Tips for cleaning your home with used coffee grounds

How to Clean Your Home with Used Coffee Grounds

If you are reading this, there’s a good chance that you love coffee. You’re probably drinking one right now, I know I am.

We all know that freshly ground coffee beans are the most important ingredient when making a perfect cup of java, but did you know that your used coffee grounds have other uses?

So, before you throw your spent grounds into the trash, keep reading to find out how you can use them around the house for cleaning, odor removal, and a few other creative ideas.

Used Coffee Grounds to Eliminate Odors

Your old grounds have excellent odor removing qualities, and there are a number of ways you can use them to help your home smell a little fresher.

A pair of woman's hands using used coffee grounds to eliminate a strong odor

Remove Strong Odors from Your Hands

Don’t you just hate it when you prepare something delicious to eat, but then your hands stink of onions or garlic for days after? Keep some used coffee grounds in a sealed container in your kitchen and when you have finished cooking, simply rub some all over your hands.

Coffee grounds are natural odor eliminators, and they will soon get rid of the smell. Another benefit is that coffee grounds are slightly abrasive and act as an exfoliant, so your hands will be left feeling soft and smooth.

Freshen up Your Refrigerator

Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which helps to eliminate strong odors. Place a bowl of used grounds in the back of your refrigerator, and it will counter any smells from food.

Note: If your coffee grounds are moist, the smells from food will be replaced with a coffee smell, which can be quite strong. However, the grounds will dry out in the fridge and the coffee smell will gradually fade, leaving you with a fresh smelling refrigerator.

Drain Deodorizer 

Because of their odor eliminating qualities, spent grounds make an excellent drain deodorizer. Simply put a couple of teaspoons down the drain, and then pour some boiling water down behind them.

Note: Your coffee grounds should NEVER be used for unblocking drains. If your drain is blocked and your throw some grounds into it, you'll likely make the situation much worse. Also, it’s not recommended to do this more than once or twice per month to avoid clogging up your drains.

Remove that Car Smell

The more time you spend in your car, the more it seems to smell. Whether your traveling with your kids or commute to work every day, there always seems to be a lingering smell coming from some unknown place.

To get rid of that unknown smell, put your spent grounds in an open container, and place it somewhere that it won’t get knocked over. You’ll soon notice the bad smell start to fade and be replaced with the delicious aroma of coffee.

Too Much Coffee Smell

All of the above tips will not only remove any unpleasant odors, but they will actually replace them with the smell of coffee. We all love the smell of java, but perhaps smelling it everywhere you go can be slightly overpowering. If that's the case, add a few drops of vanilla extract to the used grounds for a slightly sweeter smell.

Deodorize Your Carpet

Carpet with vacuum removing oders

Carpets can be found in most of our homes and they are generally easy to clean, But we all know that sometimes they can become a little smelly. Homes with children or pets will understand the problem of a dirty carpet. If you find yourself vacuuming on a daily basis but the smell remains, it may be time for a deeper clean.

Before you splash out on an expensive carpet cleaning machine, you can try the odor removing powerhouse that is spent coffee grounds.

Here's How


The first thing you want to do is dry out the grounds by putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Damp coffee grounds will make more of a mess, and will potentially stain your carpet.


Once the used grounds are dry, sprinkle them liberally all over the carpet, paying particular attention to areas that are extra smelly. 


Leave the coffee grounds to work their magic for a couple of hours (or overnight, if possible), and then use a powerful vacuum cleaner to remove them.

Your carpet should now be odor-free, apart from a coffee aroma that will fade with time. As with most coffee cleaning methods, don’t use dark grounds on light colored carpets, even if they have been dried. The risk of staining your carpet is too great, and it’s better to use another method.

Use Spent Grounds for Cleaning Your Kitchen

Used coffee grounds with sponge for cleaning in the kitchen

Coffee is usually prepared in the kitchen, and there are a number of ways you can use the leftover grounds as a cleaning tool for kitchen items.

Pots and Pans

Coffee grounds are abrasive and they make an excellent pot scrubber. Simply put a couple of teaspoons of the grounds on the base of the pan and gently scrub with a cloth. The grounds will agitate any burnt food and make it easier to remove.

Dishes and Crockery

The same thing applies to stubborn food that gets stuck on your plates and bowls. However, you'll need to be careful not to scratch the surface. 

You can make a natural scrubbing pad with your spent grounds. How you ask? Well, by putting the grounds in the center of your cloth, and then grabbing all four corners. Now, tie the corners together with a rubber band. Voila, you now have an easy to make homemade scrubber that will make light work of stuck on food.

Dirty Countertops

Get rid of those stubborn stains from your counter-tops without using chemicals by rubbing them with used coffee grounds. Use the cloth method above for extra protection on your kitchen surfaces.

Note: If you have light-colored countertops, it’s recommended that you test this method on a small, unseen area first. Coffee grounds can dye any surface they come into contact with. So, unless you want a brown stained work surface, test first!

You should also NOT do this on porous or absorbent materials unless you want them smelling of coffee!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, these tips will give you an idea of what to do with your used coffee grounds. It’s a waste just to put them in the trash when you can recycle them and have the delicious aroma of coffee around you throughout the day!

About the Author: James Garner is a keen writer who loves nothing more than spending time with his family and teaching them the ways of the world. He loves writing about any topic related to home or office life. He currently runs the blog at Clean Home Guide.

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