Every morning use to be the same routine. I’d make a pot of coffee, drink it, and clean out the coffee machine. I’d flip open the lid of the trash can, and throw away the coffee filter full of rich coffee grounds.  One day my husband suggested that I throw it in my compost pile! So I did and saw what a difference it made to my plants. I got to thinking, if coffee grounds can do wonders for my plants, what else could they do wonders on? It turns that there are tons of uses for coffee grounds I had never known about!



1. Kill fridge odor

If your fridge is full of foul odors, place a bowl of fresh, unused coffee grounds inside and leave it for a day or two. The coffee will absorb the odors and leave your fridge smelling fresh. You can save around $4 a month!

2. Reduce cellulite

Pricey cellulite creams have one major ingredient in common: caffeine, which enhances fat metabolism, reducing the appearance of these fatty pockets under the skin. To make your own coffee cellulite treatment at home, mix warm used coffee grounds with coconut oil and rub it onto your skin in circular motions for a few minutes before rinsing. Average cellulite creams from your local drugstore can run as much as $20.00 a jar.

3. Reduce fireplace mess

Wait until the embers are cool, sprinkle damp coffee grounds all over the ashes, let them sit for about 15 minutes, and scoop out the mess into a metal ash can. The coffee grounds cling to the ashes, so they don’t spew as much dust. The monetary savings here vary, but you will be saving yourself time.

4. Repel ants

Sprinkle dry, used coffee grounds in problem areas where you notice ants. To tackle huge ant mounds, pour an entire pot of brewed coffee right on the mound. The cost of ant traps can be around $8.00 a package, plus they are toxic and harmful to pets.

5. Erase smells on your hands

Some things smell delicious when cooking but aren’t so pleasant later when they linger on your hands. Get rid of them by rubbing a handful of used coffee grounds on your hands and rinsing with warm water.

6. Make rich compost

Coffee grounds are rich in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper. Plants thrive off of these ingredients. You can score used grounds for free at your local coffee shop; just ask.

7. Get shiny hair

Coffee is recommended as a natural treatment to make hair glossy. Brew up an extra-strong pot, let it cool and apply it to your dry, clean hair. Leave it on for at least twenty minutes, then rinse. Keep it up once a week or so for best results. A bottle of leave-in hair shiner can run you around $5.00 and contains harmful chemicals. This method not only saves you money but is safer on your hair.

8. Make your own natural dye

The natural pigments in coffee make it a great natural dye for fabric, paper, Easter eggs and even your hair. Just allow a strong brew to cool, then saturate whatever it is you are trying to dye with the mixture. Dyes can run anywhere from $4.00-$10.00 depending on brand.

9. Fertilize plants

Acid-loving plants will thank you for sprinkling your used coffee grounds around their roots. Azaleas, blueberry shrubs and rhododendrons are just a few of the plants that flourish when treated with coffee, thanks to all those nutrients. You can also dilute the leftover coffee in your mug and pour it right into your potted plants.  Fertilizer at your local home store can cost as much as $5.00 per pound.

10. Keep cats out of your garden

Sprinkle used coffee grounds on the soil, and cats will want nothing to do with it. Products that promise the same performance can cost as much as $10.00 at home supply stores!

11. Scrub surfaces

Mildly abrasive, coffee grounds are great for scrubbing surfaces like cooking ranges and refrigerators. Use them alone or mix them with a little dish soap. Even store brand kitchen scrub can cost as much as $3.00 a bottle.

12. Repel fleas

Rub used, damp coffee grounds through your pet’s fur after bathing to repel fleas. Everyone with pets knows how expensive flea repellants can be. Even a simple flea collar can cost upwards of $5.00.

13. Secret recipe ingredient

Just a little hint of coffee can put a unique flavor into foods like chili and chocolate cake. Use a little bit as a marinade for steaks, and not only will it make them tender, it’ll also provide a hint of deep, smoky flavor.

14. Repair furniture scratches

Scratches on wood furniture disappear almost instantly by simply rubbing in a little bit of instant coffee dampened into a paste with hot water. Repeat if necessary until the scratch matches the surrounding wood. Products like this can cost as much as $10.00!


Stop throwing those used coffee grounds away! They are full of practical uses around the home that can save you money and time. Who knew a pot of coffee could do so much more than just wake us up in the morning?

This has been a guest post by Katie from South Bend, IN
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14 Uses for Coffee Grounds