Fellow Consumerist Tests Coffee Grounds Tips So You Don't Have To

We want to commend hhole for electing himself or herself guinea pig on this morning’s coffee grounds post. Apparently, hhole immediately started rubbing coffee grounds all over his or her body in order to see if it really would work as a facial scrub/hair shiner. (Of course, this only makes us want to come up with some imaginary “use” for, say, kitty litter or corn meal to see whether hhole takes the bait.) Read this intrepid commenter’s first person report below.

Seeing the coffee ground story I was completely stoked to head upstairs and try out the new coffee ground solution. Outcome…overall a big fail.

Shorty63136 hit it on the head. I used about the same amount of water that a small 3rd world nation uses to rinse the last bit of ground out of my hair. Aargh… I just rubbed the back of my ear and found another ground. Yeesh.

As a facial and foot scrub it was fine but as a body scrub I don’t recommend it for anyone past the body hair level of “smooth”. Again, so much water to get off so few grounds.

Overall, I vaguely smell like the days when I was a barista. Best to leave the past in the past in this instance.

Past the body I really don’t think I’d put grounds on a pet just because coffee is toxic for them and I’m not sure I could prevent grounds getting in their mouth. Plus, with all the hair, I have no clue how many lakes I’d have to drain to get Hungry the Cat clean.


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  1. dollywould says:

    That is awesome. Give the man a star!

  2. Cyclokitty says:

    Thanks for taking one for the team.

  3. leastcmplicated says:

    I’ve been using coffee grounds on my lawn for a while now. It works well to green it up

  4. puka_pai says:

    I thought the idea was to use “coffee extract” for your hair, not the actual grounds themselves. Likewise for the pets.

    I’m guessing coffee extract = undrinkable second brew of spent grounds.

  5. djanes1 says:

    Did you know that used coffee grounds can actually be used to do the following amazing things?
    -Cure facial blemishes when left on skin overnight
    -As a meal substitute to lose a few extra pounds
    -As an all-natural deodorant to absorb armpit odors when clenched there throughout the day
    Are these actually true? Well, I just said it on the internet, so they must be true! Let me know how these work out for you!

  6. timmus says:

    There’s also the Vegas roach trap:
    which uses coffee grounds to attract roaches. Sleep tight tonight!

  7. magic8ball says:

    I’m sure this would create a bizarre and disturbing mixture of smells, but baby powder will get stuff like coffee grounds (or sand, or tiny bits of hair from a haircut) off of your skin. Just shake it on your skin, then brush it off. Probably wouldn’t work so well to get the stuff out of your hair, though.

  8. JulesNoctambule says:

    I find coffee grounds make nice fertilizer, actually. I’ve used the tea leaves left over from my morning tea as a face scrub for years and though the rinsing can be a chore, I find the results are worth it. Never tried things like mayo in the hair and such; maybe our intrepid guinea pig is up for more?

  9. Ein2015 says:

    Give the man a star for this!

    Links about using coffee grounds as a fertilizer…

  10. Sargasm says:

    I saw this tip on the BBC show “How Clean Is Your House.” I requested a refrigerator for my hotel room once and when it was delivered it reeked. I threw in a pack of unbrewed coffee from the coffee maker and in the morning the refrigerator smelled like coffee instead of stink! Not that it was sterile by any means but I was only storing bottled water.

  11. krispykrink says:

    I was going to chime in on the original post and chew out the moron who wrote it. As already said, coffee is toxic to cats, and I’ve lost 1 dog to it in the past.

    And putting used coffee grounds in the fridge will do nothing but give you moldy coffee grounds and a stale coffee smell in everything.

    The only thing I use my old grounds for is in the compost.

  12. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    note to self – stop letting cat try to stick her head in empty coffee mug and lick the bottom. i had no idea coffee was toxic to cats, thanks!

    i’ve never tried it as a body scrub but i have used previously brewed coffee grounds with more hot water to dye fabric and lace a lovely antique beige color.

    glad someone else tried it out so i wouldn’t have to be disappointed

  13. Jackasimov says:

    Seriously, keep some grounds in a decorative tin near the toilet. Works better than baby wipes.

  14. B says:

    Wait, so smearing coffee grounds on my face is not a good idea? Thank god somebody told me.

  15. puka_pai says:


    Works better than baby wipes.

    Pisses off the baby, though. And then you’ve got a caffeinated, grumpy baby. Nobody wants that.

  16. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Buy Buddy Wash dog shampoo and conditioner. Use it on yourself, use it on your dog. Cheap, and comparable to super-expensive low-lathering French shampoo. And it smells great. I get it at Drugstore.com

  17. EvilConsumer says:

    I have always found the grinds to make an exellent enema addetive.

  18. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    When our kitchen sink drain got clogged, my wife dumped the contents of that morning’s coffee filter down the drain and ran hot water for a few minutes… cleaned the clog right out. I wonder if it would do the same for my bacon-choked arteries!

  19. Hongfiately says:

    I use coffee grounds to clean stubborn caked-on food out of pots, pans, etc. If you’ve ever had trouble getting some stubborn crusty stuff or burned/melted cheese out of something, try some used grounds.

  20. wezelboy says:

    I use coffee grounds as a growth medium for my mycological experiments. I get some pretty weird stuff.

  21. Trai_Dep says:

    …I hear horse suppositories work even better than the human ones, with a much better price/dose. Nothing cures better than a nice, equine mentholated suppository. Yup: you ever see a horse with a drippy nose? Didn’t think so!

  22. mythago says:

    @JulesNoctambule: a lot of coffee shops will give away used grounds, if you ask for them.

    Kitty litter DOES have lots of uses! (At least, the clay stuff; can’t vouch for the clumping variety.) Anyone in snowy climes learns to have a 50 pound sack in the trunk, both for weight if you have a 2-wheel drive car and to pour under the tires for traction on slick, icy surfaces. It soaks up motor oil too.

  23. wheresmysamuraii says:

    Coffee for the hair is great, as long as it’s brewed coffee, not grounds. If you brew it dark (and let it cool first, please) and pour it over freshly washed hair, it will work as a stain. Do this enough times over a long enough time, and your hair will become darker. I’ve used it before with fairly good success.

    Your hair will also smell awesome for a few days as long as you don’t let the coffee sit around for awhile before you do it. Old coffee smell in hair isn’t pleasant.

    For a body scrub, mix the grounds with a bit of coconut or olive oil first (both are great moisturizers). And yeah, don’t do it unless your leg hair is somewhat short. I don’t recommend using it except on the legs as an exfoliater, since the grounds get EVERYWHERE.

  24. Ilovemygeek says:

    @JulesNoctambule: How do you use it for your lawn? Ours is so sad, I’m willing to try anything.

  25. leastcmplicated says:

    @Ilovemygeek: Just throw it on your lawn evenly by hand. Let it dry first if you want to use a spreader. I think it was also said above, you can go to starbucks and they will give you used coffee grounds

  26. thefastest says:

    @leastcmplicated: Equally fantastic is using old motor oil…

  27. GirlCat says:

    Isn’t putting coffee grounds down a drain a bad thing? I think the grounds can stick to anything coating the pipes and create a clog. And then your father/super/husband yells at you even though you only did it that one time.

  28. mzs says:

    @GirlCat: Yes it’s bad. I’m the husband that had to deal with the ‘one time’ with a 150 yards of pipe snake and explain the purpose of the elbow pipe under the sink.

  29. Trai_Dep says:

    @wheresmysamuraii: “If you brew it dark (and let it cool first, please)
    Gods, that made me crack up so badly. THANK you!

  30. lpranal says:

    @mzs: I put espresso grounds down the drain all the time, although i’m sure it’s not as big of a deal because they are much finer than normal drip / press grounds.

  31. hhole says:

    For the record…

    I’m a guy and Hungry is the cat’s name.

    Happy to “grind one” for the Consumerist team!

  32. Nick_Bentley says:

    Yeah when my old manager was first married they called a plumber to fix a drain, he told his wife that they should put bacon grease and coffee ground down the sink on a regular basis. I’d have to hear how they are good for anything before sprinkling them on the lawn or doing anything with them. So far, I am not convinced.