Frugal Living » 21 Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds

21 Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds

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Once that hot steaming mug of fresh coffee is poured, Most people don’t give their coffee grounds a second thoughtablespoonCheck out all 21 clever uses for coffee grounds!

Odor Elimination

Place the old grounds in a small can under the sink. Next time you chop an onion or fresh garlic, scoop out a small amount of grounds, rub them thoroughly over your hands and rinse. Voila! No more Odor!

Plant Fertilizer

Coffee grounds are highly acidic, so spread them generously over the flower beds of acid-loving plants for amazing blooms. Acid Loving plants include azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, Hydrangeas, lily of the valley, roses and creeping phlox. In addition to helping balance the pH of your favorite plants, coffee grounds increase nitrogen and help aerate the soil as well.

Make your own Gardeners Soap

Melt a bar of glycerin soap and add 1/3 cup coffee grounds, reshape bar in a mold and use.

Garbage Disposal Blade Sharpener

Add 1 tablespoon grounds to running garbage disposal (with water running!) to sharpen the blades. Once per week is more than sufficient to keep the blades sharpened and running smoothly, any more than that will yield the opposite effect and potentially clog your drain in the process.

Ant Repellent

Sprinkle old grounds around the perimeter of your home (outside) to deter ants. Alternatively, used grounds can be dumped onto active mounds to repel ants as well.


Steep the grounds in boiling water to make your own dye for paper, fabric or easter eggs

Garden Pest Deterrent

Cat Repellent- mix used grounds with chopped orange peels and sprinkle liberally around your garden and flowerbeds to keep your kitty from using your garden as her restroom.

Double Your Harvest of Carrot & Radish

When planting, mix your carrot and radish seeds liberally with coffee grounds, plant as directed. Coffee grounds are like steroids for these two root vegetables, creating a much larger and sweeter yield. Be sure to lightly trowel the grounds in and around young shoots.

How to Grow Carrots with Coffee

Flea Dip

After bathing your pet (dog or cat) rub 1- 2 cup of dried, used coffee grounds into his fur, be sure to work them to the skin, rinse well. Not only does this kill fleas, but will make his fur silky smooth.

Make homemade “Henna” Tattoos

To make homemade Henna tattoos simmer 1/4-1/2 cup used coffee grounds in 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, shut it off and let it steep for 5 minutes, strain the grounds, reserving the liquid.

In a glass bowl combine 2-3 Tablespoons of bulk henna powder, 4-6 tablespoons lemon juice, 10 drops eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, stirring to form a doughy paste, then add the coffee liquid until a thin toothpaste-like consistency is reached.

Apply the henna with pastry bags, toothpicks, paintbrushes, etc and let it dry (15-45 minutes, depending on the humidity and temperature. The longer the paste is left in contact with the skin, the darker the “tattoo” will be. The ideal drying time is overnight, but wrap the design in gauze to prevent it from being scraped off.

Then gently rinse the henna paste off, apply a light oil such as almond or olive oil to moisturize.

21 Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds

Cellulite Reducer

If you look at those high price cellulite creams, you’ll see coffee is the main ingredient of many. Simply mix 1/4 cup warm coffee grounds (used) and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Apply liberally to problem areas, wrap with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes, unwrap and shower normally. Create your own home spa coffee scrub beauty treatment.

Grow Mushrooms

To grow mushrooms in coffee grounds, layer the grounds in growing bags. Inoculate the used, fresh grounds with oyster mushroom spawn. For best results use 10% of the coffee weight.

Add pasteurized straw or hydrated sawdust pellets (20% of the coffee weight), mixing them together well. Cut a few small holes in the bags to allow for airflow (And spots for the mushrooms to grow out of!)  Then incubate the growing bags for 2-3 weeks in a warm (68°F-75°F), dark, humid area with plenty of air-flow. Harvest the mushrooms 1-2 weeks later.

21 Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds
Oyster mushrooms need some (indirect) sunlight to grow properly. Mist them with water each day. The mushrooms will start growing within 5-10 days and should double in size every day.

Feed the worms

If you like fishing and have a worm bed at home, add coffee grounds, they love it! To make the BEST worm beds mix aged horse manure and coffee grounds, add worms. You’ll grow some nice big fat ones for fishing!

Highlight Hair Naturally

For those with auburn hair color, you can rub coffee grounds through wet hair, leave for 3 minutes, rinse thoroughly. It will leave your hair soft, silky and with natural highlights.

Pin Cushion Filler

Make your own pin cushions and use dried out used coffee grounds as a filler. It will keep the pins rust free!


Place a small uncovered container of used grounds in the freezer to absorb odors naturally- also, this works great to get rid of a Mothball smell from closets or campers!

Faux Parchment Paper

Crinkle up a piece of paper into a ball, unfold, place in a 9×13 pan of water with 1/2 cup of used coffee grounds for 30 seconds, remove from liquid, gently blot excess coffee off, and allow to dry. This makes gorgeous labels for jars or apothecary bottles.

Homemade Antique Labels

Repair Scratched Furniture

To easily repair scratched furniture, mix 1 tablespoon of used coffee grounds with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Apply with a cotton ball, wipe dry.

Clean Fireplace

Before removing ashes from your fireplace, sprinkle wet coffee grounds liberally over the ashes. Then scoop out the ashes & grounds together. This helps prevent the “dust” plume that can accumulate and spread throughout the house.

Abrasive Cleaner

When you need a quick abrasive cleaner mix equal parts of old coffee grounds and baking soda, scrub. (Be careful of using this on surfaces that are susceptible to stains!)

Treasure Stones Craft

Entertain the kids with these fun Treasure Stones. Each stone contains a hidden treasure or toy that kids can discover during play.

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