How to Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds Around Your Home

How to Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds Around Your Home

How to Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds Around Your Home

Fertilize Plants

Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which are essential nutrients for plant growth. I simply mix used coffee grounds into the soil around my houseplants and garden beds to give them a nutritional boost. The grounds help improve soil texture and increase its ability to retain moisture. I’ve found adding grounds to my vegetable and flower gardens gives me bigger, more abundant blooms and crops.

When using coffee grounds as fertilizer, it’s best to apply no more than 1/4 inch thick, otherwise the grounds may get moldy and repel water. I sprinkle them lightly around plants and gently mix the grounds into the top few inches of soil. I also put some grounds into the bottom of the planting holes when transplanting seedlings. The nutrients get released slowly as the grounds break down.

Make Compost

In addition to using coffee grounds directly in the garden, I also add them to my compost pile or bin. The grounds add beneficial nitrogen that helps break down other materials like leaves and food scraps into rich, finished compost I can use to improve all my garden beds.

The grounds help aerate the compost and allow air to circulate so the composting process speeds up. I try to bury the coffee grounds into the center of the pile and mix in some brown materials like dried leaves or sawdust to balance out the green materials.

Composting the grounds helps reduce their acidity before applying them to the soil. I like to let my compost sit for at least 3 months before using so the coffee grounds have time to break down fully.

Scrub Pans and Dishes

Used coffee grounds make an excellent natural scouring agent for cleaning pans with baked-on grease and grime. The coarse texture of the grounds helps remove stubborn stuck-on food. I simply sprinkle some damp grounds onto my dirty cookware and use a sponge or brush to gently scrub. The grounds are abrasive enough to get rid of the mess without damaging non-stick surfaces.

I also use a paste made from coffee grounds to clean stained tea cups or dirty casserole dishes. I wet the grounds and rub them on the stains for a minute or two before rinsing – this works great to get rid of discoloration. The grounds are environmentally friendly and safer than harsh chemical cleansers.

Deodorize Things

Coffee grounds can help absorb and trap odors naturally. I like to fill old socks with used grounds and place them in smelly shoes overnight to freshen them up. The grounds soak up foot odor so the shoes smell much better in the morning.

I also set small bowls of damp coffee grounds on refrigerator shelves or in the bottom of trash cans to keep them smelling fresh. The grounds absorb food odors and bad smells. Changing them out weekly helps everything stay fresher longer without artificial deodorizers.

Exfoliate Skin

Used coffee grounds make an inexpensive yet effective exfoliant for smooth, glowing skin. The coarse texture scrubs away dead skin cells and improves circulation. I mix the grounds with a little olive oil or coconut oil and use it to exfoliate my face, lips, hands and feet.

The caffeine in the grounds helps reduce puffiness and redness on the skin. I find using a coffee grounds scrub 2-3 times per week leaves my skin looking refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s a great way to use the old grounds rather than sending them to the landfill. The grounds can be a bit messy to clean up so I recommend doing this over a sink.


Rather than throwing used coffee grounds in the trash, I repurpose them around my home. Sprinkling them in the garden, adding them to compost, using them to clean and deodorize things, and exfoliating with them allows me to get the most out of these nutritious grounds. Repurposing the grounds helps reduce waste and saves money on store-bought products. With a little creativity, coffee grounds can be used in many eco-friendly ways after brewing.