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14 Smart Uses for Used Coffee Grounds That You Can Try Today

Coffee Grounds

If you drink coffee on a regular basis, you will create a lot of used coffee grounds. Most of the time, these grounds end up in the trash, which is a real shame. Old soggy coffee grounds might seem gross and worthless, but they actually have a large number of unique uses. Don’t continue to waste a potential resource. Here are 14 smart uses for used coffee grounds that will help you to stop wasting and start innovating.

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14 Smart Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

1. Compost

One of the simplest uses for used coffee grounds is compost. Coffee grounds are rich in nutrients and make a great addition to any compost pile. If you get degradable paper filters, you can take your grounds and simply dump them into your compost. No fuss, no mess. This is a great way to give your old coffee grounds new life while creating nutrient-dense compost that can help feed your plants.

2. Skin Exfoliant

Girl washing face_Praveen kumar Mathivanan_Unsplash
Image Credit: Praveen kumar Mathivanan, Unsplash

Skin care products can be expensive, but they are extremely popular. That is why skin care is a multibillion-dollar industry. One way to cut down on costs for skin care is to use old coffee grounds. Coffee grounds make an amazing natural exfoliant.

You can add coffee grounds to water and create an at-home scrub for free. Coffee grounds do not dissolve in water, they are safe to eat and drink, and they are strong enough to scrub out your pores. Coffee drinkers will also love the smell. So don’t waste your grounds when you can use them to create a cheap facial scrub.

3. Hand Wash

Coffee grounds can also be used to wash your hands as well as your face. If you are in a pinch and find yourself without hand soap, you can pick up a dash of used grounds and wash your hands with them. In an age of enhanced public health awareness and disease, it is important to keep yourself clean. Coffee grounds might not kill germs like soap, but they can be used to get rid of dirt, grime, and sticky spots in places where you do not have easy access to soap.

4. Natural Pest Repellent

Someone putting coffee grounds in a flowerpot_RVillalon_Shutterstock
Image Credit: RVillalon, Shutterstock

While people love coffee, not everything in the animal kingdom does. Coffee grounds can be used as a natural pest repellent. Sprinkle old grounds outside in your lawn, garden, and property’s perimeter to keep away a slew of annoying pests. There are a lot of small rodents and insects that will take one whiff of old coffee grounds and turn around.

In fact, caffeine is toxic to many insects. Some of the most annoying pests repelled by coffee grounds include fruit flies, common beetles, and mosquitos. Tossing your used grounds outside will help keep these bugs away, and they will naturally degrade over time in your yard.

5. Natural Deodorizer

You can use coffee grounds as a natural deodorizer. It works similarly to baking soda. Simply put a cup of old coffee grounds in an area with a musty or persistent smell and wait for the odor to disappear slowly. Coffee grounds are perfect to use in basements, freezers, and refrigerators. A little bit of coffee can go a long way in dislodging an annoying scent. No need to spend a lot of money on artificial deodorizers when you can use a proven natural variant for free.

6. Natural Deicer

coffee beans
Image Credit: Anastasiia Chepinska, Shutterstock

Another novel use for old coffee grounds is as a deicer. Every year, icy sidewalks and driveways are a persistent hazard that causes numerous injuries. Do not let your sidewalks ice over just because you didn’t fight the crowds to buy bulky bags of salt.

You can toss old coffee grounds out onto areas that frequently freeze over. The grounds cause the freezing temperature of water to drop ever so slightly. Those extra couple of degrees of difference that the coffee grounds add can be all you need to keep your front steps from becoming dangerously icy.

7. Kitchen Scrubbing Agent

If you have ever battled a persistent stain on a dish or burned-on food, you know how frustrating it can be to scrub and scrub and scrub and not get anywhere. Many kitchen cleaners that offer relief also come with high levels of abrasive chemicals that are bad for your skin.

Coffee grounds can help break up stains and food on your pots and pans without having to resort to those types of chemicals. As discussed, coffee grounds are safe and beneficial for the skin. Using grounds to clean your dishes will keep your hands fresh and your dishes spotless.

8. Meat Rub

Image Credit: Kyle Mackie, Unsplash

Used coffee grounds don’t sound particularly appetizing, but they can make for a great seasoning. Certain types of barbeque, seared meat, and grill fare can benefit tremendously from a little bit of old coffee. Coffee has a great taste, a gritty texture, and rich colors. All of that can help your next meal reach peak perfection. Roasted coffee smells great, and it can also taste fantastic on the right dish. Look up unique recipes for meat rubs using old coffee. You will be astonished at how many great options there are.

9. Feed Your Hair

Coffee grounds can be used to help boost the health of your hair. Coffee grounds can make hair shinier and thicker than before. It can also be used to create a natural hair dye as well. Adding a few coffee grounds to your daily hair care routine can boost color, volume, and shine. Depending on your particular type of hair, coffee grounds can have numerous and unique benefits. Every time you toss old coffee grounds, you could potentially be tossing excellent natural hair care.

10. Clean Your Pets

golden retriever dog taking a bath
Image Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

Coffee grounds can help naturally clean your pets. Coffee grounds are known to help eliminate fleas from pets. If you are wary of using expensive chemical shampoos to help treat fleas, you can use old coffee grounds to wash out your pet’s hair and eliminate fleas. Coffee grounds also have similar benefits for pet hair as it does for human hair. Whenever you throw away your coffee grounds in the morning, you are potentially throwing away a natural medicated flea bath for your furry friend.

11. Clean Your Fireplace

Cleaning out a fireplace is a job everyone dreads and then proceeds to put off. It is messy and dusty. The ash from the fireplace has a nasty habit of flying into the air and getting everywhere. Coffee grounds can help to mitigate that awful cloud of ash that comes out of your dirty fireplace.

Coffee grounds are dense and like to clump together. If you sprinkle coffee grounds onto a pile of loose ash, it helps to weigh down and bind the ash so it does not fly into the air as easily. Adding coffee grounds to ash helps keep the mess down. After you are done, simply sweep the grounds out with the ash for a better clean.

12. Fertilizer

Fertilizing the garden by bio granular fertilizer for better conditions of garden
Image Credit: Simon Kadula, Shutterstock

Coffee grounds can be used as a basic fertilizer for some types of plants. Instead of waiting for your coffee grounds to compost, a process that can take weeks or even months, you can dump small amounts of used grounds straight into your soil to create a basic natural fertilizer. Some fertilizers contain smell chemicals and potent nitrates. Coffee grounds are all-natural, effective, and free to use. Double-check what plants benefit the most from coffee ground fertilizer, then start feeding your plants with abandon.

13. Craft Stain

One unique use for coffee grounds is to turn them into a stain. Coffee staining has been around for a very long time, and it is an easy way to get rich brown colors. Stains created from coffee grounds can be used in a variety of different ways.

Coffee grounds are a popular ingredient for basic arts and crafts. They can also be used to stain certain types of wood furniture. Store-bought stains can be expensive and potent. You can save money and hassle by creating some yourself from the comfort of your own kitchen. If you are crafty or like dabbling in art, you could find a number of new uses for your coffee grounds.

14. Food for Vermiculture

worm casting fertilizer
Image Credit: Pong Wira, Shutterstock

Vermiculture is the raising of captive worms for the purpose of gardening or composting. It has become very popular in recent years. The key to a good vermiculture environment is a balance of “brown” and “green” foods. Coffee grounds are a great source of brown food for captive worms.

If you already have a worm colony of your own and have not been feeding them coffee grounds, it could be time to start. If you know nothing about vermiculture but are interested in gardening, composting, and finding an environmentally friendly use for your old coffee grounds, it could be time to look into getting some worms to eat up your food scraps.

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If you thought that coffee grounds were just trash, you are not alone. However, coffee grounds have a variety of unique benefits ranging from hair and skin care to a natural cleaning agent to pest control. If you drink coffee on a daily basis, there is a use for your old grounds that you can partake in. You just have to use a little bit of imagination and a little bit of research to get the maximum benefit out of your grounds. Reusing old grounds is good for the environment and can save you a lot of money over the course of the year.

Featured Image Credit: Katy Tomei, Unsplash


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