Do you brew coffee at home? Grinding fresh coffee beans is the best way to brew coffee.
It beats buying coffee from your favorite coffee shop and allows you to experiment with preparing various coffee beverages.
But it also results in a lot of coffee grounds, especially if you are a regular coffee drinker.
Can you do something with these grounds instead of throwing them away?
Importance of Reusing Coffee Grounds
Dumping coffee grounds in garbage contributes to the tonnes of coffee grounds waste in our landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases like Methane.
Methane is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide and contributes heavily to global warming.
We must avoid adding to the millions of tonnes of coffee ground waste that are dumped in our landfills every year.
That means adopting ways of recycling, upcycling, and downcycling coffee grounds after brewing coffee.
There are large recycling companies that turn coffee waste into sustainable fuel options such as coffee ground logs.
You can also recycle coffee grounds by using them in gardening, home care, and personal care. Here’s how.
1. Add it To Your Compost
Add coffee grounds to your compost if you love gardening. Making compost fertilizer is an excellent way to transform organic matter such as egg shells, vegetable peels, grass clippings, old newspapers, and coffee grounds into rich organic matter.
Coffee grounds increase the nutrients in compost and release substances that balance minerals like nitrogen into the soil.
They also contain minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, chromium, and iron that plants need.
Using coffee grounds in compost fertilizer also creates a conducive environment for worms to thrive. That’s why they are often used in worm bins.
Worms burrow into soil, aerating it and eating organic matter. They also release waste in the form of worm castings that contain seven times more phosphorus, five times more nitrogen, and lots of beneficial bacteria that improve soil quality.
Worms also consume and break down pollutants in soil, transforming them into non-toxic substances. Putting coffee grounds in compost to attract them will add a lot of value to your soil.
You can also use coffee grounds in fun gardening projects such as growing Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms because they love the nutrients in them.
Some people use coffee grounds to change the color of flowers, such as hydrangeas, from plain white to blue.
If you decide to add coffee grounds to your compost or garden, make sure you don’t use too much to avoid excessively lowering the pH of your soil or compost.
2. Deodorize Foul-Smelling Areas
You can use coffee grounds to absorb foul odors from your fridge, toilet, gym locker, or wardrobes. They are also used to freshen up smelly shoes.
Using coffee grounds as a deodorizer is as easy as putting them in a bowl and placing them wherever they are needed. For example, putting them on a shelf in your fridge will neutralize any unpleasant or strong food odors.
You can also use coffee grounds to scrub your hands whenever you need to wash them after touching pungent, spicy foods, fish, or garlic.
If you like aromatic candles, make coffee-scented candles by mixing coffee grounds in your candle wax. They will release a rich coffee aroma whenever you light them up.
Freshen the air in closed storage spaces by leaving socks or pantyhose filled with coffee grounds there.
And if your kitchen drains are smelly, pour a few tablespoons of coffee grounds into them, followed by soapy, hot water with disinfectant. Doing this twice a month will eliminate any grease in your drains and foul odors.
3. Use Coffee as a Natural Dye
You can use coffee’s ability to stain surfaces and fabric to your advantage by using it as a natural dye.
Brew very strong coffee using coffee grounds and use it to dye linen, cotton, and rayon fabrics. Find interesting ways to dye t-shirts, table cloths, towels, yarn, and other items that you feel will look good in coffee color.
And if you want to dye your hair brunette, use coffee grounds instead of chemical hair dyes that can cause chronic ailments like Cancer. It’s also an excellent way to dye grey hairs.
Coffee grounds are also a great material to use when dyeing Easter eggs or painting with kids. They are also used to make coffee grounds, playdough and slime.
4. Repel Pests and Insects
The beneficial compounds in coffee grounds that you value, such as caffeine, are toxic to certain insects. Some examples are fruit flies, mosquitoes, and beetles.
If you’ve been having a hard time with mosquitoes on your patio, pour used coffee grounds into ceramic bowls and place them around your seats.
Coffee grounds can also prevent snails, slugs, and ants from invading your garden because they hate the smell of coffee grounds. If you spread an inch or two of coffee grounds around areas with ants, slugs, or snails, they won’t cross that point.
You can also use coffee grounds as a flea treatment for your pets. Fleas hate the smell of coffee and will fall off when you apply them to your pet’s fur. The coffee will also make your pet’s coat smoother and shinier.
5. Make a Coffee Household Surface Scrub
You can use coffee grounds as a surface scrub to clean areas with a build-up of dirt, such as kitchen countertops, sinks, and stoves.
Coffee contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that eliminate germs and bad smells from grimey or dirty areas.
If you burn food and find your pot or cookware is hard to clean, use coffee grounds to make it shine instead of steelwool, which rusts quickly.
Just avoid using coffee grounds on materials that can stain, such as porous kitchen tiles.
6. Exfoliate Your Skin and Clarify Your Scalp
Coffee contains antioxidants and flavonoids that are beneficial for skin and hair growth.
You can use them to create a face and body scrub that will slough off dead skin cells from your face and body.
Making a coffee body scrub is as easy as mixing medium – to – fine coffee grounds with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or almond oil. You may also add essential oils and honey to the scrub.
A coffee grounds scrub will increase blood flow in your skin, boosting cell regeneration and reducing cellulite.
You can also use coffee grounds in a hair mask to get rid of product build-up and open up your hair follicles.
Coffee’s anti-bacterial properties will eliminate the germs on your skin or scalp that cause acne, dandruff, and other problems.
If you have under-eye circles, treat them using an eye mask made from coffee grounds and coconut oil.
The anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties of caffeine will quickly reduce the puffiness and darkness you find in under-eye circles.
7. Pour Used Coffee Grounds on Wet Surfaces During Winter
You can scatter coffee grounds on your driveway or walkways during winter to create friction, preventing accidental falls.
The nitrogen in coffee grounds will de-ice walkways by lowering the freezing point of water, preventing rain and snow from turning into ice. It is much better than using salt, which corrodes cars and can damage shoes.
If you regularly use your fireplace, use coffee grounds when cleaning ashes from it. They will weigh down the ashes keeping them from flying all over the room or in your face as you clean your fireplace.
Now that you know how to give your used coffee grounds a second life, do you think you can recycle them instead of throwing them away? Apart from saving the environment, you’ll get more bang for every dollar you spend on coffee.
Try these seven coffee recycling tips we’ve given you for a start. If you find recycling coffee grounds is something you like, always reuse them after brewing coffee.
And if the coffee grounds you use are too little, you can always get more from coffee houses such as Starbucks for free.