As a Melburnian it should come as no surprise that I’m quite the lover of coffee but I don’t have a fancy coffee machine at home (don’t get me started on pod based machines!), instead I make do with a simple plunger and some good quality coffee. I generally only have one cup a day at home but regardless it still results in lots of coffee grounds, but thankfully there are lots of ways to reuse them around the home. Today I thought I’d share my top 10 uses for coffee grounds, and I’d love to hear yours too!
1. Fertilise Your Garden
Coffee grounds are full of nitrogen and potassium so are an excellent addition to your garden beds, particularly if you’re growing flowering plants like roses or camelias. The coffee grounds will also attract worms (although not if you’re growing on a balcony like I am!) which bring all kinds of other benefits to your soil, resulting in happier, healthier plants.
2. Repel Garden Pests
Typical garden pests like slugs and snails can’t stand coffee, so if they are eating up your plants then sprinkle some coffee grounds around the base of the plants and it will stop them getting destroyed. Some cats are also deterred by coffee grounds, so if the neighbours cat won’t stop sitting on your veggies (this used to happen to me all the time!) then coffee grounds might just be the answer!
3. Top Notch Compost
If you’ve got more coffee grounds than garden to fertilise you can add them straight to your compost (or bokashi like I do) which will ensure your compost is full of important nutrients when you are ready to add the compost to your garden beds.
4. De-Stink your Fridge
In a similar way to baking soda, pop a dish of coffee grounds in your fridge (or freezer) to absorb smells and leave it smelling fresh and clean. Of course, this works much better if you first remove whatever the source of the smell is! If it’s a particularly bad smell then you might need to switch the grounds every day or so, but if it’s just general fridge odours then you can keep the same coffee grounds for at least a week before you should change them over.
5. Deodorise your Hands
Much like your fridge, you can use coffee grounds to deodorise your hands after chopping particularly potent smelling foods like garlic and onions. Just keep a small dish of dried out grounds near your sink (replacing the grounds every few days) and rub them over your hands to absorb the scent. The easiest way to dry out the grounds is to lay them out on a baking tray and sit them in the sun for a few hours, or if it’s not sunny weather lie them on some paper towel which will absorb the moisture.
6. Exfoliate your Skin
As I mentioned in my post on avoiding microbeads, coffee grounds make an excellent homemade skin exfoliant. Just mix your coffee grounds in with your favourite oil (coconut oil is my usual go-to) to make a cheap, easy and effective scrub. The coffee grounds are gentle enough to be used on your face as well as your body, but you can add a little extra oil for your face if your skin is particularly sensitive. If you want a stronger scrub for your body you can also add salt into the mix, so play around and see what suits your body best!
7. Rehydrate your Face
Coffee grounds can also be used to make a face mask, leaving your face hydrated and giving your skin a perk-up (much like drinking coffee does to the rest of your body!). There are lots of recipes out there for face masks, but a simple version I like is to simply combine equal parts of coffee grounds and cocoa powder (roughly 2tsp each) with coconut oil (or yoghurt) and honey then apply to your face and leave it for up to half an hour. Easy as that, and made with items you’re more than likely to have sitting in your pantry!
8. Get shiny hair
This one is only for the dark-haired folk, but adding coffee grounds to your shampoo once a week can help strip oily residue from your hair, leaving it shinier and healthier. This is particularly useful if you’re using natural hair products as they won’t contain the harsh detergents that strip this build up from your hair (although they strip the natural oils as well, which is why I recommend you avoid them). Coffee grounds are also believed to stimulate hair growth, so it’s worth a go if you’re trying to grow your hair!
9. Scrub Away Food
Due to its gentle abrasive nature coffee grounds make a great scrub for baked on foods or other hard to remove cleaning needs. It’s as simple as sprinkling some of your leftover grounds on a cloth and gently scrubbing your pots, pans or benches. It’s gentle enough that it won’t cause any damage, but it’s best to avoid using it on anything that might stain (like ceramic) or anything with cracks that it might get in to.
10. Hide Scratches in Wooden Furniture
If you have wooden furniture (particularly dark wood) with small scratches then you can hide them by combining the coffee grounds with a little oil, such as coconut oil, to make a thick paste then rub it into the scratch using a cotton bud. The paste will fill the scratch and you can adjust the colour to match by using more or less coffee grounds to suit (walnuts actually work well too!).