11 Eco-Friendly Ways You Can Dispose Used Coffee Grounds

Americans consume more than 3.3 billion pounds of coffee grounds every year. You can imagine that much coffee waste ends up in landfills, polluting the land and water systems and wreaking havoc on the environment.

You can do your share in minimizing waste by adhering to these 11 eco-friendly ways you can dispose of used coffee grounds.

1- Deodorizer

One of the many uses for used coffee grounds is a household deodorizer. 

Researchers at the City College of New York discovered that the nitrogen present in caffeine can enhance carbon’s odor-absorbing properties. The chemical reaction allows carbon molecules to increase their surface affinity for hydrogen sulfide and other odor molecules.  

You can place used coffee grounds in a bowl and place them in your refrigerator to remove the fishy and rotten egg smell. Many homeowners also sprinkle used coffee grounds on dryer sheets before adding a few drops of deodorizer.

More creative people love to fill their old socks with used coffee grounds. They can hang or place the coffee-filled socks in stinky and odor-prone areas.

2- Fertilizer

Did you know that a pound of used coffee grounds can contain as much as 9 grams of nitrogen? The same amount of coffee contains 220 mg of potassium and 13 mg of phosphorus. It also contains iron, magnesium, chromium, and calcium. 

These minerals are excellent for improving the nutrient composition of your garden soil. You can sprinkle used coffee grounds in your growing media or compost to improve its nutrient content. Coffee can also attract earthworms that aerate the soil.

All you need to do now is watch as your plants grow faster and produce more numerous and more vibrant flowers and fruits.

3- Cleaning Scrub

Do you find it difficult to remove stubborn stains and spots on your floor and other surfaces? If you do, you might want to try using coffee grounds.

As a cleaning scrub, coffee grounds have an abrasive characteristic similar to your scrubbing pad. Friction peels stain molecules off sleek surfaces, allowing you to ensure spotless cleaning. You can try this on your sinks, cookware, and grill.

As much as possible, do not use coffee grounds to remove stains on porous materials because it can lead to staining.

4- Anti-cellulite Scrub

Many beauty experts recommend using a coffee scrub as a cellulite treatment. While it does not treat cellulite per se, coffee grounds can make cellulite look less worrisome.

Rubbing coffee grounds on cellulite improves blood flow and eliminates excess fluids. It also removes dead skin cells, making the skin look more even. 

You can start by mixing a cup of used coffee grounds with four tablespoons of olive oil. Rub the mixture in areas with cellulite. Wrap the area with plastic and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and take a shower. The improvements should be noticeable in a few weeks.

5- Pest Control

Caffeine is not only suitable for improving soil nutrient content. It can also be an excellent compound for pest control.

Coffee contains several compounds that interfere with insects’ enzyme production, leading to malnutrition, metabolic disturbances, and reproductive failure. It can kill snails, slugs, milkweed bugs, hornworms, and mosquito larvae.

You can determine the areas in your house where you have pest issues. You can sprinkle used coffee grounds in these locations. Placing bowls of used coffee grounds in your garden, patio, and lounging area is also ideal.

6- Flea Repellent

If coffee grounds can repel pests in your garden and backyard, it should be easy to repel fleas from your beloved dog.

Apply coffee grounds into your pet’s fur before its final rinse. Make sure to rub the ground throughout your dog’s body, especially near the ears, neck, and base of the tail. Leave it for about five minutes before rinsing your dog.

7- Natural Dye

Are you fond of arts and crafts? Instead of buying expensive black or dark dyes, you can turn your used coffee grounds into an art material.

Mix a tablespoon of used coffee grounds in half a cup of hot water. The longer you let it steep, the darker the dye you get. You can use this pigment on paper and fabric to create works of art. It can also double as a wood stain, using a more concentrated coffee solution.

8- Scented Candles

Fans of scented candles can add used coffee grounds to their collection to add a sweet, coffee scent to your room. You can also add coconut oil in coffee to give your room a distinctly pleasant smell. 

Make your scented candle in the usual manner. However, instead of using aromatic essential oils, use an oil immersion of coffee grounds.

9- Firewood

Who would have thought that coffee grounds can make excellent firewood? Researchers at Bio-Bean found an ingenious way of recycling used coffee grounds by turning them into coffee logs.

Twenty-five cups of used coffee grounds are enough to make a fire log that burns 20% longer and hotter than conventional kiln-dried firewood. The company also says coffee logs only emit about 20% of gasses into the environment.

Would it not be nice to have your coffee ground-compacting machine create coffee logs for your home?

10- Hair Cleanser

Are you having issues removing the dye and other beauty products on your hair? Used coffee grounds can help you remove hair glitter, hair spray, chemicals, dust, and other particles.

Moisten your hair and apply coffee grounds. Rub it well for several minutes before rinsing. You should be able to get rid of all those pesky compounds on your hair. You will also notice your crowning glory having a softer and shinier look.

11- Flavor Enhancer

Instead of tossing your used coffee grounds in the garbage bin, you might want to save them for use as a flavoring to baked desserts, said experts at Cuppabean. You can make coffee-flavored cookies, muffins, cakes, and brownies.

If you are feeling like a Michelin-starred home cook, you might want to rub used coffee grounds on your pork roast. The slightly bitter and sweet taste of coffee should make your dinner more sumptuous.


Everyone has to play his part in ensuring a safer and cleaner world for succeeding generations. These 11 eco-friendly ways you can dispose of used coffee grounds are always a good start to giving your share.


  1. These are really positive suggestions. However, coffee grounds are very toxic and damaging to our waterways. Please avoid disposing of them via any treatments that require a rinsing or laundering process. Our fish will be happier (and healtier for us to eat!) 😊

  2. When making coffee, water and coffee grounds are two dominant components

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