Coffee, as most of us here at HQ will agree, is an absolute staple in many people's daily routines! ...But what happens to the leftover coffee grounds?
Most of the time, after brewing up a tasty cup of joe, we all discard the toasted grounds that get left behind…
Cue, this blog!
After having a peruse through the advantages of using coffee grounds that can be utilised in many ways, you may reconsider throwing them out ever again!
Coffee grounds have tons of practical uses around our home, the garden, baking, cooking, and can even help spruce up one’s beauty routine.
If you want ‘in’ on the benefits of using coffee grounds, but either don't drink coffee, or perhaps you don't drink much of it at home, we have little bags of coffee grounds that you can take away FOR FREE!!!
Why? We're just nice like that.
Check out these handy tips below for the many uses that can be reaped from recycling those coffee grounds!
NOTE: Store the grounds in the fridge whilst you decide on which direction you're going to go in! You don't want mould to spoil your fun... See what we did there?! hehe.
#1 AS PLANT FOOD!
Did you know that most soil does not contain the essential nutrients that are needed for optimal plant growth? Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and other key minerals that plants, (both indoor and outdoor) need to grow. Simply sprinkle them around the plants or mix them in to the soil to get them buzzing!
Another good thing about using coffee grounds in the garden is that the grounds help attract worms, which are great for your garden! - Who knew that worms are also up for a morning caffeine fix?!
Picture it! ...What colour mug did the worm have?
House plants can also from time to time get pesky gnats invade their space that can harm their wellbeing - Coffee grounds can be used to deter pests. Sprinkle them around plants or in areas where pests are a problem, the strong scent of coffee will help keep them away.
#2 FOR COMPOSTING!
Composting is a natural process that turns organic items, such as left over food scraps, fruit peels, leaves, bark, newspaper, eggshells, bread, veg peels, cut grass etc into a dark, rich material called compost.
Adding compost to your patio or garden can help the soil hold onto more nutrients and water, which in turn, improves the health of your plants. Nifty huh!
There has been a study which found that compost made with coffee grounds & kitchen waste was waaaay richer in nutrients than compost made with just waste alone!
TIP: A compost batch containing 40% coffee grounds produces the fewest greenhouse gas emissions and is the best quality compost.
NOTE: You should avoid composting meat and fish scraps, dairy products, diseased plants, and oils.
#3 NEUTRALISING SMELLS
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which helps eliminate and absorb smelly smelling smells! By placing a bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer, it will help to neutralise any odors from spoiled, fragrant, or dairy foods.
Another useful tip would be to fill old socks with coffee grounds and to make portable air fresheners. You could place these in your shoes, gym bag, bedroom drawers, under your car seat or anywhere else that may need some deodorising!
Garlic Lovers! - You can even keep coffee grounds by the sink and use them to scrub your hands after chopping garlic or even onions. The grounds will help remove the smell from your hands - Voila!
#4 MAKE NATURAL SKIN CARE!
Coffee grounds are a potent, free-radical fighter. This means it is brimming with amazing benefits for our skin, These can be utilised in many, many ways!
A bonus of recycling coffee grounds in to our skin care is that coffee helps to stimulate blood flow, which makes it super effective against the ageing process as they increase collagen and elastin formation, minimise hyper-pigmentation, skin damage, stretch marks & cellulite and also any areas that may need a little regeneration or renewal, meaning we get to keep those fine lines, sagging skin and fine lines at bay just that little bit longer!
They are also little sprinkles of magic for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and puffy eyes as caffeine holds natural anti-inflammatory properties which aid with redness and swelling.
Did you know that coffee is the same PH level as our skin? This means that we can relax in the knowledge that it will not dry our skin out or leave us resembling a prune in any way as it helps to keep the skin hydrated by reducing trans-epidermal water loss.
What we found strange is when we learned that used coffee grounds are actually higher in anti-oxidants (such as phenols) when compared with fresh coffee grounds!
Here are some skin care ideas for inspiration:
Face Exfoliator (microbead-free!)
We know many people use salt scrubs mixes out there, but sugar is gentler, especially for those with sensitive skin. Cane sugar or brown sugar is best, or if you feel like splashing out, xoilitol is softer and more hydrating.
Issues with Salt: Salt scrubs may be too abrasive and causes a lot of stinging especially on patches of skin severely affected by Eczema.
Benefits of using Sugar: Sugar also contains moisturising properties which doesn’t dry out your skin after scrubbing. This is the reason why sugar is usually recommended for those with dry skin. Below is a recipe idea for a hydrating, gentle scrub for eczema & psoriasis. We haven't given you any exact measurements as this saves on waste, but have given you an example that you can scale from.
This scrub will need to be used up within 2weeks, which is helpful to know for you decision of how much to make! This scrub mixture uses three simple ingredients: used coffee grounds, sugar and oil!
You can use a choice of coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or jojoba. (Coconut oil is easier to find, leftovers can be used for cooking/baking, plus - its cheaper!)
Depending on how much you decide to whip up, you'll need to mix the sugar and the oil at a 2:1 ratio. This means whatever amount you choose to use of the sugar, you will only use half of that amount in oil.
For the coffee grounds - every two tablespoons of coffee grounds, you need to add three teaspoons of oil.
Step 1: Come get your coffee grounds from us!
Step 2: For coconut oil, melt it in the microwave at 10second intervals (it doesn't need long at all), or on the hob. Once melted, combine your sugar, & then your coffee grounds thoroughly!
Step 3: Store in a recycled jam jar and keep in your bathroom next to your shampoo so that you don't forget its existence!
EXAMPLE RECIPE: x2 Tablespoons of used coffee grounds, x3 Teaspoons of coconut oil, x6 Teaspoons of brown sugar! (Just scale this recipe up or down to suit)
WARNING: Coffee grounds will be a bit messy, so you may spend a bit of extra time cleaning up the tub/shower once you are done! Soz!
NOTE: Please be careful if you have sensitive skin and coffee grounds can be harsh on delicate / broken skin & don't over scrub or be aggressive! If you have any signs of tingling/ stinging or redness, knock it off and take a shower! If in doubt, do a patch test on your arm and wait 24hrs.
#5 MAKING A COFFEE CANDLE!
Another fun use is to make a natural and deliciously intoxicating coffee-scented candle.
What you'll need:
A suitable container of your choice! (Maybe up-cycle an empty jam jar!)
Natural candle wick(s)
Used coffee grounds (come grab a bag from us!)
A sauce pan (that you don't mind designating for crafts!)
A funnel (a cheap one from quality save will do!)
Soy/natural wax beads (You can get these online, or just use recycled candle wax!)
A wick bar (or something to attach the top of the wick to whilst the candle is setting)
Wooden skewer / chopstick (or a spoon you don't care for!)
Method: Depending on your choice of container, this recipe will make around 2-3 candles.
Step One: Simply measure out x1 tablespoon of coffee grounds, and 350g of wax beads/ foraged broken wax.
Step Two: Melt your wax in a saucepan on the hob, over a medium-high heat.
Step Three: Place the wick base at the centre of your container(s) and rest your wick bar on top, tying your wick to it - It is very important for the safety of the burning candle & performance that the wick is completely in the centre of the candle. You can use a dot of super glue to make it easier to keep it in place!
Step Four: Once wax is melted, using your funnel, pour a thin layer in to your container whilst holding your wick straight up for extra security.
Step Five: Add a light layer of coffee grounds to the wax, and then continue to pour your wax and fill to your desired level.
Step Six: Whilst your wax is still wet, add the rest of your used coffee grounds and lightly stir with your chopstick/wooden skewer/spoon to combine. Allow to dry for 1hr.
Step Seven: Trim your wick and light em' up!
We hope you have enjoyed reading our ramblings! By finding and using creative ways to recycle used coffee grounds, we can reduce our waste and try to be more sustainable in our little Northwich salon!
Be sure to let us know if you try any of the above ideas!