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10 Uses for Coffee Grounds

Stash your used coffee grounds for these clever household projects.

Used coffee grounds in a pour over filter. iStock

Once you've brewed your morning cup of coffee, perk up around-the-house tasks with this surprisingly versatile leftover. While some use coffee grounds for recipes, here’s how to use coffee grounds around the home:

10 Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

1. Repel Insects in Your Garden

Coffee grounds make for a great repellant in the garden. Mound grounds into a ring to create a protective border around plants that will ward off ants and slugs.

2. Fortify Plants

Give seedlings a nitrogen boost by stirring grounds into soil or a watering can.

3. Deodorize Your Fridge

Place a bowl of dry grounds in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize odors left by stale food scraps or spoiled food.

4. Clean Tools and Dishware

Place a few teaspoons of grounds on a thin cleaning rag and use to scour away grease and grime on pots and pans. Finish with a thorough rinsing.

5. Hide Furniture Scratches

Dip a cotton swab into steeped grounds and dab on scratches in dark wood furniture to minimize them. Just test in an inconspicuous area first.

6. Grow Blue Hydrangeas

Work grounds into the soil at the base of mophead hydrangeas to increase the acidity level. This helps the shrubs absorb aluminum, which you can add to the soil to keep the flowers a vibrant blue.

7. Give Paper an Antique Look

Dip paper or sheets of stationery in a soupy mix of grounds and water; allow them to sit a minute or two, then let dry and brush off the grounds.

8. Contain Ashes

Sprinkle damp grounds on fireplace ashes to cut down on airborne dust as you sweep them up.

9. Scrub Hands

Rub a scoop of grounds between palms as an exfoliant to remove dead skin and help eliminate smells from foods like fish and garlic.

10. Make a Cockroach Trap

Fill a can or jar with an inch or two of moistened coffee grounds, then line the container's neck with extra-sticky double-sided tape. The scent will draw the roaches into the trap.

If you can’t get enough of doing household tasks that involve all things coffee, read TOH’s 10 Uses for Coffee Filters.