Every morning, after enjoying a hot cup of coffee, most of us toss our used coffee grounds in the compost or garbage without giving them a second thought. Or perhaps you bought a different brand of coffee that turned out to have an underwhelming flavor and is now sitting stale at the back of your pantry.
Thanks to their fully caffeinated minds, many coffee drinkers before you discovered uses for those old or used coffee grounds for your beauty routine, your garden, and much more. So before you throw away that filter full of potential, try one of these coffee grounds uses for a natural alternative to common household, beauty, and gardening problems.
29 Surprising Coffee Ground Uses for Natural Alternatives to Chemical Products
In Your Beauty Routine:
1. Cleanse Hair and Prevent Hair Loss
Women tend to use a variety of products on their hair. Whether you use more conventional hair products or natural oils and alternatives, they can all leave residues that build up over time, even with regular washing. Use this coffee grounds hair mask once or twice a week for thick, shiny, residue-free locks:
- 2 tablespoons of fine or medium ground coffee
- 3 ounces of heated olive oil
- On damp hair, apply the mask throughout the whole length of your hair and wrap in foil.
- Let it sit for thirty minutes then wash your hair as regular.
Note: This mask may cause a slight change in the tint of lighter colored hair!
2. Get Rid of Cellulite
Rubbing your cellulite problem areas in a coffee and salt mixture may help to reduce the look of cellulite.
Mix together equal parts coffee grounds and salt, add some olive oil to form a paste, and gently massage into steamed skin in an upwards circular pattern. Rinse leftover coffee and salt with warm water and repeat once or twice a week.
3. Rejuvenating Face Mask
When your skin needs some extra TLC, perhaps before a big event, after a long flight, or before (and after!) girls’ night out, try this brightening and revitalizing coffee cocoa face mask:
- 2 tablespoons of used coffee grounds
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 heaping tablespoon of honey
Mix all ingredients thoroughly to form a paste. Allow to sit for ten to fifteen minutes until dry and then gently rub it off with warm water.
4. Scrub for Oily Skin
Use this yogurt and coffee scrub in the morning to keep oils at bay all day long:
- 1 tablespoon of old coffee grounds
- 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt
Massage gently into your skin for one or two minutes and rinse with cool water.
5. Brighten up Dull Skin
Use this coffee grounds scrub a couple times each week to keep your skin bright and youthful looking:
- 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds
- 1 tablespoon of sour cream
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 egg (raw, if possible)
Mix all ingredients until you have a smooth paste and leave it on your face for fifteen minutes. Rinse with cool water.
6. Remove Stubborn Black Dots on Face and Nose
You know those annoying black dots that never seem to go away? You can get rid of them using old coffee grounds! Next time you get out of the shower, mix together 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds and 2 tablespoons of curd and apply to your freshly steamed skin. Massage gently for 2 minutes, then allow to sit for another 10 minutes. Rinse when finished.
7. Smooth and Soften Dry and Cracked Lips
Dry and cracked lips are painful and embarrassing. Get back your kissable lips with this simple, natural lip scrub:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
Massage into your lips for 30 seconds and then remove with a cotton swab or soft towel.
8. Under-eye Swelling
No matter who you are, there will always be a night where you don’t get enough sleep and wake up with the all to telling puffy under-eyes. Fake beauty sleep with this quick way to reduce the swelling and brighten the look of your eyes:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- pinch of ground black pepper
- 2 or 3 drops of warm water
Mix ingredients together and apply under your lower eyelids. Allow to dry while you go about the rest of your morning routine and rinse with warm water once finished.
9. Whole Body Scrub
When it comes to skin care, we tend to focus on our faces, but the rest of our skin needs love, too! This simple salt scrub will exfoliate and moisturize your skin at the same time for a full-body glow:
- 1 cup dry coffee grounds
- 1 1/2 cups of coarse sea salt
- 1 cup of melted coconut oil
- 5-15 drops of essential oil (optional)
Combine coffee and salt, then stir in the oils. Rub gently onto skin and rinse with warm water or a warm, damp cloth. Store leftover mixture in an airtight container. (1)
Note: Don’t use this scrub on your face! The coarse sea salt is too rough for the delicate skin on your face.
10. Caffeinated Soap
Need an extra pick up in the morning beyond a cup of coffee or tea? Try making soap out of used coffee grounds and absorb the stimulating drug through your skin. Check out this link to learn how to make your own soap from used coffee grounds.
Coffee Ground Tricks For Your Garden:
11. Coffee Ground Fertilizer
Plants such as azaleas, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, camellias, and roses are just a few of the acid-loving plants. Combine coffee grounds with dead grass clippings, brown leaves, or dry straw and spread around your flower beds. The used coffee grounds provides nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium to the soil, while the clippings balances the acidity.
For a complete fertilizer that also offers the phosphorous and calcium that flowering plants need, add some lime or wood ash to the mixture.
12. Pest Repellent
Sprinkling used coffee grounds around your plants will deter ants, snails, and slugs from eating your plants. If you have a problem with neighborhood cats in your garden, try mixing in dried orange peel.
13. Grow Your Own Mushrooms
Growing your own mushrooms doesn’t have to involve poop! Grow delicious oyster mushrooms in your own home with just a five-gallon bucket, old coffee grounds, and some oyster mushroom spores.
14. Grow Carrots and Radishes
Mix your carrot and radish seeds with coffee grounds before planting to grow lots of healthy carrots and radishes. The coffee grounds help provide a stable environment for the vegetables to grow in and help to prevent bugs and insects from eating them before they’re ready to be harvested.
Coffee Ground Hacks In Your Home:
15. Clean Your Fireplace
No, you can’t actually clean your fireplace with coffee, but sprinkling used coffee grounds into the fireplace before you get to work will weigh down the ash and dust so that it doesn’t billow up into your face and all over the rest of your home while you clean.
16. Deodorize Garlic Hands
After you’ve been chopping and handling garlic, wash your hands with used coffee grounds to scrub the long-lasting garlic scent out of your skin right away.
17. Absorb Food Odors in Your Fridge and Freezer
Instead if wasting perfectly good baking soda, put a small, open container of used coffee grounds in the back of your fridge. Replace every couple of weeks for an odor-free refrigerator.
18. Homemade, Natural Air Freshener
Instead of toxic store-bought air fresheners, put old coffee grounds in pantyhose and hang in your closet or in your car to keep odors at bay.
19. Trap Unwanted Roaches
No one likes cockroaches in their home, but conventional poisons and sprays are full of cancer-causing chemicals. Make a natural roach trap using just old coffee grounds and double sided tape.
20. Unclog Kitchen and Bathroom Drains
Most store-bought drain unclogging products are harmful to your health and the environment. Instead, pour some used coffee grounds down the drain, followed by a little dish soap and a pot of boiling water. You may have to repeat this more than once. If that doesn’t work, try this lemon juice method instead.
21. Clean Pots, Pans, Counters, and More
Stuck on food and stains come off easily when you sprinkle just a few coffee grounds into your cloth or sponge. The grounds are gentle, so you can scrub away without fear of scratching dishes or surfaces.
22. Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Keep your garbage disposal working well and odor-free with these easy coffee ground garbage disposal cleaners. Find the recipe here.
23. “Salt” Your Walkway
Used coffee grounds are fantastic for melting away ice fast. Sprinkle the leftover grounds from your morning coffee on your path as you head out the door to work in the morning to protect your friends and family from slipping.
Coffee Grounds For Fun DIY Projects:
24. Rust-Free Pin Cushion
Make a pin cushion filled with dried, used coffee grounds to prevent your pins from getting rusty time.
25. Homemade Candles
Make your home smell like your favorite coffee shop by making candles out of your used coffee grounds. Learn how here.
26. Give Wood that Rustic Look
Get that rustic, weathered look without spending a dime using steel wood, coffee grounds, and vinegar. Follow this tutorial and try it in your home.
Coffee Ground Uses In the Kitchen:
27. Chocolate Cake
Coffee intensifies and enhances the flavor of chocolate. Add a teaspoon or two of dried coffee grounds to your chocolate cake, cupcake, or brownie batter for a deep, rich chocolaty dessert.
28. Meat Tenderizer
Throw some coffee grounds into your next meat rub to help tenderize the meat and lend a smoky, complex flavor. Not sure where to start? Try this coffee rubbed pork roast recipe.
For Your Pet:
29. Flea Repellent
Anyone who’s dog has contracted fleas knows how horrible of an impact they can have on everyone in the household. Avoid the itchy catastrophe by adding some coffee grounds to your dog’s shampoo to deter fleas from taking up residence in your four-legged family member’s fur.
As you can see, there are plenty of uses for old and used coffee grounds. If you try any of these, or you have another favorite way to “recycle” your grounds, let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.
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