What do you do with the used coffee grounds after brewing your daily cup of coffee? If you are like most coffee drinkers, the used grounds end up in the bin.
While you cannot use them to brew another cup, this organic material is still full of good stuff which can be utilized in plenty of different ways.
Getting the second use out of your coffee grounds, besides the daily caffeine hit, is better for the environment and can provide a sustainable choice for some beauty or household products.
Here are the 9 innovative ways you can use coffee grounds after you finish your cup.
1. Garden Fertilizer
One of the first ways that most of us know about is using the used coffee grounds as a garden fertilizer or compost. Fertilizer is used to provide additional nutrients to the soil and optimize the growth of your garden.
This is beneficial because coffee contains minerals that can help with plant growth. They include Nitrogen, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Chromium.
Soil enriched with these minerals is more healthy and helps to attract worms, while also helping to absorb heavy metals that might have contaminated it.
There’s no need to pay extra for expensive compost, as the coffee grounds make one of the highest quality compost available.
2. Insect Repellent
Because coffee grounds contain caffeine and diterpenes, it makes them highly toxic to insects. Spent coffee can be used to repel bugs in your garden or patio, including mosquitos, beetles, or fruit flies.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to rub your body with coffee grounds in order to repel them. Instead, set out bowls of coffee grounds around your desired area or sprinkle them in your garden.
Additionally, you can add coffee grounds to the bottom of the plants to discourage pests or create an organic barrier that would prevent snails from entering your seating area.
3. Body Exfoliator
The coarse particles in the coffee grounds are ideal for removing dirt and dead skin particles, making them a powerful natural exfoliator. Many natural cosmetic brands add coffee grounds to their product.
You can combine the coffee leftovers with essential oils and other ingredients to create your own perfect scrub. Mix the grounds with coconut oil, vanilla, or honey for a natural exfoliator that will delight your senses.
The caffeine will provide additional benefits such as protection against sun damage, improving blood flow, or helping to fight cellulite.
4. Cleaning Scrub
Coffee particles have powerful cleaning properties, not only for your skin but also for cleaning surfaces around your house. The grounds are abrasive and can help to eliminate dirt around hard-to-clean areas.
Apart from being powerful cleaners, they also have antiviral and antibacterial properties, so your desired area will be also sanitized.
The grounds can be an excellent natural alternative to common cleaners that often use aggressive chemicals to remove dirt. Cleaning with the coffee grounds will be easier on your skin, and won’t cost you anything extra.
Household areas that are easy to clean with coffee grounds include a kitchen sink, cookware, or an outdoor barbecue. Be careful about using it around porous material, since it might leave brown stains.
5. Odor Neutralizer
Coffee grounds contain Nitrogen, which helps to eliminate unpleasant smells and can be used to absorb odors.
Dry the used coffee grounds on the baking sheet and put them into bowls or old socks. This way, you can use them as an easy portable odor neutralizer.
You can put the bowl with used coffee grounds in the back of the fridge to naturally neutralize smells, or put them in the different rooms of your house, garage, near your dirty laundry, near the bins, or in your car.
You can even rub your hands with the coffee grounds to remove the smell after cooking and cutting garlic or onion.
6. Natural Dye
By re-wetting the used coffee grounds, you can create an easy natural dye that can be used to dye cotton, linen, or paper.
You can use the coffee dye to create a vintage look for your clothes. It can be a great solution for clothes that have stains on them or white shirts that have lost their crisp color.
You can even apply coffee grounds to deepen the color of brown hair. Covering your hair with cold coffee can add lost shine and refresh dull colors.
7. Hair Growth Stimulator
The hair benefits of used coffee grounds don’t end there. Exfoliating your scalp with leftover coffee grounds can help to remove dead skin cells and product buildup.
This will improve dullness, add shine to your hair, and can also stimulate hair growth.
Simply rub the coffee grounds in your hair in the shower and then shampoo as normal. Include this in your routine at least once a week.
8. Dark Circle Treatment
Dark circles under your eyes can be a sign of aging, tiredness, poor circulation, or fragile blood vessels. Coffee grounds can help eliminate dark circles because of their high caffeine and antioxidant content.
Caffeine has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to improve blood circulation. A lot of eye creams you can find in the store contain caffeine to refresh your eye area and make the skin look plumper. It can reduce aging and help to fight free radicals.
To make your own eye treatment with used coffee grounds, mix them with coconut oil or water until it forms a paste. Leave the natural mixture under your eyes for around 10 minutes before rinsing to see the desired benefits.
9. Meat Tenderizer
Old coffee grounds can be used to reduce the tough consistency of meat. Coffee will partially break down the fibers and proteins in meat, improving its texture and making it more tender. Additionally, the acidity present in coffee can also help to enhance its flavor.
You can use the grounds to dry rub the meat a few hours before cooking. If you then cook the meat with coffee, it will result in a crispy crust. Alternatively, add some coffee grounds into your marinade and let the meat sit there overnight to make it more tender.
Used coffee grounds still contain caffeine, antioxidants, and powerful minerals that can be utilized in a wide range of ways. It can be used in gardening, as a natural cleaning product, odor repellent in the household, or a powerful exfoliator for your body or scalp.
Next time you brew your morning cup, think twice before throwing the used coffee grounds away since they can still provide some benefits. Feel free to experiment with different uses to find which one suits you most.