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Used Coffee Grounds? Try These 10 Clever Uses

Used Coffee Grounds? Try These 10 Clever Uses

Before you empty those used coffee grounds into the trash, consider these clever household uses for them:

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.


2. Soil aeration and nitrogen boost for houseplants. Adding coffee grounds to your houseplants helps the pH balance (toward acidity) as well as increasing nitrogen and aerating the soil. Tomatoes love acidic soil!

coffee grounds

3. Neutralize refrigerator odors. Placing them in the refrigerator acts 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-icerSprinkle 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. Blind bake a pie shell. Believe it or not, you can even use thems as the weight when you blind bake a pie crust. Just be sure to use a large enough piece of parchment paper or foil so they don’t come into actual contact with the pie crust.

7. Scour pots and pans. The gentle abrasiveness can help in the kitchen to remove stubborn caked-on food from your pots and pans.

8. Snail, slug, and cat repellent. In the garden, just mound up a barrier of used grounds around the plants which slugs and cats are attracted to. It will help keep them 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 them in around the immature shoots.

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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  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • 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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