Why You Should Save Your Spent Coffee Grounds

published Feb 15, 2018
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(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

If you’re a coffee-drinker, you generate a generous amount of coffee grounds each day. Definitely don’t toss them down the literal drain (coffee grounds are among the biggest offenders when it comes to drain-clogging kitchen scraps), but don’t toss them in the garbage either! Here are several ways you can use the grounds, even after you’ve run water through them for your morning brew.

(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

When You’re Cleaning

  • Use them to scrub pots and pans.
  • Use like you’d use baking soda for absorbing odors: Toss some grounds in the bottom of your kitchen trash bag or keep a small open container in your fridge or freezer.
  • Sprinkle on dried-on food on counters or the stove and scrub with a cloth. The grounds are a gentle abrasive.
(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

When You’re Getting Ready

  • Scrub hands that smell of garlic or onions to neutralize odors.
  • Mix with coconut oil and use as an invigorating body exfoliant in the shower.
  • Naturally strip your hair from product build-up. Massage grounds into your hair after its wet, before you shampoo.

When You’re Working Around the House

  • Weigh down ash clouds when cleaning out a wood-burning fireplace by sprinkling with coffee grounds before shoveling the fireplace out.
  • Mix coffee grounds and olive oil in a 1:1 ratio and spread on furniture scratches. Apply with a cotton swab and wipe off excess.
  • Make a roach trap by filling a jar with grounds and lining the inside neck with double-sided tape.
(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

When You’re Working in the Yard

  • Add them to your compost.
  • Sprinkle around ant hills or in places where you want to deter ants.
  • Mix with brown matter (straw, dead grass clippings, etc.) and spread around acid-loving plants like azaleas, camellias, roses, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, etc.
  • Repel snails and slugs by sprinkling around the perimeter of the garden.
  • Mix with chopped orange peel to prevent cats from using your garden soil as a litter box.
  • Coffee grounds mixed in the soil will attract worms, which are great for your compost and soil (and will keep you in good supply if you fish).