DIY

10 Clever Ways To Put Your Old Coffee Grounds To Good Use

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

There’s nothing quite like a good cup of coffee. We all have our idea of what the perfect cup is, but if you’re a coffee drinker, you know that no day is complete without it.

It’s a little morning ritual that gets the day started.

If you make drip coffee at home, though, you’ll find that after you’re done, you’re left with a collection of coffee grounds in the filter. They smell good, but they have no use left… Right?

Well, not exactly. Just like used tea bags, which can serve many unexpected purposes, coffee grounds are still loaded with goodness even after you’ve had your morning cup.

And while there are all kinds of pods and cups and gadgets designed to cut down on the mess of grounds, consider embracing them.

They can do so many things you might not even be aware of!

Read on to discover what coffee grounds can do for you, for your home, and for your garden. It’s really pretty amazing! And if you know a coffee ground secret we missed, let us know in the comments!

Thumbnail Photo: Source

Coffee Is Great — But The Leftover Grounds Are, Too!

Coffee Is Great — But The Leftover Grounds Are, Too!
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

If you’re like most of us, a cup of coffee in the morning is an absolute must. While you should always consume caffeine in moderation, let’s face it: coffee is great!

But what’s also great is that even when the cup is finished, those leftover coffee grounds waiting damply in your coffee machine aren’t.

You can use them for all kinds of household things. Plus, it’s money-saving and all-natural.

Coffee Grounds Use #1: Clean Dirty Metal

Coffee Grounds Use #1: Clean Dirty Metal
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Coffee grounds’ gritty nature is great for scrubbing away stubborn stains on pots, pans, and even on metal sinks.

Get a handful on a rag and rub, and the stains and gunk should come right off.

Just be sure to only use coffee grounds on metal items, including sinks. It can stain porcelain.

Coffee Grounds Use #2: Keep Bugs At Bay

Coffee Grounds Use #2: Keep Bugs At Bay
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Little known fact: ants hate the smell of coffee, so what better way to keep them out of your kitchen?

Let your coffee grounds dry, and sprinkle a bit into those dark corners where bugs like to sneak in.

You can also put the grounds into a cloth like a sachet and simply toss into a cabinet.

Coffee Grounds Use #3: Neutralize Odors

Coffee Grounds Use #3: Neutralize Odors
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Coffee is great at neutralizing smells, so keeping a bowl of dried grounds in the fridge is a simple way to keep your refrigerator from smelling musty. It works in the freezer, too.

Coffee Grounds Use #4: Make Your Plants Happy

Coffee Grounds Use #4: Make Your Plants Happy
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Coffee grounds are full of magnesium, nitrogen, potassium, and calcium, which makes them a great fertilizer. Sprinkle some in flower beds or potted plants to give your plants a boost.

You can also mix them into compost for more nutrition.

As an added bonus, ants, slugs, and snails all hate the smell of coffee, so they’ll leave your garden alone.

Coffee Grounds Use #5: Invite Earthworms

Coffee Grounds Use #5: Invite Earthworms
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Earthworms might be wiggly and slimy, but they’re also your best friends if you’re a gardener, and they sure like coffee!

They’ll enjoy the added nutrients the coffee grounds give to your soil, and your garden will be richer for it.

Coffee Grounds Use #6: Boost Your Pup's Bath

Coffee Grounds Use #6: Boost Your Pup's Bath
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Coffee grounds can help your pets, too.

Add a handful to your pet’s shampoo. The oils in the coffee grounds will soften and nourish their skin and hair, and the smell will help repel fleas.

Coffee Grounds Use #7: Soften Your Skin

Coffee Grounds Use #7: Soften Your Skin
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

If coffee grounds are good for your pet’s skin and hair, it means they’re good for yours, too!

Coffee grounds make a great natural scrub that softens and brightens skin. After washing, gently rub a handful into the dry parts of your skin.

Just be sure to put something in the drain to catch them. You don’t want them washing into your pipes!

Coffee Grounds Use #8: Banish Dark Circles

Coffee Grounds Use #8: Banish Dark Circles
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Coffee helps with dark circles — but not just if you drink it!

The caffeine in the grounds (and there is some left over, even after brewing) tightens and brightens skin, and it reduces the look of dark circles under your eyes.

Mix with a little coconut or olive oil to make a moisturizing paste, and carefully pat under your eyes.

Leave on for 5 to 10 minutes, and rinse off. Repeat about two times a week to see a reduction in undereye circles.

Coffee Grounds Use #9: Brighten Your Hair

Coffee Grounds Use #9: Brighten Your Hair
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

You can run hot water through coffee grounds again to make a weak, watery coffee.

After shampooing and conditioning, pour this weak coffee over your hair to give it an extra boost of nutrients and shine.

Coffee Grounds Use #10: Freshen Your Hands

Coffee Grounds Use #10: Freshen Your Hands
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings

Sometimes, you just have to get your hands dirty and smelly, but they don’t have to stay that way.

A quick scrub down with coffee grounds after handling something pungent will neutralize the smell on your skin, and it will soften it, as well.

What’s your favorite way to reuse coffee grounds?

Let us know in the comments, as well as your favorite coffee drink! And be sure to SHARE these tips with your fellow coffee drinkers!