Crafts & DIY
Save your coffee grounds for these 14 amazing home hacks
Why throw something in the trash before you use it to its fullest? Go green with your coffee grounds by trying one of these 14 second-use strategies.

We’re drinking more and more coffee these days.

In America alone, nearly 27.16 million 60-kilogram bags were used in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, a big increase from the previous year.

That means lots of us are left with coffee grounds every day.


While they aren’t a toxic thing to put in the trash, you may just consider getting one more use out of them before they go off to fertilize the landfill.

Some of these ideas may just save you some money too!

1. Freshen your air

The first step in using coffee grounds to help clear the air is to dry them out! Otherwise, you’re just going to end up with moldy grounds in a day or two (and no one wants to be breathing that in!).

After that, you can stick them in anything from a nice sachet bag to an old sock, depending on where you want to use it.

If you really want to spread the smell of coffee, hang it over an air vent. Just be careful not to create a fire hazard by setting it right on your heater.

2. Exfoliate your skin

From a handful of coffee grounds and water to more elaborate concoctions involving ingredients like honey and lemon, you can give your skin a nice exfoliating scrub.

Be very careful if you decide to use it on your face (it will sting your eyes real good!), but have at it in your morning shower. You’ll get nice and clean AND feel invigorated by the scent.

3. Clean your pots and pans

Coffee grounds are just abrasive enough to help get the gunk off of your pots and pans.

Of course, you don’t want to use anything abrasive on non-stick surfaces for fear of scratching them. But your stainless steel will thank you for adding a tablespoon or two of grounds and a little elbow grease while you’re washing dishes.

4. Make a scented oil


Create your own aromatherapy oil using leftover coffee grounds.

If you want to stick with what’s in your kitchen, you can add it to olive oil and pour it into a diffuser to fill the room with a coffeehouse smell.

5. Flavor your meat

Silverbrow on Food
Silverbrow on Food

From lamb chops to duck, you can use coffee grounds along with some ingredients like brown sugar to create the perfect meat rub.

It can also tenderize meat as well, although spent grounds have less acid than most people think, so they won’t do all the work.

6. Use it in crafts

From dying paper (giving it an antique look) to staining wood, coffee grounds in a bit of water can leave behind some pigment.

And if you’ve ever spilled coffee on yourself, you know it can add color to cloth as well.

So use it to your advantage when you want to add a stain on purpose.

7. Fertilize your garden the natural way


Carrots and radishes are especially big fans of coffee grounds.

Sprinkling coffee grounds in a think layer on your soil can help add nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other micronutrients.

8. Repel pests

Most bugs don’t like the smell of coffee. In fact, you may be able to send everything from mosquitos to fruit flies packing by tucking some coffee grounds around your garden or outdoor area.

If you want to keep the neighborhood cats away, coffee grounds can often do that as well. Just spread them around the area you’d like to stay clear of pests and other visitors.

9. Repel the smell (in your fridge)

There’s a reason you shouldn’t keep the coffee you plan to drink in your fridge – it absorbs every available odor.

But once you’ve made your morning cup, the spent grounds can go in the fridge to deodorize it.

Just pat them dry and put them in an open container. Replace as necessary.

10. Repel the smell (on your hands)

When we cook, we can often get scents on our hands that don’t go away immediately (we’re looking at you, garlic).

Luckily, coffee grounds can neutralize those smells, especially under fingernails.

Just mix with water and scrub gently and you won’t have to worry about that stale garlic smell.

11. Cover up furniture dings

This is one we never would have thought of on our own.

But it turns out that if you use a Q-Tip to rub the ground on a scratch in your wood, the pigment can soak in.

Just leave the grounds on for about 10 minutes and then buff them off with a towel.

You can also mix them together with warm water and vinegar to create a more spreadable surface perfector.

12. Use it in your compost pile

Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen, which is vital for your compost pile.

While some claim that coffee grounds are acidic, that’s more true of the coffee, not what’s leftover. So you don’t have to worry too much about the pH of your compost since the grounds are largely neutral.

13. Attract worms

Earthworms can use the chemical compounds in coffee grounds as food once they’re broken down by the bacteria and fungi that live in the soil.

Since earthworms are good for your garden, you want to attract them. And as a bonus, they consume the grounds and deposit them even deeper in the ground as they dig down to help your garden grow.

14. Bake with it


In small amounts, some extra coffee grounds (or even re-brewed) coffee can add an amazing kick to your dinner or dessert.

Try baking it into brownies or adding a nice coffee flavor to your wintertime chili.



So which idea are you going to try first?

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