5 Ways To Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds
Did you know that coffee has a second life that can provide serious functionality in your home? That’s right, those used grounds that are usually dumped into the trash after they’ve performed the sacred duty of producing your life-saving beverage, are just getting started with their capabilities. As if you needed any more reasons to love coffee.
Let's get to it!
Oh a natural way to healthier skin? Sign us up! Coffee-grounds can be an excellent sustainable ingredient for natural skincare. Caffeine acts as an anti-inflammatory and increases circulation. Coffee is also rich in polyphenols which is a group of antioxidants. The natural coarseness of coffee grounds provides an amazing exfoliant. There are many soap recipes that incorporate coffee, but since those can require a lot of ingredients, we decided to include a simple scrub recipe utilizing ingredients you probably already have lying around.
Coffee Scrub Recipe:
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil / Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup Used Coffee Grounds
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar (or any sugar)
- 1 Drop Of Honey / Vanilla Extract (optional)
Mix all ingredients together well. Wet skin and then apply scrub gently. Wash off thoroughly and pat skin dry. Store Coffee Scrub in sealed container for up to 1 month.
2. Insect Repellant
Everyone loves insect infestations right? Oh, no? OK good. Here’s another way coffee steps in as the hero. Combine old coffee grounds with extra water and put near the bottom of plants throughout your garden. This method has been said to keep mosquitoes from breading. (It’s also known to keep stray cats away!)
Coffee is an excellent flavor profile in both savory and sweet cooking. There are a lot of great rubs you can make, and coffee pairs very well with chocolate and chili peppers. However, when using already brewed coffee grinds, there is one cooking application we find to be the best use. Tenderizing your meat! The grounds have a natural acidity to them, and acid is the foundation of a great marinade.
- Simply rub the meat with the ground coffee. (Combine with other herbs, oils, and spices.)
- Put it in a ziplock bag and suck the air out.
- Let this sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours before cooking for very tender meat.
- Wiping off the coffee before cooking is optional!
Use coffee to enrich your soil! Lightly mix used grounds with existing soil to enhance the growing environment of your plants. Coffee grounds are a nutrient rich organic matter that is perfect to add to your compost and soil.
5. Fixing Scratches and Staining Wood
Ok, that title might be a stretch, but it is semi-accurate! If you have a dark wood piece of furniture, that has a scratch, you can stain that scratch to hide it. Just mix some grounds with warm water to create a paste consistency. Rub the paste into the crack thoroughly. Wipe the paste off, and the coffee scrub should mask the scratch with a dark stain. You can also do a natural stain on any piece of naked wood. Just do equal parts used coffee grounds, and hot water in a bowl. Strain the liquid out with a coffee filter. Then you can paint this mixture onto wood (probably several coats) to do a natural coffee stain. It is usually a pretty light stain, but it sounds cool to tell people you stained your décor with old coffee!
All this time you were regularly producing the foundation of some household staples. These applications allow you to turn what was once trash, into fun and creative projects. What looks like wet, hot mush, will soon provide extreme utility and put you on the path towards a zero-waste home!
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