Old coffee grounds have a variety of uses beyond just making a morning cup of coffee. Not only are they good for the environment, but they can also save you money and provide a number of benefits for your home and garden.
Here are just 10 ways that you can repurpose old coffee grounds as its not only easy but many of these uses can save you money. By finding new uses for something that would otherwise be thrown away, you can help to conserve resources and make a positive impact on the environment.
10 Easy Things To Do With Old Coffee Grounds
1. Plant Fertilizer
The reason that coffee grounds are so useful in Plants is because they are rich in Nitrogen and therefore make a great fertilizer as they contain several key nutrients required for plant growth.
To use coffee grounds on plants, you can simply sprinkle them onto the soil surrounding your plants. Just be watchful not to use too much as it may do the opposite of what you want and actually stunt the growth of the plants you are using it on so in this case you definitely have too much of a good thing.
Plants that like coffee grounds are mostly those that are acid-loving plants like azaleas, hydrangeas, blueberries, and lilies.
In addition, many vegetables like slightly acidic soil, but tomatoes typically don’t respond well to the addition of coffee grounds so just be careful to not add them to the these vines.
2. Compost It
If you like to compost than adding the nitrogen rich coffee grounds to your pile will improve it by adding organic material to the soil that you spread it on, which improves drainage, water retention and aeration.
A side benefit of adding it is that it also keeps rodents and other creatures away that might get into your compost pile.
Its best to layer one-part leaves to one-part fresh grass clippings to one part coffee grounds and then turn it about once a week. If you do this then you’ll be ready to use it in about three to six months.
If you’re not the best at adhering to this type of schedule or putting the effort into a compost pile you can still use the grounds, but it’s recommended that you add a high carbon source, such as leaves to balance it.
3. Attract Worms
Worms are known as nature’s tillers, they play an important role in soil health by aerating the soil and adding organic matter. The carbon in the coffee grounds provides food for the worms, while the acidity of the grounds can also help to create the ideal environment for them to thrive. Additionally, the coffee grounds can also increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
This can help to keep the soil moist, which can be beneficial for the worms. Furthermore, coffee grounds also add important microorganisms to the soil, which can help to improve the soil structure and fertility. By adding used coffee grounds to your garden, you can not only improve the soil, but also attract beneficial worms to help maintain healthy soil.
4. Repellent For Mosquitos, Bees and Wasps
You can use coffee grounds as a insect repellent for mosquito’s, bees and wasps. Note that it doesn’t kill them it just keeps them away. This is a much more eco-friendly way to go if you have big mosquito issues like we do here in Florida.
If your issues are more along the lines for ants snail or slugs, you can still use grounds by spreading it around in areas that there are at. So what is it in the coffee grounds that keeps them away? Believe it or not its simply the smell!
5. Eliminates Food Odors
Used coffee grounds can be an effective way to eliminate food odors in the kitchen and other areas of the house. The strong aroma of coffee can help to mask and neutralize unpleasant food odors. One way to use coffee grounds to eliminate food odors is to place a small bowl of them in the fridge or in other areas where food odors linger.
The coffee grounds will absorb the odors and leave a fresh coffee scent in its place. Another way is to use coffee grounds as a natural deodorizer for garbage disposals by grinding them up and running them through the disposal with cold water.
The coffee grounds will help to remove any lingering food odors and leave your sink smelling fresh. Lastly, you can also use coffee grounds in your compost pile to help eliminate food odors and to add valuable nutrients to the soil.
6. Soap Scrub
Another healthy use of coffee grounds is as scrub but its better not to use it “straight out the box” as it were.. You are better offer making a soap of sorts out of it and the simplest recipe that I was able to find about this was from wellnessmama.com. This recipe consisted of the following:
- 1/4 Cup Ground Coffee
- 1/4 Cup Sea Salt
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Mix the grounds and salt together in a small bowl and then add the coconut oil and there you have it.. Now you can use for its exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties and it also good for improving circulation as well as smoothing your skin and if its been a rough night, reducing puffiness in your eyes.
7. Make Candles
Used coffee grounds can be used to make candles, which is a great way to repurpose them and create a unique and eco-friendly home decor item. To make a candle using coffee grounds, you will need wax, wick, and a container.
You can use any type of wax, such as soy, beeswax, or paraffin. First, melt the wax in a double boiler or in the microwave. Then, add the used coffee grounds to the melted wax, stirring until well combined. Next, pour the mixture into the container and add the wick. Allow the candle to cool and solidify completely before lighting.
The coffee grounds will add an interesting texture to the candle and the coffee scent will create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Additionally, coffee candles are known to have some therapeutic benefits such as, releasing a pleasant aroma, reducing stress and having a calming effect. This is a great way to create a unique and eco-friendly home decor item that can also provide a relaxing ambiance in your home.
I also think it helps to visually see how to do this as sometimes it easier to follow then written instructions and you can see what it looks like. Needless to say, that in the end you have a great looking candle that smells just like coffee. Is there any better smell than that?
8. Paint with It
I first learned about this technique years ago when I was living in Costa Rica and I met this guy who was doing, at the time, something I had never seen done before.
He was painting using coffee grounds. And I don’t mean by making a cup of coffee and dipping a brush in it. He was taking the grounds in mixing it in his own unique way to draw scenes of rural life in Costa Rica.
That was the only time I had seen it done until I had a guy come into my coffee shop a few years back who was doing the same thing. I therefore invited him into the coffee shop to work and so that customers could come and see what he was doing. Needless to say it was a big it and had people asking about him for a long time afterwards.
Now one doesn’t have to go to that extent to draw with coffee, since Painting Coffee painting uses the natural dye in coffee to stain the paper, but you can use coffee grounds mixed with water to make a beautifully colored “paint.”
Afterwards all you should need to do is spoon some coffee grounds onto several different paper plates. Add varying amounts of water to the coffee to make different shades of brown and then with a paintbrush, apply the coffee-like watercolor to your canvas or parchment
9. Meat Tenderizer For Cooking
Although it might sound odd at first, adding some coffee grounds to some dried spices such as paprika, or Cumin. When you add the coffee grounds to these spices it will become a rub of sorts and will add just a little something interesting to your meats, poultry or veggies that will have your friends and family guessing on what you used.
The best part about this rub is that is not as overpowering or as spicy as you might think once its cooked into whatever you have going. It’s a great addition to grilling or cooking you do and once you have it, it becomes very addicting.
To make a simple rub all you need to do is combine coffee grinds, salt and paprika or coffee grinds, cumin, chili powder and salt and your all set. Of course there are a lot of variations that you can invent so see what you can come up with!
10. Wood Stain
Used coffee grounds can be used to create a natural wood stain that can add a unique and rustic look to your wood furniture or other wooden items. To make a coffee stain, you will need used coffee grounds and a clear finish or sealer.
First, brew a strong pot of coffee and let the grounds cool. Next, mix the coffee grounds with the clear finish or sealer to create a paste. The amount of coffee grounds you use will depend on the desired color of the stain.
Apply the paste to the wood using a brush or rag, making sure to work it into the grain. Allow the stain to dry completely before applying a clear coat or sealer.
The coffee stain will give the wood a unique and natural look, with varying shades of brown and black depending on the amount of coffee grounds used. It will also give an earthy and rustic look to your furniture.
As you can see by now there are a lot of uses for those used coffee grounds so next time you brew that next cup of coffee make sure you set aside a place to put those grinds and put them to use in any of the ways mentioned above. You will not only be helping yourself but the environment as well
You can get free coffee grounds by going to Starbucks (not available in all stores so they say) or you can just ask your local coffee shop about them. I used to have customers who would come in once a week and pick up coffee grounds for their gardens.