Dripper with Coffee

24 Creative Things to Do with Coffee Grounds

  • November 5, 2018

Getting ready to dump your used coffee grounds? Not so fast!

Did you know that you could reuse old coffee grounds in a whole variety of ways? It’s true! Used coffee grounds serve all kinds of purposes from health to gardening to household products, and more.

Coffee grinds provide clean, natural, and inexpensive substitutes for many commercial products containing toxic chemicals and preservatives. It’s better for the environment, better for your health, and better for your wallet!

Finding new uses for your old coffee grounds is not only a great way to save a little money; it’s also lots of fun. Below is a list of 24 of the most creative uses for old coffee grounds.

Gardening

Coffee grounds for gardening Coletti Coffee

Used coffee grounds work well for a range of gardening activities. If you’re looking for fresh new ways to grow the garden you’ve always dreamed of, here’s how old coffee grounds can help.

  1. Fertilizer

Old coffee grounds are an inexpensive alternative to commercially available fertilizers. They also contain essential minerals for healthy soil like magnesium, potassium, calcium, nitrogen, and others.

  1. Compost

Coffee grounds provide bacteria with the nitrogen they need to turn organic matter into compost. So not only you can you add them directly to your soil, you can make compost with them as well.

  1. Insect Repellent

Are unwanted insects making a meal out of your vegetables? Coffee grounds deter pests like ants, slugs, and snails. Just sprinkle your coffee grounds all around your garden to keep out those creepy-crawlies.

  1. Attract Worms

Unlike the nasties mentioned above, worms are actually beneficial to your garden. Worms help to increase the amount of air and water in your soil that helps plants grow. The castings they leave behind when they eat add valuable nutrients to your garden as well.

Coffee grounds are an aid in worms’ digestive process, so sprinkle some around your garden to attract them and stimulate your soil. And if you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’ll have plenty of bait, too!

  1. Grow Mushrooms

Mushrooms are notoriously hard to grow. But using coffee grounds makes it easy! Fill a bucket with coffee grounds, mix in the mushroom spores with some sawdust, keep it moist, and you’ll get impressive fungi that taste great in a range of different dishes.

  1. Better Carrot and Radish Harvests

This helpful tutorial on growing carrots and radishes with coffee grounds will show you how to add nutrients to your soil for delicious veggies and bigger, better harvests.

  1. Keep Out Cats

I have nothing against cats, but I wouldn’t want them using my garden as their litter box, and I imagine you wouldn’t either. Fortunately, coffee grounds scattered around your garden repels kitties and keeps them away from your beloved plants.

Household Uses

Used coffee grounds have benefits for all kinds of household work. They serve as environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as cooking aids. Here’s how old coffee grounds help you around the house.

  1. Flea Bath/Natural Cleaning Scrub for Pets

Coffee grounds are an excellent way to keep your furry friends looking neat and clean. Scrubbing your cats or dogs with coffee grounds helps get rid of fleas and gives them healthier, shinier coats. Just rub some coffee grounds into your pets’ fur after shampooing, then rinse.

  1. Deodorant/Air Freshener

Coffee grounds absorb odors in the air in much the same way as baking soda. That makes them an excellent choice for getting rid of unpleasant odors in your home.

Place an open bowl of coffee grounds in your refrigerator to kill the smell of spoiled food or put some in your trashcan for a fresh scent in your kitchen. Of course, you still have to clean your fridge and take out your trash!

  1. Fix Furniture Scratches

Apply coffee grounds to nicks and scratches in furniture. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, then gently blot it away. It’s a cool way to fix your furniture without expensive products.

  1. Stain Wood

Most commercially available wood staining products contain toxic chemicals that are bad for the environment and our health. Coffee grounds provide a green, all-natural way to give your wooden furniture a rich, deep color.

  1. Fireplace Cleaner

A crackling, cozy fire is a treat on cold winter nights. But the buildup of dust and ash in your fireplace is harmful to the air. Spreading wet coffee grounds over your fireplace makes that entire residue easy to remove.

  1. Meat Tenderizer and Flavor Enhancer

Soaking your meat in coffee to tenderize it is a fantastic alternative to pre-made products with artificial preservatives. Even better, coffee grounds make flavorful rubs and marinade ingredients. Here are a few coffee ground recipes to get your mouth watering.

BBQ Coffee Rub

Cowboy Coffee Steak Rub

Coffee Crusted Steak Rub

Coffee Dry Rub Pork Chops and Chicken

Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

BBQ Coffee Rubbed Ribs

  1. Clean Hands after Chopping Garlic and Onions

Don’t you just hate the lingering smell of garlic and onions on your fingers? Old coffee grounds can banish those stinky odors in a snap. Set a container of coffee grounds on your kitchen counter and rub them on your hands after chopping onions and garlic. No more smelly fingers!

Beauty Treatments

coffee grounds for beauty treatments Coletti Coffee

We all love to look and feel beautiful. But commercial beauty products are costly and often contain harmful ingredients. Freshening up your beauty routine with old coffee grounds saves you money and keeps your body healthy at the same time.

  1. Skin Exfoliant

Did you know that coffee has health benefits for your skin? A scrub made from coffee grounds helps get rid of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil, as well as prevent breakouts, soften skin, and tighten pores. Plus, it saves you money on more expensive exfoliating products. You can scrub yourself all over and rinse it off in the shower. Thanks to your old coffee grounds, you’ll get clear, luminous skin that’ll make you smile!

  1. Hair Growth Stimulator

If your hair follicles could use a little rejuvenation, coffee grounds can help. According to a study in the International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine blocks a hair-damaging chemical called DHT. So what better way to stimulate new hair growth than with coffee?

The simplest way to treat hair growth with coffee is to massage directly into your hair and then give it a thorough rinse. Coffee grounds can also be dried and infused into oil that can be applied to the scalp. The oil can be used in combination with shampoo, conditioner, or made into a scalp mask with shea butter and coconut oil.

However, keep in mind that coffee grounds can darken hair colors like light blond, red, or brown. On the other hand, if darker hair color is what you’re going for, that can be a good thing.

  1. Treating Circles Under Eyes

If dark circles under your eyes bother you, coffee grounds can smooth those out with ease. Rub some on those dark circles (taking care not to get them too close to your eyes), let them sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse. You’ll be amazed by the difference!

  1. Get Rid of Cellulite

Cellulite is ugly and embarrassing. Fortunately, it turns out that caffeine is a key ingredient in many expensive cellulite treatments. A mixture of coffee grounds and olive oil applied to areas affected by cellulite is a cost-effective way to look great and feel better.

Arts and Crafts

Do you love your coffee? Do you geek out over all things crafty and creative? Good for you, because old coffee grounds combine the best of both worlds.

You can use old coffee grounds to handcraft thoughtful gifts or do fun projects with your kids. So if you love coffee and creativity, take those old coffee grounds and turn them into works of art!

  1. Soap

Coffee grounds add rich nutrients to your skin, and the aroma of coffee adds an extra kick to your morning routine. Here are a few tutorials for making soap with coffee grounds.

How to Make Coffee Soap from Home

Coffee Scrub Soap Recipe

How to Make Coffee Soap – Soap Queen

How to Make Coffee Ground Soap — POPSUGAR

  1. Candles

Coffee scented candles create an invigorating aroma anytime, anywhere. They’re the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life!

DIY Coffee Candle

Homemade Coffee Candle

Coffee Scented Candles

Video – How to Make Coffee Candles

  1. Paint

Wet coffee grounds can be used to make paint with a similar appearance to watercolors. It’s a fun, inexpensive way to create stunning artwork.

Empty Easel

Coffee painting tutorial – Inkstruck Studio

Coffee Painting Techniques for Beginners

  1. Play Dough

Kids will amuse themselves for hours with homemade play dough made from coffee grounds!

Coffee Play-doh

Mud-Like Coffee Playdough

Coffee Play Dough – Wee Folk Art

Coffee Grounds Play Dough – DLTK Kids

  1. Fabric Dye

Coffee makes a clean, natural dye that gives fabrics a retro look. They also protect textiles from harmful ingredients and additives in commercial fabric dyes.

How to Dye Textiles with Coffee & Tea

How to Dye Your Clothing with Coffee

How to Naturally Dye Clothes Tan or Brown with Coffee

  1. Easter Egg Dye

Finally, when Easter comes, and you’re ready for some brightly colored eggs, coffee grounds make excellent, non-toxic substitutes for store-bought dyes.

Create Your Very Own All-Natural Egg Dye for Easter

Dye Eggs Naturally – With Coffee!

Coffee-Dyed Easter Eggs

 

I’m sure there are a million more ways to reuse coffee grounds than the ones I’ve written about here. But this should give you some terrific ideas for getting started. Old coffee grounds are an all-natural, inexpensive way to cook, clean, and live healthier, and smile a bit more.

Literal Coffee Cake with coffee grounds Coletti Coffee

Do you know any other creative ways to use old coffee grounds? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author Heather McNamara

Heather McNamara is a freelance writer who creates smart copy for smart readers. For her, the history and culture of coffee are a source of fascination, and consuming it (in considerable quantities) is a significant part of her creative process. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, handicrafts, learning languages, and teasing her rescue dog for not having thumbs.

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