5 Ways You Can Use Leftover Coffee Grounds Around the Home

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Anna Hoychuk)

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

You may as well get something out of them. You know, aside from a carafe’s worth of coffee.

Here are five ways to use coffee grounds around the home:

Want to Reuse Coffee Grounds? Skip the pods.

For starters, using coffee grounds effectively has to do with how you brew. Coffee pods create the most waste — while they’re easy to use, they contribute to the pile in the trash or recycle can on a daily basis — and make it tough to reuse the grounds. In this case, 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, which can also be useful.

(Image credit: Heather McQuaid)

5 Ways to Use Spent Coffee Grounds

1. Compost

The great thing about paper filters 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 before you throw them on your plants.

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. 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? Mix a pot’s worth of used coffee grounds with 1/4 cup warm water and 1/4 cup vinegar , shake and let sit for about 60 minutes. Then, use a rag to rub the mixture 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. 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.