Not only do coffee beans help produce one of the most beloved beverages in the world, they are also packed with valuable nutrients, including antioxidants, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and many other minerals.
So why not use the coffee grounds you would throw away every day and put them to good use in your garden, your home or even on your skin? It’s true: Those leftover coffee grounds actually have a whole host of uses you probably never imagined.
What can you do with coffee grounds?
As you’ll find out below, it can be used to create compost, fertilize plants, melt snow in your driveway, exfoliate your skin, to name a few.
Healthy compost requires nutrient-dense plant matter, which is exactly what coffee beans provide. Plus, when you add hot coffee grounds to your compost, it breaks down even more easily. Mix the grounds directly into the soil or, even better, add them to the compost along with other nutrient-rich ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, eggshells, nutshells and leftover tea bags.
2. Fertilize the plants
Coffee grounds can be used in the garden to provide the soil with nutrients needed for plant growth.
Which plants use coffee grounds?
Species that grow best in acidic, lower pH soil like coffee grounds the most, including: roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, lilies, blueberries, and carrots. Additionally, earthworms like to eat coffee grounds and attracting more of them can make the garden environment healthier.
Which plants don’t like used coffee grounds?
It’s best kept away from plants that are sensitive to acidic soils (although you can still display pomace), such as tomatoes, clovers, and alfalfa. Unroasted whole grains are even more acidic. Used coffee grounds are therefore a better option if you want to fertilize these plants with coffee.
3. Naturally repel insects
A surprising use for coffee grounds is to repel insects from your garden or patio, including slugs and ants. The acidity of coffee grounds keeps insects away without the need to spray chemicals on your lawn, and can prevent them from eating certain plants you want to protect. To do this, add the coffee grounds directly into the soil, especially in areas where slugs and other insects seem to hide.
4. Exfoliate the skin
Can used coffee grounds be used for anything in your beauty routine?
Certainly. In fact, using coffee grounds for skin includes gently exfoliating the top layer of skin to remove dead cells and improve skin tone and texture. You must first dry the coffee grounds before using them on your face or elsewhere. Simply spread out the coffee grounds in a clean dish and let them sit for at least several hours.
Cleanse your face first with a natural, gentle cleanser, then apply a small handful of coffee grounds mixed with a little water to your face, using circular motions to exfoliate. Rinse off the grounds well and then moisturize your face as you normally would.
5. Rid your hands of dirt
If your hands have accumulated dirt, growths or dry patches, use coffee grounds to rid them of grime and leave skin smooth. You can do the same on the soles of your feet, as you would with a pumice stone, to remove rough patches of skin.
6. Restore shine to dark hair and eliminate dandruff
If you have dark hair, coffee grounds are a great way to add richness to your hair color while enhancing shine. Use coffee grounds as a natural hair mask, mixing it with water and letting it sit on your clean hair for about 20 minutes. This removes grease and debris from your hair and makes it silky smooth. You can also exfoliate your scalp with some soil to get rid of dryness and dandruff.
7. Tenderize and flavor the meat
Some savory barbecue sauces, marinades, and even chocolate desserts use coffee or coffee grounds to add flavor. Coffee beans naturally have a smoky taste, and their acidity helps tenderize meat and improve texture. Use coffee grounds as a tenderizer in marinades for meats such as steak, brisket, or ribs.
8. Brew your own stouts and porters
If you enjoy making beer at home, try adding coffee grounds to stouts and porters. Not only does it enhance the dark color of these earthy beers, but it also adds a kick of flavor that can make other ingredients even tastier.
9. Scrub pans with stuck-on debris
If you have trouble removing grease, food particles and other grime from your pots and pans, add some dried coffee grounds mixed with water and scrub with a sponge.
You can also use the same method to clean messes on the kitchen counter, sink, fridge or cupboards.
10. Clean a clogged drain
A clever way to clean a clogged, smelly drain is to pour used coffee grounds along with boiled water down the drain, which acts as a natural unblocker and deodorizer. Let the mixture sit in the drain for more than 20 minutes, then run hot water and soap down the drain for several minutes.
11. Improve the smell of your refrigerator
How to store used coffee grounds? A clever way is to store it in your refrigerator where it can act as a natural air freshener. Grounds have the ability to absorb odors, like baking soda, thanks to the nitrogen and sulfur they contain. By keeping them in your fridge, you’ll reduce unwanted odors without the need to use chemical cleaners near your food. Leave the grounds dried in your refrigerator in a dish or tie them in a porous fabric such as cheesecloth or a handkerchief. You can use the same coffee grounds packets in other smelly areas of your home, such as closets, the garage, or where you store your trash cans.
12. Freshen up smelly shoes
Add dried coffee grounds to the soles of your smelly shoes and leave them overnight in a dry place for the grounds to absorb the odors. Shake your shoes well the next morning before putting them on.
13. Make natural dye for clothes, furniture, and artwork
Coffee beans have a naturally dark color that transfers well to other surfaces including paper, cotton, and wood. You can use the coffee grounds to color fabric, tint paper, or for arts and crafts, such as dye to color Easter eggs.
14. Touch up wooden furniture
If the wooden furniture in your home looks a bit aged, try using coffee to touch up the surface and add shine and color. Mix wet coffee grounds with a little water, then apply it to areas that need refreshing. Let the mixture sit overnight, then gently rub off the excess.
15. Melt the ice in the driveway or sidewalk
Like sand, dried coffee can help melt snow outdoors and prevent ice buildup that can cause slips and falls. Use coffee grounds like sand, sprinkling it on your driveway, driveway, or sidewalks.
What can you do with coffee grounds?
A whole lot of things! Coffee grounds are full of nutrients, including minerals, and make a great ingredient for compost or fertilizer. The rough texture of coffee grounds also makes it a natural skin exfoliator or scrub for home use. Finally, they have the ability to absorb unwanted odors. So use them in your home instead of products that contain fragrances or chemicals.