5 Surprising Ways to Dispose of Your Used Coffee Grounds
Updated: Jan 3
Coffee can provide more than just your daily caffeine hit – the used coffee grounds you would usually throw out after brewing can come in handy for several everyday tasks. You might be surprised at how many creative things you can do with leftover grinds! Instead of letting them go to waste, consider these 5 resourceful ways to put your old coffee grounds to good use.
1. A Handy Fertilizer
Coffee grounds are granular, acidic, and rich in nitrogen, making them a great, easy-to-apply fertilizer for both indoor and outdoor plants. You can either sprinkle coffee grounds directly over the soil around your plant or work them into the soil with your hands. Adding coffee grounds to the soil will improve its water retention ability and give your plants a good amount of nitrogen, helping them to thrive and bloom beautifully.
Did you know organic material like coffee grounds won't break down in the landfill?
2. A Body or Face Scrub
The natural antioxidants present in coffee grounds help to stimulate skin cells, promoting healthier skin. You can use coffee grounds as a body scrub by combining it with a liquid like olive oil or coconut oil. Simply mix the two ingredients together until you have a thick paste, then massage this paste onto your body like you would with any other exfoliator. This will get rid of any dead skin and leave your body feeling refreshed. By cleansing your face in moderation, this combination of oil and coffee grounds can also be used to keep your skin hydrated and to help clear acne.
You can see all the details of making your own coffee body scrub here!
3. A Healthy Hair Product
The stimulating and exfoliating effects of coffee grounds can also help to keep your hair healthy. If you regularly use products such as hair masks and serums, your hair may have some built-up residue. You can remove that residue by massaging your hair with a handful of used coffee grounds before you shampoo. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after you’ve worked the grounds into your hair. The coarse texture of the grounds will break apart the residue and leave your hair looking extra shiny and smooth. Washing your hair with coffee can also work as a great, natural temporary hair dye for anyone who wants to darken the color of their hair.
4. A Natural Air Deodorizer
Coffee grounds can be used to neutralize odors and reset your sense of smell, which makes them incredibly helpful to have on hand if you need to eliminate unpleasant smells, such as your garbage disposal. Adding a few frozen tablets of coffee grounds into your garbage can help to improve its smell significantly. Similarly, if you have just cleaned your fridge and want to keep it smelling fresh, you could simply place a bag of coffee grounds inside for a couple weeks to neutralize the smells. You can even put used coffee grounds into old storage containers or under the footpads of smelly shoes to keep them smelling fresh and clean.
5. Insect and Pest Repellent
Used coffee grounds make a great insect deterrent. All you need to do is fill a jar or can with a couple inches of moistened coffee grounds and line it with sticky double-sided tape. The scent of the coffee will attract any cockroaches into the trap. Coffee grounds are also useful for keeping unwanted garden pests away - by sprinkling the grounds around your garden, you can create a protective wall around your veggies to ward off snails, ants and slugs.
“Johanna Cider is a freelance writer from New Zealand who enjoys writing about lifestyle, health and wellness. Check out more of her work on Tumblr.”