What are the best uses for used coffee grounds?

How can I use used coffee grounds in the home and garden?

how to use used coffee grounds

If you drink as many coffee beans as we do, then you may have more used coffee grounds than you know what to do with.

Is it just us that has second thoughts as you dump the brown sludge in the bin every morning?

We asked ourselves ‘is there some way we can put these used grounds to good use?’

So, we started our research.

In this article we are going to share our findings and give you the best ways to use your coffee grounds.

Not only do they minimise waste, but some of these tips really do help in everyday life.

Keep reading to find out how to help your plants grow (and not harm them), how to use grounds for glowing skin and ways to fight odours in your home.

ways to use coffee grounds in your garden

Using coffee grounds in the garden

We were very pleased to find out that coffee grounds can be used in the garden. We read so many benefits and brilliant results from using grounds for your plants, we were about to go coffee crazy on our petunias.

However, with some deeper research, we learnt some vital information.

Coffee grounds are not good for all plants and can cause some of your leafy friend’s serious damage.

Gardening know how tells us plants that will love the addition of coffee grounds:

  • Azaleas
  • Hydrangeas
  • Blueberries
  • Lilies
  • Radishes
  • Carrots

The list goes on… Any acid-loving plants or root vegetables will also benefit from this addition to your garden.

How do I use coffee grounds in the garden?

Mulching is simply a layer of material that is put on top of soil and around plants. This could be wood chippings, compost, straw, pebbles and much more.

Used grounds are great to use for mulching as they are so readily available and inexpensive compared to materials such as wood chippings or straw.

But, less is more.

Packing on pure coffee grounds will prevent water and nutrients from getting to the roots. This is because the particles are so fine and tend to lock together.

Grow Veg tells us that the best way to use them for mulching is to either mix them with other materials (such as compost or leaf mould) or rake together the top layer with the soil underneath to ensure it doesn’t clump together.

Can used coffee grounds be used for fertiliser?


Use them as a fertiliser in your compost to boost the nitrogen levels. But, bear in mind that they are considered a green material, so you will need to balance it out with brown compost material like paper or .

You can also use them as a fertiliser by sprinkling straight on to your plants.

This will not initially add nitrogen to your plants, but it will encourage plant growth by improving water retention and attracting Earth worms.

Another bonus, it will also repel pesky insects such as ants, snails or slugs that tend to destroy plants.

This article suggests that coffee grounds contain 1.45% Nitrogen and some Phosphorous, you could even use them as lawn feed to slowly feed the grass with its various micro nutrients. Remember to lightly rake it in though so it doesn’t completely cover and suffocate the blades.

can coffee grounds be used on my skin

Can coffee grounds be used on my skin?

In our ‘is coffee good or bad for you?’ post we discovered the many benefits coffee can have on your mind and body.

So, coffee can make us feel great, but can it make us look great?

Coffee is packed full of antioxidants that can do wonders for our skin, which leaves us with the question… what can’t coffee do?

Well, it can’t mix a face mask for you, so here are some top tips for using it on your skin.

Goodbye puffy eyes

The anti-inflammatory properties of caffeine do a great job of reducing puffiness under the eyes. Allow the grounds to cool after your morning pot and gently dab under your eyes, making sure none gets into your eye (think of an eyelash in your eye but times ten). Leave on for 10 – 15 minutes and wash away.

Fight off cellulite

Used grounds cannot get rid of cellulite. However, when used as an exfoliant, it can minimise the appearance by smoothing and tightening the skin surface.

A brightening face mask

The stimulating caffeine content is great for boosting dull skin in a morning. Here are ingredients to mix it into for a quick and easy face mask:

  • Coconut oil
  • Natural yoghurt and honey
  • Natural yoghurt and turmeric
  • Milk, lemon juice and honey

Radiant feet

It can be difficult to avoid cracked or dry feet, especially in the cold Winter months. Keep dry skin at bay by using coffee grounds as an exfoliator. Make sure to moisturise afterwards to keep them nice and soft.

Beating dandruff

Dandruff can be difficult to handle and feel overwhelming when there seems to be no way to treat it. Style Caster says to apply 1/3 of a cup (around a handful) of grounds to your scalp in the shower when your hair is wet and gently massage in for a minute or two. Follow with shampoo and conditioner.

ways to use coffee grounds in your home

How can I use coffee grounds in the house?

There are plenty of ways to use old coffee grounds in the house that aid with cleaning, odour fighting and adding some creativity to your home.


Get your dishes sparkling

Used coffee grounds are a natural abrasive that work great on stubborn food stains.

Smelly fridge?

Natural Living Ideas suggests putting the grounds in a small container and placing at the back of your fridge. Leave for a couple of weeks to collect all the unpleasant odours and you can then put the remains in your compost.

Cook with it

This dry coffee rub is a delicious way to add something different to your barbeque.

An aromatic coffee candle

Who doesn’t love the smell of delicious coffee filling their home? This DIY coffee candle is an easy way to re-create the smell of your favourite blend in an evening.

Where to get used coffee grounds

If you don’t drink enough coffee to get the amount of used grounds you need, there are other ways to get it (for free!).

Starbucks have a program where gardeners can pick up free bags of used grounds in some stores.

Or, if you work in an office, a great idea is to put a pot by the coffee machine and ask people to put their grounds in there.

You could also visit local restaurants and cafes to see if they offer this kind of service.

Can I put coffee grounds in the freezer?

Putting fresh coffee in the freezer is not a good idea as it can cause it to lose flavour and create moisture build up, which will have a negative effect.

However, when it comes to used grounds it is great idea. If you have lots of grounds that you can’t use all at once, simply portion into small amounts and keep in an air tight container in your freezer.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mike Hoyle

    It’s not just insect pests that coffee grounds deter. Cats don’t like to dig into them either. Can stop strays leaving little messages!

    1. Adams & Russell

      Hi Mike, thanks for the advice! That’s really useful to know, cats can be a nuisance when it comes to the garden. I’ll be sure to add it into the post.

  2. CheekyBrew

    We love making sugar scrubs with old coffee grounds. And you’re right it does get rid of odours quite well, especially the dreaded onion hands! Great post

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