You’ve brewed the perfect cup of coffee, and you’re enjoying every sip of it. But it seems like a shame to waste all of those leftover coffee grounds.
Rather than just throw them out, why not repurpose them?
Coffee grounds are a natural substance filled with nutrients and texture that gives it a lot of home and beauty uses.
Recycling your grounds will help save our planet—and your budget—while making your life easier (and smell more like coffee).
1. Use coffee grounds as fertilizer
Coffee grounds are an amazing natural fertilizer. Plants need nutrients from the soil in order to grow. But soil can quickly get depleted, especially as growing plants absorb those nutrients. The purpose of fertilizer is to add more nourishment to the soil, helping to cultivate the plants.
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and chromium, which are all necessary for plants to grow tall and strong. While adding nutrients, coffee may also help absorb heavy metals that contaminate soil and disrupt the growing process. So sprinkling coffee grounds around your soil can help feed your plants the nutrients they need while removing the gunk that hinders growth.
Also, worms love coffee grounds! Worms are a natural landscaper that help aerate and nourish your garden. Attract them with coffee grounds as your fertilizer.
Interestingly, root vegetables like carrots especially love coffee grounds because of the caffeine content. If you grow any root vegetables, put coffee grounds in the surrounding soil for an extra-productive harvest.
2. Put coffee grounds in your compost
If you compost at home, coffee grounds can make your composting safer and more efficient. Studies show that coffee grounds add key nutrients that help compost faster and better quality, and it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Just throw your coffee grounds in your natural compost for a healthier, more efficient, and better smelling compost pile.
3. Repel insects
Have an insect problem in or around your home? Coffee grounds can do the trick.
The compounds in coffee grounds, like caffeine and diterpenes, are toxic to insects. So pests like mosquitos, beetles, and flies will avoid coffee at all costs. Sprinkle some in your garden or around small cracks in the home to help deter insects from getting in your home.
4. Get rid of odors
Coffee has a delicious aroma itself, but it actually can help absorb other smells in the environment as well. Coffee contains nitrogen, which helps neutralize odors in the air quickly and safely.
Coffee grounds are an effective and natural alternative to baking soda. We like to put an open container of used coffee grounds in the fridge to defuse odors caused by spills or spoiled food.
You can also create makeshift sachets of coffee grounds using old pantyhose or mesh bags, tied off. Put in gym bags, dresser drawers, cars, and other places to deodorize the air and keep your home smelling fresh and clean.
5. Stop stinky feet and hands
Coffee doesn’t just deodorize the air—but it can work for your skin as well! Put one of those coffee ground sachets in your shoes to get rid of stink. You can also use a coffee scrub on your feet to get rid of body odor. (We recommend mixing coffee grounds with coconut oil so it’s not as rough on skin.)
You may also want to keep a small container of coffee grounds by the sink. If your hand smell like garlic, onion, or fish after cooking, rubbing some coffee grounds on them will help get rid of food smells.
6. Scour pots and pans
Another reason to keep coffee grounds by the sink is for use on your dishes. Coffee grounds have a coarse texture, which makes them great for abrasive scrubbing, similar to a scouring pad. Rub coffee grounds on your cookware, grill, or inside your sink to scrub off old stains and get rid of caked-on smells.
Note: Don’t use coffee grounds on porous or delicate material or anything with a light colored surface. Coffee stains easily.
7. Remove fireplace ashes
There’s nothing like cozying up near a hot fire and comfy blanket with a fall-inspired coffee drink. But removing ashes from a wood-burning fireplace can be a serious chore. The ashes fly up everywhere, and escapees can make the room dirtier and dustier.
Before cleaning, throw some coffee grounds over the ashes. This helps weigh-down the ashes, so they won’t fly up and form smoke clouds. This makes it easier to sweep up the ashes to remove from the fireplace.
8. Marinate meat
Coffee contains enzymes and acids that help soften meat and enhance its flavor. Some people use coffee grounds as a meat rub, but we prefer it as a marinate (because not everyone likes ingesting coffee grounds).
To marinate meat with coffee, re-brew used coffee grounds. Let the “coffee” cool. Rest the meat in the coffee, cover with an airtight seal, and put in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. The coffee will keep the meat soft and moist, while bringing out the natural flavors of the meat.
9. Repair wooden furniture
Have a nick or scratch in your wooden furniture? Coffee grounds might be the solution. The grounds will help buff the scratch out, and they slightly stain brown the exposed wood.
- Add a bit of water to coffee grounds to create a paste.
- Dip a cotton swab in the paste. The swab helps get more exact with the scratch, so you don’t damage the rest of the furniture.
- Rub the scratch with the cotton swab.
- Let the paste sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Wipe the paste away gently using an old rag (it may stain the rag).
Continue this process until you have the desired color. Wait 2 hours between applications to avoid damaging wood.
10. Table centerpiece
Coffee grounds look like soil, so you can actually create a faux centerpiece made of coffee grounds. Bonus is that the coffee grounds will help neutralize bad odors in the air while making your house smell like a coffeehouse!
Throw some coffee grounds in a vase or mason jar. Put in some fake flowers or succulents. Add some rocks or marbles. Get creative with your coffee grounds centerpiece for an easy, gorgeous décor piece.
Coffee has amazing nutrients that are great for your skin. Learn how to use coffee grounds for beauty and health with this article: 5 Ways To DIY Skincare Using Coffee.
How To Store Coffee Grounds
Want to use your coffee grounds around the home, but don’t know how to store them until you’re ready? Here’s how to store coffee grounds until you’re ready to use them.
- Let the coffee grounds cool after initial brewing.
- Place the used coffee grounds in an air-tight container. It can be either plastic or metal. We recommend an empty Eldorado coffee can!
- Put the used grounds in the fridge. (Don’t leave them at room temperature. They have moisture in them after brewing, so they could get moldy.) You can also freeze them if you want them to keep for longer.
After your morning brew, add more coffee grounds to your storage so you have a stockpile when you’re ready to take care of your garden, home, odors, skin, and more!
Repurposing Coffee Grounds
Don’t waste your coffee, even after use. You can recycle coffee grounds around the home for so many purposes. From adding nutrients to soil or skin to scrubbing pans and deodorizing rooms, coffee grounds are an all-powerful and all-natural tool that works wonders.
How do you repurpose coffee grounds? Share on social media and tag us with your tips and tricks!