Coffee is the most consumed beverage around the world.
Now that you've been using your brand new EcoKaffe capsule (great job! you are already doing a lot for the environment) it's time to think ahead.
But now you sit and think “how can I further reduce my waste by using my coffee grounds rather than throwing them away?
The logical answer is: put them in the compost.
However, here at EcoKaffe we got creative and found 9 new ways of how you can use your coffee grounds differently.
Hopefully after reading this page, you may reconsider throwing them out.
Coffee grounds have many practical uses around the home and garden and can even help spruce up your beauty routine.
1.Fertilize Your Garden
Most soil does not contain the essential nutrients needed for optimal plant growth.
Coffee grounds contain several important minerals for plant growth — nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium.
They may also help absorb heavy metals that can contaminate soil.
What’s more, coffee grounds help attract worms, which are great for your garden.
To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply sprinkle them onto the soil surrounding your plants.
2.Coffee helps you neutralize odors
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, In other words, coffee grounds can help absorb and eliminate odors.
You can place a bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer to neutralize odors from spoiled or fragrant foods.
You can also fill old socks or pantyhose with coffee grounds and tie them off to make portable air fresheners.
Place these in your shoes, gym bag, bedroom drawers, under your car seat or anywhere else that may need some deodorizing.
You can even keep coffee grounds by the sink and use them to scrub your hands after chopping garlic or onions. The grounds will help remove the smell from your hands.
3. Exfoliate Your Skin
The coarse particles in coffee grounds work as an exfoliating agent which removes dead skin cells. No more need for over priced products!
Simply mix coffee grounds with a little bit of water or coconut oil and scrub them with your hands directly onto your face and body.
Coffee grounds can also be mixed with a small amount of honey and used as an exfoliating lip scrub.
What’s more, the caffeine in coffee grounds has potent antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from sun damage.
4. Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
Cellulite is a condition that gives the skin a dimpled, lumpy appearance. It affects 80–90% of adult women.
It occurs when fat deposits push through the connective tissue under your skin. Once again your coffee can save the day!
When caffeine such as that in coffee grounds is applied topically, it may help break down this fat and increase blood flow to the area, thus decreasing the appearance of cellulite.
Simply mix grounds with water or coconut oil and scrub for 10 minutes twice weekly on any areas affected by cellulite.
5. Use It as a Natural Dye
If you’ve ever spilled coffee on a white shirt, you know that it can leave a stain.
By rewetting used coffee grounds, you can create an inexpensive and all-natural dye that can be used to color cotton, rayon, cellophane, linen and paper.
This is an easy way to give fabrics and paper a vintage look or disguise existing stains on your clothing and towels.
Coffee grounds can even be used to dye Easter eggs or deepen the color of dark hair.
Commercial food and hair dyes can contain hundreds of chemicals, many of which may cause cancer.
Used coffee grounds make a great non-toxic alternative to traditional dyes.
If you've dyed a piece of fabric or yarn that will be worn or used for sewing or knitting, make sure to wash it in cold water with a very mild laundry detergent before using it.
6. Tenderize Meat
Meat contains muscle fibers and proteins that can give it a tough consistency.
Tenderizing meat helps break them down, resulting in a softer texture.
Salt, enzymes and acids are three natural types of meat tenderizers. Coffee contains natural acids and enzymes, making it especially effective at tenderizing meat.
The acidic nature of coffee can also help enhance the flavor of meat.
Simply add used coffee grounds to your favorite dry-rub recipe and apply the rub to the meat two hours before cooking.
The grounds will get cooked onto the meat and form a dark, crispy crust.
Alternatively, you can rebrew used grounds to make coffee, allow it to cool and use it to marinade meat in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.
7. Repair Scratched Furniture
If you own wooden furniture, you’ve probably noticed it can be easily scuffed and scratched.
Various products can help minimize the appearance of scratches, but before you run to the store, you might want to give coffee grounds a try.
First, make a thick paste with used coffee grounds and water.
Then rub the paste into the scratch using a cotton swab, allow it to sit for 5–10 minutes and then wipe with a cotton rag.
This should help buff out the scratch and conceal it by dying the exposed wood a dark-brown color.
Continue to dab coffee into the scratch using a cotton swab until the desired color is achieved, waiting a few hours between applications.
8. Grow Mushrooms
Mushrooms only thrive in specific conditions and are notoriously difficult to grow.
For starters, they do not grow in ordinary garden soil, as they require a substrate, or underlying substance or layer.
Used coffee grounds make a great substrate because they are packed full of nutrients that mushrooms like to grow on.
What’s more, they have already been sterilized during the brewing process, which would otherwise be an extra step in the growing process.
How to Grow Mushrooms in Used Coffee Grounds
- Collect about 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) of grounds and moisten them using a spray bottle.
- Add a little over 1 pound (500 grams) of mushroom spore and sawdust mixture and mix well. You can look for this product at your local gardening store.
- Place resulting mixture into a filter patch grow bag, large freezer bag or bucket and fill until approximately one-half to two-thirds full.
- Cut four air holes, about 5 mm in size, into the sides of your container above the grounds. If you are using an open container, cover it with cellophane and poke with a few more small air holes.
- Lightly spray the grounds with water once daily or as needed to keep them moist.
- In about two to four weeks when you start to see dense white areas with little budding mushrooms, move the container to an area with lighter and fresher air.
- When the mushrooms become plump and their caps turn upward, you can harvest them.
You can use this method to grow just about any kind of mushroom, but shiitake and oyster varieties seem to be the easiest.
9. Treat Under-Eye Circles
The skin surrounding the eyes is extremely delicate and contains very little fat tissue. Because of this, it’s one of the first places you might see signs of aging.
Many things can contribute to the development of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, including fragile blood vessels, poor circulation and inadequate skin quality.
Coffee grounds seem to be a promising solution due to their high antioxidant and caffeine contents.
Studies show that skin care products containing antioxidants and caffeine can help prevent the appearance of aging and reduce under-eye circles.
In particular, caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates blood circulation around the eyes, which can help reduce the appearance of dark circles and swelling.
The antioxidants in coffee can also help fight free radicals, which contribute to skin aging.
Simply add water or coconut oil to your coffee grounds to form a paste. Apply the mixture under your eyes and let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process daily or as needed.
The Bottom Line
Most people discard the grounds left behind after brewing coffee. However, there are many great ways to reuse them.
The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee grounds may help combat cellulite, under-eye circles and other signs of aging skin.
Coffee grounds are also packed with nutrients that can nourish plants and deter pests in your garden.
Furthermore, their abrasiveness makes them a great cleaning scrub around the house.
Next time you brew yourself a cup of coffee, consider re-purposing the grounds using one of the ideas in this article.