Coffee grounds are… messy, drippy, difficult to clean, and absolutely wonderful for beautifying your home and garden! Keep reading to discover some of the most common, easy ways to recycle and upcycle those pesky grounds.
In the home*
Cleaning and beautifying with coffee may sound counter-intuitive but you need to trust us on this one! Those abrasive grounds are great for scrubbing, deodorizing, and much more!
Cookware cleaner: Next time your cookware is plagued with a difficult stain or unyielding residue, throw old coffee grounds into the pot / pan with a drop of soap and scrub away. Coffee grounds are naturally abrasive and work wonderfully to remove all unwanted remains from your cookware. In our home tests, coffee grounds surpass even baking soda as the master pot cleaner!
Deodorizer: Coffee is a wonderful, natural odor absorber. Just place your used grounds in a bowl and let them work their magic — this works particularly well in the refrigerator and freezer. If you are feeling creative, wrap the grounds in an old cloth and make individual deodorizers that can be placed in closets, behind shoe stands, and even in the car. To learn more, click here.
Fireplace: Next time you need to clean soot from your fireplace, GENTLY mix some used coffee grounds into the ash before attempting to sweep it up. The weight of the grounds will greatly minimize the threatening ash plume.
Fleas: Fido has fleas? Give him a good scrub with your leftover coffee grounds! Click here to learn more about this simple, natural de-flea remedy.
Furniture nick-fixer: Don’t let that nick in the wood torment you! While still moist, gently cover the nick with a fine layer of coffee grounds and let the grounds sit for at least 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, gently buff or rub the grounds away. For darker woods, this process may need to be repeated or the grounds may need to be left on for a longer period of time.
Furniture stain: Create your own natural wood stain using old coffee grounds and boiling water. To learn more, click here.
In the garden
Coffee is not only good for us, it is great for our gardens — from compost to fertilizer to pest deterrent, adding coffee grounds to your garden is a natural way to enhance and protect your land.
Compost: Adding used coffee grounds to your compost boosts the nitrogen levels and attracts earthworms. Coffee grounds are considered “green” in the composting lexicon.
Fertilizer: Used coffee grounds are a fantastic organic supplement to fertilizers. They release nitrogen, a natural fertilizer, into the soil, attract earthworms, and increase natural drainage, aeration, and water retention. Note: For acid-loving plants (azaleas, rhododendrons, etc.), it is best to use fresh coffee grounds as brewing reduces the grounds’ acidity level.
Pests: Next time pesky snails invade your garden or an army of ants takes up residence in your home, block the entryways with coffee grounds! To protect your plants from snails and slugs, spread coffee grounds around the edges of your garden; to keep ants out of the house, spread a 1-2 inch wide strip of grounds around the foundation of your home. Slugs and snails dislike crawling over the grounds while ants are repulsed by the scent.
Potted mushrooms: If you love a tasty, home-grown mushroom, save those grounds and grab a pot or bucket! Coffee provides near perfect soil for oyster and shitake mushrooms. To learn more, check out this article.
If you have unique home or garden uses for your leftover coffee grounds, please share them in the comments section. We are always excited to learn of the interesting and resourceful ways you upcycle your grounds.
*Coffee scrubs and personal cleaners will be covered in our Health and Beauty blog. Stay tuned!