LIVING GREEN – One Tip at a Time {#48 – some uses for your old coffee grounds)

Most everyone knows about my 8-10 cup a day coffee addiction!  I always compost my daily mountain of used grounds but recently came upon these tips for other ways to repurpose them.

Photo credit - Google Images

Whether you’re like me and drink gallons a day or you just brew up a cup or two…I have some great environmentally friendly uses for all those used grounds.

  1. Use coffee grounds as a plant fertilizer. Sprinkle the grounds around the base of the plant then dig them in a little. They can also be sprinkled directly on your lawn.  {I will definitely be doing this}
  2. Add the grounds to compost piles to enrich nutrient content – the grounds contain Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur.  Phosphorous is becoming scarce, so we need to conserve it as much as possible.  {We already do this}
  3. Add water to the grounds and allow to stand for a day or two. Drain off and then use as a liquid plant fertilizer – cold coffee that you’d usually toss down the sink can also be used in this way.  {it’s gardening time here so I’m going to try this.}
  4. After drying the grounds thoroughly, put them in a small open container and use in cupboards and your refrigerator as an odour absorber. {I didn’t realize coffee had this absorbent quality, definitely worth trying}
  5. Rubbing your hands with used coffee grounds will remove strong smells such as onion or fish. {Good tip, I’ve heard of using lemon, but never coffee.  I’m going to try this one too}
  6. Grounds can be used as a scourer for greasy pots and pans. {I’ve actually done this on non-stick pans and it worked well as a slight abrasive}
  7. A ring of coffee grounds around sensitive plants can discourage ants and some other pests.  {We do have a fair amount of ants, so I’m going to try this…wonder if it will repel deer???  lol}
  8. Use as a wood stain. Allow them to soak in a small amount of water overnight (or hot water for a shorter period), then drain off. The amount of water you use will determine how dark the stain is. Also good for touch-ups to mahogany furniture.  {We actually have a small scratch on our dining room table so I’m going to try this}
  9. If you have a worm farm, dump the grounds in – apparently they love them!  {I don’t have a worm farm but apparently worms and I have a common love for coffee!}

Have you already adopted any of these uses for your old coffee grounds?

Do you have any tips for additional uses?

Much of the information contained in this post was obtained from Green Living Tips.



  1. Oh wow, these are great ideas! I’m printing this and putting it inside my cupboard door. I love that you can just sprinkle them on your lawn. I knew from our Grandmother, that leftover tea was good to use on the plants….but not too often, but hadn’t known about coffee. I hope coffee grounds, also deter slugs.

    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

    • That would be great if they deterred slugs…cross your fingers. {We can always revert to crushed egg and sea shells}

  2. momto8blog says:

    I put them all around my flowers…I have beautiful flowers!!! but the deer and bunnies still eat them.

    • We have deer too, wish the coffee would keep them away!! {Although, this was their home first so I try to understand}

  3. Patricia Bacon says:

    What great ideas for coffee grounds,I hate throwing all the grounds in the garbage everyday, now I can use them for the garden. Very cost effecient as well!!

  4. I love #3. We always have a bit of each pot of coffee that ends up down the drain. Now I know to give my plants their cup of java too!

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