What To Do with Coffee Grounds: 5 Great Re-Uses

If you drink as much coffee as we do, no doubt you deal with a lot of coffee grounds. While a lot of people dump their grounds down the drain (probably not a good idea) or in the trash, there are actually much better ways to dispose of even reuse your coffee grounds. Coffee grounds can be effective as cleaning scrubs, odor neutralizers, and even fertilizers. So before dump another grain down the drain, take a look at our suggested uses for coffee grounds. 

1. Compost!

First of all, if you dispose of your coffee grounds anywhere other than the compost bin, stop immediately. Coffee grounds can be horrible for your drain, causing clogging and erosion. The trash is a simple solution, but coffee grounds are compostable and even contribute to significantly to the decomposition process. If you use your compost for gardening or are looking for a good fertilizer, coffee grounds are a great source and nutrients and minerals for quality soil. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, composting your coffee grounds rather than sending them to the landfill is a super easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

2. Cleaning Scrub

The texture of coffee grounds can act as an excellent exfoliant, and can be used in household cleaning or personal hygiene. The grains work really well as a scrub for dirty surfaces of any kind, such as dishes, bathtubs, and even your vehicle. You can simply add the ground to a soapy mix. Since they are organic materials, they are also perfectly safe to use as a beauty scrub. Adding coffee grounds to your face wash can give you an exfoliated glow, and hey - most people don’t complain about the smell of coffee. You can even use coffee grounds as an ingredient when making your own soap bars. 

3. Odor Neutralizer

Because coffee is microscopically porous, this makes it a great odor neutralizer. Coffee is good at absorbing odors in small spaces, and is super easy to replace if you’re a regular coffee drinker. You can simply place a dish of coffee grounds in your fridge, on the counter, or near a litter box and let the coffee do its thing. This feature also makes it great as an additive to hand soaps. When you’re working with garlic or other smelly foods, adding some coffee grounds to your soap is a great way to neutralize that scent. Garlic is an incredibly stubborn odor when it makes contact with your skin, so coffee grounds make a fantastic defense to have on hand (literally). 

4. Natural Dye

There is a time and a place to embrace the coffee stain! For all its stubbornness, coffee makes a great natural dye on certain fabrics. If you want a quick solution to covering up a coffee stain, or have another project in mind, you can use coffee grounds to stain anything from clothing to paper. You can even use varying quantities of coffee grounds to get a deeper or lighter shade.

5. Cooking and Baking

Coffee grounds can be used in a wide range of recipes from meat rubs to cookies. When you’re baking or cooking with coffee grounds, unused grounds are generally better since they will provide more flavour. Used coffee grounds can still work, but if you really want to capitalize on the coffee flavour, it’s best to go for unused grounds. Recipes are a great go-to for old or stale coffee grounds. They won’t make a great cup of coffee, but they still contain enough flavour and texture to work as a great rub or baking ingredient. Using coffee grounds in rubs both tenderizes and flavours any meat, from pork to steak. It also makes a delicious addition to cookies, brownies, muffins, and even granola. Even full beans can be used as a dessert garnish, or coated in chocolate for an easy, tasty, on-the-go caffeine buzz. So before you toss those old grounds or beans, do a little experimenting in the kitchen.

And More!

Coffee is an amazing plant, and you might be surprised at just how many uses there are for it beyond a good old fashioned coffee drink. You can reuse your coffee grounds for anything from baking to cleaning, and they even make an exceptional fertilizer in your garden. So if you want to reduce waste, or are simply curious about whether there is anything you can do with all those used coffee grounds, consider these easy recommendations. Take your coffee game to the next level and see what creative uses you can find for your coffee grounds. Let us know your creative uses for grounds in the comments below!

Darkroast Doctor

The Darkroast Doctor is a coffee enthusiast who loves nothing more than starting his day with a piping hot cup of his favorite brew. With several years of experience working in coffee shop, he loves to spend his time writing guides, tutorials, and blog posts.