Explore the Many Uses for Coffee Grounds

Generally, after brewing a pot of coffee people toss the coffee grounds without a second thought. What if we told you that coffee grounds have much more to offer than more waste to your garbage can?

There are so many ways to utilize coffee grounds. People use them for a variety of things, from skin scrubs to garden fertilizers, to cleaning products, and flea repellents.

Different Ways to Use Coffee Grounds

More than 166,000 bags of coffee are consumed worldwide according to the International Coffee Organization. 30,000 bags were consumed in the United States alone.

Now instead of disposing of these thousands of coffee grounds, put them to use and recycle them.

Skin Exfoliation Product

When coffee grounds are mixed with water, coconut oil, or honey it can create a skin scrub and can be used all over the whole body.

This skin scrub is a great exfoliator, which means it removes dead cells from the top layer of your skin and unclogs pores. Cleans the skin, reduces acne, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and makes the skin look brighter.

Natural Dye

Coffee grounds contain a strong color and can dye natural fabrics to shades of tan and brown. This has even been proven in a study in 2019- coffee grounds were able to stay colorfast even on a commercial scale, pleasing the industry standards.

Additionally, the dye can be utilized as a hair dye. This may be a safer option, but the dye may not produce a big difference or last exceptionally long.


There are multiple chemicals required for plans to grow. These include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

Coffee grounds beneficial in plant growth because they can conserve the nitrogen content of soil. A study in 2019 displayed that coffee grounds being mixed into the soil improved the nutritional value of lettuce.

Although another study in 2016 showed the coffee grounds slowing plant growth. But it retained moisture in the soil and reduced the presence of weeds. There is further research being done to explore the benefits of using coffee grounds as a fertilizer.

Insect Repellent

In a 2018 study coffee grounds were shown to be effective as an insect repellent. This is due to the fact that coffee contains diterpenes, a chemical compound that is toxic to insects.

Also, in a study in 2015 the research showed that coffee is effective against mosquitos. Mosquitos are less likely to hatch when coffee is in their environment.

Flea Repellent

Another great way to utilize coffee grounds is as a flea repellent. Mainly for our people with furry friends, try rubbing some coffee grounds in their fur. It is recommended to check with a vet first.

Be careful to not let your pets eat the coffee ground. To cats and dogs, caffeine is toxic. Within 30 minutes after ingestion the poisoning can cause symptoms and can be fatal.

Cleaning Product

Most people are probably not aware that coffee grounds can be utilized as a cleaning product. But because of their course powder it can be quite abrasive.

Coffee Grounds can be used to scrub surfaces, utensils, or appliances. It is great to use on any ingrained or hard to remove dirt.

Only thing to be cautious of when using coffee grounds to clean would be on delicate surfaces, due to its rough texture.

Odor Reliever

Coffee Grounds can be made into soaps that neutralize odors. This is because the caffeine in carbonized coffee grounds absorb hydrogen sulfide molecules, which eliminate odors from the air.

Meat Tenderizer

Specific enzymes break down the fibers in meat making it softer and easier to eat. The powders used to tenderize meat use acids and enzymes from fruits like pineapple or papaya.

Coffee is highly acidic and contains the enzymes required to break down the fibers in meat. So that means that coffee grounds can be used as a meat tenderizer. In addition to being a tenderizer agent, the grounds can be used as a meat rub to add flavor to your food.

Furniture Restoration Product

Since coffee has such a strong color, the coffee grounds can be used to restore scratched wooden furniture.

When the coffee grounds are mixed with water, you are able to rub the paste into any scratches on wooden furniture and it will match the original color.

Risks of Consuming Coffee

Depending on how you brew your coffee there may be a few things that you should watch out for.

Coffee can raise your cholesterol: according to the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee. This is caused by the diterpenes such as cafestol and kahweol.

If you want to avoid these diterpenes, filtered coffee is your best option because it contains fewer diterpenes. On the other hand, the unfiltered coffee made with a French press, for example, may contain much more.

A few other risks, especially when drinking an excessive amount of coffee include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Fast heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Stomach problems

In conclusion, coffee grounds have many other purposes than making your pot of coffee. Make use of your old grounds that you would normally discard and try something new. You may just find a better solution to a problem.



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