What do to do with your leftover coffee grounds?

The age old question! If you’re anything like us, you don’t like waste. And while we don’t recommend reusing the grounds for a 2nd brew, there are a lot of ways you can reuse coffee grounds around the house. 

From natural body scrubs to natural wood stain, we’ve assembled a list of our top 7 ideas of what to do with your left over coffee grounds to get you started. 

Let us know in the comments if we missed your fav use!

1. Compost

Image of food scraps

Coffee grounds are great for composting due to their high in nitrogen content and can actually speed up a compost cycle.

The nitrogen in the grinds support the natural bacteria and combines with carbon dioxide to provide additional energy and build more healthy bacteria to breakdown you food scraps and other compost.

To add coffee grounds to your compost: 

  • Distribute your coffee grounds evenly across you compost, mix well and you are set!

Most experts recommend not adding more than a 25% ratio of coffee grinds to compost for best results in coffee grounds helping the composting process.

Pro Tip: Coffee grounds act as a great fertilizer for your plants due to their high nitrogen content as well. 

2. Clean your dishes

Coffee grounds are an effective cleaner as well.

They are naturally abrasive and their chemical properties help to degrease any particularly difficult food from pots, pans, and other dishes.

To use simply:

  • Add a few coffee grounds on a cleaning rag with warm water and scrub away at tough food stains or stuck-on foods. Be sure to give your dishes a thorough rinse after.

Pro tip: This method is also helpful for cleaning tough stains from your grill, oven and stovetop. Soak in the combination above for 1/2 an hour and then scrub!


3. Make a body scrub

Did you know that coffee can work wonders on your skin?

Grinds can be used as a natural exfoliant and some studies have even linked coffee scrubs to reducing inflammation and minimizing the appearance of cellulite for some.

To try it out: 

  • Take ½ of coffee grounds and mix it together with ½ cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of coconut oil.

Pro top: Elevate your scrub to the next level by adding essential oils (such as peppermint) or vanilla extract to your next batch. Never add essential oils directly to your skin always dilute first. Learn more here.

4. Give your hair a treatment

Image of someone washing their hair

Coffee grind hair masks have been known to stimulate hair growth, stimulate hair roots, improve hair texture and scrub dead skin cells from scalp.

To try it for yourself: 

  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of coffee grounds to your hair and use your finger tips to gently massage into your scalp and hair. Then continue with your regular wash routine. The natural oils in the coffee grounds will make your hair feel soft and will add some shine. No chemicals needed. 

Pro tip: Add to your shampoo or conditioner as a 2 for 1 deal. Note: this should only be used once a month to once every other month. 


5. Deodorize your fridge

Coffee grounds

As mentioned earlier, coffee grinds contain high levels of nitrogen. 

Nitrogen is a natural deodorizer which makes used coffee grinds as the perfect alternative to baking soda for your fridge.

Try it by:

  • Place an open jar of dry used coffee grounds in your fridge will help diminish any odors left by stale or spoiled food. Change out once a month. 

Pro tip: Coffee grinds as a deodorizer isn’t limited to the fridge, it can be used in other areas of your household as well. Use dried bundles in sachets and add them to your shoes to get rid of any unwanted smells.


6. Clean your fireplace

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home then you are familiar with the difficult process of cleaning up ashes. A necessary evil, oftentimes sweeping ashes results in dust and smoke clouds that can even spread into other rooms.

Used coffee grinds can help with stopping the spread of fireplace smoke.

Try it yourself: 

  • Scatter used, slightly damp coffee grinds over the ashes before sweeping. 

Pro tip: Coffee grinds are also safe to burn in your fireplace (in fact they burn hotter and longer than wood) and even omit less carbon monoxide than wood.


7. Minimize furniture scratches

Scratches and dents in wood furniture is an inevitable part of owning the beautiful furniture but did you know that you likely have everything you need to fix them?

Coffee grinds are a great way to fix the scratches. Used coffee grinds can re-stain the wood and make them appear drastically less noticeable. 

How do you stain your furniture with used coffee grounds? 

  • Using a bowl, combine used coffee grounds with a small amount of hot water to make a wet paste. Using a rag carefully apply a layer of coffee grinds using a rag and let sit for about 20 minutes. Use rag to wipe away grinds when finished. 

Pro-Tip: This process can be repeated so if you don’t get the stain you want on the first go, repeat the process above until you are satisfied. 


Do you have any other tips how to reuse coffee grounds? Let us know in the comments.

Up next: How to make coffee in a French press


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