell of morning coffee? Well, not only can the smell of coffee give you a fresh start to a dreadful Monday, but it can also mask unpleasant odors. If you had a long weekend and left some food in the fridge to rot, placing a bowl of coffee grounds will help eliminate the foul odor.
You can also create your own all-natural air fresheners by placing coffee grounds in a cheesecloth and tie it off in the bathroom or kitchen.
Does your gym bag make your family run away in terror? Coffee grounds will neutralize the odor of sweat and protect your family from that post-workout parade of stench.
If you have a really bad smell emergency, you can place coffee grounds on a plate and light them on fire. The smell of burning coffee grounds might not be the most pleasant, but it is sure to get rid of any other smell that might be in the room.
7. Insect Repellent
Unlike most humans, insects can’t stand the smell of coffee. That’s because the caffeine and other compounds are toxic for insects, making them stay far away from your home. Some bugs that can’t stand coffee grounds are mosquitos, beetles, flies, and fleas (stay tuned).
Using coffee grounds as an insect repellent is as easy as pie. Simply place a bowl of coffee grounds around the house and outdoor seating area.
Adding coffee grounds to your garden will also keep critters out and protect your plants from becoming pest food.
So, the next time someone asks you why you have coffee grounds all around your back deck, you can remind them to thank you for their lack of mosquito bites.
8. Detach Fleas from Your Pets
Fleas are not only a problem for your furry roommates; they can bite you and cause an itchy skin reaction. Unfortunately, treating fleas with traditionally flea removers is both expensive and time-consuming. Also, many flea removing solutions on the market today contain harmful chemicals that are terrible for you and your pets.
Fortunately, fleas don’t like coffee the same way you do. In fact, they can’t stand the tasty beverage. Applying coffee grounds to your pet’s coat will drastically decrease the chances of fleas latching on.
However, it’s important to know that coffee grounds aren’t as efficient as prescribed flea medication. If you feel your coffee grounds aren’t doing the trick, take your pet to the vet, and seek a more effective form of treatment.
Please note that you should only use coffee grounds on your pet’s coat, as ingesting them is harmful to animals.
9. Clean Your Skin
The shape and texture of coffee grounds work wonders when removing dirt and grime from your skin. As a result, they can be a great addition to your skincare routine.
To use coffee grounds to exfoliate your skin, simply add some to coconut oil or water and gently rub them around the desired area. Please note that you should start small and gradually increase the number of coffee grounds. They could cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Above, we talk about how caffeine works as a natural anti-inflammatory. Therefore, coffee grounds can make your skin look fresh and free of puffiness. It has a similar effect as ice but without the red marks.
Coffee grounds also promote healthy blood flow, which is what your skin needs to look good and remain healthy.
10. Boost the Flavor of Your Cakes
Do you like to bake? Well, you’re in luck. This is a secret not many people are aware of, and it will take your cake baking game to the next level. Adding coffee grounds or simply adding coffee to your cake mixture will enhance its flavor.
All you need to do is replace some of the water in the recipe with coffee grounds, and you’re good to go. However, be careful not to overdo the coffee grounds as it can ruin the flavor of your cake. Less is more here. The coffee grounds are meant to enrich the taste of your cake and not be the only taste.
11. Minimize Cellulite
Although cellulite is a common occurrence, you might want to reduce its appearance. The caffeine content in coffee grounds helps break down the fatty acid that causes cellulite to form. It also encourages blood flow, which will greatly minimize the appearance of cellulite on the legs and buttocks.
Like creating a coffee ground exfoliating lotion, add some of your grounds to water and apply it on the affected area. Do this at least twice a week and for about 10 minutes.
12. Reduce the Smell of Potent Vegetables
If your recipes consist of chopping up potent vegetables, such as garlic and onions, coffee grounds can help neutralize their pungent odors. This will make you more welcoming whenever you have dinner guests who can’t help but notice the smell of garlic every time you’re around them.
Simply keep a small container of coffee grounds near the sink and use them to gently scrub your hands after handling potent vegetables. You’d be surprised at how much more effective coffee grounds are at eliminating smells than other standard kitchen soaps.
While you’re at it, you can even create your own coffee ground hand scrub. All you need to do is add some coconut oil and sea salt into the mix and have an organic hand scrub that will keep your hands fresh throughout the day.
13. Create a Scrub for Pots and Pans
If you’re tired of giving your forearms a rigorous workout every time you’re trying to scrub out pots and pans, coffee grounds might help when it’s time to do the dishes. The coarse properties of ground coffee is a great way to remove grease and other compounds from your pots, pan, and even your stovetop.
To achieve this, cover a cloth with coffee grounds and firmly scrub it over the leftover food particles on your cooking ware.
Afterward, your stovetop, pots, and pans will be sparkling and clean once again.
14. Furniture Repair
If you’re an owner of wooden furniture, scratches are likely one of your worst nightmares. Now, tons of products on the market will help get rid of scratches, but before you go spend an arm and a leg, reach your old coffee grounds.
Start by creating a thick paste using your fresh coffee grounds and water. Then, take a cotton swab and rub it into scratches for roughly 5 to 10 minutes.
This will help reduce the appearance of the scratches, but if you want your furniture to look as good as new, you’ll need to dye it with a brownish color.
15. Encourage Hair Growth
Many store-bought shampoos and hair products can affect the appearance of your head. They can also leave behind particles and create dandruff that’s both unsightly and itchy. Coffee grounds are an amazing exfoliating scrub that can eliminate dandruff and dead skin cells, allowing your head to look fantastic.
Additionally, studies show that caffeine might even promote hair growth in both men and women. This is due to caffeine’s nature and how it encourages blood flow when you apply it to your skin.
To apply coffee grounds to your hair routine is incredibly easy. All you need to do is scrub some into your hair before washing it with shampoo, and thoroughly rinse your scalp.
You don’t need to do this every time you wash your hair but aim for at least once per week.
16. Trap Roaches and Other Insects
If you have a roach infestation but don’t want to use harmful insect repellents, your morning coffee provides an excellent natural alternative. Fill up a jar or two with coffee grounds and slab on sticky tape to the neck of the container.
Cockroaches are attracted to the smell of coffee grounds and will walk right into the jar. The tap should trap them good enough so you can let them outside your home.
This method isn’t as effective as using insect repellent; however, it contains zero harmful chemicals and won’t kill the bugs.
17. Worm Food
Now you might be scratching your head wondering why you want to feed worms. Well, if you have a garden, you probably know that worms are a great way to keep your soil rich with nutrients.
If you’re a serious gardener and you have a worm bin, throw some coffee grounds in there. The grounds act as an excellent source of nitrogen that helps reduce greenhouse gases and great liquid fertilizer.
18. Keep Cats Away From Your Garden
If you or your neighbors have a cat, you’ve probably caught them sneaking around your garden from time to time. To prevent this from happening, all you’ll need are some coffee grounds and some sort of citrus fruit (preferably oranges).
The easy way to do this is to sprinkle some coffee grounds and orange peels around your plants. Remember, a single coffee ground in the garden isn’t going to do the trick, make sure to be liberal with your sprinkling. Cats aren’t the biggest fans of the smell of ground coffee, and the citrus from the orange peels will deter them away from your garden.
Speaking of cats, add some coffee grounds to their litter box to help neutralize the odors.
19. Tenderize Your Meat
Meat is made up of tiny muscle fibers and certain proteins that give it a tough texture. To make the meat softer and easier to eat, you need to tenderize it.
The natural way to tenderize meat is to use salt, acids, and enzymes. Your leftover coffee grounds contain enzymes and acids that can leave your meat tender and juice. Also, the coffee grounds might even help enhance the flavor of your meat, considering their acidic properties.
To achieve this, rub some coffee grounds onto your meat approximately 2 hours before cooking. You’ll notice how the coffee grounds make your meat appear dark. You can also use cold brew coffee to marinate your meat for a similar outcome.
20. Minimize Icy Walkways
If you live in a place where it’s cold, you’re constantly on the lookout for ice when walking outside. To avoid slipping and accumulating a traumatic injury, coffee grounds can help san icy walkways.
Coffee grounds won’t melt the ice, but what they do is provide enough traction to make it safer to walk over. It works in a similar way sand does. It’s the perfect low-cost solution to keep you and your family from falling during the winter months.
Liberally sprinkle coffee grounds over the icy areas, and you’ll notice a significant increase in traction. This works well on the back porch, stairs, driveways, sidewalks, and practically anywhere ice forms.
21. Fishing Bait
This isn’t a secret to fishermen, but most people don’t know that coffee grounds work as excellent fishing bait. By adding a few scoops to your worm bait, the worms will stay alive longer, and live bait is always better than dead bait.
Some fishermen notice that they catch far more fish when they add coffee grounds to their bait. There’s even a massive debate in the fishing community about whether or not trout, bass, and other fish are attracted to the smell of ground coffee.
22. Clean Your Fireplace
When I first discovered that you could clean your fireplace using coffee grounds, I thought it had to do with their incredible scouring abilities. To my surprise, this is not the case.
It’s a messy job to clean out ash from the fireplace, but it’s necessary if you want to keep it functioning properly throughout the colder months. Throwing used coffee grounds into the fireplace will make the ash bundle together better and prevent it from dispersing all over your house, clothes, and lungs.
Therefore, the grounds will make cleaning out the fireplace a whole lot easier and far less messy. So, the next time it’s your turn to clean the fireplace, thank your coffee grounds for making the task less daunting.
23. Prolong the Life of Cut Flowers
Did you get flowers for that special someone? Unfortunately, cut flowers die easily if you don’t take good care of them. They need nutrients, and one of the best sources for plant nourishment is coffee grounds. If you ask most florists, they’ll tell you the secret is to throw some coffee grounds into the water if you want them to stay alive longer.
For this, simply put in a few tablespoons of grounds into your water. Remember, you need to change out the water every two days to avoid the build-up of mold or other harmful compounds.
24. Homemade Espresso
Who doesn’t love a cup of espresso in the morning? It’s strong, tasty, and provides enough energy to get you through a long day’s work.
If you’re not a complete coffee fanatic, you make espresso using finely ground coffee beans. Coffee grounds still hold some of the caffeine and favor without the acidity. Your homemade espresso powder will work great for your baking recipes.
Using your own coffee grounds will save you some money since you won’t need to buy espresso powder separately at the store.
Which Plants Like Coffee Grounds the Most?
From reading above, it’s no surprise there are plenty of uses of coffee grounds for the garden. Whether it’s providing essential nutrients or deterring pests, your plants love your coffee leftovers!
Some plants, however, enjoy the grounds more than others. Here are some plants that thrive whenever there are coffee grounds in the soil:
- Lily of the valley
Adding coffee grounds to your garden is one of the best things you can do to ensure your plants are healthy and grow to their maximum potential.
Is It Safe to Consume Coffee Grounds?
As you might now, drinking coffee comes with a wide array of health benefits. Some of the top benefits include:
- Higher energy levels
- Decreased body fat
- Increased physical performance
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- A huge source of antioxidants
With all of these benefits, you might assume that consuming coffee grounds is just as beneficial. However, many physicians strongly advise against consuming coffee grounds, as they don’t provide the same benefits as drinking brewed coffee.
Coffee grounds contain a compound known as cafestol, which is linked to higher blood cholesterol. The harmful compounds are generally removed when you filter the coffee during the brewing process.
You can still use coffee grounds in certain recipes or to tenderize your meat, and swallowing a coffee ground or two won’t kill you. However, don’t consume them directly. Also, they don’t taste very good anyway.
The fact that most people throw away their coffee grounds without knowing the numerous ways to reuse is mindblowing. Coffee grounds are great for the skin, garden, household, and several other parts of our daily life.
So, next time you’re making your morning cup of coffee, be sure to keep the grounds around. Then, try out one of the 20+ uses for coffee grounds in this post.