What to do with your left-over coffee grounds?

What to do with your left-over coffee grounds?

“What can I do with my coffee grounds?”

If you are someone concerned about the environment, the question must have been bothering you for a while.

You’ve already tried coffee reading (sorry, I couldn’t resist) but ever since you got a bean-to-cup coffee machine, you are still looking for a better use for your left-over coffee!

As everyone knows, ground coffee is a natural product. It is a great shame to let it go to waste. Beyond the widespread use in compost, today I’m going give you some hints and tips about  what to do with your coffee. But this is by no means an exhaustive list! There are many  other uses for coffee grounds, but I had to be picky or this article would have been far too long!

And just think: it’s not just coffee beans or ground coffee you can put in your compost bin. How about opening up your coffee capsules and ESE pods to recycle the content?

used coffee grounds

The gardener’s companion

Many of us already put left-over coffee grounds in the compost bin with fruit and vegetable scraps. But did you know that coffee residue is actually an excellent compost activator? Earthworms are particularly fond of it! It helps them digest and since they are sensitive to caffeine, it also makes them more active as they work on transforming organic matter into compost.

used coffee grounds for the garden

And here’s an extra tip for all you budding gardeners… Your coffee grounds are also a great fertilizer. Since coffee is lightly acidic, it is ideal mixed with fresh soil at the bottom of your hydrangeas or tomato plants. Just be careful: in theory, only a handful of coffee grounds per kilogram of topsoil should be enough! Reapply once a month for outdoor plants, or once every two months for indoors ones.

Coffee is also a very effective repellent. It can be used to protect against slugs, snails, caterpillars, ants, mosquitoes, fleas and even… cats! Should your furry friend happen to have a nasty habit of misbehaving in the garden, that is ;)

My little beauty tip

If you’re a DIY beauty enthusiast, coffee could become your best ally. I personally have more and more friends who want to go “chemical-free”.  In other words, to get rid of beauty creams and other products crammed full of unpronounceable ingredients, but without missing out on their positive effects. And guess what? It’s coffee to the rescue once again!

To clean your face:

Using coffee grounds gives your face a deep clean, rejuvenating your skin and unclogging your pores. All you need is some natural oil (olive, coconut or almond oil for example). Mix with coffee grounds and massage onto your face using gentle, circular motions. Just rinse with warm water afterwards. You can use this technique to wash your face every day. No more chemicals, less risks of allergic reactions… and the coffee grounds are also extremely gentle to your skin! 

To make a face mask:

With just 3 simple ingredients, try this mask to firm up your skin :) Mix some coffee grounds with an egg white and a bit of honey. Liberally apply this natural homemade mask onto your face and neck. Leave to dry and rinse with warm water. Enjoy the anti-ageing effect and marvel at your brand-new, glowing complexion!

beauty products using organic coffee grounds
There are many other beauty recipes that include coffee grounds. Here is a quick list: softening hair conditioner, anti-dark circles and anti-cellulite creams, body scrubs, hand creams, rehydration formulas for dry skin… I could spend hours rambling on about coffee-based beauty products! But don’t worry, I’ve got all the recipes stored away in a safe place; so if you’re interested, just ask and I’d be only too happy to share them with you!

The unlikely cleaning product

Who would have thought that this waste product (come on, let’s call a spade a spade…) could become a great cleaning product? I was as sceptical as anyone, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and tested it in my own home!

A great killer of smells:

You can also use coffee grounds on your hands to remove stubborn smells like garlic, onion or fish but it works for your fridge too! Just fill a bowl with coffee grounds and leave it in the fridge to eliminate all the bad smells. The grounds will work their magic for around two weeks. When the unwanted smells return, simply refresh the contents of the bowl.

Take care of your pipes

Coffee grounds can be used to prevent blockages and bad smells. This is the best way to reduce the risk of your house pipes getting clogged up (and therefore needing to use expensive corrosive products). Put a tablespoon of coffee grounds in your sink and leave the hot water running for around two minutes. The grounds will flow through your plumbing and naturally clean the pipes. Repeat this technique as often as possible ;) This will prevent your sink from getting clogged up with fat from food waste.

Polish and clean furniture

Damp coffee grounds can be used to polish fine scratches on wooden furniture. To do so, delicately rub the area in small circular motions using a cloth. You can also use your coffee as an abrasive cleaner for greasy pots and pans. Nice!

used coffee grounds cleaning product


So there you have it. Like I said, I’ve still got plenty of other tips and recipes tucked away somewhere! But I think I’ll leave it there and keep you hungry for more ;)

In any case, I hope this article has raised your interest and encouraged you to discover even more ideas about using this black gold!

About the author


Curieuse et aventurière du goût, Anne-So vous emmène dans ses aventures caféinées !

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