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Uses for Coffee Grounds

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


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 10 found this helpful
September 14, 2011

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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By 8 found this helpful
August 2, 2011

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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By 8 found this helpful
October 29, 2010

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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July 26, 2010

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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By 3 found this helpful
August 27, 2011

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.



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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March 5, 2008

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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By 2 found this helpful
October 10, 2017

Did you know that the coffee grounds that are left after the enjoyment of drinking its richness have many functional uses that can be applied to your everyday living.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 2, 2015

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.

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September 28, 2012

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 21, 2006

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!

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November 19, 2008

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 15, 2007

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.

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May 22, 20171 found this helpful

Coffee grounds are an excellent addition to your garden soil in many instances. This is a guide about using coffee grounds for strawberry plants.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 14, 2008

Used coffee grounds make for a GREAT exfoliant! I keep a jar on my stove and fill it up regularly with used grounds. It's wonderful on the hands and can also be used as an abrasive cleaner combined with dish soap for those "sticky" pans!

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October 16, 20070 found this helpful

Save your used coffee grounds from your morning coffee in an old coffee can, sealed with a lid in a cool area. Keep them on hand until you need to sweep up the garage floor, then use them as a "sweeping" agent to keep the dust down when you sweep.

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July 23, 20170 found this helpful

Coffee grounds that are left in the maker day after day and reused can mold can make you ill. This is a guide about warning: don't reuse coffee grounds day after day.

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February 22, 20120 found this helpful

This guide is about using coffee grounds in the garden. Coffee grounds are a great addition to the compost bin and can added directly on the soil for many acid loving plants.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 10 found this helpful
February 5, 2011

What is the best use for used coffee grounds?

By Marie from NJ


February 5, 20110 found this helpful

Put them in your plants or compost pile.

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February 5, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, compost them or use them around blueberries and Azaeleas to make the soil more acidic

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

If you are a craft person Google "crafts using coffee grounds". There are oodles of craft ideas using used coffee grounds. :-)

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

I can attest to their use for keeping disposal blades sharp. Ice cubes work well too, but coffee is esp' handy, since you have it every day.
Hope that helps.

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February 7, 20111 found this helpful

Roses also love coffee grounds. Add crushed egg shells and this will keep many crawling things you don't want on your roses out. If you need to feed your roses add both close to the plants and under the surface. You can mix coffee grounds with planting mix and improve growth and blooms.

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October 4, 20110 found this helpful

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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October 29, 20160 found this helpful

Hi. Do you use fresh coffee grinds or used coffee grinds? I am trying fresh grinds.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 20, 2009

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


March 23, 20090 found this helpful

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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June 9, 20000 found this helpful

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


December 1, 20000 found this helpful

I'm afraid it might aggravate the problem.

"Sink stoppages are usually caused by liquid fats, emulsified by warm dishwater and carried through the pipes. The water cools as it proceeds to the main sewer and leaves the fatty deposits along the way. A film of grease forms on the pipe wall, then another and another. Coffee grounds and bits of food add to this accumulation layer until the pipe becomes impassible.

"Pour excess grease into a tin can and throw it out with the garbage, not down the sink drain. When using a food disposer, always let sufficient cold water run to carry the particles down and into the main line to prevent buildup in the smaller waste lines."

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 11, 20040 found this helpful

If you really want to have a nice flower garden take your coffee grounds and kitchen vegetable wastes and combine them in a compost pile. Then have your children dig in an area approved by you for worms and add the worms to your compost pile. What they leave you will really improve your flower output as well as getting rid of your kitchen waste. Worms love coffee grounds.

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October 17, 20120 found this helpful

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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May 16, 20130 found this helpful

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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 5, 20110 found this helpful

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

By Lisa from Providence, RI


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

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

Uses for Coffee Grounds

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

By siris

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

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October 25, 20100 found this helpful
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


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July 26, 20100 found this helpful

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


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

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

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

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July 16, 20100 found this helpful

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

Cettina from Malta, Europe


Recycle Coffee Grounds

Recycle your used coffee grounds by sprinkling them around acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, laurels and rhododendron. (03/02/2005)

By Cynthia

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Anything that is natural can be broken down and reuse by nature. Put it into A compost pile. I have heard of people using coffee grounds to make wood stains. Most likely by artists. We all know it does stain.


By Mr. Thrifty

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Make sure when you sprinkle them around plants you don't have a dog who will go and eat them as soon as you turn your back! Mine did and luckily didn't eat enough to warrant a trip to the vet. The little sneak waited until I got into the house and closed the door and then climbed up into my vegetable barrels to eat the coffee. Luckily I saw him and was able to pry some of the grounds (espresso) out of his little mouth! I didn't think he could reach them. (03/03/2005)

By guest

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I also put them around my rose bushes, they love it! (03/03/2005)

By Michelle

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I remember my grandmother used to use them for cleaning bacon grease out of pans. (03/03/2005)

By Laura

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I put coffee grounds by my sliding door that leads to the patio and any other places that ants might get into the house. Walla - no ant problem! (05/08/2005)

By toni k.

Fridge Deodorizer

Used coffee grounds are good as fridge deodorizers. Just place in an unopened container (like an old cottage cheese tub) and place in back of fridge. Once they are all dried out, dump into your compost.

By Marvel

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I use them all over the back yard. Especially in the garden. (05/25/2005)

By Joyce wis

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Not only can you use used coffee grounds for staining wood, but they work great for coloring hand-made baskets as well. (05/25/2005)

By peaceandlove

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

My grand and I are staining wooden angels for Christmas. Can coffe grounds work on growing lavender? (12/20/2005)

By JoJo.

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I got a kick out of seeing your web page. I've been talking to the wife about the grounds because I drink a ton off coffee a day and I hate to throw out the used grounds because I've heard people talk about using them for things,but I forgot what they were used for. So that's why your web site got to me, is there more uses? Put them on the web or make a magazine or book and sell it. Thanks again (01/03/2006)

By William

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Thanks for the coffee grounds reuse. I've been throwing them away but this changes my cycle with them. Thanks again.( (01/05/2006)

By Bil

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Could you use coffee grounds to stain wooden spoons? Is it food-user friendly? How would you go about doing it.

Thanks, Richard T.

Editor's Note: Richard, coffee Grounds should be safe to stain any food related items. You might be better off boiling them, then using the dark brew (after removing the grounds) to stain them. (01/24/2006)

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

You can also stain cloth with tea as well as using coffee. I saw this done on Trading Spaces. They stained curtain fabric with tea to give it an aged appearance. Neat and cheap idea. (01/24/2006)

By Anonymous

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try. Very interesting web site.
Thanks (01/24/2006)

By Richard T.

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Can you burn coffee grounds? Like tie them in paper and use them as firestarters?

Editor's Note: This sounds like it would work. Make sure they are dry but I've heard of logs made from coffee grounds so I think this would work. Let us know how it turns out. (12/04/2006)

By April

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I have some old wooden picture frames and I wanted to sand the paint off them. Could I use coffee to stain these as well? (02/28/2007)

By Candace

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Pour coffee grounds out where you need fishing worms or just want worms to stir in the ground. Coffee grounds provide food for worms and I have had lots of worms from doing this...I had a friend who used them in homemade worm beds. (04/13/2007)

By Ava

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Some of the most beautiful roses I have ever seen, the owner swore by her used coffee grounds being put around her rose bushes. But not against the bush or they would burn it, she said.

Martha's wisdom (04/13/2007)

By justmyimagination2002

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Do NOT put them down your drain. They will create one of the worst clogs you have ever had. It's an urban myth that they will clear your drains. They will actually cling to any grease in the pipes and eventually create a very bad blockage. They are great for compost, keeping bugs away from your tomatoes in the garden, in place of ice on snowy sidewalks, but never down the drain. (04/13/2007)

By SheilaMay

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

We sprinkle ours out over our lawn where there is a "bald spot&quot. Given a few days and the grass is growing and spreading out there and really green! I did not beleive this UNTIL we tried it but it does work! I got the idea from these folks and their web site! (04/14/2007)

By Paula Jo

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Chuck them on the compost heap! (05/23/2007)

By daisychain

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Dry out the coffee grounds in the oven. Just dry them, don't roast them! Then add 50% fresh coffee grounds. Brew. You may be pleasantly surprised! (06/03/2007)

By planetiowa

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Best coffee trick ever. Next time you go and wash your hands add a small amount of coffee grounds. They are great at absorbing grease or oils; also they exfoliate your skin leavening them so smooth and will leave your hands with a slight coffee smell. Yum

By Coffee nut

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Cettina - from Malta - Do not put coffee grounds in your kitchen drain! If there is any grease in the drain, the grounds will just adhere to the grease and clog the whole thing. I speak from (unfortunate) experience. (09/08/2007)


Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I read on a website (which sadly no longer exists) that used coffee grounds can be used for the stuffing inside pin cushions. They keep the pins rust-free!

Also, you can fill cheesecloth or old nylon knee-highs with the used grounds and hang in closets or use in cars to reduce odors. (10/07/2007)

By Dan

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I think I read somewhere that used coffee grounds could be used in the washing machine to bring back the rich color in faded black clothing. Does anyone know if that's true? I wonder if the grounds would clog up the machine and/or pipes. (11/20/2007)

By Susan

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Cellulite reducer. Mix 1/4 cup warm, used coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While standing over an old towel or newspaper, apply the mixture to your "problem areas". Next, wrap the areas with shrink wrap and leave on for several minutes. Unwind the wrap, brush loose grounds off your skin and then shower with warm water. For best results, it is recommended to repeat this procedure twice a week. A little weird to be sure, but as high priced cellulite creams have coffee in them, it just might work. (05/04/2008)

By Deb

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I recently found a recipe in a kids craft book that recommended using them for art projects. I had always used flour water and salt, but I like the idea of reusing my coffee grounds. :)


  • 2 cups used coffee grounds
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup salt
Add enough water to moisten. Has a very different feel and look. Not good for finished products. (06/05/2008)

By Lynn

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

I used them in my garden around the base of the evergreen tree and it grew a more beautiful green, thicker and healthier. Just keep away from the bark of the tree. Leaf compost around an evergreen do a great job too. (11/24/2008)

By Vanessa

Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Used coffee grounds are close to a neutral PH as most of the acids are water soluble and washed out when making your morning cup of joe. They are a great fertilizer for just about any plant acid loving or not. If you can get a bunch of them just broadcast then over your yard as a free organic fertilizer. Your grass will thank you with lush green growth and your soil will thank you for the bounty of worms and other helpful organisms they will attract to your soil. (12/14/2008)

By Jeremy

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