I have a fascination…
… with finding ways to save common everyday “cast-offs” from ending up in the trash.
Even though we don’t drink a ton of coffee here on the homestead, we still end up with plenty of extra grounds, and I always hate tossing them in the trash.
Come to find out, coffee grounds are pretty amazing! If you aren’t a coffee drinker yourself but would still like to try some of these projects, visit local coffee shops and ask for their spent grounds.
15 Creative Uses Coffee Grounds
(Note: these ideas are all meant to be done with used coffee grounds)
1. Mix them into your compost pile
The simplest way to put spent coffee grounds to good use? Toss them in your compost pile to give it an added boost of nitrogen.
2. Use them as plant food
Coffee grounds are acidic, which makes them a great soil amendment for blueberries, roses, hydrangeas, and other acid-loving plants.
3. Grow ‘shrooms
People love coffee and mushrooms love coffee. Who woulda thought? Give your mushroom growing operation a boost by mixing coffee grounds into the growing medium.
4. Give your worms a buzz
OK, not really… But worms do appreciate coffee grounds–and they actually need gritty substances (such as coffee grounds) in their diet to aid in the digestive process.
5. Deter the creepy-crawlies
Sprinkle coffee grounds in areas where you would like to repel ants, snails, or slugs.
6. Cook with coffee grounds
Use coffee grounds as a meat rub or mix a bit into your next marinade concoction.
7. No more stinky hands
Keep a container of coffee grounds by your kitchen sink and rub on smelly hands after cutting up onions, fish, or garlic.
8. Deodorize the fridge
Place an open container of used coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer to eliminate odors (and possibly make your fridge smell a bit like coffee… but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.)
9. Make coffee soap
Coffee grounds make a wonderful, exfoliating addition to your favorite homemade soap recipe–and they also provide some deodorizing action. Here are three coffee soap recipes to try out:
10. Make a coffee scrub
Mix used grounds into your favorite skin scrub recipe for an extra bit of exfoliating-goodness. Try my simple sugar scrub recipe(I’d probably omit the essential oils if you are adding coffee–otherwise, it might smell funky), or simply mix the grounds with a bit of carrier oil (such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil) to create an impromptu scrub.
11. Make a simple hair-rinse.
Not only does coffee make you happy, but supposedly, it can make your hair happy too. There are many different ideas floating around for coffee hair treatments, but the simplest I’ve found is to massage the grounds into your hair and rinse thoroughly for added shine. You may want to use caution with this idea if you have light or blonde hair (the coffee may stain a bit) and be careful about washing grounds down your drain–you don’t want any coffee clogs. This post has several ideas for you if you think your hair might enjoy a little java.
12. Dye stuff
The tannins found in coffee are lovely for dying fabric, paper, and even Easter eggs a lovely shade of coffee brown. Try steeping the grounds in hot water to create a dye (or just use brewed coffee) or rub the grounds into the surface of fabric or paper.
13. Plant coffee n’ carrots
Many gardeners have found that mixing coffee grounds with their carrot seeds not only makes the planting process easier, but also deters pests.
14. Fill pin cushions
Use dry coffee grounds as a filler for homemade pin cushions.
15. Make coffee candles
Now that I’ve ventured into the world of homemade candles with my DIY Tallow Candle recipe, I’m ready to get creative. This recipe shows you how to add coffee grounds to a simple homemade candle. I think I might try adding grounds to my next batch of tallow candles, too.
What are your favorite ways to put coffee grounds to good use? Share your ideas in the comment section, and I’ll add them to this list!