We all love coffee. I find myself constantly wondering what to do with used coffee grounds. In America, we drink roughly 400 million cups a day. Therefore, it is no surprise then that we leave behind hundreds of thousands of pounds of coffee grounds, DAILY. So what can you do with all of that waste? Here are seven ways you can, and should be, reusing your leftover coffee grounds!
Can you Reuse Coffee Grounds
I remember being in college and running out of coffee grounds quite a few times. I will be honest, I brew another pot of coffee using the coffee grounds from the last batch of coffee, and it wasn't terrible. That being said, I don't recommend it since there will be little to no flavor, body or caffeine. Not to mention the fact that they'll be over extracted and probably will taste burnt.
If you are wondering if you can reuse coffee grounds, other than for brewing, then the answer is simple. Yes! There are tons of practical uses for coffee grounds that have been used. Whether you are composting and growing a garden, building furniture and in need of a coffee stain, or someone looking to exfoliate your skin, you can and should be reusing your coffee grounds.
Adding coffee grounds to your compost will help speed up the decomposing process. It also helps mask the odor of the compost. You may already be doing this with your used coffee grounds, but if not, it is a simple and sustainable approach for properly disposing of the coffee.
To piggyback off of composting, coffee grounds make great deodorizers. Simply fill a breathable object (cheese cloth, pantyhose, socks, etc.) with dried used coffee grounds and place it inside of your dumpster, trash can, fridge, shoes, or even your kids sports bag. Although this is a great way to reuse coffee grounds, make sure they are dry to prevent mold growth.
3. Bug Repellent
Not only can these used coffee grounds be used to mask foul odors, they can repel the peskiest of bugs. Sprinkle this around your home, fireplace, BBQ area, or wherever you want to be free of annoying bugs. Just be cautious of doing this if you have animals that may try to eat these grounds. In large amounts, caffeine can be deadly for any animal.
Coffee grounds make a great natural fertilizer, simply replace store-bought fertilizer with coffee grounds and watch your garden bloom! Not only do coffee grounds help your plants grow, but the caffeine may also help keep them awake!
5. Household & Drain Cleaner
The grittiness of coffee grounds makes it a great natural scrubber on your pots and pans! It can also be used to unclog your drains, just boil a couple cups of water mixed with coffee grounds and pour the hot mixture down the drain. Although used coffee grounds may still smell good when adding water to them, do not attempt to reuse them for consumption.
6. Stain/Scratch Repair
Coffee grounds can provide a great dark brown/espresso colored stain that will cover up most blemishes and scratches. Feel free to use this on home DIY craft projects as well. Some people use coffee to dye their clothes, avoiding unhealthy chemicals from contacting your skin.
7. Face/Body Scrub
Replace your store-bought exfoliates with natural coffee grounds. The coarseness of the used coffee grounds will help remove dead skin cells, without irritating your face or body. Not only will you smell good, you may also get a boost of energy from the caffeine content in the scrub itself.
*This also works great on anything that gets sprayed by a skunk!