How to REUSE your Spent Coffee Grounds

If you google “what to do with old coffee grounds”, there are quite a few articles that list the many ways of doing just that. Some are a little absurd and not very practical, while others are great and not weird. For example, using coffee grounds as an exfoliating facial mask? At the same time it’s saying you can use it as a green alternative to wood stain? See where I’m going with this?

So, I want to take the best tips and put our own spin on it. Hope there’s at least one in here that will apply to you! This article was inspired by


1. Fertilizer/Compost:

Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which helps plants convert sunlight into energy. The natural acidity from coffee is also beneficial to a majority of plants, which include Tulips, Roses, Heathers, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellia, Hydrandreas, Tomatoes, Carrots and more.

Coffee grounds are the perfect item to use as fertilizer for home gardens because it already resembles soil! If you’re lazy and want to reuse spent grounds in the easiest way possible, just scratch the surface of the soil, sprinkle some grounds and mix it around.

The best way to get the most out of coffee grounds for home gardening is to compost first. This is more energy and time consuming but ensures that the grounds won’t do more harm than good. Erin Meister, a trainer at Counter Culture Coffee and writer from writes:

Coffee grounds are considered “green” matter, or nitrogen-supplying to the compost system. They help create and maintain heat inside the pile by giving bacteria a hospitable growth environment; they also can help manage the pile’s overall moisture content. When paired with “browns” like leaves, twigs, even coffee filters, coffee is the perfect catalyst for healthy decomposition, which can speed up the composting process and give you better fertilizer faster. Worms love the stuff: They’ll munch your day-old coffee happily, turning it into black gold by digesting it and producing nutrient-rich castings.

Source: Why You Should Compost Your Coffee Grounds | Serious Eats 

2. Pest Repellent:

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Although we love the smell of coffee, many insects, slugs and other creepy crawlies detest it. Even cats and deer hate it. Sprinkle some coffee in your yard and garden to keep pests away. This is great if you want to keep chemicals at a minimum around the house and especially if you’re trying to maintain an organic garden.

Source: How to Keep Your Yard and Garden Pest-Free Without Harsh Chemicals | Life Hacker


1. Odor neutralizer

You know when you walk into a department store and your nostrils are bombarded with the smell of a hundred different perfumes that were seemingly sprayed at the same time? Terrible, right? That moment when all of those smells start to run together is called olfactory fatigue. Those little jars filled with coffee beans are your last line of defense against that floral scented blitzkrieg. They are essentially a reset button for your sense of smell. They can also be used to help neutralize odors in your home. Remember to dry your coffee grounds before using because wet coffee can become moldy and rancid. Just spread your spent grounds on a tray and let dry in the sun. Then, put the dry coffee grounds in a sachet or jar and stick it in your freezer, fridge, bathroom, closet, doggy room, garage, basement, etc. Think of it like baking soda, but, you know….not for baking.

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2. Pot Scrubber

Toss a handful of coffee grounds on your dirty pots and pans for extra scrubbing and polishing power. Finer coffee grounds are better for polishing, while courser grinds are good for thicker, caked-on messes.


1. Naturally Tanning Body Scrub

Freepeople’s blog page has a great recipe on a coffee based body scrub. Coffee is great for the skin because:

Coffee is rich in antioxidants, making it an awesome anti-inflammatory ingredient. It contains caffeine, which draws out excess moisture from your skin, causing it to look and feel smoother and firmer. In this scrub, coffee acts as a mild exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and exposing fresh, soft skin.

Source: Tighten & Tone: Homemade Coconut Coffee Body Scrub | Free People Blog

Not only will your skin look smooth and hydrated, it’ll also give it a natural tint! You can finally throw away that spray tan, ladies!

Or don’t. That’s up to you.

But you really should.


1. Paper Dye or Ink

Use old coffee in water and dip some textured paper to give it an aged look, or you can use old coffee grounds to create art!

2. Wood Stain

Jimmy loves to do woodworking (yeah I do). We built the dogs a bed last fall and I wish we had used a natural coffee stain. The dogs love licking everything and who knows what kinds of chemicals are in the stain. They are also very expensive and take forever for the odor to dissipate.

Collect a whole bunch of used coffee grounds and re-steep them with boiling water. BAM. Instant wood stain. Well, not instant. It has to steep…whatever. You get it. For complete directions, go to Reusing Coffee Grounds as Wood Stain | Ground to Ground



Waste won’t be as apparent at your home, but as a business we will have a lot of spent coffee grounds. We are all apart of an interconnected system on Earth. When we die, our bodies will go back into the soil and our energy will be one with the universe. But before that happens, we all want to make the most out of our physical time here. We should also allow our coffee beans to make the most meaningful, efficient and beneficial impact on the earth possible!

At Sputnik Coffee, we’re always excited about fostering innovation, even if its as simple as reusing coffee grounds!


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