Creative Uses For Old Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee lover and prefer home brewing, you probably produce a lot of coffee grounds on a weekly basis. Instead of throwing out those grounds, there are several things you can do with them that will make your life just a little bit easier.

Coffee grounds can be used in a variety of applications, from boosting the taste of your favorite foods to enhancing your hair color. Read on for some incredibly useful things you can do with the coffee byproduct.

Stamp Out Refrigerator Odors

cleaning out a freezer
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

We’ve all been there. Someone puts something in the refrigerator that smells very strong or inadvertently leaves something in there that ends up stinking up the whole appliance. While it’s best to remove the offending food item, that still may not do the trick. Instead, try coffee grounds.

They contain nitrogen, which when combined with carbon can remove foul smells. The grounds actually absorb and eliminate odors. Simply put a bowl of grounds in the refrigerator, and they will do all the work.

Make Compost & Produce Beautiful Blooms

flower garden
Tony Evans/Timelapse Library Ltd./Getty Images
Tony Evans/Timelapse Library Ltd./Getty Images

Turn coffee grounds into compost, which makes a great fertilizer for your garden’s plants. Studies have shown that compost that contains coffee grounds has more nutrients than compost without it. And the more compounds you use, the better quality it will be. Plus, it produces less greenhouse gas emissions.

If you want to make a nutrient-heavy compost, add the following items to the coffee grounds: grass clippings, leaves, eggshells, fruit and veggie trimmings, stale bread, and shredded newspaper.

Fix Scratched Furniture

table
Pinterest/homeimprove0203
Pinterest/homeimprove0203

If you have a penchant for wooden furniture, then you know that it can be a struggle to keep it in perfect condition. It’s not uncommon for the wood to get scuffed or scratched over time. Before buying a pre-made product to tackle the clean-up job, try using coffee grounds.

Make a thick paste with the grounds and water. Rub the paste in the scratch with a cotton swab. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping off the mixture, which will naturally dye the wood. To make the wood darker, add more layers of the coffee ground mix.

Repel Insects

insect control
Pinterest/ks_pools
Pinterest/ks_pools

If you’re not a fan of bugs and insects and want a natural way to repel them, use coffee grounds, which contain caffeine and diterpenes that are highly toxic to the creatures. This method is particularly effective at warding off mosquitoes, fruit flies, and beetles, as well as other pests.

All you have to do is sprinkle the coffee grounds around your outdoor seating area or place it in bowls around the spots you want insect-free. In addition, you can put coffee grounds around your plants to ward off slugs and snails.

Kill Fleas

Cute playful Yorkshire Terrier caught in action
Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Fleas are a nuisance because they are irritating to both you and your pet. While you can purchase several different types of flea-removal products from your local Walmart, they are made up of chemicals that you may want to keep away from your furry friend. Coffee grounds are a much better, natural alternative.

Shampoo your pet’s fur, and then rub the coffee grounds all over his or her body. Then rinse the mixture off, and let the animal dry as normal. Just be sure your pet doesn’t eat the coffee grounds because they can be toxic.

Prevent Cats From Using Your Garden As A Bathroom

cat in garden
Georges De Keerle/Liaison
Georges De Keerle/Liaison

Even if you’re a cat lover, furry felines can do things that are very upsetting. It is particularly aggravating when they choose to use certain areas of your home and garden as a litter box.

If your cat is notorious for urinating or pooping in your garden, there’s a simple solution. Mix used coffee grounds with orange peels, and sprinkle the mix in areas that you want cat-free. This will prevent the cat from using your lovely landscaping as his or her own personal potty.

Remove The Garlic/Onion Stench From Your Hands

coffee in hands
Pinterest/sabirzhanova53
Pinterest/sabirzhanova53

A strong, foul stench in your refrigerator is bad enough, but it’s even worse when you can’t get it off of your hands. This is especially true if you frequently chop up garlic and onions during food prep. We recommend keeping some coffee grounds in the kitchen, so you can rub it on your hands after cooking to remove the smell.

In addition, you can create a portable air freshener by putting coffee grounds in old socks or pantyhose and placing it wherever it’s needed, such as the bathroom or in your workout bag.

Make Meat More Tender

meat
Pinterest/isabellaculp1752
Pinterest/isabellaculp1752

Everyone likes a tender piece of meat now and then (except for vegetarians, of course). However, sometimes you may end up with a steak with muscle fibers that make it a bit tough. If you want a softer texture, you’ll need to tenderize it. You can do this with salt or coffee grounds.

The grounds have acids and enzymes that are perfect for getting the job done. You can also add used coffee grounds to a dry-rub recipe or rebrew grounds to make coffee and use it as a marinade.

Combat Acne

acne
Camerique/ClassicStock/Getty Images
Camerique/ClassicStock/Getty Images

Teenagers aren’t the only ones who struggle with acne. It can be a problem for people of all ages. If you’ve tried all sorts of prescription medication, why not opt for a more natural alternative?

Coffee is chock full of antioxidants and contains natural astringents. This means it’s perfect to use as a facial cleanser and toner. Mix the grounds with milk to make a paste. Rub it on your face, and let it sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off.

Get Rid Of The Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

dark circles
Pinterest/0hl3ryek17aj76i
Pinterest/0hl3ryek17aj76i

Dark circles under your eyes don’t just look unappealing, they also make you look older. The skin is very delicate in this area, and it doesn’t have much fatty tissue. To get rid of the puffiness and dark circles, consider using some coffee grounds, which are known to be high in antioxidants and full of caffeine.

Both of these ingredients have anti-aging benefits, which can combat under-eye circles. Specifically, caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties that promote blood circulation. And the antioxidants combat free radicals, which can cause aging. Add water or coconut water to coffee grounds to make a paste, and let it sit under your eyes for 10 minutes. Rinse if any irritation occurs.

Highlight Your Beautiful Brown Hair

hair
Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images
Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Coffee is a natural dye, which you probably already know, particularly if you’ve spilled some coffee on a tablecloth or on your shirt. If you’re a brunette and need a little touch-up, why not use coffee grounds instead of commercial hair dye?

Hair dyes are full of chemicals, which may be linked to cancer. If you’d rather not take the risk, opt for a natural alternative. Coffee grounds are a great option. You will not only look good, you’ll also feel good.

Create An Exfoliating Scrub

coffee mask
Pinterest/vlzakovav
Pinterest/vlzakovav

While companies such as Bath & Body Works make numerous types of body scrubs for our pleasure, you may want to make your own scrub at home to remove dirt and dead skin cells. It will save you a lot of money, and you can feel good about creating your own skincare regime.

Mix coffee grounds with water or coconut water and spread the mixture onto your face and body. If you want to make a lip scrub, add a little bit of honey. The caffeine will also provide a tiny bit of protection against the sun (but don’t forgo the sunscreen).

Revive Brown Articles Of Clothing

brown
Pinterest/thesproutingsunflower
Pinterest/thesproutingsunflower

As we mentioned earlier, coffee can stain, which means it can do some damage to a crisp, clean white shirt. But what if you want to bring out the color of a brown pair of pants or dress? Just use coffee grounds to create a natural dye to make your brown cotton or rayon clothes richer in color.

If you want to create a vintage look or hide existing stains on some of your clothes, coffee grounds are the answer. You can also use coffee grounds to color linens and paper products.

Clean Pots And Pans

coffee in pot
Pinterest/bluna1984
Pinterest/bluna1984

One of the worst things about cooking is the clean up. If you’re lucky, you’re the chef and someone else does the dishes. But sometimes you’re on double duty, and cleaning some pots and pans can be very challenging if they’re gunked up with baked-on food.

The best thing to do is use coffee grounds. They have a coarse texture, so they’re great for scraping the caked-on food off your pots and pans. Just sprinkle the grounds onto the dishes/pans and scrub away.

Reduce The Look Of Cellulite

legs
Pinterest/uyenthuong
Pinterest/uyenthuong

Most women experience cellulite at some point in their lives. It’s a condition that makes the skin look dimpled and lumpy, caused by fat deposits. It’s possible, although not guaranteed, that the caffeine in coffee grounds can help break down that fat and allow blood to flow better.

If you want to see if it works, mix the coffee grounds with water or coconut oil and scrub the cellulite for 10 minutes. If you do this twice a week, you may see some positive results.

Add A Flavor Boost To Certain Foods

cake
Pinterest/bonappetit
Pinterest/bonappetit

As we mentioned earlier, coffee grounds are great for tenderizing meat. They also make a great flavor enhancer. And they’re excellent for spicing up all sorts of foods, not just beef.

Add coffee grounds or brewed coffee to food such as chocolate cake and chili, and you will be wowed by the results. You can often substitute coffee for water to get a bolder, more rich flavor from some of your favorite foods. Experiment a little, and you will quickly create some new and delicious recipes.

Clean Up The Ashes From Your Fireplace

fireplace
Twitter/termites_sydney
Twitter/termites_sydney

Fireplaces can be very messy. They produce a lot of soot and smoke, which can wreak havoc on your home. While coffee grounds won’t help with those issues, they can combat ashes from a wood-burning fireplace or stove.

Just scatter the used coffee grounds on top of the ashes. This will weigh them down and keep smoke from puffing up when you try to clean them up. It’s a lot easier to remove ashes from your living room or rec room, and it also prevents dust from flying all over the place.

Boost Hair Growth

washing hair
Pinterest/yahoo
Pinterest/yahoo

Frequent hair washing can result in residue build-up, which can weigh down your locks. To tackle this problem, exfoliate your scalp with coffee grounds. Another benefit of putting coffee grounds in your hair is hair growth, which is caused by caffeine.

Take some coffee grounds and massage them into your scalp for several minutes before shampooing your hair. Then wash and rinse. If you do this once or twice a week, you are sure to see a difference in your hair quality.

Grow Mushrooms

mushroom garden
Pinterest/7narf7
Pinterest/7narf7

It can be challenging to grow mushrooms, but it’s not impossible, particularly if you have some extra coffee grounds on hand. The grounds provide nutrients that mushrooms find hard to resist. And because they’ve been sterilized due to the brewing process, they promote growth even more.

The method: mix coffee grounds, mushroom spores, and sawdust together. Put the mix into a large bag or bucket. Cut four holes into the sides of the container above the grounds. Spray with water daily to keep the mixture moist. Shiitake and oyster tend to be the easiest varieties to grow.

Fatten Up Worms For Fishing

worms
Pinterest/modfarm
Pinterest/modfarm

If you enjoy fishing or have a fisherman in your life, you may want to help them by producing some big fat worms for their next at-sea or lake adventure. What better way to catch a fish than by cultivating the worms yourself?

Worm beds love coffee grounds. Simply mix the grounds with aged horse manure, and you will produce some of the fattest worms you’ve ever seen. Both the worms and your fisherman will thank you (until the worms are eaten by a big fat fish).