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Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Remarkable Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Mary Hunt on

If you love your morning cup of joe, there's a pretty good chance you're throwing out spent coffee grounds on a regular basis. Take a look at this list, and you just might discover more than a few ways you can recycle and reuse old grounds so you can enjoy them over (and over) again!

Not a coffee drinker? These days, local coffee shops offer their spent grounds for free. Find one near you, and stop by to pick up a bag or two.


According to the Environmental Protection Agency, coffee grounds are a safe and effective way to keep pests away. The smoke from burning used ground coffee is especially effective to send mosquitoes away because they are seriously repelled by the smell, which to humans is quite subtle.

Start with completely dry used coffee grounds. Place the grounds in a bowl or other flat surface lined with foil, and light them with a match, the way you would incense. Add a few fresh bay leaves to amplify your repellant. Set the container(s) upwind to get the scent moving.



Caffeine and diterpenes found in coffee grounds can be quite toxic to insects, which makes them effective in deterring fruit flies, beetles and other such pests. Scatter the grinds in your garden to help create a barrier that slugs and snails do not like to crawl over.

To rid your dog of fleas, try this: After bathing, rub 1 to 2 cups of wet grounds into his fur. Rinse well. This will kill fleas and also leave Fido's fur silky smooth.


Spent coffee grounds contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with a variety of micronutrients. When mixed with the soil in your garden or houseplants, coffee grounds will release the nutrients while they decompose. This makes for a good slow-release fertilizer.


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