Cream, sugar, black or with a splash of Bailey’s? It doesn’t matter how you take your coffee, as long as you know where those grinds are going.

The average American drinks about 3.1 cups of coffee per day — that’s 66 billion cups per year when you include all of the espresso, cappuccino, lattes and iced coffees consumed. Instead of throwing all those leftover grounds in the trash, consider some other practical uses. From increasing growth in your garden, to fixing furniture, there are some interesting ways to recycle this common coffee byproduct.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

1. Make Fertilizer.

Coffee wakes you up in the morning, and it can do the same for your plants, too. Used coffee grinds still contain tons of nutrients beneficial to soil. To use coffee grinds as fertilizer, grab some grounds or some leftover pucks from your local coffee shop, and work it into the soil around your plants.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

2. Coffee compost.

Add leftover coffee grounds to your compost pile. Used coffee filters can be composted as well. If you turn your compost regularly, you’ll add nitrogen, which is crucial to the success of plant growth. In fact, without nitrogen, plants can’t make the proteins and amino acids needed to make their own cells.

Bonus: The nitrogen coupled with the extra grit are also great for earthworms.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

3. creative cooking.

Coffee is an excellent food enhancer. Grounds can add extra flavor to red meat marinades, and they work as a great tenderizer, too. Coffee grinds can add depth to dishes chili, beef or lamb, and they go great when used in desserts like chocolate cake or biscotti.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

4. eliminate odor.

The next time you open the refrigerator or freezer and catch a whiff of some unpleasant smells, grab some grounds. Fill a few small bowls with used or fresh coffee grounds and place them inside the offensive area. Any bad smells will be absorbed overnight.

The same method can be used in other small areas like kitchen cabinets or cars. It even works on hands too. rub some grounds just as you would soap, on your hands after you’ve worked with pungent foods like garlic or fish.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

5. don’t raise dust.

Make cleaning the fireplace less of a mess. Sprinkle wet coffee grinds on top of the loose ashes. They’ll be easier to remove and the ashes won’t create a plume and pollute the rest of the room.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

6. fix furniture.

Fix scratches on dark wood furniture by working damp coffee grounds into area. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before buffing with a clean, soft cloth. Repeat if necessary to match the darkness of the finish.

ways to recycle coffee grounds

7. freshen your face.

Coffee grounds can make a great exfoliating scrub and the caffeine even stimulates the skin cells creating tighter, healthier looking skin. Add a tablespoon or two to coconut oil or any bath product and massage during shower using circular motions. Leftovers can be used on your back and arms. Just make sure the grounds are fine to avoid scratches.

8 ways to recycle used coffee grounds

8. dye easter eggs

Add used coffee grounds to warm water and let rest a while. Use the dye on fabric, paper or Easter eggs for beautiful, all-natural eggs.

Also see, Know the difference between macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes and espressos.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.