I'm aware that coffee grounds can be great for composting, but living in a large city makes that more difficult than I'd prefer.

With every cup of coffee comes a bunch of soggy grounds that I normally throw away shortly after. Are there any constructive uses for spent grounds, be it culinary, cleaning, or scent related?


3 Answers 3


They are very good as de-odourizers, we use them in the kitchen and sometimes in a small perforated plastic container in the footwell of the backseats in our car.

The fragrant smell lasts a long time also surprisingly.

Also it seems to be useful in fridges too.

That link lists the following:

  1. Deodourize fridge
  2. As a scouring agent
  3. A cheap varnisher
  4. Dye for paper
  5. Promoting Hydrangea health
  6. Ash absorber
  7. Exfoliant
  8. Cockroach trap
  9. Fortifying plants
  10. Compost

So the above is quite a good list of uses that could be applicable for your situation

I just found 34 uses here too, I have to say though that using ground coffee as a method for salting a path didn't work for me.

Additonal uses:

  1. slug killer
  2. mushroom grower
  3. carrot and radish feed
  4. worm attractor
  5. cat deterrant (this didn't work for me)
  6. play doh dirt
  7. make a pin cushion
  8. garbage disposal cleaner
  9. drain cleaner
  10. add weathering to wood
  11. meat tenderizer
  12. make energy bites
  13. egg dyeing
  14. coffee candle
  15. make fossils
  16. treasure stones
  17. paint
  18. flea bath
  19. remove build up from hair
  20. eye bag remover
  21. deodorizing salt
  22. salt scrub
  23. face mask
  24. path/road ice melter
  • 1
    Anecdotally, #15 cat deterrent has been working wonders for me. (We have a stray cat problem, but since I started sprinkling the grounds in strategic spots, they've been preferring my neighbor's yard.) Also worked great for some of our plants, but simply magic for my pomegranate tree - fruits have never been this sweet and succulent.
    – AviD
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:06
  • @Mayo cheers I thought it'd be useful to add what I've actually used from this list too rather than just only repeating what's on the link also, reproducing it avoids link rot
    – EdChum
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:07
  • @AviD maybe I'm using the wrong roast ;)
    – EdChum
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:08
  • @EdChum maybe I'm using the wrong cats ;-)
    – AviD
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:09
  • Yes, cockroaches are attracted to coffee grounds. 🪳
    – Geremia
    Apr 10, 2021 at 3:46

Roaches love coffee. For someone living in a city a roach trap seems like a good solution (but I wouldn't recommend it from personal experience). I wouldn't use coffee grounds as fertilizer in house plants either for the same reason (see below).

I live in NYC and roaches are a problem. The last thing you want is for roaches to tell their friends in neighboring apartments that YOUR apartment is a good place to find yummy things. You may be killing them but you'll be attracting them faster than you can kill them.

It didn't work for me. It may, however, be an excellent solution in a single family detached house in which one brought roaches in with the groceries. In that scenario you have a given amount of roaches and when they're gone - the problem is gone.


This may sound a bit insane, but I've known ladies who will take the old grounds and, with the help of plastic wrap, apply them to cellulite trouble areas. It's only a temporary fix, but if it's something that bothers you, it's good for at least a night out.

  • Oh wow. Welcome to Coffee SE! Oct 13, 2015 at 13:19
  • Thanks! I just throw them on my plants as a fertilizer, but that only takes care of some of them given the amount of coffee I consume daily.
    – Liss
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:35

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