9 Great Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

Author: Amy Harris

Here at Jackhammer, we get through copious amounts of divine coffee on a daily basis and most of the time it just gets chucked in the compost or bin. It got me thinking, what other uses do used coffee grounds have? 

Here are 9 great uses for used coffee ... some slightly off the wall and some slightly mundane, but all uses none the less! My favorite is number one ..although I think I'll leave that to the talented folk :) 


Great Uses for Used Coffee Grounds

1) Coffee art 

There are some incredibly talented individuals who use used coffee grounds to create beautiful art. One of these is Vincent Francisco Navarro from Baguio City, Philippines, is an emerging visual artist who uses ground coffee as the main medium of his art. He collects used coffee grounds and recycles them as paint, thus giving the waste product new value and purpose through aesthetics.

Indonesian artist Ghidaq al-Nizar has found a new purpose for the forgotten sediment: using it as the foundation for whimsical illustrations on flimsy copper leaves or amazing ground minitures. He calls his artwork #zerowastecoffee, because it uses every little bit of that delectable morning cup. His images are awesome and you can check him out on Instagram @coffeetopia



2) As a meat tenderiser and seasoning

Crank up the BBQ and get on this! 

It works in two ways. Coffee grounds work as a tenderiser because, as they caramelise, they form a crust that locks in all the moisture of the meat. This not only adds a savoury-sweet flavour to your BBQ (pork works best with this) but once your meat is cooked, it will be fork-tender. NOM! 


Uses for used coffee grounds

3) Make new wood look old

Want to make wood look vintage and sexy? A tablespoon of coffee grounds, white vinegar, one steel wool pad and an old jam jar are all you need. Simply place the steel wool and grounds in the jar and fill it to the top with the vinegar. Let the mixture stew for a day. The vinegar will slowly start to dissolve the steel wool, which will give your wood a silvery patina. Once the 24 hours are up, all you need to do is remove the steel wool (remember to wear gloves) and start painting over your piece of wood. Let the first coat dry, brush off the coffee grounds and apply a second coat. BOOM! 

4) Facial exfoliant

Coffee grounds are abrasive enough to scrub with, but are soft enough to be used on your face. Gently massage a small amount of spent coffee grounds into your face to use as an exfoliant. The sensation was like rubbing sand into my face, and not unpleasant. .

5) Faux beard

Feel free to get carried away and give yourself a fearsome coffee-beard while you're experimenting with the above. :) 


6) Slug killer 

For you garden lovers out there here are some great tips. Worms love coffee so make sure you scatter around your plants and put in the compost. However, 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. Ants hate it too ... and cats ... you are welcome! 


Play Dough Coffee Grounds

7) Fake play dough dirt 

It’s edible (though probably not delicious) and is great for playing with fake snakes and worms. Get the instructions here. The littlies in your life will love it! 

8) Cleaning your fire 

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

9) 'Just for men' (or women!) move over! 

Brunettes and dark redheads listen up! You can benefit from rinsing your hair in coffee to rejuvenate colour. Just steep your used grounds in two cups of hot water and then rinse this through your hair. Cleans your drains at the same time. 

So when you next have a cup of delicious black stuff, think about what you might be able to do with those lovely grounds..you never know.. you could have some hidden artistic talent waiting to be uncovered ..... or just a beard that needs creating!