Why you should not throw away your coffee grounds


Many brew their coffee and throw the coffee grounds left in the filter into the trash. But this is a mistake because it can still be reused. After all, ground coffee beans contain many valuable nutrients that can be reused. In the following, the best tips are given on what can be done with the coffee grounds. One thing first: in most cases, the coffee grounds should be cooled and dried out beforehand. In the moist state, it moulds rather quickly.

The versatile coffee grounds

The coffee grounds are the black residue that remains in the filter after the coffee has been brewed. It looks unappetizing and is simply thrown away without much thought. But the supposed waste is a real miracle cure. Our great-grandparents already knew about the manifold effects of coffee grounds. They used it to clean pots and pans, eliminate unpleasant odours and keep pests away from the pantry. Ethiopia is considered the country of origin of coffee. Here the coffee grounds are considered a miracle cure for beauty. This is why it is contained in many cosmetic products.

Why not throw away coffee grounds
Coffee grounds: much too good to throw away - photo: @ Gregory Lee adobestock

Banish bad smells in the refrigerator with the coffee grounds

Coffee dispels bad odours because the powder binds the odour molecules. It is therefore advisable to put the coffee grounds in a bowl and then place it in the refrigerator. The refrigerator always smells of different foods, no matter how clean it is. With the coffee grounds, odours can be neutralised within a short time. The powder should, of course, be changed occasionally. The coffee grounds can also be used for the same purpose in other rooms as an odour killer, for example in the kitchen to eliminate smoke or other unpleasant odours. If your hands smell of onions or garlic, you can also simply rub them with the coffee grounds. If sprinkled into the shoes, the coffee grounds can even eliminate sweaty foot odour. No matter where it is used, the good thing is that the coffee grounds not only cover up the unpleasant odours but also eliminate them.

Coffee grounds are an ideal flower fertilizer

Coffee grounds contain valuable nutrients for plants. These include potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, for example. These are vital substances for plants. It is therefore advisable to add two tablespoons of coffee grounds to the potting soil. It is also slightly acidic. Thanks to the low pH value, water with a high lime content can be neutralised by the coffee grounds. It can also be used as fertiliser in beds. Especially roses, hydrangeas and tomatoes or other crops benefit from it. The cold coffee grounds are simply sprinkled around the plants and easily worked in with a rake. The coffee grounds help plants to grow stronger, with healthy leaves and beautiful flowers. So why use expensive chemicals that pollute the environment? Another advantage is that coffee grounds attract earthworms, which loosen the soil and are therefore desirable as beneficial organisms in the garden. It is therefore advisable to collect coffee grounds. By the way, it can still be used even if it already has white spots. This only shows that the rotting process has begun. The coffee grounds can also be diluted with water to water the plants.

Why you should not throw away the coffee grounds
Coffee grounds: Why you should not throw away the coffee grounds - photo: @ Klaus Eppele adobestock

Combating pests with coffee grounds

The coffee grounds are also suitable for pest control. It can be used to drive away snails or voles, for example. Ants do not like coffee grounds either. Coffee neutralises the scent traces left by the animals so that they look for other ways. The ant colonies use their scent tracks for "navigation" and can, therefore, be kept well away with the coffee grounds. In all the cases mentioned above, it is advisable to sprinkle a trace of coffee grounds on the affected area or to work the dried powder into the soil of beds. Coffee grounds should also help to eliminate fruit flies in the pot of house plants. However, as mentioned above, the coffee grounds should be completely dry before use to prevent mould growth.

Using coffee grounds for personal hygiene

With a handful of coffee grounds and two tablespoons of olive oil, a clarifying peeling can be produced thanks to its granular consistency. The particles contained act like tiny grinding stones. They free the skin from old skin flakes. The caffeine contained improves blood circulation, dilates the blood vessels and can help tighten the connective tissue, it is said. The skin becomes soft, velvety and smooth. The peeling should take effect for about half an hour after application and massage. It is then rinsed off again with warm water. The coffee grounds can also be mixed with the shower gel, which is then used as usual. It is also said to help against cellulite. The still-warm coffee grounds are placed in foil and wrapped around the thighs. The reaction time is about 15 minutes. The coffee grounds can also be mixed with the hair shampoo to strengthen the hair and give it shine. However, this should not be done on light hair, as coffee has a slight colouring effect.

Coffee grounds as a mild scouring agent and polish in the household

Because of its structure, coffee grounds can also be used as a gentle abrasive to clean encrusted, insensitive pans or pots with it. Coffee grounds can also be used to remove burnt-in grease residues on a grill grid or residues on a hotplate. It is applied to a sponge for this purpose. Coffee grounds give antique, dark furniture a new shine and pleasant smell. It is recommended not to treat sensitive areas with the coffee grounds to avoid scratch marks.


Most people simply throw coffee grounds away after brewing. Only a few know how versatile it can still be used. Coffee grounds are an absolute all-rounder, do the environment a lot of good and also save money.