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Earth Day Tips: 10 Innovative Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Excited for Earth Day 2018? Van Houtte® has environmentally friendly uses for coffee grounds you would otherwise throw out or compost. We recycled some of these Earth Day tips from a previous article – and brewed up exciting new ones! Try them in your home and you’ll never look at coffee the same way again.

Coffee can be enjoyed in so many ways, from midnight black to milky white to the deliciously different experience of in mugs or on plates cooked into recipes. No matter how you consume it, one thing always stays the same: You end up with coffee grounds. 

While many of us just toss or compost them, there are a variety of do-able, domestic uses for coffee grounds. You’d be amazed at what leftover brew can do! The remains of your Van Houtte® Original House Blend ground coffee can be given a second life around the house.

In celebration of Earth Day 2018, Van Houtte® recycled some of these tips from a previous article and brewed up new ones to help you reuse your coffee grounds – and make your life better in the process!


  1. Wash your dishes.
    Coffee grounds are abrasive, making them perfect for scouring food that’s caked onto dirty dishes or countertops. Just sprinkle them onto an old cloth and get scrubbing! Be sure to give your dishes a quick rinse with water and soap after to clean off the coffee smell.

  2. Absorb refrigerator odours.
    Love the smell of coffee? It can eliminate fridge funkiness you don't love so much. Fill a nylon stocking or cheesecloth with coffee grounds and place it in your refrigerator. Your favourite Van Houtte® coffee will naturally absorb the unpleasant odours.

  3. Remove unpleasant smells from your hands.
    Coffee grounds can remove odours from your fridge and hands! If you cook a lot, you know that certain scents, like garlic or onion, stick to your fingers. To get rid of them, simply rub your hands with coffee grounds.

  4. Create your own coffee candle.
    This Earth Day tip is doubly green – not only can you recycle your Van Houtte® coffee grounds, but also any leftover wax candle ends you have around the house. Sparked your curiosity? Just melt the candles down, sprinkle some coffee grounds at the base of your mold, pour in the wax, let it cool and repeat! Get the full instructions here.

  5. Kill fleas on pets.
    While you may love coffee, many critters don’t. In fact, it’s well known that brew is a natural pesticide. Just wash your pet’s fur with coffee grounds to get rid of or repel fleas.

6. Keep down the dust.
Tis the season for spring cleaning. Do you have a dusty floor or fireplace that needs a little sprucing up? Sprinkle coffee grounds on the floor or hearth to cut down on airborne particles as you sweep.

7. Make gardening extra green.
Used coffee grounds have many benefits in your garden, including fertilizing your plants and flowers, attracting desirable earth worms and repelling unwanted visitors like ants, slugs and even neighbourhood cats. Is there anything that brew can’t do?

8. Repair scratches on dark wood furniture.  Dip a cotton swab in coffee grounds and gently dab it onto the marks to minimize them. After they have sat for a few minutes, buff them off with a cotton cloth. Generally, the darker the furniture, the better use for coffee grounds works.

9. Dye you need to try.
Turn a stain into a gain! Among the most artistic uses for coffee grounds, all you have to do is re-wet them and then dye everything from fabric to Easter eggs. Coffee grounds soaked in water can also be used to give paper a sepia tone, aged look. 

10. Clean your drain.
Watch all your household stresses go down the drain – literally. Just pour coffee grounds in the pipe, follow with a few drops of dish soap and then a pot of boiling water. Instantly clean and clear, with no more clogged pipes and built-up grease!

Before you can put these Earth Day tips into action, you need coffee grounds! Stock up on some new brew with Van Houtte® coffee.