What Are Good Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Wait! Before you throw those ground beans into the trash or – the garbage disposal or – the toilet? Don’t laugh, once you hear about all the uses of used coffee beans, you’ll realize that each suggestion is equally absurd.

Even after being used to make a strong cup of coffee, there are a plethora of uses for coffee beans that many users may never have thought of. This list will provide ten of the most simple and realistic uses for used coffee beans by the average coffee drinker. After reading about all the uses of coffee beans, you’ll kick yourself for ever chucking away a product with such potential!

1. Pest and Insect Repellent
Coffee grounds, even once used, emit a very strong aroma that many insects find off-putting. They are, therefore, an excellent deterrent and will be very helpful for users who live in warmer regions with a lot of flying and crawling foes all around!

By sprinkling a line of used coffee grounds of about 1 to 2 inches thick around frequently infested areas in your home, you could repel ants, garden snails, and slugs from the kitchen and other rooms in the house. Coffee grounds may even be useful in keeping fleas off your pets. A wash and rinse with used coffee grounds can act as a completely natural alternative to many flea shampoos, although we can’t say with confidence that your pooches are likely to prefer either option.

2. An Environmentally Friendly Body Scrub
Not only can coffee grounds replace the soap you use on your pets, but they can also replace some of your regular body washes too! With a few alterations and additions, used coffee grounds can be used as an exfoliating face and body wash. Not only is this good for your skin, but it’s even better for the ocean, as many exfoliating products contain tiny microplastics that travel from the drain to the ocean and get eaten by fish. If you have an interest in reducing the amounts of plastic in the ocean, and in the fish we eat, you should definitely consider body scrub recipes with coffee grounds.

3. Homemade Coffee-Scented Candles
Candle making is a fun activity for the whole family and using coffee grounds as a prime ingredient is great for making candles with a delightful coffee smell. You can say goodbye to aromatic oils and say hello to a rich and comforting atmosphere created by the combination of candles and the smell of coffee.

4. Hair Product Remover
The exfoliating texture of coffee grounds renders them a great alternative for apple cider vinegar and other methods of removing irritating residue from natural shampoos and conditioners. Although natural shampoos and conditioners are very healthy and ethical, many come with the downside of leaving behind stubborn remnants in your hair, which can be a huge annoyance.

All you need to do is keep a jar of used coffee grounds next to your other hair and body products. A few grounds mixed with your regular hair product will remove residue and exfoliate your scalp to rid it of dandruff and dead skin cells.

5. Compost Benefits
Used coffee grounds can be added to the other natural waste products that you may collect to enrich your garden with nutrients. Adding coffee grounds to the soil also increases the nitrogen level, which worms are greatly attracted to.

In addition to good levels of nitrogen, coffee grounds are also filled with magnesium, calcium, and potassium among other rich fertilizing minerals. These grounds can be sprinkled around the garden, added to the compost, or raked in during seasonal changes.

6. Furniture Repairs
Believe it or not, used coffee grounds can be used to fix scratches and scuffing on wooden furniture like chairs and tables.

All you need to do is mix the coffee grounds with water and make a thick paste. The paste can then be applied to the scratched or scuffed area with cotton. Leave the paste there to dry out for five to ten minutes and then use a wet cotton rag to remove the excess.

The coffee paste should serve to buff out scratches on the wooden surface and conceal the problem on account of its blending dark-brown coloration.

You can also darken the color by reapplying the paste with the cotton swab every few hours until it matches the color of the furniture.

7. Neutralizing Odors in the House or Office Space
The nitrogen in coffee grounds assists in reducing the stench emitted from sulfur gas in the air once it has been combined with carbon. The coffee grounds will trap these odors and make them undetectable to human beings.

If you keep an open bowl of coffee grounds in your refrigerator, for example, you may reduce the stench of rotting food or just very odorous foods like fish.

By filling old socks with coffee grounds, you can also create a homemade air freshener that doesn’t use any overly processed perfumes. These socks can be kept in your gym bag, your cupboards, under the seats in your car, or any other room in the house that could use odor reduction.

Coffee grounds will also neutralize the smell of garlic or onions, so it might even be a good idea to keep a jar next to the sink and scrub your hands after chopping either one.

8. De-Icing Properties
If you are expecting an especially cold winter with a lot of ice and snow, it may benefit you to keep some used coffee grounds in storage. Although salt is the go-to for de-icing surfaces since it lowers the freezing point of water and creates friction to reduce slipping hazards, coffee grounds have a similar ability.

The nitrogen in coffee grounds will melt ice and create friction similar to how salt does. You can sprinkle the coffee grounds on your walking paths to prevent slipping. It is also significantly less harmful to the environment than the sodium-rich salt that people tend to use.

9. Removing Coffee Stains
I know, how ironic! If you are an avid coffee drinker, you have no doubt faced the abject turmoil that comes with spilling coffee on a crisp, white shirt. The stain can be quite difficult to remove, even with high-quality washing powder.

Coffee grounds won’t rid the shirt of the stain, but they can act as a natural dye for the rest of the shirt to give it a stylish, vintage look. Coffee grounds can be used on an array of materials, including cotton, rayon, and linen to disguise hidden stains and dye the shirt altogether.

If you have dark hair, coffee grounds can also deepen the color naturally, causing far less harm than chemical hair dye. In fact, coffee grounds can be used to dye all sorts of things in addition to hair and fabrics, including the shells on Easter eggs.

If you use coffee grounds to dye yarn or any other material that you intend to make use of in knitting or sewing, just remember to first rinse it in cold water with just a dash of mild washing powder or liquid before you get started. This will get rid the fabric of any excess coffee to prevent future staining.

10. Meat Tenderizing
If you happen to buy a rump or fillet with an unfortunate amount of sinew, or that is simply too tough to bite through, coffee grounds can be used instead of many meat tenderizing methods. The natural acids and enzymes contained in coffee grounds serve to render meat softer and significantly more palatable. It will even elevate the flavor of the meat, making it richer and all the more delicious.

The meat tenderizing process with coffee grounds is incredibly easy as well, particularly when compared to the alternatives such as hitting the cut of meat with a mallet. All you need to do is add the grounds to the dry rub for the meat and rub it in for two hours before you start cooking.

The coffee grounds will harden to a mouthwatering and crispy exterior on the skin of the meat for a unique flavor and delightful texture to boot.

Not only can the grounds be used in the dry-rubbing process, but they can also be rebrewed and the liquid, once cooled, can be used to marinate the meat. This process should be done at least 24 hours prior to cooking, and the meat should be refrigerated for that time.

11. Anti-Aging Properties
In addition to being a great exfoliating body wash, the antioxidants contained in coffee grounds are great for treating wrinkles and under-eye shadow caused by lack of sleep. These same antioxidants also reduce cellulite, meaning coffee grounds are a fantastic all-natural beauty product.


If you consider yourself environmentally conscious, then you might find that all the ways to reuse coffee are worth a try, especially in the interests of the earth and in the interest of your own health, as cutting out unnecessary chemicals for a non-toxic and natural option is always a plus.

Great for your skin, great for your garden, and great for your pets, the capabilities of coffee grounds are incredibly diverse. Deterring both pests and wrinkles, there’s almost nothing coffee grounds can’t do, and the suggestions on this list are only the half of it! We picked the simplest and most inexpensive uses for coffee grounds, but if you’re interested, do a quick Google search to find out about all the other properties of coffee grounds and everything else they can do.

Best of all, just imagine how much money you can save on hair dyes, beauty products, pest detergents, meat tenderizers, or air fresheners if you find that coffee grounds work for you. These alternatives are good for the environment and, as it turns out, good for your bank account too!

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