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34 Unexpected Ways Coffee Grounds Can Make Your Life Better

The best bean in the world is even better than you thought.

Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed

1. Blue Your Blooms

Flickr: martinlabar

Some flowering plants, like hydrangeas, change color depending on the pH level of the soil. Adding coffee grounds will reduce the pH level and give you bright blue flowers.

2. Keep the Slugs Away

Unlike worms, slugs, snails, and other bugs don't like the acidity of coffee and won't cross the ground if it's sprinkled with java.

3. Grow Your Own Mushrooms

You can grow the funnest fungi around with just some coffee grounds and mushroom spores. Learn how here.

4. Increase Your Carrot and Radish Harvest

Flickr: abirdie

Mixing coffee grounds with the seeds before you plant carrots and radishes will keep pests and bugs away and increase your harvest.

5. Bring on the Worms

Worms might not be the best pets, but they are great for your garden; they turn the soil and fertilize it with their own body processes. Worms are attracted to coffee grounds, so adding it to your garden beds will attract more of these helpful creatures.

6. Enhance Your Compost Pile

Coffee grounds will add much-needed nitrogen to your compost bin. Just pour them in get decomposing.

7. Keep Cats Out

Flickr: nicepureview

Tired of your neighbors cats traipsing through your flowers? Just sprinkle some coffee grounds and orange peel where you don't want them to walk.

8. Freshen Your Flower Vases

Using a coffee-soil mix for your flower vase not only looks cool and lengthens your cut flowers' life, it also acts as an air freshener in the room. Directions here.

9. Make Some Play-Dough Dirt

It's edible (though probably not delicious) and is great for playing with fake snakes and worms. Get the instructions here.

10. Build a Better Pin Cushion

Flickr: 51106757@N04

Filling your pin cushion with coffee grounds will prevent your pins from rusting. Plus, it's like a sachet of good smells every time you use it.

Pro tip: Make sure to dry them thoroughly first by spreading them on a cookie sheet and placing them in the freezer for an hour or two.

11. Make a Roach Trap

Flickr: photoaxis

All you need is coffee grounds, a can, and some double-sided tape. Get the instructions here.

12. Scour Your Pans

Flickr: tombothetominator

A few coffee grounds on a rag can help scrape away caked-on dirt. Just make sure not to use it on ceramic or other dishes that stain easily.

13. Clean Your Fireplace

If you want to sweep up the ashes from your fireplace, add some damp coffee grounds to the pile and sweep away. It will eliminate that dusty cloud.

14. Clean Your Hands After Chopping Garlic

Flickr: thekylejones

Keep a little cup of coffee grounds near or under your sink, and rub a handful of them on your hands after chopping garlic or onions or other smelly things. The grounds will absorb the odor.

15. Make Garbage Disposal Cleaners

With this recipe, you can make these little cleaners that help your garbage disposal stay sharp and smelling fresh.

16. Unclog Your Drain

Flickr: chiotsrun

With coffee grounds, boiling water and a little dish soap, you can unclog your bathroom and kitchen drains. See how here.

17. Get Odors Out of Your Fridge and Freezer

Flickr: mlazarevski

Instead of baking soda, use a box of used coffee grounds to absorb smells in your fridge.

18. Get Scratches Out of Furniture

Use oil and coffee grounds or instant coffee to mask scratches in many shades of wood. Get the details here.

19. Make Wood Look Weathered

This technique makes new wood look antique. Get the full instructions here.

20. Tenderize Your Meat

Using coffee as a spice for a meat rub will tenderize it and add a smokey flavor. Get a recipe here.

21. Make These No-Bake Energy Bites

22. Make Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

This technique also works on paper and fabric. See how here.

23. Make a Coffee Candle

All you need is a coffee cup with grounds, and some leftover wax ends from other candles. Directions here.

24. Make an Air Freshener

Perfect for your house or car. All you need is some coffee grounds and panty hose. See how to do it here.

25. Make Your Own Fossils

Don't wait millions of years for your seashells to fossilize. Make your own instant fossils with coffee grounds and flour. Perfect for toy-dinosaur footprints. Directions here.

26. Make "Treasure Stones"

Family Fun / Via

Hide a treat inside, then bake tiny stones for little ones to excavate. See how here.

27. Paint a Picture

Coffee grounds and water (aka second-round coffee) make an excellent nontoxic paint.

28. Make a Flea Bath

Flickr: mrgranito

Add some coffee grounds to your dog's shampoo to create a natural flea repellant.

29. Strip Buildup from Your Hair


The abrasive texture of coffee grounds will help strip oils and buildup from your hair. Pile them on in the shower or, for a much less messy strategy, just add some grounds to your shampoo or conditioner. (Best for brunettes as coffee can also darken hair.)

30. Remove Dark Circles from Under Your Eyes

Just like coffee wakes YOU up in the morning, it can also wake up your face by reducing puffiness and tightening skin. See how it works here.

31. Make a Deodorizing Soap

You can DIY this masculine (aka non-floral) soap out of recycled hotel soaps and coffee. It's a great (and nearly free) homemade gift for anyone on your list. See how here.

32. Make a Luxurious Salt Scrub

This rub will leave your whole body feeling soft and rejuvenated. See how to make it here.

33. Make a Mocha Frappuccino Mask

This delicious-smelling morning mask will wake you up and exfoliate your face. Get the recipe here.

34. "Salt" Your Walk


Coffee grounds make great gravel to help keep roads and sidewalks from being slippery, and the acid helps melt the ice quicker.

Want to take advantage of the java bean's benefits but don't like coffee yourself? No problem!

Getty Images/moodboard RF moodboard

Most coffee shops (including most Starbucks) will give you bags of used grounds for free!

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