tips, topics, info and insight to help you save money and make our world a little greener

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Creative with Coffee Grounds

Everyday - more or less 365 days a year - we brew a pot of coffee. And when we clean up, we throw away the coffee grinds. Well, not exactly throw away. Mostly we throw them in the composter. Sometimes, I'll take them outside and spread them around the hydrangeas (the grounds increase the acidity of the soil and make the blue hydrangeas bluer).

Mrs. Greene, at My Zero Waste, recently posted a list of other uses for coffee grinds created by the Impact and Sustainability manager of Cafedirect..  Here are some of them  (I particularly like the cat repellent suggestion!):

  1. Eco Exfoliant - apply grounds and massage your skin; then rinse.
  2. Hair Rinse - use leftover coffee as a final hair rinse for dark hair for extra shine
  3. Slug Repellent - scatter coffee grounds around the base of plants to keep slugs away
  4. Cat Repellent - mix coffee grounds with orange and lemon peels and scatter in the garden where cats are a problem. They will hate the smell.
  5. Odor Control - use a bowl of grounds in the freezer to soak up bad smells; rub coffee grounds on your hands after cutting up onions and garlic to neutralize the odor
  6. Furniture Care - remove small scratches on furniture with wet coffee grounds
  7. Grow Mushrooms - moist used coffee grounds can be used as a medium for home-grown mushrooms
  8. Ant Deterrent - apparently the critters won't cross a line of coffee grounds
  9. Potted Plant Food - add a little coffee grounds to indoor plants to increase acidity of the potting soil. Just don't over do it.

  Any additions to the list? Please share.


  1. Thanks Mary. The My Zero Waste Blog is a great place for eco-friendly inspiration.