Leftover Coffee Grounds

Rosemary Palmer
by Rosemary Palmer
Do you save your old coffee grounds? I always knew there had to be something to do with them, so I started saving them a few months ago. Not only did I discover I might drink too much coffee, but there are so many great uses for leftover coffee grounds.
First, you need to dry them so they won’t mold. Just place on a baking sheet (no more than an inch deep) and place in your oven which has been set at 200 for about 20 – 30 minutes, stirring about half way through. You will also create a wonderful aroma in your home while these are drying.

Let cool completely, then store in a closed container such as jars, glass containers, and even zip type bags, anything air tight.

If you don’t drink coffee, check with any of your local coffee shops. They usually are helpful in saving these for you, and even old coffee beans. Also, use an old coffee container and leave at work. Your coworkers will be glad to collect the grounds for you.
In your garden: I have two beautiful azalea bushes in my back yard that are pretty much in full bloom at the time. These, along with roses, rhododendrons, evergreens, hydrangeas and camellias love coffee grounds for the natural acidity and nutrients they add to the soil. Beware though, not all plants are acid loving so check out your plants before mixing in the soil around them.

They are also great for your carrots. To boost a carrot harvest, mix seeds with dried coffee grounds before sowing. The extra bulk makes the seeds easier to manage, while the coffee aroma can nourish the soil and help repel pests.

For pesky animals and bugs: I hate ants. Sprinkle old grounds around places you don’t want ants, or on the ant piles themselves. They will either try to find a new place, or hopefully stay away completely. Used grounds can also repel snails and slugs.

Do cats seem to bother your plants or garden? Mix some of your old coffee grounds with orange peels then shake it around your plants and this will keep the cats away. I mixed the peeling from one orange to approximately 32 ounces of used grounds and let it set for about 2 – 3 days before using. Now if I could figure out how to keep this on my car hood so neighborhood cats would stay off my car.
In your home: About once a month, place a small bowl of grounds in your refrigerator and freezer to use as deodorizer.

To remove smells on your hands such as onion and garlic, while prepping food, rub a small amount on your hands then rinse off. Always use caution to not let too many grounds go down your drain.

Since they are slightly abrasive, they are great to use for removing stains and stuck on food on your smooth top stove.
Rosemary Palmer
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 11 questions
  • Connie Drummond Connie Drummond on Feb 11, 2017
    Which plants not to use coffee grounds on?

  • Roger Gates Roger Gates on Mar 17, 2017
    We have a Keurig that is almost always used with flavored coffee. Can these grs be used?

  • Anny Palanzi Anny Palanzi on Jul 14, 2017
    can the grounds be used on indoor plants?

Join the conversation
2 of 278 comments
  • Nancy Wilson Nancy Wilson on Jul 15, 2017
    Each night we used to dump the tea leaves from the pot out onto the garden (veggies and flower). The garden was lush and green and flowers and fruit abundant.

  • Barbara Zuviceh Barbara Zuviceh on Jul 27, 2017
    I had a compost bin when I lived in a rural area and I always took care to let the coffee grounds dry out before adding to my composting bin along with my used egg shells.
    I used to have some really good compost with all.of the other things that ended up in there.