Coffee grounds -  remarkable benefits from waste

used coffee grounds

If you have a filter maker, moka pot, bean to cup machine or a prosumer barista model coffee machine, ground coffee beans make for a fresh cup that gives you a buzz and warms you up. If you run an office or have a coffee maker or machine at home that creates mounds of used coffee grounds over the day, then you can have a few choices.

You could put it into the food waste to be composted by your local council or you can find a variety of uses for the coffee grounds. Here are some remarkable ways to benefit from your used coffee grounds waste.

In the garden

coffee grounds

The first and most obvious use especially since the local council is happy to compost coffee grounds is to look at ways to use it in your own garden.

Compost coffee grounds

If you compost at home, add the coffee grounds to your compost heap for it to become a great fertiliser.

Fertiliser

Used coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen and hence a good fertiliser for a variety of acide loving plants flowers, fruits & vegetables. Coffee grounds can be used directly around roses, azaeleas, rhododendrons.

Fruits, vegetables and leaves that also benefit from coffee grounds include tomatoes, blueberries & spinach. If you use coffee grounds when sowing carrot seeds, you’ll get better carrots and keep the pests from attacking the carrots before you get to them. 

2.Turn your hydrangeas from pink to blue

used coffee grounds

When put into the earth, coffee grounds add acidity. This in turn means that the plant can absorb aluminium that’s innately found in soil.

In the case of hydrangeas, this can be a way of changing your pink hydrangeas to a stunning blue colour. If you find that your hydrangeas are a pale blue, they can benefit from the increased acidity from the coffee grounds.

3.Pest control

coffee grounds

If your garden has a lot of pests such as snails and slugs it has been found that they are repelled by caffeinated soil.

The best thing to do is to dilute the used coffee grounds with some water and pour into around the plants that need to be protected from slugs.

Household uses

There are several household uses for used coffee grounds too.

4.Abrasive cleaner

Coffee grounds are gently abrasive. You can mix it with a bit of soapy water and use it to scrub your hob, tiles and work surfaces.  However, for solid surface worktops, try it in a discrete corner first as some of them absorb colours.

5.Odour absorber

The good thing of using coffee grounds as a cleaner in the house is that it also can absorb odours. You can put a bowl of grounds in your fridge instead of sodium bicarbonate to absorb smells.

In small quantities, it can be good to flush down your sink with very hot water to remove any odours emanating from the sink. Be careful though, plumbers who clear up blocked drains feel that it has the opposite effect. Too much of grounds can mix with grease that’s already gone down earlier to cause a sludge in the drains.

6. Flea control

Fleas don’t like coffee, so one way of using the waste from your coffee drinks is to use it as an inexpensive flea control. For this, you’ll need to shampoo your dog as you would normally and then apply the coffee grounds to the pooch’s coat. Wash this off and dry your dog as usual.

Ensure that your dog doesn’t ingest any of the coffee grounds since it can be toxic for your pet.

Arts & Craft

9.Painting

Make a liquid with coffee grounds and use the brown liquid as a paint  or dye to get creative with.

coffee grounds

7.Candle

You can make aromatic candles at home with your coffee waste. Use the grounds as the aromatic with your wax and wick.

8.Soap

In the same way, you can create amazing smelling soaps at home.

Beauty

10.Exfoliator & scrub

The gently abrasive nature of coffee grounds makes for creation of a home-made exfoliator and scrub.

Use olive oil or coconut oil (if you are in a warm enough place) along with used grounds as well as some aromatic oils of your choice or tea tree oil (to act as an antiseptic) and make your own aromatic scrub on a budget.

11.Cellulite treatment

The good news is that used coffee grounds is great to treat cellulite, however it’s a temporary effect. If you’d like to reduce your lumps and bumps for an occasion, create a scrub like you the one above using olive oil and massage it well into your problem areas. Cling film the areas for about fifteen minutes and then shower it off.

12.Hair cleanser

Coffee grounds is also great at getting rid of product build up in your hair. Use damp coffee grounds in wet hair and coat all your hair.

Shampoo and condition as usual after and you should find your hair is squeaky clean. It’s also effective as a gentle temporary dye, so best for dark hair.

Offices can recycle coffee waste

An innovative entrepreneur, Arthur Kay who set up bio-bean.com takes this waste and creates coffee logs that can be used in stoves and fireplaces. To learn more about the collection programme, visit http://www.bio-bean.com/collection/

In November 2017, as part of a Shell “make the future” programme, bio-bean helped coffee power London buses to create the first instance of biodiesel from this source

Recycle your coffee grounds

Whatever happens, please try and not send coffee grounds in black bags to landfills. Either send it for commercial composting or try some of these ideas at home. 

If you are London based, why not see how you can recycle your commercial coffee grounds ?