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How To Dispose Of Coffee Grounds

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: February 2, 2024 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

I think it’s safe to say that most people are addicted to coffee today. You can get it at home or at the office; however, there’s a coffee shop on every corner and coffee machines in almost every cafe and restaurant. One of the challenges of all this coffee is how to dispose of coffee grounds safely.

Coffee grounds that are by-products of coffee usually pose a threat when it comes to their disposal. Unlike other waste, you can’t wash coffee grounds down the sink. They will block your sink and cause more trouble.

While throwing the coffee grounds in the trash bin is quick and easy, you can opt for other sustainable ways. This article gives you the ideal ways to dispose of the grounds, benefiting the environment.

How To Dispose Of Coffee Grounds (Safely)

Coffee grounds are the end products of grinding coffee beans and brewing coffee. Once you get your cup of hot dark cup of espresso, what’s left behind after the flavour is extracted are the coffee grounds.

Irrespective of the brewing process, you must end up with coffee grounds. Common methods behind the grounds include the pour-over, French press, and siphon method, among others.

6 Ideal Ways To Dispose Of Your Coffee Grounds

1. The Garden

Your garden is one of your home’s most valuable assets and keeping it looking vibrant and appealing contributes to the value of your home.

Coffee grounds are very useful in gardening to supplement soil nutrients. For plants to thrive, many soils require fertilizer or manure. Nutrients such as potassium and phosphorous are always depleted rapidly, and thus, soils require regular replenishment. 

Coffee grounds are rich in both macro and micronutrients. Micronutrients include magnesium, iron, chromium, and calcium, while macronutrients include the famous trio- NPK. Furthermore, coffee grounds help reduce heavy metals like cadmium and copper in the soils by absorbing them. 

how to dispose of coffee grounds - in the garden

They also attract worms which are great in aerating the soils, thus increasing the plants’ health. You can sprinkle the grounds around acid-loving plants such as daffodils, blueberries, and azaleas. 

Coffee grounds are also an excellent addition when making compost manure. Once you pile your leaves, yard, and kitchen waste, add ash and coffee grounds to enhance the decomposition and inject additional nutrients. Also, they help attract earthworms which is great for compost. Coffee grounds are essential to farmers by reducing the amount of fertilizer needed. 

You can also use coffee grounds to wade off pests such as aphids, snails, mosquitos, slugs, beetles, and fruit flies. Chemicals like caffeine and diterpenes help the grounds to act as repellants on the farm.

2. Cleaning

We previously noted that coffee grounds are coarse. They are thus making them a good tool for scouring your utensils in the kitchen. Their rugged nature helps in scrubbing. You sprinkle some grounds and wash with a sponge like you normally do.  

Cleaning the fireplace has forever been a daunting task. Worry no more. Sprinkle coffee grounds over the fireplace when it’s damp and do the cleaning dust-free. The grounds inhibit the ash and dust.

On the other hand, coffee grounds are excellent for keeping fleas off your dog. After washing your dog(s), scrub them with a handful of coffee grounds. The smell of coffee grounds sends fleas away, thus giving your dog peace of mind.

3. Cooking

It sounds interesting that you can use coffee grounds in cooking besides preparing a cup of coffee. Well, the grounds are great meat tenderizers. Most animal meat consists of tough fibre, which takes a lot of time to cook. By adding coffee grounds, the meat softens and takes less time to cook.

The grounds consist of acids and enzymes that are essential in tenderizing meat. Add coffee grounds to your meat roughly 2 hours before you start cooking. The coffee by-products form a dark, crispy crust on the meat. You can use them on any meat; beef, lamb, chicken, and pork. You can also use coffee grounds in baking.

4. Absorb Odour

There is a trash bin in all homes, and it’s emptied once every week or two weeks. Before the emptying date, the trash in the bin may ferment and produce a foul smell. You can add coffee grounds to the trash bin to conceal the odour. If your socks and shoes produce a foul smell, you can place some coffee grounds inside them overnight and see the magic.

how to dispose of coffee grounds - odour absorption

In addition, you can place a bowl of coffee inside the fridge to reduce the small produced by fragrant foods or herbs. Some foods and drinks get stale when contaminated with other smells.

5. Skin Nourisher

According to research, at least 80-90% of women have cellulite. Cellulite makes the skin have a lumpy appearance. It occurs when fat deposits start accumulating in the connective tissues making it visible in some body parts like thighs. 

Rubbing your skin in the affected areas with coffee grounds mixed with coconut oil or water breaks down the cellulite, thanks to the caffeine present. You should scrub the skin at least twice per week for ten minutes each time. 

You can also use coffee grounds to rub your skin to remove dirt and dead cells from the skin’s surface. You can mix the grounds with olive oil and dead sea salt, then use the mixture as a foot scrub. Coffee grounds and coconut oil are excellent for face rub. The grounds are rich in antioxidants and thus aid in reducing damage from the sun.

6. Dye

You can use wet coffee grounds to colour materials such as cotton, linen, and rayon. You can also use them to colour your kid’s artwork or as hair dyes. 

Alternatively, you can use them to restore colour in washed-off furniture. Wooden furniture like those made of mahogany often gets scratched quickly. You can use a thick paste of coffee grounds and a cotton swab on the affected area before applying polish.

3 Ways You Should Not Dispose Of Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are coarse and still have some percentage of caffeine. It would help if you, therefore, were very cautious when choosing how to dispose of them. You should take advantage of the tons of uses discussed above and avoid disposing of them in the following ways;

1. Do Not Shove Them Down The Kitchen Sink.

If you want to avoid trouble fixing your kitchen sink, you should keep it clear of coffee grounds. They will cause instant blockage, which will cost you dearly.

2. Do Not Flush The Grounds Down The Toilet.

If you brew coffee at home, do not be tempted to flush the grounds down the toilet. It should also not be an option for coffee shop owners. The grounds do not cause an instant problem. Instead, they gradually clump together and cause a blockage.

3. Don’t Throw The Ground Out Of The Window.

Although it’s very tempting, you should avoid throwing the coffee grounds through the window. It’s critical if you are a pet owner. Since the grounds contain caffeine, it’s very lethal and may lead to death if ingested by cats or dogs.


You can use coffee grounds in numerous ways to prevent them from blocking your sink or clogging your drainage systems. By being creative, you ensure the grounds do not go to waste. You can now enjoy your coffee, knowing the coffee grounds won’t be bothersome once more. 

Scientists are turning the oil from waste ground coffee into biodiesel, so one day coffee may be fuelling your car.
Maria Kelley