Have tons of leftover coffee grounds? Don’t let them go to waste. Instead? Put them to good use. Here are 9 creative uses for coffee grounds.

9 creative things you can do with used coffee grounds

I love coffee.

It makes me want to write sonnets and odes and an entire operetta to it. I love to drink it. I love to smell it. I love to hear the little percolating sound when the coffee maker starts to brew. I love the very first sip that wakes you up and fills you up with the taste of the promise of the day.

I’m not all about fancy coffee.

I’m totally coffee old school—almost black with just the slightest hint of sweetener.

But here’s the thing. All that coffee? It leaves behind tons and tons and tons of used coffee grounds in its wake. It got me thinking—I’m a repurposer. I recycle my furniture.

Why not my coffee grounds?

Here are 9 creative uses for coffee grounds.

9 creative uses for coffee grounds

Q: what type of plants like used coffee grounds?

I’ve used coffee grounds with my hydrangeas for years with amazing results. It’s helped me grow hydrangeas in the heat of hot Texas summers. Any acid-loving plant likes used coffee grounds added to the soil. This includes hydrangeas, azaleas, lily-of-the-valley and a variety of fruits including blueberries, radishes and carrots.

Q: how to store used coffee grounds?

If you make a coffee pot a day, you may have more coffee grounds than you need. No worries. You can store them until you need to use them. Simply place them in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator. Do not leave them out on the counter for extended periods of time to prevent mold.

Q: where can you get used coffee grounds?

Want all the benefits of using coffee grounds and you don’t make coffee at your house? Check with your local coffee shops to see if they have extra. For example, Starbucks has a program where it gives out its coffee grounds if local cities allow it.

Q: can you upcycle coffee grounds?

Yes! Yes you can. There are tons of creative things you can do with those used coffee grounds. From gardening to using them to dye fabric, there are so many ideas. Here are some of my favorite creative uses for coffee grounds.

fertilize hydrangeas 9 creative things you can do with used coffee grounds

Tip number one: Use coffee grounds to fertilize

Did you know that coffee grounds are slightly acidic?

That makes them the perfect friend for acid-loving plants.




Simply sprinkle a few used coffee grounds around the base of the plants and work them slightly into the soil. Then add water to help the soil absorb the coffee grinds. Why pay for expensive fertilizer when used coffee grounds are FREE and about to go into your trash.

9 creative things you can do with used coffee grounds clean out your garbage disposal

Tip number two: Use coffee grounds to de-smell your sink

I’m not sure about you, but sometimes my sink stinks.

Stinky stinkeria mcstinkerama.

Mostly it’s the garbage disposal that stinks the most.

Adding coffee grounds to your garbage disposal can help eliminate odors. You don’t want to add them directly to the garbage disposal because they may clog up the pipes. Instead, I found this simple idea on how to make a cleaner when you mix them with Epsom Salt and vinegar and vanilla.

You can read all about it here.

9 creative things you can do with used coffee grounds clean out your pots and pans

Tip number three: Clean pots and pans

Coffee grains are gritty.

Put all that grit to use with your pots and pans

I removed the excess water with a paper towel after we use them and keep them in a mason jar under the sink.

It’s the perfect thing to use when you have that stubborn dirt and stains that just won’t go away. I just pull out a little and sprinkle them on the pan and scrub them on the dirt with a sponge. They aren’t so harsh as other things I’ve used and so far they haven’t scratched any of my pots.

Knock on a coffee cup.

9 creative things you can do with used coffee grounds dye a pillow cover

Tip number four: use coffee grounds as a natural dye

Using coffee grounds as a dye works just like dying with tea.

Those coffee grounds still have a lot of coffee left in them.

Add them to a bucket of hot water. Let the coffee grounds steep slightly to bring the water to the right color.

Next, add the pre-washed fabric (these pillow covers from IKEA are perfect for dying) and let the fabric steep for several hours. You can pull it out periodically to check and see if the fabric is the right shade.

After you have the fabric the color that you want, just rinse off and dry.

used coffee grounds

Tip number five: Repair scratched furniture

Now in full disclosure, I have never tried this before.

I’ve seen it on Pinterest and it looks amazing.

If you have scratches on your furniture, here’s an easy tutorial on how to repair your scratched furniture.

See the tutorial here.

Tip number six: chase bugs away

Bugs do not like the smell of coffee.

Just sprinkle the coffee grounds where you don’t want them to be.

You can see it with a stream of ants.

Put the coffee grounds down and they turn around and walk the other direction.

(total aside: I’m not sure if ants actually walk. Crawl? Creep? Scurry?)

used coffee grounds coffee cup

Tip number seven: deodorize the refrigerator

Used coffee grounds are a great deodorizer.

All you need to do to freshen your refrigerator is to fill a small dish with coffee grinds and place it in the back of the refrigerator.

It actually doesn’t make your fridge smell like coffee.

Instead? The grinds absorb the odors in your refrigerator.

used coffee grounds and dyeing Easter eggs

Tip number eight: dye Easter Eggs or paper

Coffee is a natural dye and works well to naturally dye Easter Eggs.

Add used coffee grounds to a bucket of hot water. Let the coffee grounds steep slightly to bring the water to the right color.

Next, add the eggs and let them steep for several minutes.

It doesn’t take long because the eggs are so absorbent.

Then, simply rinse off any excess grounds from your eggs and let them dry.

You can do the same thing with paper, too. Simply follow similar directions and add coffee grounds to hot water. Let the coffee grounds steep slightly to bring the water to the right color for your dyed paper. Next, add paper to the slightly cooled water and let the paper steep slightly (about 5 seconds). Remove the paper and let it dry on a flat surface.

used coffee grounds with wood

Tip number nine: weathered wood treatment

I’ve never tried this before, but I found this idea for used coffee grounds online.

It looks like an amazing alternative to stinky stains.

This website had one of the best tutorials on how to use coffee to create a weathered wood look.

You can see it here.

Who knew?

Who knew coffee could taste so good and be so helpful all at the same time?

In this post, we’ve discussed coffee and coffee grinds.

But what about the coffee filters that are sitting in the coffee cabinet?

Let’s not forget about them.

Here’s one more coffee gift.

Don’t let those unused coffee filters go to waste. Here’s how to use those coffee filters to make these flowers.

You can see the DIY here.

Can you even believe all the creative ideas for used coffee grounds? I hope this post has brewed up a few more ideas just for you.

(So sorry. That low-hanging coffee joke was too much to resist.)

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


    1. Image for Ann C Ann C

      I thought the same thing & I’m going to the local restaurant I frequent often & ask if I can have some of theirs. I plan on taking a plastic bowl & lid! Why would they say No?

  1. Image for Julia Julia

    Coffee is a gift that continues to give each step of the way!! Love these tips. Cheers to another good old-fashioned cup of coffee!!

  2. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    I’m a coffee lover too ☕️ Great ideas....I have used the grounds to dye things and I had excellent results. Hibiscus, gardenias and jasmine are also acid loving plants💜

  3. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Love all of these great uses! I just read a tutorial the other day for using the coffee and vinegar method for staining wood. Thinking about trying it on some barn doors for our barn...may chicken out and just paint them though! Thanks for a fun post!

  4. Image for Linda Linda

    You will get a laugh out of this....I was outside, just come in grabbed my reading glasses and was in a big hurry when I read your first sentence.....I thought it said my " skin " is stinky Instead of my " sink " is stinky..... I had to do a douple take ....thought you might get a chuckle out of this. Really good ideas !

  5. Image for Lynne Lynne

    I love all things coffee! Just a bit of cream. Or Fu-Fu if it's not too sweet. Or coffee ice cream if it's not too sweet. I drink it all day long, never a problem sleeping. If they ever pull me off coffee I'll probably go into a coma! And back to topic - my plants love coffee and coffee grounds. If my husband has left over black coffee in his cup I add a bit of water and pour it into the soil of house plants and outdoor plants alike. Never had one yet that rejected it by dying on me. I put the coffee grounds in my compost pile or sprinkle them where I don't want little critters crawling. It works pretty well and saves the soil from harmful chemicals, too.

  6. Image for Carrie Carrie

    I'm a black coffee drinking girl and these ideas are fabulous! One more, if I may be so bold~ for those who may not have salt/ kitty litter, etc... to put on icy steps, etc....sprinkle those coffee grounds on ice~ they won't totally melt the ice, but they will add a little traction!!

  7. Image for Deb in Oklahoma Deb in Oklahoma

    Excellent ideas, all! I love a good cup of coffee, too! I use unbleached coffee filters, so the entire thing--used grounds and filter--can go right into the compost pile. (The filter will break down along with everything else.) And the last bit of coffee in the pot is thrown into whatever plant I walk past first, but my tomatoes and marigolds always seem to grow quite well on room-temp leftover coffee.

  8. Image for Regina Wilson Regina Wilson

    Please u subscribe me from your blog. This is 3rd request. I cannot find anything to let me cancel. I would appreciate your assistance. Thank you.

  9. Image for Loryl Loryl

    We are HUGE coffee drinkers at our house. BLACK. Some of these I’ve heard but always good to review. The bug one was new to me, can’t wait to try it as we’ve had an infestation of ants because of a VERY wet spring.

  10. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Thanks for all the ideas, KariAnne! I have a tip for you in case it's been mentioned and I've missed it. For your sink/disposal, remove the rubber gasket and put it in the dishwasher. That's where most of the yuckiness likes to reside. :❤

  11. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love it! Have used every one of those methods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also used them to dye fabric!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Who would have thought there were so many fab uses for coffee grounds? Thanks for sharing and I am raising my cup of iced coffee to you!

  13. Image for Kate B. Kate B.

    You can add a pinch of coffee grounds to your facial cleanser to get an awesome facial scrub (would work in shower with body wash as well). Leaves my face super smooth and slightly tingly from the caffeine :)

  14. Image for Sandi Magle Sandi Magle

    Hi, Kari. We compost every bit of our coffee grounds and use them for special fertilizer for those plants you mentioned. Since hubby spill grounds all the time, explains why ants don't come in the back door next to the coffee station. Great ideas! I have used tea on wood, but not coffee, I will give it a try.

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