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Used Coffee Grounds, 5 Eco friendly Uses

Updated on April 6, 2011


Did you know that coffee is a fruit? That the beans that are ground, and used to make the drink we know as coffee are actually the seeds. Seeds, that are red berries that are found on a tall tropical shrub?

Well, it was news to me and for a long time i didn't particularly care for the drink until a co worker convinced me to mix it with my hot chocolate and ta dah, i had a new morning habit. I adore doctored coffee.

Flavored coffee is my favorite, usually with lots of heavy cream and sugar if you please, almost to the point of losing the distinct flavor of the coffee. I also love the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

But that's how i like mine and i know that everyone has their preferences, that is why coffee is doing so well in the market as a drink to be contended with, especially among the morning brew. Even though most people enjoy a cup in the morning, you can see people all over the world consuming coffee at any time of day. So enjoy!

So, what do you do with those pesky coffee grounds that you are left with after brewing and drinking a great cup of coffee. Before you dare throw away those used grounds think about what you can use them for at home.

Cold flavored coffee drink.
Cold flavored coffee drink. | Source
Dry used coffee grounds.
Dry used coffee grounds. | Source

Used Coffee Grounds

For a long time i threw away my coffee grounds. Like most people i thought nothing other than it was trash and needed to go in the garbage. But the truth is those used coffee grounds have some life left in them after you have brewed that delicious cup of coffee.

So, if you have any interest in recycling and Eco friendly living, here are some ways to re use those used coffee grounds without feeling like you have just contributed more trash to the earth's already overflowing landfills.

These are actually the top five ways i have had any use for used coffee grounds, but there are more!

Remember, do not use the boiled grounds from a percolator, these tips are only for grounds from a drip coffeemaker.

1. Garden fertilizer

When you have brewed that great cup of coffee and can get no more use out of it, let it cool then add it to your outdoor garden for a little nutrient boost. Mixing the grounds from the drip coffeemaker to the soil gives it extra nitrogen .

The grounds can be utilized well in any type of garden, especially in rose gardens. Other plants like azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, and evergreens appreciate the acidic nutrients that used coffee grounds add, also throwing grounds into your compost is a great idea if you do composting.

Do you have a vegetable garden? Do you grow your own carrots? Try adding used coffee grounds to the seeds before sowing your them. This will add bulk, making planting easier and increase your harvest as well. The coffee grounds will also keep root maggots from attacking and will add nutrients that help the soil as they decompose.

2. Litter box

Do you have a cat or a small pet that has a litter box or uses the restroom in the house, well, how about mixing coffee grounds in with the litter. It will absorb the odors and cut the smell of ammonia.

3. Handy beauty tip

Before dumping those cooled used coffee grounds, rub them gently over your hands and then rinse, it leaves skin smoother. This is also excellent after you have been prepping foods with pungent odors like onions and garlic.

4. Deodorizer

After allowing the used grounds to cool, dump it into an open container or a homemade plastic container in which you have punched holes in the lid and place in the fridge or the freezer. This will cut down on any offending odors that may be lurking in these areas

5. Insect repellent

Toss grounds on ant hills, or where ants may enter your home and watch them take a hike, never to return. Better yet go out into the yard and dump coffee grounds around the parameter to create a boundary for your home.

Other quick uses for used coffee grounds.

Coffee grounds can also be used to produce a brown dye; by adding a little water to them, a scouring agent to cut grease and grime and also as a dust inhibitor when you are cleaning ashes out of your fireplace; just sprinkle the moist grounds over the ashes and watch them stay put while you remove them and the dusty ash heap.

Hey, when you clean out that wood burning fireplace don't throw the coffee grounds and ashes in the trash can, go ahead and add them to your garden, especially to your roses,but not your azaleas, and rhododendrons, they prefer acidic soil, for bigger and longer lasting blossoms!


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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      Some cool uses for coffee grounds. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Claudio 3 years ago

      Thanks for mentioning the soy! I relntecy started on a soy lecithin mixture, and have wondered if my sudden added 2-3 pounds were related. I will now be looking for sunflower lecithin to replace the soy.I had trouble with the coconut oil making me nauseated at first. But I've learned that if I put the coconut oil in hot tea or coffee or soup anything hot and liquid I have no nausea, and can even handle a heaping half tablespoon at a time. I can also eat it in oatmeal or other hot cereal. And yes, I cook everything in it, and have done that for years. But if I'm eating something cold with it, it will be a problem. Thought it might help you or someone else to try it in a hot drink.And by the way, for anyone dealing with Alzheimer's, dementia, or even failing memory coconut oil can make a big difference. There are lots of good stories about it (do an online search), but from a personal perspective, what a difference it has made for my husband's thinking! I was afraid I was beginning to lose him, but now he's back. Just be sure to get 3-5 doses daily, as it wears off quickly.

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 6 years ago

      You have a really good valid point LA and i can't say they will not react badly to the fact that they smell something in the litter box that is too strong for their liking but typically after using the coffee the scent should be subtle and subdued. If it is not use the coffee grounds again to make more coffee! Great hearing from you, thanks!

    • profile image

      LA 6 years ago

      interesting idea on the litter box, but cats have a super strong scents, especially chemical or scents they are not used to. They hate strong smells so I wonder if they would still use the litter box with coffee grounds in it?

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 7 years ago

      Thanks Kimbrewaa- they are great because they provide potassium, some phosphorous and maganesium but not in acidic soil!

      Thanks Jangaplanet - it amazes me as well, the things i'm learning from the hub life!

    • Jangaplanet profile image

      A James Di Rodi 7 years ago

      Great hub thanks for sharing this.Never new it could be used as a Deodorizer also. I'm always learning something new with these great hubs. Thanks...

    • kimbrewaa profile image

      kimbrewaa 7 years ago

      really? ashes in the garden? I had no idea! This has a lot of great information, thanks for sharing!


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