How to Reuse Coffee Grounds - The Ultimate List (45 Ways)

This is the ultimate list demonstrating how you can reuse your coffee grounds. We’ve divided all 45 ways into the following categories (click on the links to jump ahead):

For the lazy people out there, I recommend: deodorizing your fridge, scaring off cats and deicing your driveway. Quick and efficient with little to no effort. 

Reusing Coffee Grounds in your Garden

1. Keep pests away http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-125244/How-slug-coffee-rid-garden-pests.html

Snails, slugs and ants don’t appreciate coffee. Put the used coffee grounds around the flowerbeds (instead of mixing it directly with the soil) and keep those pests away.

2. Fight the fungus http://premeditatedleftovers.com/gardening/5-ways-use-coffee-grounds-garden/

This time around, you really do need to sprinkle the coffee around the plants you’re looking to protect. Be warned, some have mentioned that mixing directly with the soil can affect pH level. However, this is only true if the coffee grounds have not been used. If washed or brewed, the pH level will be neutral.

3. Change the blossoms of Hydrangeas http://www.ehow.com/facts_5905166_hydrangeas-coffee-grounds.html

This one is pretty cool. You can change the blossom colour of Hydrangeas from pink to blue by changing the acidity level of your soil.

Change the colour of the blossom. Just like magic.

4. Create fertilizer https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/coffee-grounds-gardening.htm

You can take used coffee grounds to create fertilizer. You do not need to compost; you can simply add the used grounds directly into the soil around your plants.

5. Increase carrots and radish harvest https://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicaprobus/amazing-things-you-can-do-with-coffee-grounds

Carrots and radishes are particularly fond of coffee grounds. Why not keep the pests away and get a better harvest. When planting your seeds (as instructed by the label), simply mix some used coffee grounds.

6. Keep cats away http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/coffee-grounds/

Just like pests, cats and coffee don’t seem to mix. Sprinkle some coffee grounds around your garden (or wherever else you want to avoid the feline kind) and create your own invisible force field.

7. Make your own garden compost https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/coffee-grounds-gardening.htm

It doesn’t get easier than this. If you don’t want to waste, just throw your used coffee grounds (or filter) into your compost. Be warned, coffee grounds will add nitrogen to your mix. You will have to balance it out with brown compost material. 

Coffee Grounds for Crafts and Kids

8. Create a fabric dye http://www.wikihow.com/Dye-Fabric-With-Coffee

You can easily create a natural dye by using coffee grounds. Works best on cotton, wool and linen.

9. Grow some mushrooms (http://fivegallonideas.com/mushroom-farm/

Love mushrooms? This is your chance. With used coffee grounds and some Oyster Mushroom spawn, you’ll be on your way to creating your own mushroom farm. 

10. Make play dough dirt http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/5906/mud-like-coffee-playdough 

If you’re looking for a fast and simple way to make an indoor (or outdoor) sandbox made of dough, coffee might be the perfect ingredient! Go ahead, build your first dinosaur fort.

11. Build a cushion pin http://www.budget101.com/content.php/3578-Clever-Uses-for-Coffee-Grounds 

A pin cushion made of coffee grounds will prevent your pins from rusting.

A cute and handy cushion pin made from coffee grounds

12. Make naturally sepia dyed easter eggs http://www.thyhandhathprovided.com/2012/03/naturally-dyed-easter-eggs.html

Easter coming up? Or you're looking to freak out your roommate? Used coffee grounds will help you create one of the many colours to decorate your dozen of eggs. Yankee Magazine offers all of the instructions you need.

13. Make coffee candles http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Upcycled-Paper-Coffee-Cup-Candle-3110298

A perfect way to enjoy the (subtle) smell of coffee all day. All you need is used coffee grounds, wax and kitchen equipment that your probably already own.

14. Make an air freshener http://www.instructables.com/id/11-unusual-uses-for-coffee/step3/aromatic/

If you want to enjoy the smell of Java on the go, this will be the perfect air freshener. Stockings, fresh grounds and a little DIY and you’ve got a new smell for your car.

15. Make fossils http://craftsbyamanda.com/coffee-ground-fossils/

Great for the upcoming science fair, kids or to entertain your guests. Create fossils out of anything you have in your house. Bonus points if you use dinosaur toys or legos.

16. Make treasures stones http://www.makelifelovely.com/2014/01/how-to-make-diy-treasure-stones.html

If you’re an amazing parent and you would like to throw a jungle safari theme party for your kids, this will be useful! You can create these treasures stones in the morning and have an awesome party in the afternoon.

Also great for playing tricks on your SO or your co-workers, just like in the Office.

17. Paint https://www.education.com/activity/article/Paint_With_Coffee/

You can reuse your coffee grounds to create natural paint. The longer you let the grounds steep, the darker the paint will be.

coffee paint from coffee grounds

Come on Picasso

18. Give papers an antique look http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/07/how-to-recycle-used-coffee-grounds.html

Easy peasy. Scramble your paper into a ball and let it dip in water with coffee grounds for a few minutes and “voilà.” Perfect for creating treasure hunt maps.

19. Freshen up your autumn wardrobe http://diyfashion.about.com/od/dyingandscreenprinting/ss/CoffeDye.htm

Bored of your clothes? Use coffee grounds as a natural dye to add some autumn flavor to your wardrobe. Definitely more suited towards crafty and artistic people. It’s a great way to get rid of the old beans you have lying around.

20. Make a beard for Halloween http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/07/how-to-recycle-used-coffee-grounds.html

One of my favorites! Don’t have a beard but always wanted one? Create your own with honey and used coffee grounds. This Halloween, go the extra mile.

21. Make homemade henna tattoos https://snapguide.com/guides/make-henna-for-temporary-tattoos/

Get rid of old beans by making your own henna tattoo. Also works with tea or wine.

Coffee Grounds for your Bathroom and for Beauty

22. Coffee Scrub for exfoliation

A coffee scrub is great to help tighten skin, reduce cellulite and remove dead skin cells. If you’re not the type of person to exfoliate, then use this trick to a make a unique gift and really impress your lady friend.

There are many recipes out there. As a lazy efficient person myself, I sought out the easiest recipe for the maximum amount of benefit.

Ingredients: (recipe from: http://wonkywonderful.com/homemade-coffee-body-scrub/)

  1. 1/4 cup grape seed oil (but you can use olive oil as well) The oil acts as moisturizer.
  2. 1/3 cup brown sugar. (White sugar or sea salt can be used instead) . The brown sugar is used as a second, more profound exfoliant.
  3. Three tablespoons of coffee grounds. They can be fresh or used. The coffee grounds are anti inflammatory and help reduce excess moisture. I recommend using a finer grind. Some coarse grinds can scratch the skin.
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional). The cinnamon helps clear skin of bacteria, do not use if you have sensitive skin.

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store in a mason jar.

In the shower, rub on damp skin. Make sure you thoroughly rinse with hot water in order to not clog your drains. Also, we recommend using the scrub in the morning because your body can absorbe caffeine through the skin and give you a small energy boast that you might want to avoid before bed.

23. Create a luxurious salt scrub http://www.savynaturalista.com/2013/11/01/coffee-salt-scrub/ 

Same principal, but with luxurious spas in mind. 

coffee salt scrub

Treat yourself with a salt coffee scrub

24. Strip buildup from your hair https://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/recipes-%97-hair-body/166140-coffee-remove-product-build-up.html

If you have blond or red hair, this might not be for you. You’re a brunette? Perfect. You can use coffee to remove build up, stimulate growth and even add a little colour.

25. Make coffee soap http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Coffee-Ground-Soap-30647666

Coffee soap has a surprising amount of benefits. From reducing cellulite, to helping with rosacea and even reducing your risk of skin cancer. Is easy to do and highly recommended.

26. Make a Mocha Frap mask https://crunchybetty.com/mocha-frappucino-mask-coffee-cocoa-and-honey-facial-mask/ 

The perfect wake-me-up facial mask. Bring your facial game to next level with the Frappuccino mask which will, among other things, help reduce swelling and puffiness. 

27. Remove dark circles under your eyes

Coffee grounds can help tighten skin (we've mentioned this before, right?) and remove bags and dark circles below your eyes.
 

Reuse Coffee Grounds for you Kitchen

28. Washing Hands 

I always keep a generous amount of coffee grounds next to sink. If I’m not washing the dishes, I use the grounds to help remove the smell off my hands when I’m cooking. Particularly good for removing garlic, onions and fish odours.

29. Kitchen Cleaner http://www.instructables.com/id/11-unusual-uses-for-coffee/step9/cleaning-abrasive/

Coffee grounds works miracles when your trying to wash a greasy pan. The grounds help absorb the grease returning your pot/pan to a clean state.

30. Deodorize Fridge

Deodorize your fridge and freezer. Just put your coffee grounds in a bowl, in cheesecloth or an old yogurt cup (just poke a few holes in the lid) and stick it where you deem necessary. You do not need to dry the coffee grounds beforehand. The grounds will absorb the odours as they dry.

31. Make a garbage disposal cleaner http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Coffee-Grounds-Garbage-Disposal-Cleaners-34888912 

Inevitably, the garbage disposals in our sink always end up stinking. Creating these cleaners out of coffee grounds is a fun way to eliminate the bad smells with the odour of coffee.

32. Unclog drain http://madamedeals.com/15-uses-coffee-grounds/#_a5y_p=2309386

Pour your used coffee grounds with a little dish soap and (important) hot water. This will help clean your drain and remove grease residues.  

33. Tenderize your meat https://www.budgetbytes.com/2011/10/coffee-rubbed-pork-roast/

Looks yummy. Coffee rubbed pork.

We’re cheating a little on these next two points by diving into the world of recipes. It’s an introduction of sorts to the other gastronomic uses of coffee. One of the coolest cooking tricks is using (fresh) coffee grounds to tenderize your meat.

34. No bake energy bites https://blissfulbritt.com/2013/01/25/coffee/ 

Another great recipe is making simple energy bites. No baking required. 

Reuse Coffee Grounds in your Home

 35. Deodorize shoes http://www.wikihow.com/Deodorize-Shoes

If you have stinky feet (as I do) this is simple and great. Just sprinkle used coffee grounds (that have been dried) to help absorb all those nasty odours.

36. Make a roach trap http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/07/how-to-recycle-used-coffee-grounds.html

Put your trap making skills to work and capture unwanted roaches. All you need is a mason jar, damp coffee grounds and double sided tape. 

37. Freshen Flower Vase http://www.hometalk.com/2332447/coffee-used-grounds-and-mason-jar-flower-vase

Cool looking and good smelling flower vases. Great way to impress friends with little work.

Smells good and looks good

38. Clean your fireplace http://lifehacker.com/5687444/use-spent-coffee-grounds-for-easier-fireplace-cleanup 

The weight and dampness of coffee grounds will help keep the ashes from flying all over the place.

39. Get scratches out of furniture https://newengland.com/today/living/home-repair-diy/wood-furniture-scratches/

Do you have some furniture that gets banged up a lot? With coffee grounds (mixed into a paste with water) and a Q-Tip you can quickly camouflage any scratch on dark wood. It is recommended that you try to see the final results before applying on a bigger scratch.

40. Make wood look weathered http://www.lovepomegranatehouse.com/steel-wool-coffee-grounds-vinegar-stain/

Use your coffee grounds to take new wood and give it a weathered and used look. You will need coffee grounds, vinegar, steel wool and a little patience. The final result will be worth it.

41. Deice your driveway http://inspiringpretty.com/2012/03/06/put-your-coffee-grounds-to-good-use/

Obviously geared towards the people that have winters and that don’t like to slip and fall. Like salt, coffee can be used to deice your driveway or other paths that you need to keep clean.

42. Make a coffee log http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-FireLog/ http://mightymushrooms.com/?page_id=192

Three basic ingredients: coffee grounds, wax and molasses. This will create a fire log for your fireplace without the need for wood! Recently, students from the University of Toronto started a brand to create these logs for refugees around the world allowing them to stop leaving their villages to scout for firewood. 

Miscellaneous uses for coffee grounds

43. Make a flea bath http://madamedeals.com/15-uses-coffee-grounds/#_a5y_p=2309386

When giving your furry friend a bath, add a tablespoon of coffee grounds to help repeal fleas.

44. Cleanse olfactory palate http://www.instructables.com/id/11-unusual-uses-for-coffee/step4/palate-cleanser/ 

Smelling coffee beans or coffee grounds between different perfumes refreshes your nose and helps it distinguish odours better. I was surprised to learn this too.

45. Keep bait worm alive longer http://bleedingespresso.com/2009/03/going-green-21-ways-to-reuse-coffee-grounds.html

Calling all fishermen! This is a nifty little trick to help keep your bait worms alive a little longer. Worms love coffee just as much as we do!

Bonus

1. Create a bio fuel company http://www.bio-bean.com/products/ 

This is for all the future Elon Musks of the world. You can actually make bio fuel from coffee beans. Is this the future?

2. Breath Freshener http://www.instructables.com/id/11-unusual-uses-for-coffee/step11/breath-freshener/

If you’re out of mints you can use a coffee bean instead. Just pop one in your mouth on your way out and you’ll fresh breath in no time.

Storing and Drying

First, you have to dry them out. I recommend throwing them on a baking sheet and spreading them out. I usually leave them out for the day and then put them in the oven at a low temperature (around 185 degrees) for 2-3 hours. When dried, the grounds should be a dark brown. If they’re a light brown with some green, they’re probably rotting.

You can then store them in plastic or glass. I personally use a mason jar and stick newspaper on top to absorb any remaining moisture.

Good work

Now, you can feel good about yourself for not wasting all of your coffee grounds. Good on you!

Picture from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/verybadfigs/16307619923

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