4 ways to repurpose your used coffee grounds

All Pot Heads have them. Whether you brew with a cafetiere, filter or espresso machine, we all end up with container loads of used coffee grounds. So instead of throwing them away, how can you repurpose your used coffee grounds?

  1. Feed your plants
  2. Make compost
  3. Neutralise odours
  4. Exfoliate you skin

1. Feed your plants

Plants eat plants. It sounds weird I know, but they do. In fact there are a number of reasons why you should spread your used coffee grounds directly on the soil around your plants:

  • Coffee grounds contain several key minerals for plant growth — nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium (so does the hemp extract in our CBD Coffee if you are using that)
  • Coffee grounds are organic material. Adding organic material to soil improves drainage, water retention and aeration.
  • Coffee grounds can help attract microorganisms and even earthworms which are also beneficial for soil health.
  • Coffee grounds can help repel snails and slugs.

Pointers to be aware of:

  • Fresh coffee grounds are acidic. Adding these to soil will lower the pH of that soil, making it more acidic. This is great for acid loving plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellia, pieris, heathers, ferns, magnolia and hydrangeas.
  • Washed coffee grounds are neutral. If you want to use your coffee grounds on plants that prefer a neutral environment, wash them thoroughly to reduce their pH level to around 6.5 which is near neutral. This way you can use them to ‘feed’ all kinds of plants – even non-muggle mushrooms and cannabis.

2. Make compost

If you have a composting mound or bin you can dump your used coffee grounds in there too. The grounds will benefit your compost much in the same way as soil which we outlined above. The only thing to note is that coffee grounds are classed as ‘green materials’. The best compost has a rough ratio of one part ‘green materials’ to 3 or 4 parts ‘brown materials’.

  • Green materials: Grass clippings, plant trimmings, vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, animal manures (not dog and cat manure), seaweed.
  • Brown materials: Fall leave, pine needles, twigs, bark, straw or hay, sawdust, paper, coffee filters, cotton fabric and plain, cardboard (no coatings).

Right, we’ll move on from gardening now.

3. Neutralise odours

As we mentioned above, coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which when combined with carbon can help eliminate eggy smelling sulfur gases. They also smell great themselves, so its like a 2 for 1 bonus. Other ideas for using coffee grounds to neutralise odours include:

  • Place a bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer to absorb bad smells (Note: This is not an alternative to cleaning your fridge)
  • Fill old socks (without holes in them) with coffee grounds to make portable air fresheners. Put them anywhere that smells.
  • Keep a bowl of coffee grounds near your sink to scrub your hands after you’ve been cutting smelly foods such as garlic or onions.

4. Exfoliate your skin

A couple of our customers have already suggested and shared their recipes for this one. Simply mix your used coffee grounds with other natural skincare products such as argan oil, almond or oil to create a scrub.