Got the coffee ground blues? I am not sure the coffee ground blues are a real thing. I certainly wouldn’t say it in a crowd of coffee drinkers and expect them to know what was talking about. But, living in Seattle and drinking coffee every day, I do suffer from a certain guilt as I continue dumping my coffee grounds. My gregarious green neighbors are, I am sure, aware of my disposal methods (ie the trash) — and they judge.

Coffee Grounds

And perhaps they have a right to. So, in a effort to be a responsible coffee drinker — and to convince you to be one as well — here are  some ideas to help you get your coffee grounds put to use.

13 Ways to Beat the Coffee Ground Blues

In the Garden

1. Keep kitty away.
Perhaps ol’ Puss’n Boots is a little too found of the catnip. Cats don’t like the smell of coffee, and (especially if mixed with orange peels) your garden will be left feline-free when ringed with coffee grounds.

Angry Cat in Garden

2. Fertilizer with a kick.
Revitalize your veggies and give your buds a boost. Plants (most of them, anyway) love the acidity and caffeine in coffee. Mix some grounds in with your top soil and vegetable seeds and see luscious plants come to life! If you drink your coffee black, pour the dregs over the porch railing. You and your flowers will perk up together.

3. Send ants marching.
Keep pests out of the garden by sprinkling a ring of coffee grounds around your precious petunias. Ants will avoid the acidity, and you are left with pristine petals.

4. Compost it.
It’s all about the nitrogen balance. Coffee’s got you covered. Read me about composing coffee grounds here.

Compost soil

In the Home

5. Deo-dor-izer.
Dump coffee grounds into an empty yogurt container, pop some holes in the lid and stick that bad boy in the fridge or freezer to keep funky smells from funkifying the rest of your kitchen. For those who are plagued with a less-than-fresh smelling car, pour grounds into an old pair of nylons and stash your homemade sachet in your seat pockets. For an extra yummy coffee smelling treat add a few drops of vanilla extract to the mix.

Kitchen with Bad Smells

6. Revitalize old furniture.
Scratched and dinged furniture be gone! For those dark-wood end tables, use a cotton swab to dab wet coffee grounds into blemishes. Voila – as good as new.

7. Unclog sticky drains.
Not only do they smell bad, but clogged drains create all sorts of problems that only seem to get worse. Regularly pouring about 1/2 cup of used coffee grounds down a drain, followed by plenty of boiling water will keep the pipes working.

8. A combination cleaner/odor eliminator.
Old ashtrays? Mildewing soap dishes? Those things that are so gross you dread cleaning them have met their [all natural] match. Coffee grounds are abrasive and deodorizing, so sticky, foul-smelling messes are a thing of the past.

On Your Body

9. Loofah magic.
An exfoliate with rejuvenation powers. Rub coffee grounds on your face for a smooth, fresh epidermis, or go to town on rough calluses.

10. Enhance your hair.Calling all brunettes!
Washing your dark locks with coffee byproduct gives hair a rich, shiny bounce.

Brown hair

11. Cellulite, shmellulite.
Mix 1/2 cup of warm coffee grounds with a little bit of olive oil, slap it on those “problem areas,” and wrap your self up in some shrink wrap. After a few minutes, unwrap and rinse in warm water. Rumor has it your skin will be looking smooth and youthful in a matter of weeks. We are a little skeptical — but if anyone want to try it and report back, please do!

DIY Craft Projects

12. Build a worm farm.
Maybe you’re on the lookout for some low-key pets, fertile soil for the garden, or some new ways to get your compost composting. EIther way, coffee grounds are a #1 essential in worm farming, along with soil, sand, shredded paper, and tasty morsels from your kitchen. Check out this worm farm article to get yours under way.

Worms for a worm farm

13. Fulfill all your brown dye needs.
Easter eggs are no longer pressing (and who wants brown Easter eggs, anyway?), but old coffee grounds produce a very beautiful brown dye for fabrics and paper. Steep grounds in hot water, and dip away! Did we miss any? Comment below if you have some ideas for your old coffee grounds. And anyone who would like to take on the cellulite challenge, keep us in touch with your progress.