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How to recycle coffee grounds

DIY coffee scrub & other ways to recycle coffee grounds

We’re all looking for ways to cut down on waste. Whether it’s fashioning spaceships out of old Fairy Liquid bottles, repurposing yoghurt pots as mini planters, or turning old tatty clothes into cushion covers or dish rags - it pays to be inventive!

We’ve thought of some clever ways you can get green with your old coffee grounds, in every part of your home… let us know if they work!

In the kitchen…

Let’s start where your coffee grounds live. There’s more you can do in the kitchen than just make a brew. Other than using your leftover grounds to make a tasty biscotti or as a steak rub, coffee grounds can come in handy post-cooking as well.

Love garlic, but hate the smell of garlic lingering on your hands for hours after making a cracking pasta dish? No worries! Just scrub your hands with your (cooled down!) coffee grounds and the stink should come right off.

You can also banish bad smells in your fridge too. Place an open bowl of grounds in your refrigerator and wait for the sweet smell of coffee to break down any residual food odours, freshening even the most sharehouse-y of fridges.

In the living room…

Don’t think coffee should stay in the kitchen – we’re retiring to the lounge for this one! Settle down on the sofa, open a packet of Hobnobs and kick your legs up onto that scuffed coffee table. But, get this - it doesn’t have to stay looking scruffy!

For wood tables with superficial scratches, coffee grounds can be applied (try a test patch first!) to blend them in with the rest of the wood grain. Just dab on using a cotton bud, and enjoy that ‘upcycling’ glow.

There’s another type of glow that used coffee grounds can help you out with, too… bio-bean has found a way to use leftover grounds to create fuel logs, so you can enjoy a roaring fire and spare a tree’s life at the same time! Who knew?

In the bathroom…

After all that caffeine has worn off, it’s time for a pamper session!

Turns out coffee can be a pick-me-up in more ways that one. Puffiness under your eyes can be tackled by mixing your coffee grounds into a paste with water, and leaving on for around 15 minutes - it’s said to reduce swelling, due to being a diuretic!

And actually, slathering yourself in coffee can have other benefits. Its coarseness makes it a perfect skin exfoliator – just mix with sugar and coconut oil, and focus on any dry areas. You’ll be as smooth as the brew you’ve just chugged in no time.

Here’s some of our other favourite face cleansing recipes:

Coffee grounds mask

  1. Take two tablespoons of used coffee grounds and pop them in a bowl for mixing
  2. Add an equal amount of organic cocoa powder
  3. Mix in three tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream
  4. Top it off with a tablespoon of honey and apply
  5. Leave for ten minutes, then use warm water to rinse the mask off

Some leftover? Pop it into the fridge, where it can be stored for several days

Coffee grounds scrub

Simple: just add grounds to your usual face mask, and gently apply for an exfoliating feeling like no other!

Top tip: put a coffee filter on your drain to prevent clogging!

In the garden…

Really, the only bad thing about coffee is clearing up those gritty grounds - leaving less-than-artistic pointillist patterns all over your kitchen bin lid, clogging up your drain, getting stuck in your grouting. But there’s a better way!

Instead of resigning your former coffee to the depths of the big black bag, keep it for your garden instead. Sprinkle a little among your soil to act as a fertiliser, as this will encourage the grounds to give off nitrogen which is great for your plantlife.

Or if you really take all this green-fingered stuff seriously and happen to have a worm bin (horrifyingly, this is a thing), then coffee can come in handy here too - they love to chow down on your grounds, just don’t give them too much as it’s a little acidic.