For many people, a cup of excellent coffee is an essential start to every day. While once upon a time instant coffee granules were the norm, in recent years more and more coffee is made at home with freshly ground beans. This results in a much tastier cup, but also poses a question: what to do with all the leftover coffee grounds? We make quite a bit of bulletproof coffee when we need a boost, so we’re always looking for quick ways to dispose of it quickly and environmentally safe.
While of course you could simply throw them into the garbage, that would be a sad waste, as spent coffee grounds can be put to many clever uses around the home. Here are just six of the best ways of using this deceptively valuable waste product.
An Easy Fridge Deodorizer
Even the most spotlessly clean refrigerator can pick up the odors of strong foods stored within it. A simple cup of used grounds at the back of your refrigerator will help soak u p’ any bad odors, leaving your fridge smelling crisp and fresh.
A Useful Garden Compost Addition
Coffee grounds contain high levels of carbon, nitrogen, and other essential plant nutrients that make them ideal for adding to a compost heap. They are quick to break down when mixed well with other more traditional compost ingredients, adding both bulk and texture along with the nutrients. Be aware though that coffee is fairly acidic, so you may need to balance this out with an addition of lime or similar if your garden soil already has a low PH level.
An Organic Plant Feed
The high nutrient levels of coffee grounds can also be used for direct feeding of many plants, including roses, tomatoes, and strawberries. You can sprinkle the grounds onto the surface of the soil around the plant, leaving them to slowly release their goodness, or speed up the process by making a liquid feed: simply stir a handful or two into a bucket of water, leave to mature for a couple of days, and use as a weekly feed for all acid-loving fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
An All-Natural Kitchen Cleaner
For an effective way of removing stubborn grease and grime from kitchen pots, utensils, and surfaces, simply sprinkle wet or dry grounds over the items to be cleaned. Leave for a few minutes, before gently scrubbing and wiping using warm water and a soft sponge or cloth. Not only will your kitchen be cleaner with little effort, you’ll be achieving this using a purely natural product with no harsh chemicals seeping into the environment.
Slug and Snail Defenses
Are you sick and tired of your precious garden plants being feasted upon by slugs and sails? Coffee grounds make effective repellents for these horticultural enemies. Placing a ring of dried grounds around the base of your plants will stop the slimy critters in their tracks, and as we’ve seen in earlier tips, your flora will enjoy the extra nutrition too!
A Sweet-Smelling Insect Repellent
Many a balmy summer evening outdoors has been spoiled by flying pests such as mosquitoes. The smell of smoldering coffee grounds can come to the rescue, as it has a powerful repellent effect on many airborne nuisances. To use, simply dry your grounds thoroughly before placing them into a fireproof container, then set them gently alight using a few drops – no more – of BBQ fluid. Once the grounds have caught fire, put out any flames with a misting of water, and the coffee should continue to smolder away, filling the evening air with a pleasant scent that keeps insects away without chemicals.
A Wholesome Body Scrub
Coffee grounds can be used to make an all-natural, exfoliating body or facial scrub, which is not only very effective but extremely economical too. Simply mix three parts coffee grounds with one part natural oil of your choice, along with one part brown sugar (you can increase the amount of sugar to get a coarser texture). Rub this lotion gently into your skin to remove dead and dried skin while giving your pores a deep clean. Rinse off with warm water to enjoy a natural, healthy glow.
Leftover coffee grounds are far too versatile a resource to be simply discarded. Whether you’re a keen gardener or a fan of organic beauty products, there are many worthwhile ways of using them to benefit your home life lather than sending them straight to landfill.