Behind the Beans

5 uses for your old coffee grounds

By Beth White

Most people will just throw away their used coffee grounds after they’ve brewed a cup, but did you know that they can be reused to help with a variety of household tasks?

So instead of chucking the grounds in the bin, check out these tips to get the most out of your cup of coffee.

1) Washing your hair.


Photo credit: Silke Remmery. Taken from Flickr.

Coffee grounds massaged into your hair before you shampoo will assist in getting rid of any buildup from products that you have been using. The grounds help to make your hair shine again. This treatment is best for brunettes as the coffee grounds may darken your hair, however, if that doesn’t bother you, then go for it! You can also add the grounds to your shampoo.


2) Getting rid of fridge/freezer odours.


Photo credit: Billy Wirawan. Taken from Flickr.


Sometimes, the contents of your fridge/freezer can cause them to smell, making it unpleasant to open the door.  If you’re looking for a way to try and get rid of these odours, then have a go at this tip. Put your used coffee grounds in a tub with no lid and place it in your freezer or fridge. The grounds should help to neutralise bad odours.

3) Putting in your compost pile.


Photo credit: Lindsay. Taken from Flickr.


Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and so make a great addition to your compost heap. The old coffee will attract worms to your compost, which is a positive! However, you do need to make sure that you include other items in your compost pile. Coffee grounds are counted as “green” matter (because they are fresher and more moist) and so “brown” matter such as dry leaves, newspaper and straw will need to be added to balance it out. It is also better to leave the grounds a bit before adding them to the compost pile. If you’re after more advice about what you should be putting in your composter, check out this website.

4) Using as an abrasive.


Dirty Dishes
Photo credit: Jen Gallardo. Taken from Flickr.


Struggling to get rid of dirt and grime that is stuck to your sides, pans and dishes? If so, then try this. Sprinkle your used coffee grounds on an old cleaning cloth and use it to scour your pans. The grounds will work as an abrasive, making the dirtiest of pans cleaner. The grounds will work on their own, so no soap is needed to help it’s cleaning action. Whilst they will get rid of stuck-on food, take care with cracks and also pans made of material like ceramic as the grounds may stain.

5) Keeping away garden pests.


Photo credit: Ozzy Delaney. Taken from Flickr.


Tired of slugs eating your plants? Coffee grounds are great for putting in your garden and getting rid of those annoying pests such as snails, ants and slugs. Sprinkle the grounds around any plants you want to protect. These pests enjoy destroying plants but don’t like the acidity of the coffee and so they will stay away!


If you don’t have coffee grounds but want to have a go at some of these tips, a number of coffee shops offer their used coffee grounds for free. Costa’s Grounds for Grounds Project encourages customers to pop into their stores and ask for some free grounds!


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