Eco Tip of the Week: What to do with used coffee grounds


Eco Tip Submitted By Ecokaren

Are you drinking vats of coffee like it’s going out of style? (Oh, read this cool tutorial on how to make reusable coffee filters)

What are you doing with all that used coffee grounds? I bet you are just composting or throwing (gulp!) them away.

Well, here ares some creative ways to reuse used coffee grounds.

used coffee grounds

What to do with used coffee grounds:

1. Bath and beauty care: Use some used coffee grounds while washing your hair and rinse. It will bring shine and softness to hair. It’s a great exfoliant for the skin. Mix with olive oil and coffee grounds, massage over skin and rinse.

2. Fertilizer for plants: Used coffee grounds are rich in nutrients for plants that thrive in acidic soil like azaleas, hydrangeas and hybrid roses. Coffee grounds turn any alkaline soil into more acidic soil and add nitrogen to earth. Great for indoor plants too…even old poinsettias thrive with coffee grounds.

3. Keep worms alive: Adding used coffee grounds to garden soil keeps the worms alive, which helps the soil to become richer…great for clay and rocky soil. And in compost bins.

4. Natural garden insect repellents against snails, slugs, and ants.

5. Place a bowl with used coffee grounds in the freezer to remove unwanted odors.

6. Rub coffee grounds on hands to get rid of smells from chopping or cutting up pungent foods.

7. Make a sachet with old nylons or cheesecloth with dry used coffee grounds. Hang in closets to absorb odors.

8. Used coffee grounds can be used as an abrasive cleaner. Be careful of any surfaces that might stain.

9. Dye fabric, paper or Easter eggs. Simply add used coffee grounds to warm water and let sit a bit to create a dye.

10. After you give your dog a bath, rub coffee grounds through the coat of your pet. Coffee grounds are said to repel fleas.

11. Great in compost pile to increase nitrogen in the mixture.

How do you reuse used coffee grounds?

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About Karen Lee

As a former Captain of Eco Etsy and one of the current leaders for the team, I am really excited to be hanging out with like minded team members to share ideas on how we can leave the least amount of carbon footprint.

I sell eco-handmade and vintage goodies in my Etsy shop and consult small business owners on Karen Lee Consulting where popular Etsy Starter Kit is sold. And as a retired Chiropractor, I share natural health news and green tips on Check out my past posts on Eco Etsy!


  1. great tips! I heard they were good for keeping slugs and snails off your plants too :)

  2. Brass Paperclip says:

    Lots of great tips – we drink a lot of coffee in our house and usually just compost the grounds, but I may try using them in the yard. Thanks!

  3. tamdoll says:

    I didn't know about #4 & #5! This is great, a couple of things I will use for sure.

  4. Fantastic ideas for using up coffee grounds. something which I have found coffee grounds useful for is spreading them between your rows of carrots – they keep away the carrot rust fly which lays eggs producing larva which burrow in your carrots.

  5. Unni Strand says:

    Wow! So many great uses for coffee grounds! Thank you!