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What Can I Do With My Coffee Grounds?

Mar 21, 2023 (Updated on Mar 26, 2023)

Coffee grounds have so much potential beyond brewing coffee. They have many uses besides serving as your (much needed) caffeine boost. In fact, coffee grounds can be used in a variety of ways to improve your home and garden, as well as your self care routine! So before you throw out the coffee grounds you used this morning, read on and you might find something worth trying with them.

Natural Fertilizer

Are you a plant parent? Then don’t throw out your coffee grounds! Coffee grounds can be used as a natural fertilizer for plants. They are rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which are all essential nutrients for plant growth. In addition, coffee grounds also contain small amounts of other elements such as copper, magnesium, and zinc, which can also be beneficial for plants. To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply spread them around the base of your plants or mix them into the soil before planting. 


Is living more sustainably one of your New Year's resolutions? Then try composting your coffee grounds! You can compost coffee grounds along with other organic materials like kitchen scraps to create a rich, nutrient-dense compost that can be used to improve the health and vitality of your garden.

Pest Repellent 

Another great use for coffee grounds in the garden is as a natural pest repellent. Certain pests, such as slugs and snails, are known to be repelled by the smell of coffee. To use coffee grounds as a pest repellent, simply sprinkle them around the base of your plants. You can also make a solution by mixing coffee grounds with water and spraying it directly onto the leaves of your plants. This can help to keep pests like aphids and spider mites at bay.

Nourish Your Roses

At this point, I think we’ve established that coffee grounds are a garden staple. If you have any green on your thumb, this next trick is sure to help you. Roses love soil with a lower pH. Let's put it this way, acidic soil is a real thorn in their side. Okay enough puns, let’s get back to business. So how exactly can you accomplish this? You guessed it- coffee grounds. Simply mix 1 cup of coffee grounds with 1 gallon of water and then evenly distribute amongst soil. Your roses will thank you. 

Blue Hydrangeas 

Before we leave the garden, we have a super cool trick for you to try with your coffee grounds. You can actually grow blue hydrangeas by adding coffee grounds into the soil! How does this happen? Well without going into too much detail, the coffee grounds simply make the soil more acidic, which then allows the hydrangea to more easily absorb aluminum- and voila! Your hydrangeas are now blue.

Self Care

Have you seen the viral coffee body scrubs? Well so did we and let's just say you can DIY that! Coffee grounds can be used as an exfoliant to elevate your self care routine. They can be mixed with a small amount of coconut oil to make a natural scrub for the face and body. The grounds help to remove dead skin cells while the caffeine in them can have a tightening effect on the skin, making you look and feel refreshed. Pro tip: Used grounds can also be used in a hair mask to help to add shine to dull hair, stimulate the scalp by promoting healthy hair growth, and remove product buildup. 

Odor Control

Odor control is one of the simplest household uses for coffee grounds. They can be used to freshen up smelly shoes, gym bags, trash cans, etc. Simply put some used coffee grounds into an old sock, tie it closed, and put it into the shoes or bag overnight. The coffee grounds will help to absorb any unwanted odors, leaving behind a pleasant scent. You can also put them in the bottom of your trash can to help absorb odor. 


Coffee grounds can clean a variety of different surfaces around your home, including dishes, kitchen counters, and even your bathroom. The rough, sand-like texture of the grounds can help to scrub away dirt and grime, making them an effective cleaning tool. Try mixing the grounds with a bit of warm water and use them to scrub the surface you want to clean. They can also be used as a gentle abrasive to clean silverware and other metal objects, restoring their shine.


Wait- why would you put coffee grounds on the floor when you’re trying to sweep? Well because it helps! No, seriously. Use damp coffee grounds when sweeping dusty floor areas. It makes it easier to clean, plus it leaves a great scent. 

Garbage Disposal 

You may have heard you can drop a lemon or a lime into your garbage disposal to keep it fresh. Well if you don’t have either of those on hand, try using coffee grounds! They act as a great natural deodorizer and can rid your garbage disposal of unwanted smells.

Fireplace Cleaner

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, coffee grounds nipping at the mess. What are we saying exactly? We’re saying you can actually use coffee grounds to clean your fireplace. Ever try sweeping ashes out of a fireplace? Yeah- it’s not easy. Thankfully, coffee grounds are here to save the day (and your lungs). Place wet coffee grounds on the fireplace ash.  The coffee grounds help to bind up the small ash particles and make scooping out the fireplace ashes much easier.

Remove Stains

We’ve all spilled coffee on ourselves before. While frustrating enough to lose our coffee, the embarrassment can make your cheeks as hot as the coffee! But fear not, coffee grounds can actually help remove the stain. Coffee grounds can (surprisingly) be used to remove stains on clothes, carpets, and upholstery by mixing it with a little bit of water and rubbing it onto the stain, then washing as normal. 

Freedom From Fleas

If you have a furry friend, you have more than likely fallen victim to the fiendish fleas at some point. While a prescription would be the most effective (duh), you might consider using coffee grounds as a natural flea treatment. Simply rub the grounds throughout your pet’s fur after shampooing. Then rinse them off and allow your pet to dry as usual. Just remember that coffee grounds are toxic to dogs if consumed, so be extra careful! 

Hide Furniture Scratches 

While we’re on the topic of pets, you may also have some scratches on your furniture from your furry friend. Regardless of how they got there, they can be an eyesore. If replacing said furniture isn’t in your best interest, try dipping a Qtip or washcloth into wet coffee grounds and then gently applying to your furniture. This may help hide scratches in your dark wood furniture. 

Make A Candle 

Why buy an artificial, coffee-scented candle when you can make your own using your favorite coffee? That’s right, you can make a coffee-scented candle using your own coffee grounds. Not only is this a fun activity to freshen up your home, DIY coffee-scented candles make a very thoughtful gift! 

Melt Ice

It’s definitely been a cold winter here in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the case that there is ice on your driveway or sidewalk, believe it or not you can use coffee grounds to speed up the melting process! The abrasive texture of the grounds can help to break up and melt the ice, while the small amounts of caffeine and other acids present in the grounds can also have a slight de-icing effect. By mixing a cup of coffee grounds with a half cup of salt, you can create a de-icing mixture that can be spread on driveways, sidewalks, and other surfaces to melt ice.

Fishing Hack 

Do you like to fish? Fishing is a very popular pastime in East Tennessee. If you enjoy fishing and have some extra coffee grounds in need of a purpose, try adding them to your bait. Mixing coffee grounds with your bait worms will keep them alive longer, so they will wiggle longer. Interestingly enough, some fish are actually attracted to coffee-scented worms! Be sure to try this life-hack next time you fish. 

Antique Craft

Ever heard of antiquing? Well in case you haven’t, Antiquing is the process of making a regular piece of modern day paper looking like, well, an antique! You can dye the paper with coffee grounds and the result is a beautiful, vintage-looking piece of paper. Or should we say, “parchment.” Whether you use this technique for a history lesson or an invitation, it’s sure to wow! 


Coffee grounds are an incredibly versatile and useful byproduct of brewing coffee. Whether you're looking to improve your garden, personal care routine, or household cleaning routine, there's a good chance that coffee grounds can be of help. And given how easy it is to accumulate coffee grounds, using them in different ways can be a great way to be more eco-friendly as well!