There’s no doubt about it: coffee is amazing. Not only does it perk us up in the morning, but studies have shown that it has all sorts of health benefits, too.
Coffee can improve your mental functioning memory and decreases fatigue. Unfortunately, all that awesomeness comes with a downside; coffee is one of the most environmentally unfriendly drinks around.
If you’re like me, then the chances are that you leave a lot of used coffee grounds every week. But before you go and give up your daily fix, take heart!
There are plenty of ways to recycle your used coffee grounds after brewing your coffee using a wide range of brewing methods like pour-over and reducing their impact on the planet. Here are 15 of our favorites.
15 Ways you can Recycle Used Coffee Grounds
1. Fertilize the garden
With several significant sites like Caffe Streets offering details on how to brew different types of coffee and the different coffee makers in the market, all coffee lovers are left with a heap of used coffee grounds every week.
So instead of throwing them away, why don’t you add them to your garden? After all, coffee grounds are rich in numerous critical minerals like potassium, nitrogen, and calcium that can help with plant growth.
In fact, according to a study conducted by Min-Suk Kim, coffee grounds can help absorb the heavy metals in soil that can poison your plants. So make sure you sprinkle the coffee grounds in your garden instead of throwing them away.
2. Composting Coffee Grounds and Kitchen Waste
If you don’t want to use it as fertilizer, you can compost it together with the kitchen waste. Composting helps turn some organic waste into humus or compost that can improve the quality of the soil in your garden.
A study conducted by Z M Noor and A J Adi confirmed that coffee grounds could increase the nutrient elements in the compost. The same study demonstrated that the presence of coffee grounds played a key role in increasing the weight and number of earthworms in the compost.
3. Repel Pests and Insects
Used coffee grounds contain certain compounds like diterpenes and caffeine that are toxic to pests and insects. Therefore, you can use these grounds to repel bugs. Coffee grounds are effective against beetles, fruit flies, and mosquitos. They can also come in handy when dealing with snails and slugs.
4. To Get Rid of Fleas
Flea infestations have been a major issue for our pets, and treating them can be time-consuming and quite costly. Plus, most flea-removing products are made using harsh chemicals, so you can use coffee grounds instead of using these chemicals.
After all, fleas don’t like coffee, so after shampooing your pet, you can rub some grounds all over its fur and rinse it off.
5. Neutralizing Odor
Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen that can help remove odor from the air. A study conducted by Karifala Kante showed that coffee could help separate hydrogen sulfide from the air; therefore, you can use it to get rid of odor in your fridge, kitchen, and even your shoes.
6. It Can Be Used as a Natural Scrubber
Generally, the used grounds are abrasive; therefore, they can help you remove the dirt buildup in some hard-to-clean surfaces. Plus, they sanitize the utensils thanks to their antiviral and antibacterial properties.
7. Scour the Pans and Pots
Coffee grounds have a coarse texture that makes them ideal for cleaning your utensils. These grounds can scrape your pans and pots while removing the caked-on food. All you have to do is sprinkle these grounds onto the pans and pots and then scrub them before rinsing them.
8. Exfoliate Your Skin
These coarse coffee grounds can also function as an exfoliating agent and help you get rid of the dead cells and dirt on your skin. Simply mix these grounds with coconut oil and scrub them on your face and body.
9. Get Rid of Cellulite
According to a study conducted by Stefanie Luebberding, cellulite affects over 80% of the women on the planet. This condition leaves your skin, particularly in the thighs and buttocks, with some lumpy, dimpled appearance.
Cellulitis is formed when fat deposits pass through your skin’s connective tissues. Luckily, caffeine can increase blood flow to your skin and break down the fat deposits leaving you with smooth skin.
10. Use It as a Natural Dye
Coffee grounds can create an all-natural and inexpensive dye that you can use to color paper, linen, cellophane, rayon, and cotton. Used coffee grounds can help disguise some stains or give your clothing a vintage look. You can also use them to deepen the color of your hair.
11. Tenderize Meat
Meat comes with proteins and muscle fibers that make it tough. Therefore, you have to tenderize it using acids, enzymes, and salt before cooking it. Luckily, coffee has some enzymes and acids that can help tenderize the meat.
The acidic nature of coffee will enhance the flavor of your steak. All you have to do is add coffee to your usual dry-rub recipe and rub it on your meat.
Unfortunately, the roasting process does affect the acidity of the coffee grounds. So you should find out the method used to roast the coffee beans.
12. Clean the Fireplace
Cleaning the ashes left by burnt wood in the fireplace can be very messy. But if you sprinkle coffee over the ashes, you can prevent them from forming a smoke cloud when cleaning. This will prevent the dust from traveling to other places while making it easy to remove the ashes.
13. Stimulate Hair Growth
Most Styling products and shampoos tend to leave some residue behind that can prevent hair growth. Therefore, make sure you exfoliate your scalp using coffee grounds; after all, several studies have confirmed that caffeine can stimulate hair growth. Caffeine can counteract the effects of testosterone on hair growth.
14. Grow Mushrooms
Mushrooms can be a bit particular when it comes to weather and other growing conditions, which can make them difficult to grow.
And that is because they don’t grow on the soil as they need a substrate like used coffee grounds. If you’re trying to grow your own mushrooms, your used coffee grounds could be your new best friend!
15. Remove the Under-Eye Circles
The skin surrounding your eyes is quite delicate and has some fatty tissues; therefore, they are the first places where aging signs appear. The dark circles are caused by a wide range of things, including poor circulation and fragile vessels, among others.
Luckily, you can remove them using coffee grounds. In fact, products with caffeine and antioxidants can reduce the under-eye circles and appearance of aging. The antioxidants properties in coffee can help fight the free radicals that play a key role in skin aging.
So, the next time you make a pot of coffee, remember to save your used grounds. They may not be suitable for your morning cup of joe anymore, but they can still do some good in the world. You can use them to exfoliate your skin, and if all else fails, you can always use them as compost!