How to Recycle Coffee Grounds
You've made some great coffee at home, you've paired it with your favourite milk alternative... now what do you do with the worst part of coffee?
In the age of up-cycling, recycling, reduce your waste and impact, why should all those wonderful coffee grounds be needlessly discarded.
Here are some inventive ways that people have found to get an extra use out of those coffee grounds.
While you're in the kitchen, there is more than one use for coffee. There are plenty of recipes for meat rubs and biscuits that use coffee grounds, but did you know that they can also remove unwanted smells?
Either by rubbing cold, used grounds on your hands to remove onion or garlic smells, or by placing a cup of grounds in the fridge to remove and/or replace food odours -- like the bicarb trick, but for coffee lovers.
No? ... well, yes! Covering up scuffs and scratches on wooden furniture. Darker coloured wood that matches the coffee colour works best, but please test a small, out-of-sight area first. Using a cotton bud and the darker coffee colour to blend scratches into the rest of the wood grain. Apply gently and then marvel at your up-cycling skills.
This isn't really one to DIY, but we thought we'd include it here for completeness: there are logs out there for wood-burning stoves that are made from compressed coffee grounds.
After all this up-cycling and coffee grinding, you're due some pampering. And apparently the diuretic qualities of coffee grounds are said to be great for reducing puffiness under eyes. Mix the grounds into a paste with water, apply, and leave for around 15 minutes.
KEEP OUT OF EYES, IF IRRITATION OCCURS STOP USE AND RINSE IMMEDIATELY BEFORE CONSULTING MEDICAL ADVICE.
Coffee Grounds Mask Recipe:
- 2 tbls of cool, used grounds
- 2 tbls organic cocoa powder
- 3 tbls whole milk/heavy cream or dairy-free alternative
- 1 tbls honey and apple
Mix all ingredients in bowl. Can be stored in fridge for several days. Apply to face, leave for 10 minutes, rinse off with warm water.
The coarseness of the grinds can also act as an exfoliant. Just add grounds to your usual face mask.
DON'T USE GROUNDS ON YOUR GARDEN!
It's a widely shared myth that used grounds are good for your garden. The grounds are rich in caffeine, which the coffee plant uses to protect it from pests, but also to inhibit the growth of other plants around it. So, don't cover your tomatoes with it unless you're infested with tomatoes and need to reduce their numbers.
You can add the grounds to a worm bin (yeah, we're not sure what this is either. But, it's certainly a gardening thing). The worms love it, but don't go overboard - it can become too acidic for them.
Well, there you go. Some ideas on how to deal with the worst part of coffee: tidying up those grounds that clog drains and get into more cracks than sand. Enjoy.