Don’t Toss That! Extraordinary Uses For Coffee Grounds

Uses For Coffee GroundsWaste not, want not! That’s what my mama always used to say. Well, she didn’t actually say it, but I saw it on a movie once.

Either way, it makes sense, and I do try to live by this idiom whenever possible. And that includes finding uses for coffee grounds.

Since I drink a lot of coffee each day (like a weird, outrageous amount of coffee), I have to find lots of uses for coffee grounds if I don’t want to toss them. Here’s a list of some of my favorites.

Feed Your Plants

One of my favorite uses for coffee grounds is making compost. Just toss it into your compost bin or vermicomposting bin andwait until it turns to dark, rich growing medium. You can also sprinkle coffee grounds around the bases of acid loving plants, like blueberry bushes and roses.

Exfoliate Your Skin

Used coffee grounds make a great skin exfoliater. You can combine them with sugar and almond oil for a sugar coffee scrub, or you can just mix them with a creamy body wash. The course texture of the grounds make them perfect for sloughing off dead skin.

Pamper Your Hair

Mix used coffee grounds in with some shampoo or conditioner, or just rub them right into your damp hair during your shower. Washing your hair with coffee grounds can make it smoother and shinier. Also, regularly using coffee grounds on your hair can act as a mild dye, especially on lighter hair.

Repel Pests

I typically find the most uses for coffee grounds in the spring and the summer. One of my favorite used for coffee grounds is repelling slugs and ants. Just sprinkle some used grounds where you’ve seen snail, slug, or ant activity.


Used coffee grounds can act as a strong deodorizer. Mix together used coffee grounds and a few drops of vanilla and place the mixture in your refrigerator to absorb odors. you can also place used coffee grounds in an old mismatched sock, tie it shut, and hang it in a closet to absorb stale and musty odors. Try rubbing your hands with used coffee grounds to remove strong smells, like onion and garlic from your hands.

Clean Up Vomit

This is one of the grosser uses for coffee grounds, but it works like a charm First, you have to ake sure the coffee grounds are completely dry. Spread them on a cookie sheet and place them in a warm oven until they dry out completely. Store them in a container or a paper bag until…well, you know. Sprinkle a generous amount of used coffee grounds on the vomit and let it sit for a bit. The dried grounds will absorb the liquid in the vomit, making it easier to clean up, and it will help deodorize the surface.

Cover Scratches in Wood

If your furniture or woodwork is dinged or scratched, try using coffee grounds to mask the area. Steep the coffee grounds in a little water over night and apply the liquid to the scratches with a rag. If you’re trying to cover a scratch in a horizontal surface, you can leave a small pile of damp coffee grounds on top for several minutes. Depending on the color of the wood and severity of the scratch, this may take several applications. (Find out other ways to hide scratches in wood!)

Grow Mushrooms

This is one of the uses for coffee grounds that I haven’t tried yet – but I want to! All you need are a bucket of coffee grounds and some mushroom spores, which can be ordered online. Keep your mushroom garden moist and warm, and they should start growing like crazy in no time.

What are your favorite uses for coffee grounds?

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