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​Five Uses for Old Coffee Grounds

Posted by on Jul 12th 2016

Because so much time, energy, and passion goes into the coffee that we produce, we want to see its use go as far as possible. In the interest of a sustainable ecology, we should always try to make sure that the things we consume aren’t consumed want only and with a detrimental impact on the environment. With that in mind, we thought you might like to know about these uses for your old coffee grounds after you’ve finished brewing a fresh pot.

Deodorize your fridge:

Used coffee grounds can absorb odors much like baking soda can. Just let the grounds dry out before loading them into a small container. A glass jar or Tupperware container is perfect, but even paper bag or plastic zip-lock can work. Leave the dried, used coffee grounds in the back of the fridge, open, for a few weeks and it will help eliminate rancid smells.

You’ll collect more coffee grounds so you can rotate the old with the new every couple of weeks. Eventually, the grounds themselves will take on a smell so you’ll want to exchange them out with fresher grounds once they’re used and dry.

Clean and Exfoliate:

Coffee grounds act as a nice abrasive substance. Use them like salt on a cast iron or stainless steel pan to help scrub off cooking residue, or rub coffee grounds in between your hands like soap. The used beans will help remove dry, dead skin.

You can also use a sprinkle of coffee grounds with a rag or washcloth to clean kitchen surfaces without worrying that the only-semi-abrasive substance will scratch or damage tile or wood.

Repel Insects:

Taking used coffee grounds and forming a small circular mound around the base of plants in your garden will help prevent the plants from being attacked and infested with insects. Even a sprinkle of used coffee grounds can repel destructive garden pests. Ants, slugs, and snails can all be diverted from your coveted veggies with a little refuse from your morning pot of black gold.

Some swear by a pairing of coffee grounds and orange peels as a means of repelling even small animals from the garden.

Fertilize your garden:

Acid-loving vegetation loves coffee as much as you do! A sprinkling of coffee grounds, in conjunction with dead grass, brown leaves, or dried straw, can add nitrogen and potassium to the soil in healthy levels.

This fertilizer does lack phosphorous and calcium, however, which makes it unideal for encouraging blooms and fruiting. You’ll have to create a complete fertilizer with wood ash or lime if you want to use coffee grounds in that way.


If you don’t have plants or a garden that can benefit from your used coffee grounds immediately, feel free to throw them on the compost pile. Being rich in nitrogen make coffee grounds excellent “green” matter and a nice little attraction for worms that can be beneficial to composting.

Remember, however, that when it comes to composting, maintaining a balance between green and “brown” matter is key. With this in mind, don’t overdo it on the composted coffee grounds. Good thing you’ve got four other uses for them, huh?

Yep, coffee really is the gift that keeps on gifting. It fuels us in the morning, and keeps on fueling the growth of our plants in its afterlife. It keeps away pests and pesky odors, and it brings us together in kitchens, coffee shops, and offices all over the world.

If you want to know that the coffee grounds you use to fertilize your plants or deodorize your fridge are grown and processed organically, with special attention to detail and handmade, artisan quality, then look no further than Habits Coffee. Our coffee is made with the kind of old-fashioned precision that guarantees quality oversight at every single stage of the process.

Order a bag of our Dark Habits Specialty Dark Roast today for a perfect morning cup and a very useful pile of leftover beans.