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15 Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

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15 Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Oh, coffee! Many of us rely on you to start the day or help us push through that early afternoon slump, but what happens to those coffee grounds after we finish the pot?

When you toss coffee grounds into the trash, they break down and release methane, like any other organic matter would do. Methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than CO2. Luckily, there are lots of ways to divert all of that coffee from the landfill by using it in beauty products, cleaning supplies, and even in the garden!

For many of these tips, moist ground will do (just let them cool, so you don’t burn your skin!). If you’re planning to hang on to the grounds, though, you have to dry them out or they’ll get moldy. Dry them out by spreading a thin layer on a cookie sheet and placing them in a sunny spot to dry. When they’re all dried out, they’re ready to re-use!

Ready to start repurposing those old coffee grounds? Here are 15 tips to get you going! If you have more ideas on how to reuse coffee grounds, I’d love to keep the inspiration going in the comments.

1. Use them as fertilizer on acid-loving plants (like tomatoes and carrots)
2. Deter cats from the garden by sprinkling around beds or pots.
3. Mix with mashed avocado for an invigorating face mask.
4. Scrub your hands with spent coffee grounds after chopping onion or garlic to get the smell off of your skin.
5. Compost them.


Image Credit: Creative Commons photo via How can I recycle this?

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
6:22AM PDT on Oct 29, 2013

My mother was told that using coffee grounds as fertilizer on her" snowball" bush would produce blue flowers.

6:12PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Thanks !!

4:06AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013


9:47AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

awesome! Love the tomato fertilizer!

4:52AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

Nothing is useless

3:07PM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

I REALLY don't recommend recycling used coffee grounds into a new pot if you're a truly coffee lover. The grounds, once heated, give off a bitter flavor that affects the new pot. Too much heat is what does it. That's why French Press coffee tastes so much smoother -- the grounds are never boiled.

However, as far as using them to rejuvenate land -- especially lawns that are looking sickly -- I can totally testify to that! When I was near a Starbucks, they gave bags and bags of them away, and they were the best fertilizer around. Everyone was always asking what I used. You should know, however, that their smell can be very attractive to dogs, who can injest too much of them and become very sick. So plan accordingly.

6:51AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

Thank you.

11:40PM PDT on Sep 1, 2013

so cool!

11:12AM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

Very informative uses for spent coffee grounds. Thanks.

11:01AM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

Thanks for the info.

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