5 Ways to Clean Your Home with Used Coffee Grounds (Yes, Really!)

published Nov 8, 2022
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Someone holding a coffee filter with spent gounds.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

After brewing coffee in the morning, your first instinct might be to throw out the used coffee grounds right in the trash. However, it would be a waste to discard them hastily when you can get creative. You might not be able to get more coffee out of them, but spent coffee grounds still have plenty of other uses.

“When it comes to cleaning your home, coffee is surprisingly a very good product to use as a natural cleaning scrub,” says Nicola Rodriguez, cleaning expert and owner of Essex House Dolly.

Here are five ways you can use coffee grounds to clean your home.

Degrease pots and pans.

Hard-to-remove stains accumulate on pots and pans over time. The bottom will usually have scorch marks, grease, and gunk that won’t go away. Try smearing some coffee grounds directly onto the pots and pans before scrubbing them as you normally would, says Rodriguez. Their coarse texture will help you get rid of that pesky buildup and make your cookware spotless again. You can also mix about two or three teaspoons of coffee grounds with warm water to create a scrub, which works just as well in degreasing pots and pans and bringing back their original shine.

Absorb foul odors in the fridge.

Your refrigerator will start to smell if you have unnoticed spills, forgotten leftovers, and spoiled food inside. Sometimes, the odor doesn’t go away even if you remove those items. When this happens, you can use coffee grounds to neutralize the smell. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which reacts with carbon to absorb and eliminate odors, says Rodriguez. Just put the grounds in a cup or bowl and place it inside the fridge to keep bad odors away. Make sure they’re completely dry, otherwise, they might get moldy.

Remove buildup in grill grates.

If you use your grill all the time without cleaning it after every use, grease and food particles may accumulate. This might attract bacteria that can eventually make their way to your food. Grill grates are tough to clean, but you need to get the job done to make sure your food is safe. Luckily, coffee grounds can help you easily scrub the stains and buildup away. Just put some coffee grounds on a sponge and scrub the grill normally. You’ll find that the abrasive texture of the coffee grounds will do the trick.

Hide scuffs on wooden furniture.

Wooden furniture pieces can be easily scratched and scuffed, making them look unsightly inside your home. The good news is that you can use coffee grounds to minimize their appearance. To do this, mix coffee grounds with water to make a paste-like consistency, and then gently rub it on the surface with the scuff mark, says Rodriguez. Let the paste sit for a few minutes before wiping off the excess. Try applying the paste again after a few hours if the appearance isn’t to your liking yet. You may also use olive oil instead of water, which effectively camouflages the scratches as well.

Weigh down ashes in the fireplace.

No matter how careful you are, it’s really difficult to keep the dust and ashes from going everywhere when cleaning the fireplace. But, if you scatter coffee grounds to weigh down the ashes beforehand, you’ll have a much easier time shoveling them, says Rodriguez. There will be no more irritating smoke clouds that make cleaning more tiresome.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 5 Ways to Clean Your Home with Used Coffee Grounds