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11 Coffee Ground Hacks

The Best and Clever: 11 Hacks for Reusing Coffee Grounds

by Helen
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How To Reuse Coffee Grounds

You have leftover coffee grounds if you're a daily coffee drinker—by the potful or just one K-cup at a time.  Other than tossing them in the trash can, there are some fantastic ways to use coffee grounds in the kitchen, closet, garden, potted plants, for crafts, and, you guessed it, even your beauty routine.

Since coffee grounds remain wet after brewing your coffee, you may have to spread them on a baking sheet to dry before reusing them for some of these awesome hacks.  It would be best if you never disposed of coffee grounds in the kitchen sink or garbage disposal.  Soggy grounds are heavy and can clog your sink very quickly.  Instead, use one of these 11 hacks for using coffee grounds instead.

I'm always looking for ways to be more sustainable, and reusing coffee grounds is a great option!  Use coffee grounds to add nutrients to soil in your garden, potted plants, or even as a natural exfoliant for your skin.  Plus, it's a great way to reduce waste and maximize what you have.  So, next time you make coffee, don't toss those grounds!  Give them a second life and see how you can incorporate them into your routine.  We brew our coffee daily and use compostable coffee filters, so when we are done, we toss the filter and its contents into our compost bin or vermicompost since worms love it.

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Grounds For plant Fertilizer

1) Remove Onion and Garlic Odors From Your Hands

After chopping onion and garlic, Grab one teaspoon of used or wet coffee grounds to remove odors from your hands. Dampen your hands, rub the coffee grounds well, and rinse.

2) To Freshen The Fridge

If you like me and love the smell of coffee, instead of baking soda.  Use coffee grounds to absorb odors in the refrigerator instead of baking soda. Start with fresh, completely dry used grounds or unbrewed grounds. Use a container with a plastic lid and simply punch a few holes. The plastic lid will help prevent a mess if the container accidentally gets knocked over. Add the grounds and put the container on a shelf in a corner of the fridge. Then, for maximum freshness, replace monthly.

3) Add Used Coffee Grounds To Compost Bin

Coffee grounds are a terrific addition to your outdoor, vermicomposter, or countertop composter like the one from NIVIOP or compost pile because they help boost the nitrogen component needed to break down plant matter. Plus, they also help stop the growth of some types of molds.

Add some earthworms for even quicker decomposition once you have a nice, loamy compost pile. Worms love the acidic quality of “coffee soil.”

Coffee Beans

4) Deter Pests from Yard and Garden

Sprinkle coffee grounds around plants to keep slugs, snails, ants, and insects away. Some rabbits and cats will sometimes shy away from coffee grounds.

5) Boost Soil Acidity and Nitrogen

Like garden plants can get a boost from coffee grounds or diluted leftover coffee, so can potted plants. You can mix some coffee grounds into the potting soil or sprinkle them on top of the potting soil so they will decompose into the soil.

Or, you can make “coffee fertilizer” for watering your plants like peppers. In a five-gallon bucket of water, steep two cups of ground coffee for six to 12 hours. Use this homemade liquid fertilizer to water and feed your plants. This blend works best for acid-loving plants like African violets, jalapenos, peppers, ferns, and hydrangeas.

6) Hide Scratches on Wood Floors and Furniture With Used Coffee Grounds

If you notice any scratches on dark wood floors or furniture, mix one tablespoon of coffee grounds with one tablespoon of olive oil. Let this mixture sit for roughly an hour so the tannins in the grounds will leach into the oil. Use a cotton swab or pad to apply the “dye” and then buff it with a soft, dry cloth to hide any scratches. Repeat as often as needed.


  • To achieve the darkest color, be sure to use fresh grounds. 
Used Coffee Grounds For Wood Floors

7) Create Warm Brown Dyes for Crafts

Coffee produces a lovely warm brown dye that you can use as a dye for dye fabrics, yarn, or Easter eggs, or even make watercolor paint. The same tannin component that causes stains can also be used to create shades from ecru to dark brown.

Most fabric that is dyed with coffee grounds is done by brewing the coffee first to use as the dye bath. To achieve a dark dye, the darker the roasted beans, the darker the hue. If you need a large batch of dyeing, refrigerate or freeze grounds from your daily brewing til you have enough grounds for a larger batch. Heat the grounds in boiling water, strain, and use the leftover liquid for the dye bath.

Another incredible dyeing technique is to massage the coffee grounds right into the fabric. Damp grounds produce more color than extremely wet grounds. Make a paste of the grounds and smudge it on the material. You can let the fabric dry thoroughly with the grounds in place. Brush off the extra coffee grounds when your fabric is completely dry.

8) Make Play Clay

Coffee grounds make outstanding smelling and the perfect brown-colored clay for mud, animal sculptures, and dirt for landscapes or even fossils.

  • Add coffee grounds to your favorite play clay recipes. Here's a play clay recipe:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup coffee grounds
    • 1 cup salt
    • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Mix all ingredients well and allow the clay to sit for about an hour. Add one tablespoon of instant coffee if the color isn't as dark as you'd like. Knead well and always store in a tightly covered container.

9 Freshen Drawers and Closets

Fill store-bought or homemade sachet bags with fresh, dry, or used coffee grounds to make air fresheners for closets and dresser drawers.

10) Homemade Coffee Ground Scrub For Face or Body

To make a homemade face coffee ground exfoliator, add coffee to a basic salt scrub recipe to scrub away rough skin gently. The caffeine will help brighten skin as well. Mix one and one-half cups of coarse sea salt, one cup of dry coffee grounds, and one cup of coconut oil in a large bowl to make the scrub. Store the scrub in a repurposed air-tight jar.

Exfoliating Skin

11) Make Homemade Exfoliating Melt and Pour Soap

I recently tried making natural soap using the melt-and-pour method and added grounds for some exfoliation.  If you have never made homemade soap with melt and pour soap base, look at our beginner's guide to soap making.  The project was fun and easy, and the soap turned out great!  Here's the recipe I used:

– 1 pound melt and pour soap base
– 1/4 cup coffee grounds
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil
– 10-15 drops of essential oil (optional)

1.  Cut the soap base into small cubes and place them in a microwave-safe bowl.
2.  Microwave the soap base in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted.
3.  Add the coffee grounds and coconut oil to the melted soap and stir well.
4.  If you want to add essential oil, now is the time to do so.  Stir in the drops until the scent is evenly distributed.
5.  Pour the soap mixture into molds and let it cool and harden for several hours.
6.  Remove the soap from the mold and enjoy your homemade coffee ground soap once it is completely hardened!

I love using this soap in the morning because the grounds provide a gentle exfoliation, and the scent is refreshing.  Plus, it's a great way to use any leftover coffee grounds you have lying around!

11) Final Thoughts: 11 Hacks What To Do With Coffee Grounds

Make sure to save your coffee grounds and find creative ways to reuse them! They're great for adding nutrients to your garden's soil or making a natural exfoliant for your skin. Plus, when placed in a dish, they add a pleasant aroma to your home and let them dry out. It's always important to find ways to reduce waste and maximize what we have.

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