Every time you sit down at your favorite coffee shop and drink a delicious cup of coffee, you leave behind one thing…used coffee grounds.
But instead of throwing these used grounds away, have you ever wondered how else they could be used? You’ve probably heard the saying, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,” and this applies to the grounds from used coffee!
Yes, your favorite drink grounds are perfect for a myriad of valuable things in our homes – and tossing them after brewing coffee is certainly not one of them.
Their use has been recorded as early as ancient Rome in various ways, from cleaning to health.
Do you know what you can do with grounds from used coffee these days? Plenty! The list includes: making compost, mulching, enriching garden soil, and other productive uses.
Amidst the many practical usages, tons of used grounds from our kitchens and coffee shops still end in garbage bags and dump hills.
But you can repurpose – in different ways – utilized coffee grounds for an eco-friendly and healthy home, so here are 16 ideas.
16 Brilliant Ideas For Used Coffee Grounds
Used Coffee Grounds Usage in farming
1. Grounds from Used Coffee: Cheap, Safe, and Efficient Fertilizer
As it turns out, the grounds of used coffee make great material for fertilizer. Used grounds are loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus – essential nutrients for germination and the development of plants.
Do you have a garden that is mineral depleted?
Simply sprinkle used grounds around the base of your plants or mix with manure to boost the growth of your garden or indoor plants while saving fertilizer costs.
Apart from soil fertility improvement, they also aid in improving soil pH and reduce concentrations of heavy metals.
On top of that, coffee grounds are rich in essential minerals – like calcium, phosphorus, iron, chromium, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur – which improve soil fertility.
Used grounds are worth more in your garden or yard than in a garbage bin.
- Used coffee grounds are cheap and effective fertilizer.containing essential minerals for plants
- Improves soil pH and reduces heavy metals.
2. Never Throw away Coffee Grounds: Compost them
Used coffee grounds can also be beneficial to compost bins. Once your garden plants have had their fill of essential nutrients, you can add your used coffee grounds to the compost pit.
It saves you additional money on commercial compost additive products and replacing them with what you already have right in the kitchen.
The process of breaking down organic matter in a compost pit creates minerals and nutrients for plant growth.
Even better, using used grounds provides the environmental benefit of preserving this beneficial material while breaking it down for use in other areas of your garden.
Here is scientific proof.
Various studies have revealed compost making method incorporating waste grounds and organic household waste has more nutrients compared to those made from waste only.
In another recent study, four compost samples with different grounds quantities, namely zero, ten, twenty, and forty percent coffee grounds, were compared. And the results further support the idea that coffee grounds are ideal for composting.
According to the study, the cluster containing 40% used coffee grounds emitted the lowest greenhouse gases and produced the best compost.
The following things, however, are not suitable for composting: fish waste, dairy products, meat, oils, and greases.
- Used coffee grounds improve nutrient levels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in compost manure
- It is cheap and saves money
3. Natural Pesticides in Coffee Grounds
Coffee contains diterpenes and caffeine making it an excellent natural insect repellent and has the advantage of being environmentally friendly than industrial pesticides.
It is pretty easy to repulse insects using grounds from used coffee.
A straightforward way to use it as a natural insect repellent entails placing them out in bowls in strategic places in your house. And for oudoor use, simply sprinkle the used grounds in various locations around your compound.
You can deter pests from attacking your plants in your garden and flower beds by sprinkling used grounds closer to them or mixing with the soil.
In addition to creating simple barricades which snails, ants, and slugs are unlikely to cross, they also ward off crawling insects.
It can help deter fruit flies, mosquitoes, beetles, caterpillars, house flies, and many others as an insecticide.
- Coffee grounds naturally repel beetles, mosquitos, fruit flies, and other pests around your compound and plants
- Sprinkle used grounds close to plants or place in bowls in different positions indoors and outdoors
4. Are Used Coffee Grounds Suitable For Growing Mushrooms
Mushrooms are tough to cultivate because they grow under specific conditions.
To begin with, they do not develop on ordinary garden soil but need a particular substrate.
Used grounds are ideal substrates for growing mushrooms because they are loaded with nutrients suitable for their growth and development.
Furthermore, brewing allows for the sterilization of the coffee grounds, making it safe for this delicate plant.
Growing Mushrooms using Used Coffee Grounds
- You will need approximately 2.5 kg of used coffee grounds, mushroom spores, and sawdust
- Spray some water on the grounds
- Mix some sawdust and 500 g of mushroom spores with the moistened coffee grounds
- Put the resulting mixture into a bucket, filter patch, large freezer bag, or grow bag, between half and two-thirds full
- Make about four small air holes on the container sides above the grounds. For an open bucket, cover it with polythene and poke some holes in it
- Moisten the substrate daily
- The mushroom will germinate in two weeks
- Upon germination, transfer the container to a place with fresh air
- Used coffee grounds are an excellent substrate for growing mushrooms
Used Coffee Grounds are Perfect for General Cleaning and Air Freshening
5. Make Your Home Smell Great With Coffee Grounds
As a result of their ability to absorb sulfur gas, coffee grounds are great for neutralizing unpleasant smells in homes and offices.
Here is how to get rid of odors using used coffee grounds;
- Keep some grounds from used coffee in the freezer, fridge, or pantry to neutralize and absorb the smell of spoiled foods
- Make portable air fresheners by filling old pantyhose or socks with used grounds then knotting them off.
- Place some used grounds in your gym bag, shoes, under a car seat, bedroom drawers, toilet, bathroom, etc
- Coffee grounds may even be used to scrub your hands and neutralize the pungent smell after handling food items such as fish, garlic, or onions. Keep them by the sink.
- Coffee grounds help to eliminate foul smells and freshen the air
- Scrub your hands with used grounds to eradicate lingering smell after handling foods with strong scent such as fish, onions, and garlic
6. It’s a Natural Cleaner and Sanitizer
The abrasive nature of coffee grounds makes them an effective cleaner for hidden and difficult surfaces. In addition, grounds have antiviral and antibacterial properties, making them suitable for sanitization.
When it comes to cleaning, used coffee grounds are a great alternative to harsh chemicals due to their abrasive and sanitizing properties. For example, you can repurpose the grounds to clean grills, polish cookware, and scrub sinks.
On the flip side, they can leave brown stains on porous materials.
- Coffee grounds are a good scrubber and sanitizer
- They can easily stain porous materials
7. Give your Cooking Pots and Frying Pans Super Shine
Because coffee grounds have a coarse texture, they’re an excellent tool for cleaning stubborn dirt on kitchenware.
They are effective for cleaning dishes and removing crusts and sticky food from pans and pots.
To use the used grounds, sprinkle directly on your pans and pots, and scrub them.
Once you’re done, rinse thoroughly with plenty of water.
- Coffee grounds aid in removing crusts and sticky foods
- Effectively scour pots and pans
8. Make Your Fireplace Sparkle:
It’s a messy job to clean up an ash-filled fireplace, but a cup of used coffee grounds will make your work easier.
Simply, sprinkle some used grounds over the ashes to weigh them down and prevent smoke clouds from forming and spreading.
In addition to making the ashes easier to clean, it also prevents them from escaping and spreading throughout the room.
- Coffee grounds that have been used helps to clean the fireplace easy and quick
- Prevents ash dust from spreading to other parts of the room
Amazing Uses of Used Coffee Grounds For Health and Beauty
9. Exfoliation of Your Skin
Apart from using the coarse properties of coffee grounds to clean utensils, you can also use them in your beauty routine.
Grounds from utilized coffee are a great exfoliating agent for scrubbing dead cells and dirt from your skin.
To use coffee grounds as a scrub, simply mix them with coconut oil or water and apply them to your entire body and face.
You can also mix coffee grounds with honey and use the mixture to exfoliate your lips.
Further, coffee grounds are packed with antioxidants that can aid protect skin from the harmful effect of exposure to sunlight.
Moreover, it can improve the circulation of blood. Good blood circulation can be beneficial for an overall healthy complexion.
- Use coffee grounds to exfoliate your skin.
- Protects skin against harmful sunlight effects
- Improves blood circulation
10. Get Rid of Cellulite
80 to 90 percent of adult ladies suffer from cellulite, which causes their skin to be dimpled, lumpy, and sagging.
This condition is commonly found in the thighs and buttocks that appear and persist as fat buildup presses through the conjunctive tissue under the skin.
Coffee grounds are rich in caffeine that can be applied topically to decrease cellulite by breaking down fat and boost the circulation of blood in the affected body part.
If you suffer from cellulite, mix used ground coffee with coconut oil or water and scrub the affected areas for ten minutes, 2 times a week.
- Coffee grounds can help reduce cellulite
- It improves blood flow while breaking down fat deposits
11. Stimulate the Growth of Hair and Remove Buildup
It is common for shampoos and styling products to leave behind residue that causes your hair to lose shine and become weighed down.
However, you can utilize the Coffee grounds to exfoliate your scalp and get rid of dead skin cells.
Do you have a bald head or know someone?
Various scientific studies have proven that caffeine triggers the growth of human hair. And whenever applied topically, caffeine raises blood circulation and speeds the growth of hair.
Simply rub a handful of coffee grounds gently into your hair and scalp for a few minutes before shampooing. After that, you can wash and rinse as usual.
If you want to keep your hair and scalp healthy, massage coffee grounds into your scalp before shampooing. Afterward, you should rinse and wash your hands as normal.
For the best results, do it at least once per week.
- Coffee grounds stimulate and speed up hair growth
- It removes dead cells and build-ups
12. Getting Rid of Under-Eye Circles and Puffiness
Aging signs always start with the skin around the eyes because it is highly delicate and has minimal fat tissue.
One of the signs of aging includes under-eye circles and puffiness resulting from inadequate skin quality, fragile blood vessels, and poor blood circulation.
The high levels of antioxidants and caffeine in coffee grounds offer a promising solution.
Various scientific studies have demonstrated that body care products containing antioxidants and caffeine stops the appearance of under-eye circles and slow down the process of aging.
For example, caffeine promotes blood circulation around the eyes and has anti-inflammatory properties, a crucial factor in reducing the swelling and dark circles.
The antioxidants in coffee contribute significantly to maintaining youthful skin as it helps fight free radicals.
Pour water or coconut oil into the coffee grounds, then mix thoroughly into a thick paste.
Apply the mixture gently around your eyes and leave for about ten minutes before rinsing. Repeat this treatment at least once per day.
- The skin encircling eyes is delicate and always the first indicator of aging
- The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee help eradicate puffiness and dark-eye circles
- Antioxidants found in coffee fights free radicals responsible for aging
More Amazing utilization of Grounds From Used Coffee
13. It’s a Natural Dye
Apparently, spilled coffee can leave an unsightly stain on fabric; but on the bright side, you can recycle the used coffee grounds to create a cheap natural dye.
Dyes from coffee grounds are an easy method for giving papers and fabrics a new look or covering existing stains on towels and clothing.
Other usages of used grounds dyes include dyeing hairs or Easter eggs.
Contrary to industrial chemicals, which are highly toxic and carcinogenic, used coffee grounds dye is safe and environmentally friendly.
You will also like coffee ground dyes over traditional dyes as they are non-toxic.
Before wearing, knitting, or sewing dyed yarn or fabric, you should wash it in cold water mixed with mild detergent.
- Used coffee grounds dyes are a superb alternative to harsh industrial dyes.
- Use it to dye hair, fabrics, or Easter eggs
14. Delicious Soft Beef
Did you know that used coffee beans can soften tough beef? Beef is made up of protein and muscle fibers which can make it hard to cook and eat.
Coffee has natural enzymes and acids, making it efficient in softening meat and improving its flavor.
You can do this using two methods.
While making your usual spice rub, just add some used coffee grounds and rub it on the beef a hundred and twenty minutes prior to cooking.
As the grounds cook on the meat, they will create a brown, crunchy crust.
Make coffee from used coffee grounds and let it cool before marinating meat for 24 hours in your refrigerator.
- Coffee grounds help to soften hard meat while improving its flavor
15. Scratched and Scuffed Furniture: How to Repair Them
You’ve likely noticed your wooden furniture can easily get scratched and scuffed.
Before heading to your favorite shop for a product to remove those ugly scratches and scuffs, consider using used coffee grounds.
Here is how to use it.
In a large bowl, combine grounds from used coffee with water and stir until thick paste forms. Use a piece of cloth to apply the paste to the affected surface and leave it dry for a few minutes before wiping clean it clean with a rug.
Once the scratches have been buffed out, finish by dyeing the whole wood with coffee grounds dye.
Use a cotton swab to apply coffee onto the scratches until you get the right shade. Apply the coffee several times, allowing several hours to pass between applications.
- Use used coffee grounds to cover scratches and scuffs on wooden furniture
16. Get Rid of Fleas on Your Pet
Can used coffee grounds be used to control fleas on pets? Yes. It works well as a natural treatment as they have low toxicity levels and are cheap and effective.
So if you have pets in your home, you may consider using used grounds to eliminate fleas instead of the harsh industrial products, which are expensive and with side effects.
Fleas are a nuisance to most home pets, and eliminating them can take lots of time and expense.
But with the used grounds of coffee, it’s cheaper and more straightforward, especially if you know how to use used coffee grounds to eliminate fleas from domestic pets.
Start by shampooing your pets and then rub some used grounds on them. Once they are clean, rinse them off and let them air dry.
Some pet owners also believe rubbing grounds on a pet make its fur smooth and shiny, but there is no research data to back these claims.
Even so, coffee grounds have certain limitations.
In some circumstances, these grounds might not work effectively, especially in heavy infestations, so it is best to consult your vet for an appropriate cause of action.
You should also not use coffee grounds internally as they can be toxic to your pets.
- Used coffee grounds can help control fleas on your pets.
- Use externally only as they are toxic to pets if ingested
Is It Safe To Consume Used Coffee Grounds?
Studies have linked coffee consumption to several health benefits, including a lower risk of cancer, stroke, and blood sugar problems.
Despite being commonly believed that aking coffee grounds will also yield similar health benefits, many physicians advise caution.
Several compounds in the coffee beans, such as kahweol, cafestol, etc., can raise blood cholesterol levels. Typically, paper filters remove these compounds from coffee filters but remain on the grounds after brewing.
Researchers examined the impact of eating roughly 7 grams of used grounds daily in one study and recorded worrying results. In the third week, participants’ blood cholesterol levels increased averagely by 26 points.
Coffee grounds are sometimes included in desserts, sauces, and rub recipes. But if you do not consume used coffee grounds frequently, you do not need to worry.
- Excessive consumption of used coffee grounds can cause health problems like increased cholesterol levels
A bittersweet coffee drink is not the only thing you can get from coffee grounds. Used coffee grounds have many uses ranging from health to cleaning and farming, among many others.
In farming, coffee grounds are packed with essential nutrients for the soil, pesticides, and mushroom farming.
On your health, antioxidants and caffeine help combat aging and cellulite, stimulate hair regrowth, and enhance skin beauty.
And in the kitchen and around your house, used grounds are suitable for cleaning and eliminating odor.
So, whenever you sit down for a morning cup, afternoon brew, or even that evening cup, think of what to do with those used grounds.
You would be amazed at the many ways in which you can utilize the grounds of used coffee.