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Uses for Coffee Grounds

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Used coffee grounds have a number of uses around the house. This guide contains recycling used coffee grounds.


Solutions: Uses for Coffee Grounds

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Tip: Deodorizing With Used Coffee Grounds

After making coffee, let the grounds dry then put them into a new filter, a thin fabric bag, socks, or stockings. Secure with thread or staples. Put these coffee bags inside your shoes, in closets, and shelves. They work really well as deodorizers. My family has been doing this forever!

By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

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Tip: Used Coffee Grounds to Destroy Medication

Used coffee grounds are one way to destroy medication. Put coffee grounds and pills in plastic bag, and pour enough water in bag to cover them. Zip up bag and mix well. In just a short time, they will be gone.

Source: I got this tip from a nurse.

By Pudell from Benton Harbor, MI

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Tip: Coffee Grounds to Deodorize Refrigerator

Odors in the fridge or freezer will be gone overnight if you place a dish of used coffee grounds in a bowl and place it in the center of the refrigerator/freezer. It works better then baking soda!

By DCW816 from Hampton, TN

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Tip: Using Coffee Grounds to Remove Odors

Here's a great way to use coffee grounds once you have made coffee. Dump your used coffee grounds into a container and keep, open, in the refrigerator. The used grounds make your fridge smell like coffee and absorbs all the unwanted odors at the same time.

When the container gets full, dump them around your azaleas. They have just what it takes to perk them up and get them going again, make a nice, rich looking mulch, and hold some moisture for the plants as well. The best fact of all is that they repel mosquitoes at the same time and are biodegradable while enriching your soil. So, go have a nice, hot cuppa coffee and start going green!

Source: A friend told me about this. I tried it, and it does all the things listed above!

By Jacketbacker from Greer, SC

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Tip: Free Coffee Grounds for Your Garden at Starbucks

Used coffee grounds are a great, free fertilizer in your garden. Roses and acid-loving plants love it. Starbucks will give them to you free!


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Tip: Fight Foot Odor With Coffee

This was one of the most interesting experiments I ever did before with my shoes and boots. I got curious one day. I kept buying foot powder that was too expensive and would cause allergic reactions to my skin, even if I'm wearing socks.


  • 2 pantyhose
  • scissors
  • ground coffee, no liquid (whatever flavour you want)
  • clean, dry small shovel use for gardening


So what I did was get two pair of pantyhose, cut down the middle. Take dry coffee (since I don't drink coffee anymore, choose which ever ever flavour you like ^-^). Use a clean small gardening shovel or pour at least 1 lb. of coffee into two of pantyhose legs in the kitchen in a dry sink (or whatever is dry.) Tie the top of each pantyhose leg into a knot. Place both of the filled pantyhose into your shoes, boots, etc., for about 24 hours or longer as you like. Afterward, throw away the filled pantyhose.

Harmless chemicals, less expensive, good aroma smell.

By ERM747 from Houston, TX

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Tip: Coffee in Your Drawers for Moldy Odors

After our family returned to the Pacific Northwest from an extended working vacation, our home smelled of mold.
I found myself washing all of the clothes in my drawers and called my mother for advice. She told me to put coffee grounds (not instant), in small cups or bowls inside of each drawer. It worked like a charm! She also advised that it works great for basements to help absorb the musky smell.

Source: my mom

By Patricia Mabel from Maple Falls, WA

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Tip: Grass is Growing!

Hooray! I've finally got the most beautiful green grass where there was almost no grass, thanks to all those used coffee grounds I put out last month! I promised to report on it since I had so little to lose by doing it on almost bare dirt! I have no idea how the grass not only greened up but also spread way into the barest areas.

My son, who mows the lawn regularly, almost dropped his teeth when he saw it. Wow, I had no idea we'd get such g-r-e-a-t results. I just can't stop raving and should have a camera, darn it! My son will possibly get my car repaired this month and every time I pass a restaurant or coffee shop, I'll stop by and ask for their used grounds. It took about 20 - 10 lb. bags for 25'x100' on the side, applied like thin top soil, and I wished that I had more to have been able to green up the front lawn as well.

They all just throw the used coffee grounds into the trash/landfill, so please get some, try a weak spot on your own lawn and see if it works for you. That amount I used is not weight, but rather an approximate amount as if it were a large 10 lb. sugar bag size!

So, try to imagine what you need. It worked for us. I pray it works for you, too. God bless the free fertilizer (nitrogen only), which we needed ever so badly! If I ever get too much, I'll just add it like "greens" to the compost, too.

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Tip: Removing Scents from Your Home

I am chemical sensitive to perfumes, cigarettes, gasoline, etc. Sometimes we have guests come over with high perfume scents and when they leave the scent does not.
Other situations would be: purchasing used furniture that has old moldy scent or cigarette/cigar smoke odor. One thing that seems to work the best for me is to use coffee grounds. You can purchase the cheapest coffee for this so it's an inexpensive trick. You just put the grounds in a brown paper bag or staple them up in coffee filters or for a little more money/convenience you can purchase the pre-packed coffee filters.

Then you just set them around where the odors are. It can take a day or so to remove the odor completely, but in most cases you can at least handle the area within a short period of time. If a couch/chair is strong with scent, set the coffee packages right on the seating area for a day or so. Note: we had an old (very attractive) antique couch that I could not sit on without having an asthma attack, but after setting coffee grounds on it for three days, in this case I set thin paper plates all over it and put about 1/4 cup of grounds on each plate, but afterwards I could sleep on it.

The car can be a tough one if you have a scented passenger, but a bag of coffee grounds works well to rid the scent in a short period of time due to the smaller area. In fact, unless you do not like the scent of coffee, you can just keep a bag in the back seat which helps to handle the scented passenger while they are with you, instead of having to put on a face mask.

I hope this trick help many of you out.

    By Bergster417 [1]

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    Tip: Use Coffee Grounds as Pin Cushion Filling

    Here is yet another way to recycle up your used coffee grounds. Fill a pin cushion with them! Use cute scraps of fabric and simply sew together right sides together leaving a small space open. Turn, fill with coffee grounds (I use a sandwich bag as a funnel, just snip off a corner). Sew closed. Believe it or not the coffee grounds will keep your pins from rusting!

    By Carol from Landisville, PA

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    Tip: Recycle Every Part Of Your Morning Coffee

    After I've sprinkled my used coffee grounds around my plants and fruit trees. I rinse off the coffee filter and dry it on my dish drainer. When it's completely dry, I stuff it in my paper towel fire starter.

    By Laura from Long Beach, CA

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    Tip: Wake Up Your Face

    For a quick, cheap facial scrub: Take your cooled down coffee grounds and scrub your face gently with them. The grounds will slough off dead skin cells, and the caffeine will "wake up" your skin.

    Also, for puffy eyes in the morning, put a little Preparation H on them. (This is a trick of the supermodels who party too hardy the night before a shoot.) It's greasy, so wash it off before putting your makeup on.

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    Tip: Veggie Peels and Coffee Grounds for Vibrant Flowers

    I save all used coffee grounds and fruit & veggie waste (peels, etc.) and lightly dig them in in my flower beds and around shrubs and trees. My plants have huge blooms year-round (I live in Florida) and vibrant coloring. Visitors and neighbors are always asking what kind of fertilizer I use and are amazed when I say "none". Try it, you will be delighted!

    By Carole

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    Here are questions related to Uses for Coffee Grounds.

    Question: Uses for Coffee Grounds

    What is the best use for used coffee grounds?

    By Marie from NJ

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Lisa 6 25 10/04/2011

    1. Use dried grounds in pin cushions to keep them from rusting.
    2. For stubborn grease and stains on pots and pans, coffee grounds really get in there and do the job.

    3. Chocolate cake flavorer: Used grounds and fresh grounds both give a little kick to chocolate baked goods, including brownies.
    4. Use a mix of coffee grounds and water to dye clothing, paper, or even Easter eggs.

    5. An egg white mixed with 1/4 cup grounds makes a great exfoliating face mask.

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    Question: Can You Clean Your Drain with Coffee Grounds?

    Is this an old wives tale or true? Do coffee grounds down your sink really help clean it out of fat and grime?

    By Kathy

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    Most Recent Answer

    By EmmaPeel 1 10/17/2012

    Tell me how exactly putting garbage down your drain will do anything other than clog it. Come on people, please use common sense. Use your coffee grounds for compost or as a last resort, take them out with the trash.

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    Question: Using Coffee Grounds for Kerosene Odors

    When using coffee grounds to get rid of kerosene or gas smell, do you use ground coffee or used coffee grounds?. Many thanks.

    John from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,526 03/23/2009

    When I used coffee grounds to get out smells, I used the fresh grounds. I don't know if used ones would work as well. I do not know if they would work on Kerosene which is a pretty strong odor. I put a dish in an antique cupboard to get out the stale smell. I had to do it several times. I also used them to remove mothball smell from a camper trailer closet. I used dishes of baking soda at the same time.

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    Question: Using Coffee Grinds for Odors

    There was a posting for using coffee grinds for odors. I am not sure how it read to use them.

    By Marion

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    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

    Archive: Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

    Does anyone know what to do with used coffee grounds from my filter machine? Not sure, but I think you can use them. dried, to unblock a sink. Any other environmentally friendly ideas please?


    Archive: Using Coffee Grounds to Remove Odors in the Closet

    I want to find again any information regarding the use of coffee beans for the bad odor in closets. Please send me that information again. Thanks.

    By Ileana from Luquillo, PR

    RE: Using Coffee Grounds to Remove Odors in the Closet

    I don't know about the coffee, but I do know you can remove musty odors by taking new, clean and cheap clay-based cat litter and pouring it into the leg of a pantyhose then tying it on to a hanger or setting it on a shelf. It's supposed to suck up moisture. This tip was originally for a musty car trunk, but would work for a closet too.

    I spray Febreze on to my clothes in my closet to remove odors. I use the vanilla scent because it's light and fresh and not strong or floral. You can use the Febreze made for fabrics OR the kind made for air freshener. You can also set tiny cups of vinegar in your closet. Just put the vinegar into a bottle or a jar with a lid and fill the jar less than half way with vinegar (any kind) then poke holes in the top of the jar. (06/24/2009)

    By Cyinda

    RE: Using Coffee Grounds to Remove Odors in the Closet

    Just place coffee beans in an open container and place it on a shelf or on the floor in a corner. It does make an area smell good and I happen to love the aroma of coffee ;-) Coffee beans are also good to use when smelling more than one perfume at a time when shopping for a new scent because smelling the beans in between each new 'test' clears/neutralizes your sniffer ;-)

    I was going to suggest vinegar for the closet, too :-) (06/24/2009)

    By Deeli

    RE: Using Coffee Grounds to Remove Odors in the Closet

    Actually, I thought it was ground coffee...not instant, but the regular ground up coffee. The beans don't have as pungent of smell. I have tried the dish of vinegar before after someone came to visit and smoked in my house. It worked amazingly well. (06/24/2009)

    By themuffster

    Archive: Uses for Coffee Grounds


    ***You can usually use coffee grounds twice. If the second pot of coffee is not as strong as you would like, add a little cocoa for a nice mocha coffee. Keep the coffee grounds and allow to dry completely.

    The grounds can be used to deodorize the refrigerator and microwave. For the refrigerator, place a container with a few holes poked in it. For the microwave, place the grounds on a plate, close the door and zap for 1 minute. Coffee grounds are good for preventing freezer odors too. You can also use the coffee grounds to exfoliate your face, elbows, knees, and feet.

    Use to deter ants. Just sprinkle around the perimeter of your house. If you need fishing worms, just work coffee grounds into the topsoil. The worms come to the surface. When cleaning fireplaces and garages, sprinkle coffee grounds to limit the dust.

    For kid's crafts mix 1 cup dried coffee grounds with 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 1/4 cup sand. Slowly add 3/4 cup water until you have the consistency of bread dough. It looks like a brown rock if you let it dry for two or three days. It would make a nice place to hide a spare key if you didn't have a container. Just cover the key with the mixture and allow to dry completely. If it isn't completely dry, it will peel. When dry, the fake rock can easily be broken in half to reveal the key.

    Source: my grandparents

    By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

    Archive: Uses for Coffee Grounds

    I have read what to do with left over coffee, what about leftover coffee grinds? Thanks.

    By Lisa from Providence, RI

    RE: Uses for Coffee Grounds

    There are crafts (like dough crafts) which use coffee grounds. You can use some on your hands and hair and the oils in them will soften (condition) your hands and hair. It makes nice "mulch" for potted plants and soil. (10/26/2010)

    By thriftyvicki

    RE: Uses for Coffee Grounds

    They are great for keeping your disposal blades sharp, along with some lemon juice or orange peels, not too many mind you.

    Good Luck! (10/28/2010)

    By Poor But Proud

    RE: Uses for Coffee Grounds

    My dad used them to keep the dust down while sweeping the carpentry shop. (10/28/2010)

    By siris

    RE: Uses for Coffee Grounds

    Great article. I've been building a site dedicated to how to best use coffee grounds in the garden. Check out my blog if you want to learn how easy it all is: (11/01/2010)

    By sgenziuk