Used coffee grounds are often discarded after brewing, but they can actually be repurposed in many ways around the house. Here are 7 creative ways to reuse used coffee grounds to reduce waste and get more value out of your morning cup of java.
1. Fertilize Plants
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, potassium, and other minerals that are great for nourishing plants. I simply sprinkle the used grounds around the base of indoor and outdoor plants once a week to boost their growth.
The grounds help fertilize the soil, condition it, and also help retain moisture. I’ve found this works particularly well for acid-loving plants like tomatoes, azaleas, roses, and blueberry bushes.
2. Make Exfoliating Scrubs
The gritty texture of used coffee grounds makes them ideal for mixing into DIY exfoliating scrubs for smooth and glowing skin.
I mix used grounds with a little coconut oil or olive oil and few drops of essential oils like peppermint or lemon. The coarse grounds will slough off dead skin cells while the oils moisturize.
You can make scrubs for your face or body – it leaves my skin feeling fresh and renewed. The caffeine in the grounds also helps reduce the appearance of cellulite when used on the skin.
3. Deodorize Fridges
Having used coffee grounds in an open bowl or cup in the refrigerator helps absorb strong food odors. The grounds soak up smells from foods like garlic, onions, and fish.
I simply place some fresh grounds in a small container in my fridge and change them out weekly. It keeps the fridge smelling much fresher without having to rely on harsh chemical deodorizers.
4. Compost Coffee Grounds
Used coffee grounds are considered green material and make an excellent addition to compost piles and bins. The grounds are rich in nitrogen which provides nutrients for your compost, helping break down materials faster.
I sprinkle my used coffee grounds each morning over my compost along with other food scraps. The grounds help aerate the compost as well to prevent it from getting too dense. In a few months, I have rich compost ready to feed to my vegetable garden and houseplants.
5. Soften and Exfoliate Your Lips
Coffee grounds mixed with a little olive oil makes a wonderful lip scrub. The coarse texture removes flaky dry skin from lips and provides light exfoliation. The oils add deep conditioning moisture.
I simply mix a teaspoon of used coffee grounds with a teaspoon of olive oil and gently scrub my lips. Then I wipe off the mix and apply a nourishing lip balm. It leaves my lips ridiculously soft and smooth.
6. Repel Garden Pests
Used coffee grounds can also come in handy in the garden as a natural repellent for pests like slugs and snails. The abrasive texture of the grounds is uncomfortable for these soft-bodied creatures to slither across.
I’ve found scattering some grounds around the edges of flowerbeds and vegetable patches helps deter slugs from attacking my plants overnight. The grounds break down quickly so I reapply after watering.
7. Clean Greasy Pans
Before popping dirty pans and baking dishes in the sink, I first use some wet coffee grounds to lightly scrub away baked-on grease and food residues. The grounds are mildly abrasive so act as a gentle scouring agent without being too harsh on cookware.
I simply use a little cold water and some grounds to gently hand wash pans first. This helps loosen up cooked-on messes, saving me lots of elbow grease scrubbing!
So next time you brew some coffee, hold on to those fragrant grounds. With a little creativity, used coffee grounds can be put to use in numerous ways around the home and garden. Give some of these tips a try to get increased value and use out of each cup of coffee!