Coffee Drinkers & Why You Should Never Just Throw Away Those Coffee Grounds
by Jane Chitty
Are you an avid coffee drinker? Do you just throw away those used coffee grounds without a second thought? Making your own freshly ground coffee instead of using coffee pods is safer for the environment. I am not a coffee drinker myself but when I have grounds after visitors, I always give the grounds to my three blueberry patio bushesand they must like them because they give us a bumper harvest every summer.
There are lots of other uses for coffee grounds
Here are some suggestions...
In the garden
Pest repellent. You can sprinkle them around precious young plants to protect against slugs and snails.
Plant fertilizer. Coffee grounds provide a good fertilizer for acid-loving plants including those blueberries. You can either put a layer on your garden compost bin or mix the grounds with dead grass clippings, brown leaves or dry straw to neutralize some of the acidity before spreading them around your plants. Coffee grounds provide extra nitrogen and potassium to the soil as well as a boost of magnesium. Just be aware that because there is no phosphorus and calcium, you would need to add lime or wood ash for a complete plant fertilizer.
Compost heap. If you just add to the compost heap, don't put more than a single layer at a time. They are rich in nitrogen and also encourage worms into the compost heap.
In the home
Odor repellent. Use coffee grounds (in the same way as baking soda) to absorb food odors in the refrigerator and freezer. Use a small open container and place at the back of the appliance for a couple of weeks before replacing. Then they can be added to the compost heap!
Adhesive cleaner. Use on an old cloth and some coffee grounds for scrubbing away stubborn food on pans, dishes and anywhere else.
Natural dye. Re-wet old coffee grounds and use them to dye and turn paper into old style parchment as well as other craft projects.
Natural candles. Home made candles will fill the home with the lovely smell of coffee.
Cleaning open fireplaces. Gently scatter old used coffee grounds over the ashes to weigh them down and prevent the huge clouds of smoke that often arise when performing this task. You will find the job easier and the room itself will stay much cleaner.
Health and beauty uses
Exfoliate the skin. Coffee grounds make an excellent exfoliating body scrub if you add the used grounds to warm water or coconut oil before scrubbing the skin from head to foot to remove dead skin cells. In the same way, you can make a facial mask by mixing two tablespoon of the coffee grounds with two tablespoons of organic cocoa powder before adding three tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream. Finally add a heaped tablespoon of honey and spread on to your face.
Coffee for the hair. If you use a lot of hair products, or have decided to change to a natural shampoo and conditioner, your hair could be weighed down with product residue. The good news is that you can remove that build-up using old coffee grounds, restoring your hair to its natural healthy shine once more. Simply use a handful of grounds and massage them into your hair before shampooing. The coarse texture will help break apart the product residue while being gentle enough not to damage the hair.
Cellulite treatment. Cellulite has many causes including poor diet choices, frequent or extended periods of sitting, smoking or even a genetic predisposition. But a simple mix of used coffee grounds and warm water can provide a home remedy. Use as a scrub for ten minutes twice a week on any areas affected by cellulite, with an improved appearance within several weeks of steady treatment.
And a special trick to end
This will safely get rid of annoying summer wasps when you are trying to eat or drink outdoors. You will need: A metallic dish such as an old baked bean tin or aluminium foil take out container. Used dry coffee grounds. Place the coffee grounds in the metallic dish and allow to smoulder. And as simple as that, the smoke deters the wasps. If you find it difficult to light the dry coffee grounds, place a small amount in a metal spoon and hold it to the flame before gently dropping into the tin of the rest of the coffee grounds. Who would have thought that a simple commodity - that is so often a waste product - could have so many uses? Time to put your own coffee grinds to good use...
Jane writes for Healing Natural Oils, a producer and retailer of high-quality, all-natural treatments for a variety of conditions as well as a range of beauty products. Apart from writing about those various conditions, she also covers general health, environmental and other subjects of interest. She has lived in Kenya as well as Cape Town, South Africa and spent time in San Diego, USA. She now lives in Somerset, England with regular visits from her far-flung children and grandchildren. She is a keen gardener and enjoys growing fresh fruit and vegetables with her husband on their joint allotment. As a result, there is something available to use in the kitchen virtually all year round. Her regular posts can be found on our blog.