15 Ways To Reuse Coffee Grounds

Reader Contribution by Caitlin Ethridge
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I drink a lot of water because I like to keep my caffeine intake down. So my single cup of coffee every morning is something to cherish. Especially in the mug my boy made me for Mother’s Day.

My husband makes the perfect pot of coffee. Very strong. (And the coffee is too! Sorry, couldn’t resist.) All those cups of strong coffee mean lots of used coffee grounds. We compost ours so it’s not wasted, but there is so much you can do.


1. Clean your garbage disposal using this easy recipe.

1 cup dry used coffee grounds
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup baking soda
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional

In mixing bowl, combine coffee grounds, Epsom salts and baking soda.

Slowly add vinegar – it will bubble when it interacts with the baking soda, which is totally normal. Add a bit at a time until mixture resembles wet sand. Add vanilla.

Cover sheet pan with parchment paper. Using rounded measuring spoon or melon baller scoop mixture and press against side of bowl, packing cleaner together. Tap onto parchment-covered sheet pan.

Let cleaners dry overnight, then place in coffee cup next to sink and use when needed. Just drop one down drain, turn on water and garbage disposal, and enjoy the wonderful smell.

Yields around 30 cleaners.

NOTES: A 1 tablespoon or 1 teaspoon measuring spoons create half rounds. You could also roll small golf-ball shapes with your hands or use a silicone mold instead. Along with giving the disposal cleaners a great scent, the coffee grounds also sharpen garbage disposal blades. Baking soda naturally cleans the disposal, and Epsom salts break up hard water stains and buildup.

2. Deodorize: Pour coffee grounds in a Mason jar and place in your fridge to help remove odors, much like baking soda.

3. Hide furniture scratches: Dip a cotton swab in the wet grounds and apply to scratch. (It might be a good idea to test a small area first.)

4. Clean pots and pans: Use the grounds to scour pans with tough, stuck-on food. This is especially great for stainless steel or cast-iron cookware.

5. Make a rub for meats: Coffee helps tenderize meat and can add a delicious smoky flavor. Here is a great recipe for a spicy coffee rub.


1. Pest repellent: Make a ring of coffee grounds around your plants to deter ants and slugs.

2. Compost: Toss those grounds in your compost pile to add much needed nitrogen.

3. Add nitrogen to seedlings: Stir the grounds in your potting soil or add them to your watering can to nourish those little sprouts.

4. Attract worms: Worms provide wonderful fertilizer for your garden and coffee attracts them.

5. Add acid to soil: Certain plants require more acidic soil. Add the grounds around roses, azaleas and rhododendrons. Coffee can also be used to make your hydrangeas bloom blue.


1. Exfoliate: Has working in the garden taken a toll on your hands? Or if you’re like me, has running around barefoot left your feet a little rough? Rub some coffee grounds on those problem areas for smooth, refreshed skin. You can add a little olive oil if needed.

2. Remove residue from hair: Massage a handful of grounds into your hair to remove all of the buildup from shampoo and hair products. Rinse, then shampoo and condition as usual. Your hair will be shiny and smooth. This is best for darker hair since coffee can stain!

3. DIY facial: Who doesn’t want a smooth, fresh, glowing complexion? Try this recipe from Crunchy Betty to rejuvenate your skin. It’s a great way to perk up tired skin!

2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee (or used grounds)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons whole milk, heavy cream or yogurt
1 tablespoon honey

Mix all ingredients together, apply to face, let dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse while gently massaging.

4. Fight cellulite: I haven’t tried this myself, but I have heard some say that the caffeine in coffee is great for fighting cellulite on a short-term basis. Here is a simple recipe and some more info on this process.

5. DIY natural self tanner:Try this simple recipe to add a fresh glow to your skin! It would work great after the facial and cellulite treatment. Heck, just call it a DIY spa day!

Have you guys ever reused your coffee grounds? Do you plan to try any of these tips? Share in the comments section.

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