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10 Clever Uses For Coffee Grounds

10 Clever Uses For Coffee Grounds

Before you discard those used coffee grounds or send them straight to the compost, consider these clever household uses for them:

Clever Uses For Used Coffee Grounds

1. As an Exfoliant

The rough texture of the coffee grounds can be used on your skin as a scrub. Coffee scrubs are all the rage. Just mix 1/2 cup coffee grounds and 1/2 cup sugar (any kind) with 1/4 cup coconut oil in a small jar with a lid. Work into wet skin, and rinse. Many commercial scrubs use coffee to reportedly combat cellulite.

2. Soil Aeration and Nitrogen Boost for Houseplants

coffee grounds

Adding coffee grounds to your houseplants helps the pH balance (toward acidity) as well as increasing nitrogen and aerating the soil. Tomatoes also love acidic soil! Sprinkle a thin layer on top.

3. Neutralize Refrigerator Odors

Placing them in a shallow dish in the refrigerator to act as a natural deodorizer. The only thing you need to watch for is mold if you use damp grounds. Replace immediately with fresher grounds if it turns into a science experiment.

4. Natural De-Icer

Sprinkle used grounds on your freshly shoveled walk or driveway to help melt the ice—it’s a natural and environmentally friendly way to add more traction underfoot. Just wipe your feet well before coming indoors!

5. Dye Easter Eggs or Paper Crafts


Soaking in a solution with water and used coffee grounds can be used to give an “antique” sepia appearance to watercolor paper or easter eggs.

6. Water Your Roses

Coffee grounds can help lower the pH in your soil which your roses love. Mix 1 cup of grounds in 1 gallon of water, and water the roses. This method helps distribute the grounds evenly and get the nutrients to the roots. (Never add grounds right next to the plant which can cause burn).

7. Scour Pots and Pans

No scrubbie pads on hand? The gentle abrasiveness of coffee grounds can help in the kitchen to remove stubborn caked-on food from your pots and pans. Just scrub first, then wash and rinse.

8. Snail, Slug, and Cat Repellent

In the garden, use coffee grounds as a barrier around the garden. It will help keep these pests at bay.

9. Steroids for Your Carrot Crop

Carrots love coffee grounds! They will grow larger and sweeter and the plants will have a greater yield. Just trowel grounds in when planting. Radishes love it, too!

10. Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Coffee grounds can clean and deodorize your garbage disposal. Just put the damp grounds in, run the cold water, and turn on the disposal. Note: do this only on occasion to freshen the disposal. It’s not recommended to run coffee grounds through the disposal daily.

11. Bonus Extra – Fishing Secret

Mix a cup of used coffee grounds in with your bait worms to keep them alive and wiggling longer. Plus, fish—especially trout and bass—are attracted to coffee-scented worms.

Do you have a special way you use those used coffee grounds? Tell us in the comments below!

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  • JR says:

    Coffee grounds are sludge, best thrown in the garbage. People claiming use for them must be telling the truth, but my research, and experience, indicates a waste product with no uses.

  • Jan Blevins says:

    I throw the coffin grounds in my flower bed and when ground are dry I till them into the soil

  • Pollyester says:

    dry used coffee grounds and burn them keeps mosquitoes away

  • Steveisler says:

    If you have places that have stagnant water pour coffee grounds or fresh coffee (of the cheap kind that you would never drink) into the water to deter mosquitoes

  • Steveisler says:

    Occasionally I put my coffee grounds in a blender with my energy drink mix, I know it sounds gross, but try it.
    It gives that energy drink a kick in the ass

  • Brenda says:

    I use my used coffee grounds for fire ants beds.. I skim the top of fire ant hills then I put my grounds on the top of them and they take them to there queen and the bed is empty and moved away from my home. I used just one filter that I made a 10 cup pot of coffee. I save a lot of grounds to spread all around my mobile home and it seems to help keep ants and other crawling bugs from entering my home. I do have to put extra on my ledge of my windows because they come from tree limbs that hang over my home.

  • Al Grab says:

    I make a wood stain using used coffee grounds. Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup used coffee grounds in a 1 qt. mason jar, add 1 steel wool pad, and then fill the jar with white vinegar. Shake well and let stand overnight. The next day stir the contents and using plastic gloves so as not to stain your fingers and hands take out the steel wool pad and use it to apply the stain to your project. You can also keep the pad in the jar and use a brush to apply the stain. I then let it dry and if I want a darker color I apply a 2nd coat of stain. When that is dry I wipe the project with a dry cloth and then finally with a damp cloth. The wiping takes away the chance of the stain from rubbing off on clothing. If I am going to use the project outside I have then applied a coating of a clear water sealing product. I have made several large tables using this formula and actually make my stain in gallon glass containers.

  • Dianna R says:

    Used damp coffee grounds are great for sweeping dusty floor areas. (not carpeted of course)
    We (housekeeping) did this in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to combat dusty floors in office areas.
    Plus it smelled great. An old timer taught me that.
    Easy to sweep dry dusty floors with the damp grounds.

  • Karen Nowak says:

    Don’t use as a de-icer outside on walkpaths!!!!! Stuff sticks to shoes/boots and you bring it in the house. I thought this was a good idea—-NOT!!!!!

    • Susan Higgins says:

      Hi Karen, it’s really no different from salt or sand; we recommend you wiping feet and taking shoes off before traipsing on carpets.

  • Francie says:

    Put the coffee grounds in a baggy with those unsolicited credit card offers, or anything else that has personal info on it.

  • Kat says:

    Please keep in mind that septic systems do not like coffee grounds, as I was recently informed. They can also cause clogs, as I was also recently informed. Thanks!

  • Betty Smith says:

    My husband used coffee grounds for his “worm” beds. Free fish bait.

  • Colleen says:

    You can put used grounds into a spray bottle, shake well and spray tender plants against bugs and slugs. Deer don’t seem to like scent either.

    • Steveisler says:

      Fresh coffe works better, I buy off brand coffee that I would never drink and coldbrew a quart or so and use that for bug control, and the garden seems to love caffeine, cause it grows like crazy

  • Harriett says:

    I have tried everything I know to try to stop black spots on my roses. Some of them are roses back in the 1960s and the rose gold that is suppose to stop them isn’t working on these older ones What do I do?

  • Wendy says:

    Coffee grounds were used to get rid of smells after neighbour passed away and wasn’t found for 4 days. The police put a tin plate out with coffee grounds. Said that’s the only way to rid the smell

  • Marilyn H says:

    Texas is covered with fire ants and it is hard to get rid of them. I discovered that placing coffee grounds around the mound and then put a lot on the mound caused them to be gone within a few hours. A hay field behind us contributes lots of ants so I always have a use for the coffee grounds. I also toss some on my plants that like acid.

  • Greg Smith says:

    Not recommended, but fond memories. Seventy years ago when I was 11 my friends and I occasionally smoked dried, used coffee grounds in a corncob pipe. Pretty harsh, but better than corn silk?

  • Cindy says:

    I dry them in a pie plate then drop a few drops of lamp oil and burn. The smoke works great on mosquitos.

  • carol hughes says:

    My mother used to put wood and sifted coal ash where she planted potatoes.

  • Michelle Pulley says:

    What about strawberries?

  • Dayle Young says:

    Used Coffee Grounds,,, are Great for Worm beds … Also … !….!

  • Pam says:

    My daughter gives coffee grounds to the chicken’s and the pig .

  • sue brincefield says:

    I’ve also put coffee grounds in standing puddles in the driveway to deter mosquitoes !! It keeps the mosquito larvae from developing . The birds really seem to love it to for bathing and drinking ….preferring it over the neighbors pond .

    • Brenda says:

      thanks for that Sue now I know how tocombat lavrvae to form in my water buckets that my birds and puppies drink from.

  • Linda says:

    I use coffee grounds in the garden and also eggshells that have been ground to a powder in the blender – works great!

  • Vernon Graves says:

    Rose bushes, tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers all love coffee grounds. Been using them for 40+ years.

  • Nana De says:

    I use coffee grounds in my houseplants, in my outdoor gardens, and in my worm composter. The worms gobble them up and combined with everything else added to the composters, the grounds make an amazing chemical-free, cost-effective, highly-concentrated, all-purpose plant food that can go much further than grounds alone (I have a lot of acreage with gardens).

  • Barb says:

    My neighbor when I was growing up used to put ‘Crisco’ on her youngest son’s face and then coffee grounds over the Crisco”, dress him in old cloths, give him a stick with a small bundle on the end of the stick and he’d win every year with this HOBO costume at the park district Halloween contest parade!

  • Barb says:

    My neighbor when I was growing up used to put ‘Crisco’ on her youngest son’s face and then coffee grounds over the Crisco”, dress him in old cloths, give him a stick with a small bundle on the end of the stick and he’d win every year with this HOBO costume at the park districk Halloween contest parade!

  • Ed Badgett says:

    Great for worm beds in the garden area. Sprinkle/spread them liberally around. Apparently worms are big coffee lovers, too.

  • Joanne C says:

    I use spent coffee grounds around my Azaela Bushes and Rhodi’s , they love the Acid.

  • Al says:

    I scatter wood ashes from my fireplace under pecan trees, seems to help control the web worms, can also make grandmothers lye soap stir in lard and heat, pour into molds.

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