5 Ways You Can Use Leftover Coffee Grounds Around the Home

5 Ways You Can Use Leftover Coffee Grounds Around the Home

Anna Brones
Nov 17, 2014
(Image credit: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock)

If there's one truth about coffee making, it's this: You will always end up with coffee grounds. A daily coffee habit can make for a lot of coffee debris by the end of the week.

But just as you may look to limit your food waste, you can do the same with your coffee. Here are five ways to use coffee grounds at home — some may surprise you!

Want to Reuse Coffee Grounds? Brew in a French Press.

For starters, using coffee grounds effectively has to do with how you brew. For minimum waste, a French press is your best bet, as you're only left with coffee grounds. Pour-over systems, like a Chemex or even a drip coffee maker, will leave you with grounds and a filter. Coffee pods create the most waste — while they're easy to use and make for a simple morning cup, they contribute to the pile in the trash or recycle can on a daily basis.

So what do you do if you have opted for a brew method that leaves you with just grounds, or grounds and a filter? There are a variety of uses for leftover coffee grounds, but here are five ideas for how to put them to good use.

(Image credit: Heather McQuaid)

5 Ways to Use Spent Coffee Grounds

1. Compost

The great thing about sticking to simple brew methods that use only a paper filter and coffee grounds is that both are compostable. Used coffee grounds happen to be rich in nitrogen, which makes them great for composting. (Worms love coffee almost as much as you do!) In a compost pile, aim for a ratio of one part leaves to one part fresh grass clippings to one part coffee grounds. Keep in mind that freshly brewed coffee grounds won't have the same effect on your garden; you need to be sure that they have broken down and composted first.

2. Clean dishes

Because of the rough texture of coffee grounds, they work great as an abrasive, which means you can use them to clean tough-to-wash dishes. Simply place some grounds into a cleaning rag and twist the ends with a rubber band to secure them in place. Then you have an excellent DIY coffee sponge to clean with.

3. Exfoliate

Just like coffee grounds are a good abrasive for cleaning your dishes and kitchenware, they can also serve as an exfoliant for your skin. Simply mix with equal parts olive oil and massage into your skin. The coffee grounds exfoliate, while the olive oil serves as a moisturizer.

4. Fix furniture scratches

Have a kitchen table that needs a little love? Mixed with warm water and vinegar, coffee can be rubbed into scratches to keep your furniture looking good as new.

5. Keep your refrigerator fresh

Similar to baking soda, coffee grounds can serve as a deodorizer. Simply place a bowl of grounds in your refrigerator to suck up all the bad smells.

What do you do with your leftover coffee grounds? Let us know in the comments below.

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