16 Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds to Help Save You Money

Stephanie Allen


A recent National Coffee Association (NCA) report found that coffee consumption has reached its highest levels in 20 years. Not only is that a lot of coffee, but that also means there’s a lot of leftover coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds are usually thrown in the trash, but with the push toward sustainable practices, there are numerous ways to recycle them. Some of these methods may come as a surprise to you!

1. Clean Fireplace Ash

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Cleaning fireplace ash is messy. Because the ashes are so light, they easily fly away and land on other surfaces. Coffee grounds can make the job simpler and less messy.

Placing a layer of coffee grounds on top of fireplace ash before cleaning weighs the ash down, keeping it from flying in the air. This added weight makes cleanup easier. 

2. Furniture Repair

Man fixing furniture
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If your wood furniture looks a little worse for wear, coffee grounds can minimize the appearance of nicks and scuff marks. Their abrasive qualities smooth out wood deformities.

The grounds' color stains the wood. The more applications placed on the wood, the darker the color. Apply the coffee grounds to the wood until the desired color is achieved.  

3. Skincare

Woman doing Skincare
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You don’t have to buy an expensive brand from the store for an organic facial and body scrub. Coffee grounds can be used for the same effect at a fraction of the cost. All it takes is adding a little water or coconut oil to dry coffee grounds to make a scrub for the face. 

Mix two tablespoons of water with ¼ cup of coconut oil, ½ cup of pink Himalayan salt, and ½ cup of dry coffee grounds for an exfoliating body scrub. 

4. Insect and Pest Repellent 

pest control
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Coffee grounds are an all-natural way of repelling mosquitoes, beetles, fruit flies, and cockroaches. A compound in coffee is toxic for certain insects and will keep them away. 

It’s also a good method for repelling slugs. Using coffee grounds as a pest repellent is sustainable, but it can harm pets, so keep them away from your cats and dogs.

5. Cleanse and Sanitize

Janitor cleaning wash basin
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The coarseness of coffee grounds makes them ideal for cleaning and sanitizing metals like cookware, utensils, grills and even sinks. They’re a natural alternative to harsher chemical cleansers.

While coffee grounds are useful in cleaning hard-to-remove stains and caked-on debris, don’t use them on light-colored or porous surfaces to avoid staining. 

6. Flea Repellent

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Pet owners who want to protect their dogs and cats from fleas but prefer not to use chemical products can use coffee grinds as a natural alternative. Fleas hate the scent of coffee and will stay away. 

To use as a flea repellent, shampoo your pet and apply the coffee grounds to their fur. Rinse your pet’s fur thoroughly and allow it to dry. Coffee grounds are toxic to pets, so they mustn’t lick or ingest them.

7. Meat Tenderizer and Marinade

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When used as a marinade, the acids and enzymes in coffee grounds tenderize meats like pork and beef and enhance their flavor. 

To create a marinade, re-brew coffee grounds and let the liquid cool. Place the meat in an airtight container with the liquid and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking it. 

8. De-Icer

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Rock salt is an effective de-icing material, but it’s highly corrosive and harmful to pets, humans, and the environment. Coffee grounds are an all-natural replacement for rock salt. 

The nitrogen in coffee grounds helps to melt ice without the damaging effects of rock salt. Its coarse texture also provides a better grip to prevent slips and falls. 

9. Haircare

Hair Dryer
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Just as coffee grounds are an excellent skin exfoliator, they also do wonders for the hair in various ways. The caffeine they contain increases blood flow to the scalp and encourages hair growth. 

Regularly applying coffee grounds to hair removes dead skin cells and the buildup of hair products. They can also be used as a hair dye to enrich the color of dark hair. 

10. Cellulite

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Many people have cellulite and hate its appearance. Using coffee grounds on the skin won’t make it go away, but it can make it appear less obvious.

Applying a coffee-ground scrub daily to the areas of the body where cellulite exists reduces the amount of water in the skin, temporarily giving it a smoother appearance. 

11. Composting and Fertilizing 

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Composting or recycling organic materials like food waste, leaves, and other organic material makes homemade fertilizer. Adding coffee grounds helps break down those materials. 

Coffee grounds added to soil help it retain water longer and absorb heavy metals. They’re also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. 

12. Cultivate Mushrooms 

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Anyone who’s tried to grow mushrooms in their home gardens knows the difficult task. The conditions for successful mushroom growth must be near perfect. 

Mushrooms require a layer of soil called substrate, which is full of the nutrients needed to stimulate growth. If you have a green thumb and want to grow mushrooms, keep those coffee grounds at hand. 

13. Absorb Odors

Unhygienic Men armpit smell
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The chemical compounds in coffee grounds are an effective way to absorb unpleasant odors around the house. Rubbing your hands with wet coffee grounds removes the scent if you’re handling fish, onions, garlic, or other strong-smelling foods. 

Do you have unwanted smells in your refrigerator or freezer? An open container of coffee grounds will get rid of them. If closets or other areas around the house could use a boost of freshness, put coffee grounds in old knee-highs, pantyhose, or socks, seal the top with a rubber band, and place them where needed. 

14. Candles

scented candles
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Can’t get enough of the smell of a fresh pot of coffee, and want it to last all day long? Creating coffee-scented candles’s an easy way to achieve that without using up all of your coffee. 

For those unfamiliar with candlemaking, there are online tutorials teaching viewers how to make candles. Adding coffee grounds to the candle wax provides that java smell whenever you want. 

15. Ice Cream

Woman eating ice cream
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Coffee-flavored ice cream is an acquired taste, but people who love it (like me) enjoy it immensely. Not all ice cream shops sell coffee flavor, but it’s easy to make your own at home.

All you need is an ice cream maker, milk, heavy cream, sugar, kosher salt, eggs, and coffee grounds. In a few hours, you have a delicious frozen treat. 

16. Dye

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Coffee grounds are heavily pigmented, making an excellent dye for cloth, paper, and porous surfaces. 

It’s an inexpensive method of giving objects an antique appearance. 

Items dyed with coffee grounds can range from a pale tan to a rich dark brown. Fabric dyed with coffee grounds isn’t permanent, so it will fade with repeated washings. 

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