Win a Month's Worth of Death Wish Coffee and a Hand Crafted Mug

Winner chosen monthly via email.

How to Recycle Used Coffee Grounds


The average American drinks several cups of coffee a day, leading to a lot of used coffee grounds. Most people throw grounds in the trash but before you throw them away, consider some of the things that can be done with used grounds. From use in the garden, to around the house, there are many things that can be done to recycle or reuse your old coffee grounds.

Ideas for Used Coffee Grounds

Odor Eliminator - You can spread out the coffee grounds on a baking sheet, and allow them to dry. They can then be placed in a bowl and placed around the house to neutralize odors. You can even keep coffee grounds by the sink and use them to clean your hands after chopping up garlic or onions. The grounds will help to remove the smell from your hands.

In the Garden - Coffee grounds have several uses in the garden. They are very acidic and when spread over flower beds of plants that thrive on acid such as hydrangeas, and azaleas, it helps to create beautiful, healthy plants. Coffee grounds can also give seedlings a much needed boost of nitrogen. Used grounds actually release nitrogen as they degrade which makes for very rich compost.

Make Soap - Coffee grounds can be used to make a simple soap known as gardeners soap. It is made by melting a bar of glycerin soap and then adding approximately 1/3 cup of grounds. The mixture can then be reshaped into a bar using a mold and is great for exfoliating and scrubbing.

Insect Repellent - Used coffee grounds can be dried and then sprinkled around places where there are ants. The grounds can even be sprinkled directly on anthills and can also be used to repel slugs and snails. To trap cockroaches, moist coffee grounds can be placed in a jar lined at the top with double sided tape. The scent of the grounds will attract the roaches to the trap and the tape will prevent them from getting out.

Use on Pets - If you are having issues with cats using your garden as a litter box, you can mix coffee grounds with chopped up orange peels. Sprinkle the mixture around the garden to keep cats out. Coffee grounds can also be used for dogs. After a bath, rub a cup of grounds into their fur, and then be sure to rinse well. The grounds will not only help kill fleas, they will make the dog's fur smooth and silky.

Repair Furniture - Coffee grounds can be used to disguise scratches in wood furniture. Simply mix one tablespoon of coffee grounds and one teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture to furniture with a cotton ball or cotton swab and then wipe dry. You should test a small area of furniture first.

Cooking - Coffee grounds can be used in cooking in several different ways. Grounds can be added to marinades and will give meat a nice flavor and also help to tenderize. Coffee grounds can also be added to dishes such as chili and chocolate cake to enhance flavors.

Cleaning - If you avoid cleaning products with harsh chemicals, coffee grounds are a great option, They can be used as an abrasive cleaner when mixed with baking soda. This mixture is good for scouring pots and pans but be aware that it can stain certain surfaces. Grounds can also be used to help sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal. Add one tablespoon of grounds to the disposal while the water is running.

Health and Beauty - Coffee grounds make a great exfoliating scrub and the caffeine in the grounds actually stimulates skin cells, which can produce tighter, healthier skin. The grounds can be added to coconut oil or a variety of other products and massaged on during a shower. Coffee also has antioxidant properties and contains a natural astringent which makes it a good face toner and cleanser.

There are tons of different uses for old coffee grounds. Not only are there useful ways to use grounds but by reusing them, you will be cutting down on the amount of trash you are producing. Learn about additional uses for coffee grounds below.