5 Ways to Reuse Your Coffee Grounds

By Lisa Frania — / Lifestyle

Creative Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

If you love to brew your favorite coffee every day, your cup is one of almost 2 billion being consumed—and enjoyed—every day around the globe, according to World Economic Forum

That caffeinated jolt you salivate over is the no-brainer upside you get from grabbing that mug full of robust flavors. But now those people who love strong coffee are taking note of the other ways that coffee grounds can help with the daily grind around the house. 

Here are 5 smart (and simple) ways to give another purpose to your used coffee grounds: 

1. Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer

Grab the used grounds from the coffee machine or break open the single-serve pods—it doesn’t matter where the coffee grounds come from. According to The EPA Blog, the best-known method of recycling those coffee grounds is to periodically add the grounds to soil and around acid-loving plants like roses, azaleas, blueberries and other flowers. (They work wonders for growing mushrooms too!) The coffee odor will act as a repellent for those pesky insects too. Reusing coffee grounds is a cheap—and natural—option compared to buying commercialized fertilizers. You will also be helping your community become greener and more sustainable. 

Two hands picking up fertilizer in a garden bed.

2. Coffee Grounds in Compost

Since coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, certain plants will benefit, beneficial worms will be attracted to the pile, and some annoying insects like ants, slugs and snails will stay away from the coffee odor, which benefits the compost heap too. Just don’t overdo the coffee—too much nitrogen can throw off the balance and become harmful to some plants. 

A pile of compost with coffee grounds in it.

3. Coffee Grounds as Home Cleaning Agents

Recycling your coffee grounds can also offer plenty of natural ingredients to cleaning products AND help you save money too, according to Healthline. For one, coffee grounds can be a fantastic and natural way to get rid of odors in your home. Place some grounds in the refrigerator, freezer or even the trash to combat nasty stenches. You can also use the grounds to get a garlic and onion smell off your hands.

Because the grounds are abrasive (even more than baking soda), they’re also perfect for scouring pots and pans or even grease and gunk on the counter too. They will stain some surfaces, so be careful using grounds on white porcelain or tile grout.

A woman cleaning the kitchen using coffee grounds.

4. Coffee Grounds as Beauty Products

Cellulite beware! You can find coffee as an ingredient in so many beauty products, and when applied topically, it may help break down fat and increase blood flow, ultimately decreasing the appearance of cellulite. You can also use recycled coffee grounds as an aromatic exfoliant for your face and body that is great for skin and prevents aging. Do you have under-eye circles and puffiness? Treat both problem areas with coffee grounds because they are high in antioxidants and work as an anti-inflammatory.

Also, applying caffeine to the skin increases blood flow and can accelerate hair growth. If you already have a luscious mop of hair, those same grounds can be used to clean your hair too. By rubbing coffee grounds into your hair, residues of styling products can be lessened and removed, as well as dead skin cells left behind.

A woman looking in the mirror and applying coffee grounds to her face.

5. Coffee Grounds for Pet Care

Coffee grounds and your pets—quite a strange combination, you may be thinking. But you can use those recycled grounds before you give your pet a bath. Just rub the grounds on your furry friend before washing. The ground coffee will help control fleas and work as a great exfoliator for their skin too. 

A black and tan dachshund in a bath tub.

So instead of tossing the leftovers in the trash and wasting a resource that has many uses—besides the tastebud satisfaction and high-caffeine kick, with just a little creativity, your reused coffee grounds can be a real perk around the house. 

RELATED: How to Brew Coffee With a Chemex

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