Cool Ways To Reuse Used Coffee – From Compost To Insect Repellent.

February 4, 2022

Coffee – the go-to drink for many of us! But did you know you can reuse used coffee in many ways?

A brewed drink that is prepared from roasted ground coffee beans – darkly colored and bitter, yet creates a stimulating effect on humans.

It’s a beverage that is consumed by over 1 billion people across the world each day. According to the International Coffee Organization, approximately 10.4 million tons of coffee are produced every year.

We often enjoy a good cup of coffee, but have you ever wondered where the residual goes? What possibly can one do of the leftover brewed coffee – throw it? Absolutely not! We are here to give you some ideas about how you can reuse the used coffee beans. 

In a world where we are trying to create a sustainable lifestyle, we often ignore the small details that could add value to our ecosystem. Likewise, today, we talk about used coffee beans – waste which entirely isn’t a waste and can be used as compost.

What Is Composting?

Composting is a natural process of recycling organic solid waste into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich and enhance plants and soil. 

Compost can be anything from food waste to recyclable organic materials that can act as soil conditioners. 

Composting Coffee Grounds

The used coffee beans have many practical applications in your garden and homes. You need not necessarily have coffee beans to make compost. Coffee filters can be composted too. Used coffee beans are about 2% nitrogen in volume; hence they add an immense amount of nitrogen to the soil and thus improve the soil structure.

Coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer because they help in decreasing the concentration of heavy metals in the soil. It also contains various minerals like potassium, nitrogen, magnesium, chromium, which ensures healthy plant growth.

How To Use Coffee Grounds As Compost?

Spread and cultivate the reuse coffee residue directly on the soil. They can repel water if left to dry. 

 Since coffee grounds are not a nitrogen fertilizer, you can mix them with leaves or any other organic compost, which provides enough carbon and nitrogen to the soil.

Coffee as compost

Paper coffee filters can provide a suitable carbon source to the soil and can be used as compost as well. While the microorganisms break the coffee grounds, the additional nitrogen will act as a good nitrogen source for the plants. Hence, coffee filter papers can be cut into small pieces to speed up decomposition by spreading them evenly into the soil.

Apart from using coffee grounds as fertilizer, there are some more uses of used coffee.

1. Coffee Grounds as an exfoliator

Skincare has become an essential part of everyone’s routine. Exfoliation – the process of removing dead skin cells from the top outer layer of your skin can be done by used coffee beans. Here’s how –

  • Mix Some Coffee Grounds Into Coconut Oil/ Honey/ Water.
  • Make A Paste And Apply It On Your Body For A Few Minutes
  • Wash It Off With Warm Water

You can repeat this process every 15 days. Coffee has an essential component – caffeine, which acts as an antioxidant and protects your skin from sunburn. Not only that, but it also regulates blood flow on your facial muscles. It promotes healthy skin and clears out dirt and dust from your face/ body.

Caffeine has many advantages, one being, it acts as a hair stimulator and helps accelerate hair growth. You simply have to take a handful of coffee grounds and apply it directly on your scalp and massage it for a couple of minutes, then leave it for 15-20 mins and shampoo your hair normally. Coffee grounds protect your scalp, keep your scalp healthy and help remove dead skin cells, and in some cases, promote hair growth.

reuse used coffee

2. Coffee as a Natural Dye

Coffee beans have some color and odor left in them even after being used. You can soak some used coffee grounds in water in a 1:3 (coffee: water) ratio and keep it overnight. The color will get darker and come out as a natural dye by which you can create your piece of dyed fabric or paper or simply a great piece of fluid art.

This is how traditional dyes can be altered by some great non-toxic agents like used coffee.

3. Coffee As Deodorizer

Coffee being a rich source of nitrogen, can combine with carbon gas in the air and help eliminate the grotty odor.

They can act as a great form of portable air fresheners. You can simply tie some used coffee grounds in a cloth or a sock and keep them near foul-smelly substances. You can even reuse coffee grounds to remove lingering smells from your hands by using them as a scrub.

4. Coffee Acts As Insects And Pests’ Repellent

Mosquitoes and flies are some very common and troublesome insects found in each household, near food or fruits to any beverage kept in the open. Tiny insects are always buzzing around it. Caffeine – one of the coffee components is found to be highly toxic to insects such as fruit flies, mosquitoes, and other such pests.

You can keep pests away in outdoor areas by sprinkling ground coffee around your plants or keeping some coffee grounds in a bowl near your food or fruit basket. This surely helps in deterring insects and pests.

Apart from this, coffee grounds have an amazing use. It can help remove fleas from your pets’ fur. Apply some coffee on your pet and rinse it off with shampoo water; it may keep the fleas at bay. Coffee grounds should only be used externally for pets, do not let them consume them.

These were some applications of used coffee in your day-to-day life. Coffee can be used as a future compost just by storing it in a jar. Reusing coffee can help us all lead to a better eco-friendly environment and, of course, play our part for a better tomorrow. So, readers, next time you drink a cup of coffee, think of using the used beans and making effective use of a so-called waste product.

You can also check out our coffee-related products in Workshop in Box to enjoy flavorful coffee!


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