9 Uses for Coffee Grounds

9 uses for coffee grounds

Used coffee grounds have a number of practical uses, even though most coffee grounds wind up in the trash!  That’s a sad reality due to the fact that used coffee grounds have a lot of benefits!

Being an avid coffee drinker, I tend to have a lot of used grounds coming from my kitchen! I’ve always put them on my blueberry plants, but did you know there are even more uses for coffee grounds?

Keeping a zero-waste kitchen, I’m always looking for ways to use things a second time.  I keep a bucket under my kitchen sink, separate from the compost bucket, to keep my used coffee grounds in.

Some of these uses for coffee grounds work just fine with moist grounds, however, some require dried grounds.  It’s easy to dry them, just spread them out on a cookie sheet until dried and then keep them in a container on your counter.  You’re going to be amazed at all of the uses those grounds will have!  

hands holding compost


The nitrogen in coffee grounds will jumpstart your compost pile and help it to break down faster.  Simply dump your used grounds on top and then turn your pile.  Coffee grounds serve as a “green” for your pile. 

Composting for Beginners


fertilize houseplants

Coffee Grounds for Plants

Grounds contain nitrogen, which makes them a great way to feed any houseplant.  Add several tablespoons to your houseplants every few weeks or so, gently blend in soil and water.


fight refrigerator odors with coffee grounds

Gets Rid of Odors in the Refrigerator

Coffee grounds are a wonderfully efficient way to remove odors from the frig!  Simply put dried grounds in a bowl, uncovered, and set it in the back of your refrigerator, it does an amazing job!

19 Zero-Waste Lifestyle Tips

skin scrub

Exfoliant for Your Skin

By mixing a small amount of grounds with a little water or coconut oil and massaging it into your skin for about 10 minutes, you’ll stimulate your body to release dead skin cells and even increase blood flow to the area.  This method is also said to reduce the look of cellulite!  This works well in the shower so you can just rinse the grounds off.


planting small seeds

Starter Medium for Carrot and Radish seeds

When planting tiny seeds like carrot and radish, it can be difficult to space them correctly for maximum harvest.

When combined with dried grounds, you can plant those little seeds more proportionately and add fertilizer to the soil at the same time!


ants crawling on a brussel sprout

Repel Insects

Used coffee grounds contain highly toxic compounds to garden pests like slugs, ants, and snails!  Why not sprinkle grounds around those plants that could use a little extra support from those pesky invaders?


cat in a garden

Feline Repellant

If you struggle with cats “visiting” your garden, coffee grounds might just be your solution!  Cats are repelled by them!  By creating a barrier around your garden, cats will think twice before crossing it! 

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep adding grounds to your perimeter.


coffee grounds in jar

Abrasive for Pots and Pans

Another use for coffee grounds is as an abrasive to scrub those stubborn food stains off your pots and pans!  There’s no need to buy commercial scrubbing agents when you can use what you have on hand.  

Keep a container of dried grounds next to your kitchen sink so that you can reach for them anytime you need them.


coffee grounds in bowl and spoon

Deodorize Hands from Cooking Odors

While I love garlic and onion, I do not like the odor that they leave on my hands!

Another of the amazing uses for coffee grounds is as an odor-remover!

After I purchased a “Chef’s Soap” bar at a farmer’s market, which is made with coffee and the grounds, I was amazed at how fast it removed kitchen odors from my hands!

While I love the soap, you only need the grounds.


But what if you’re not a coffee drinker?  No worries!  Many coffee shops have initiatives to give away free grounds, they would rather see them be used in your garden than having to find a way to dispose of them.

Take one more step to being zero-waste by reusing your grounds!




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