8 Zero-Waste Uses for Spent Coffee Grounds

Coffee is a staple of the American diet and ritual, and we all know that it’s not cheap. But did you also know that making your coffee at home has always been the most eco-friendly way to enjoy the beverage?

These days, one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint (and save some money) is by brewing up a pot in your own kitchen.

And while you may think that throwing away those spent grounds would be environmentally irresponsible, there are actually many creative uses for them! Here are 8 zero-waste ways to use old coffee grounds:

1. Banish Bad Odors

Do you have a smelly trash bin? Before you pour in your next batch of baking soda, sprinkle in some used coffee grounds to banish bad odors! According to LifeHacker , the grounds will help soak up old food particles and take away that nasty smell. Pouring them down your garbage disposal for an extra-fresh clean is also recommended.

2. Exfoliate Your Skin

Coffee isn’t just good for drinking; it’s great for exfoliating too! If you want to give yourself a full-body scrub, head over to Instructables for the full tutorial.

3. Make Your Hair Shine

Believe it or not, coffee grounds are said to bring out your hair’s natural shine! The Grounds says that adding them directly to your shampoo can give you shiny locks without even rinsing first. However, this trick should only be used every once in a while. Just like eating too much chocolate (which also makes your hair shiny), too many grounds can actually dry out your hair and make it brittle! Save the rinse for last; otherwise your shampoo might go down the drain faster than expected…

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4. Utilize as an Insect Deterrent

Forget about using potentially harmful chemicals to keep bugs away; just use spent coffee grounds instead! The Grounds says that ants and other insects hate the smell, so sprinkle some on the ground around areas where you might find them. You can even mix your leftover grounds with water, dish soap and grated orange peel for an all-natural bug spray.

5. Start Your Garden

Coffee grounds make a great fertilizer because they’re rich in nitrogen and potassium! According to Forbes , more people should be using “coffee-ground mulch” in their gardens instead chemical fertilizers.

6. Keep Your Pets Healthy

Whether you have a cat or a dog, coffee grounds can actually be good for them! According to the Huffington Post , your furry friend might love it if you added some coffee grounds to their food as a dietary supplement.

Additionally, the Grounds recommends using leftover grinds as compost for your pets’ litter box (just don’t flush them). If the smell is too much for you, try sprinkling baking soda over the top of that litter box – and be sure to check out these other tips on making that litter box smell better today .

7. Save Your Pots & Pans (and Make Them Shine)

If you’ve ever burned a pot of rice or used too much oil when sautéing, you know how hard it can be to remove those stubborn food stains.

Instead of buying a harsh chemical cleaner from the store, save your money and try using used coffee grounds instead!

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The Grounds says that this trick is especially useful on non-stick cookware because the fine grains won’t scratch up the surface. Just let the grounds sit for about an hour before scrubbing them off with a sponge or steel wool – and don’t forget to follow up with some soap and hot water!

8. Use as a Fertilizer

Coffee grounds are the ultimate natural fertilizer because they’re high in nitrogen, an important nutrient for soil! There are actually many different ways to use coffee grounds as a fertilizer, but one of the most popular is mixing them with your compost .

The Grounds recommends using about 4-5 spoonfuls of used coffee grounds for every gallon of compost. You might want to mix this mixture together first before adding it to your pile – otherwise you might find yourself with some very unwelcome visitors at your next backyard BBQ…


The use of coffee grounds in everyday practices is not only environmentally friendly but also economical.  

In this blog post, we have provided you with eight different ways to reuse your spent coffee grounds for a variety of purposes from natural exfoliation and pest control to gardening and cooking.

Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to clean the kitchen or beautify yourself on a budget, these tips are sure to give you some ideas that will work for your needs!

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