How to Repurpose Your Old Coffee Grounds

How to Repurpose Your Old Coffee Grounds

How to Repurpose Your Old Coffee Grounds


Used coffee grounds are often discarded, but they can be repurposed in many useful ways around your home. As an avid coffee drinker, I have accumulated a lot of used grounds over the years. Through trial and error, I’ve found some great ways to give my old grounds a second life and reduce waste at the same time. In this article, I’ll share my top tips for repurposing coffee grounds so you can make the most of this versatile ingredient.

Use Them for Compost

Coffee grounds make an excellent addition to a compost pile or bin. The grounds are rich in nitrogen, an important nutrient for plants. Nitrogen helps compost piles decompose more quickly. The grounds also help aerate the compost, allowing oxygen to penetrate.

Here are some tips for using coffee grounds in compost:

  • Mix used coffee filters and grounds directly into your compost pile or bin. Distribute them evenly throughout the layers.

  • For outdoor compost piles, sprinkle some grounds lightly on top of the pile to help deter pests like rats and mice from digging around.

  • Limit the amount to no more than 20% of the total compost volume, as too much nitrogen from the grounds can throw off the carbon-nitrogen balance.

  • Avoid using grounds from flavored coffee, as the compounds may inhibit helpful bacteria and fungi in the compost. Plain coffee is best.

Composting used grounds is an earth-friendly way to fertilize your garden soil and reduce waste. It’s a win-win!

Scrub With Them

Used coffee grounds can be employed as a gentle scouring agent on surfaces around your home. Their slightly abrasive texture helps remove stuck-on grime and stains. Here are some easy ways to use them for cleaning:

  • Make a coffee grounds scrub by mixing 2 parts used grounds with 1 part coconut oil. Apply to bathtubs, tiles, sinks, pots and pans, and more using a sponge or brush. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.

  • For stuck-on grease stains, sprinkle grounds directly on the spot and gently rub with a damp sponge. Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. The grounds help lift up the grease.

  • To clean and deodorize cutting boards, spread some damp grounds over the surface. Let sit for 10 minutes then wipe away. Rinse the board thoroughly.

Coffee scrubs tackle tough dirt in a non-toxic way. The grounds are abrasive enough to clean but gentle on surfaces.

Freshen Smelly Areas

Used coffee grounds can absorb odors remarkably well. Harness this power to freshen up smelly spots around your home. Ways to use grounds as a deodorizer include:

  • Place an open bowl of used grounds in the fridge or freezer to absorb food odors. Replace every 2-3 days.

  • To deodorize cutting boards, rub used grounds over the surface. Let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.

  • Sprinkle grounds at the bottom of trash cans to keep them smelling fresh.

  • Put some grounds in an open container in smelly areas like lockers, closets, or the cat litter box area to soak up odors.

The grounds absorb and trap odorous compounds rather than just masking smells. Take advantage of this free and natural deodorizer!

Exfoliate Your Skin

The abrasive texture of used coffee grounds makes them ideal for exfoliating skin. When used in a scrub, grounds can slough off dead cells, improve circulation, and leave skin feeling smooth.

Some ways to whip up a coffee scrub at home:

  • Combine 2 tablespoons used grounds with 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil. Massage onto damp skin in a circular motion before rinsing.

  • For a fuller scrub, mix 1 part grounds with 2 parts oil and use on legs, arms, and body. Rinse thoroughly.

  • For hands and feet, make a thicker scrub with equal parts grounds and oil. Scrub thoroughly before rinsing.

The stimulating caffeine compounds in the grounds provide an extra energizing kick for tired skin. Exfoliate with used coffee grounds to reveal fresher, more radiant skin.


As you can see, used coffee grounds have a surprising number of uses around the home. Their versatility and availability make them a smart choice for eco-friendly cleaning, composting, deodorizing, and exfoliating. The next time you brew a pot of coffee, hold onto those grounds and repurpose them. Getting creative with used coffee grounds helps reduce waste – a small change that can make a big difference for our planet.