What to Do With Coffee Grounds?

With coffee grounds, you can: 1. Fertilize plants 2. Exfoliate skin 3. Clean dishes and surfaces 4. Deodorize fridge or freezer 5. Make homemade candles or soap

Coffee has become an essential part of our daily routine, and it’s hard to imagine a day without it. But have you ever wondered what happens to the coffee grounds after brewing your favorite cup of joe? Instead of tossing them in the trash, there are plenty of ways to reuse those coffee grounds that can benefit both you and the environment.

In this article, we’ll explore some creative ways to repurpose coffee grounds and make the most out of your morning brew. So grab a fresh cup of coffee (and maybe even some used grounds) and let’s get started!

Fertilizing Plants

Fertilizing Plants: Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that plants need to thrive. Instead of buying expensive fertilizers from the store, you can use coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer for your garden or indoor plants.

Simply sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of your plant or mix them into the soil before planting new seeds. Coffee ground fertilizer is especially beneficial for acid-loving plants like roses, azaleas, rhododendrons and blueberries because it helps to lower soil pH levels over time.

However, it’s important not to overdo it with coffee ground fertilization since too much caffeine can be harmful to some types of plants such as tomatoes and peppers which prefer alkaline soils. A good rule is using no more than 10-15% by volume in potting mixes or compost piles.


Coffee grounds are a great addition to any compost pile as they add nitrogen, which helps break down organic matter. When adding coffee grounds to your compost, it’s essential not to overdo it as too much can make the pile acidic and slow down decomposition.

To use coffee grounds in composting, mix them with other organic materials such as leaves or grass clippings. The ideal ratio is one part green material (such as coffee) to two parts brown material (like dried leaves).

Stir the mixture occasionally and keep it moist but not wet.

In just a few months, you’ll have rich soil that’s perfect for growing vegetables or flowers in your garden.

Pest Control

The strong aroma of coffee is known to repel insects and pests, making it an effective alternative to chemical pesticides. Sprinkling coffee grounds around the perimeter of your home or garden can help keep ants, slugs, and snails at bay.

You can mix coffee grounds with water to create a spray that will deter mosquitoes from invading your outdoor space. Simply boil used coffee grounds in water for 10-15 minutes before straining the mixture into a spray bottle.

Not only is this method eco-friendly and safe for pets and children but it’s also cost-effective compared to store-bought insecticides.

Repel Insects and Pests

The strong aroma of coffee is known to keep away unwanted visitors such as ants, mosquitoes, and even slugs. Simply sprinkle some coffee grounds around the perimeter of your home or garden to create a barrier that will deter these pesky critters from entering.

For indoor use, place small bowls filled with dry coffee grounds in areas where you’ve noticed insect activity. This method works particularly well for keeping spiders at bay.

If you have pets who spend time outdoors during the warmer months, rubbing damp coffee grounds on their fur can help repel fleas and ticks naturally without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Exfoliating Soap Bars

The coarse texture of coffee grounds makes them an excellent natural exfoliant, which helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. You can easily make your own exfoliating soap bars by mixing used coffee grounds with melted glycerin soap base and pouring the mixture into molds.

Once the soap has hardened, you’ll have a luxurious bar that will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Using these homemade soaps is not only good for your skin but also eco-friendly as it reduces waste by repurposing used coffee grounds instead of throwing them away.

DIY Body Scrub

The coarse texture of the coffee grounds helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. To make a DIY body scrub, mix together equal parts of coffee grounds and coconut oil or olive oil until you have a thick paste.

You can add in some brown sugar or sea salt for extra exfoliation.

Apply the mixture to damp skin in circular motions, focusing on rough areas like elbows and knees. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a towel.

Your skin will feel rejuvenated, moisturized, and smell amazing! Plus, using natural ingredients means that you’re avoiding harsh chemicals found in many store-bought scrubs.

Cleaning Pots and Pans

The coarse texture of the coffee grounds helps remove stubborn stains without scratching the surface of your cookware. To use, simply sprinkle some coffee grounds onto a damp sponge or cloth and scrub away any grime or grease on your pots and pans.

This method is especially useful for cleaning cast iron skillets, which require gentle cleaning to maintain their seasoning. After using this technique, rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly before storing.

By repurposing coffee grounds in this way, you not only save money on expensive cleaners but also reduce waste by reusing something that would otherwise end up in the trash.

Deodorizing Fridge

The strong aroma of coffee can help neutralize unpleasant odors and keep your fridge smelling fresh. Simply place a bowl filled with dry coffee grounds in the back of your refrigerator, and let it sit for a few days.

The coffee will absorb any unwanted smells, leaving behind a pleasant scent.

Alternatively, you can make small sachets using old socks or pantyhose filled with dry coffee grounds and place them on different shelves in the fridge to ensure maximum coverage. Replace them every two weeks or so for optimal results.

Homemade Candles

Making candles at home is easy and fun, and it’s an excellent way to create unique scents that can’t be found in stores. To make coffee ground candles, all you need are some used coffee grounds (dried), wax flakes or old candles (to melt down), wicks, essential oils of your choice for fragrance (optional) and jars or containers.

To start making the candle:

  1. Melt the wax flakes in a double boiler.
  2. Add dried coffee grounds into melted wax.
  3. Pour mixture into jars with wicks already placed inside them.
  4. Let it cool until hardened.

Enhancing Fireplace Logs

Did you know that coffee grounds can enhance your firewood? By adding used coffee grounds to your logs, they will burn brighter and produce less smoke. The natural oils in the coffee help ignite the wood faster while also creating a pleasant aroma throughout your home.

To use this method, simply sprinkle some used coffee grounds on top of each log before lighting them up. You don’t need to add too much; just enough to cover the surface area of each log evenly.

Not only does this trick make for an enjoyable experience by enhancing both sight and smell but it’s also eco-friendly as it reduces waste by repurposing something that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Crafting Wood Stain

Coffee grounds can be used to create a natural wood stain that’s perfect for giving your furniture or wooden floors an antique look. To make the stain, simply mix coffee grounds with hot water and let it steep for several hours until the mixture is dark enough to use as a dye.

Once ready, apply the coffee ground mixture onto your wooden surface using a brush or cloth and let it dry completely before applying any sealant. The result will be beautiful earthy tones that are unique to each piece of wood.

Natural Dye

The process is simple and requires only a few ingredients, including coffee grounds, water, and salt. First, soak the fabric in warm water mixed with salt to help set the color.

Then boil the coffee grounds in water for about an hour until it creates a concentrated solution. Strain out any remaining solids and let it cool down before adding your fabric to soak overnight or longer depending on how dark you want your color to be.

The result is an earthy brown hue that looks great on cotton or linen materials but may not work well with synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon since they don’t absorb dyes easily.

Using natural dyes has many benefits over synthetic ones because they are eco-friendly and non-toxic while still producing beautiful colors that won’t fade quickly over time like some chemical-based alternatives do.

Growing Mushrooms

The high nitrogen content in the coffee makes it a perfect environment for mushroom spores to thrive. You can use any type of coffee ground, but make sure they’re fresh and haven’t been sitting around too long.

To get started with growing your own mushrooms using coffee grounds, mix the used grounds with some sawdust or straw and add mushroom spores. Keep them moist and in a dark place until they start sprouting.

Not only is this method eco-friendly by reusing waste products like old coffee grinds, but also provides delicious homegrown food options that are rich in nutrients such as protein, fiber and vitamins B & D.

Liquid Plant Fertilizer

Instead of throwing away your used coffee grounds, you can make a liquid fertilizer for your indoor or outdoor plants. To make this natural fertilizer at home, mix one part coffee grounds with four parts water and let it sit for 24 hours before straining out the solids.

Dilute the mixture with more water if needed and use it to feed your plants once a week.

This homemade liquid plant food is an excellent alternative to chemical fertilizers that can harm beneficial microorganisms in soil over time. Plus, using coffee ground as a natural fertilizer will save you money on store-bought products while reducing waste at home.

Repurposing used coffee grounds is not only eco-friendly but also practical! From cleaning surfaces to enhancing fireplace logs or even growing mushrooms – there are plenty of ways we can reuse our morning brew’s byproduct creatively.

Neutralize Odors

The natural properties of coffee make it an excellent deodorizer, and it’s a great alternative to chemical-based air fresheners. Simply place some dry coffee grounds in a bowl or sachet and leave them in areas that need freshening up, such as the fridge, closet, or bathroom.

You can even use them to remove the smell of garlic or onion from your hands by rubbing wet coffee grounds on your skin before washing with soap and water.

By using coffee grounds instead of commercial air fresheners you are not only saving money but also reducing waste since you’re repurposing something that would otherwise end up in the trash bin. Plus, unlike synthetic fragrances found in most store-bought products which may cause allergies or respiratory problems for some people; natural scents like those from brewed coffee have been shown to improve mood and reduce stress levels.

Sink and Drain Cleaner

The coarse texture of the coffee grounds helps to scrub away any buildup in your sink or drain, while the acidity of coffee helps break down grease and other organic matter. To use, simply pour a handful of used coffee grounds into your sink or drain followed by boiling water.

Let it sit for a few minutes before running hot water down the drain to flush out any remaining debris.

Not only is this method effective at cleaning drains, but it’s also eco-friendly and cost-effective compared to store-bought cleaners that contain harsh chemicals harmful both for you and environment.

Repair Scratched Furniture

Simply mix used coffee grounds with warm water to create a paste-like consistency. Then, apply the mixture to the scratched area using a cotton swab or soft cloth and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth.

The natural color of coffee helps blend in scratches on darker wood tones while also adding shine to dull surfaces. This method is perfect for repairing minor damage on your favorite pieces of furniture without having to spend money on expensive repairs or replacements.

It’s important to note that this method works best for small surface-level scratches only; deeper gouges may require professional attention. Be sure not to use too much water when creating the paste as excess moisture can cause further damage over time.

Treat Under-Eye Circles

The caffeine in coffee helps to reduce inflammation and puffiness, making it an excellent natural remedy for tired eyes. To make a DIY eye mask, mix one tablespoon of coffee grounds with one teaspoon of coconut oil until you have a thick paste.

Apply the mixture gently around your eyes and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Alternatively, you can use cold brewed coffee as an eye compress by soaking cotton pads in the liquid and placing them over your closed eyelids for 10-15 minutes. This will help soothe tired eyes while reducing dark circles.

Using natural remedies like this not only saves money but is also better for our skin than using chemical-laden products that may cause irritation or other side effects.

Repurpose Coffee Bags

Instead of throwing them away, consider using them for storage or as a decorative element in your home. You can use coffee bags to store items such as potatoes, onions, and other produce that needs to breathe.

They also make great reusable grocery bags or gift wrapping material for presents with an eco-friendly touch.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can even turn coffee bags into unique pieces of art by cutting out the designs on the bag and framing them. Or if you have a green thumb, try using coffee bags as planters for small herbs or succulents.

Repurposing coffee bags not only reduces waste but also adds character and charm to your home decor while giving new life to something that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Pet Bed Freshener

Fortunately, coffee grounds can help freshen up the bed and neutralize odors. Simply sprinkle some used coffee grounds on the bed and let them sit for about 15 minutes before vacuuming them up.

The natural deodorizing properties of coffee will leave your pet’s sleeping area smelling clean and fresh without any harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances.

But that’s not all – if you have outdoor pets like chickens or rabbits, mixing used coffee grounds into their bedding material can also help repel pests like fleas and ticks while providing a natural source of nitrogen for plants when composted with manure.

So next time you brew a pot of coffee, don’t toss those used grounds in the trash just yet! Give your furry friends’ beds (and maybe even their outdoor living spaces) an eco-friendly refresh with this simple trick using something that would otherwise go to waste.


Is it OK to throw coffee grounds in the yard?

Yes, it is OK to throw coffee grounds in the yard, as they can be a worthwhile addition to your compost heap and soil when used with care and common sense.

Do coffee grounds repel bugs?

Coffee grounds act as a potent insect repellent, effectively fighting off bugs due to their strong smell, with the EPA stating that they are most potent when burned.

How do you dispose of coffee grounds at home?

To dispose of coffee grounds at home, simply toss them in the trash, as they are non-hazardous household waste and can even help absorb odors.

Can coffee grounds be used as a fertilizer for plants?

Yes, coffee grounds can be used as a fertilizer for plants as they are rich in nutrients and improve soil structure.

What are the benefits of using coffee grounds in composting?

Coffee grounds can provide essential nutrients, improve soil structure, and encourage beneficial microorganisms in composting.

Are there any creative DIY projects that incorporate used coffee grounds?

One creative DIY project incorporating used coffee grounds is creating eco-friendly body scrubs, candles, or plant fertilizers.