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10 Eco Friendly Uses for Coffee Grounds

Updated on October 1, 2016

Coffee - More Than Just a Pick Me Up

Using Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer

Leftover coffee grounds are an excellent source of natural, organic matter, rich in nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and other trace minerals and vitamins. This is why coffee grounds serve a much better purpose outside, than in your garbage.

Fertilizers you find at the store can be dangerous to both your children and your pets. Ingredients found in most fertilizers have been linked to an increased risk of leukemia, asthma, allergies, birth defects and decreased fertility.

Coffee grounds on the other hand, are not only safe, they are also excellent fertilizers. Simply sprinkle the coffee grounds around the base of your plants and dig them in to the soil a bit. You can also sprinkle them directly on your lawn.

These eco-carafe pods are excellent ways to save money on coffee while protecting the environment.

Attracting Worms with Coffee Grounds

Whether it is because they are caffeine junkies, or because there is something in the grounds that just naturally attracts them, worms love coffee grounds.

Regardless of why worms are so attracted to coffee grounds, this makes it an even better reason to utilize grounds in your vegetable garden or backyard. Worms benefit the structure of soil by consuming decaying matter than can damage your grass, flowers and plants.

Earthworms also naturally aerate the soil by tunneling below ground, allowing your garden to breath better, which encourages healthy growth.

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Repelling Pests

While earth worms may love coffee grounds, most other "pests" hate them. Coffee grounds make an excellent repellent for snails, slugs and other creatures that are harmful to your lawn and garden.

Like fertilizer, pest repellents contain harmful ingredients than can be toxic for you, your loved ones, and your pets. By nature, pesticides are meant to kill living things. Although they are used to kill pests, the ingredients in pesticides can be just as harmful to you.

Next time you think about using pesticides in your garden, think twice, and then opt for coffee grounds instead.

The Power of the Coffee Bean

Removing Unsightly Odors

Ever spill vinegar on your hands? It can leave a very unappealing smell that can be quite difficult to get rid of - short of scrubbing off several layers of skin. But what if I told you that you could easily remove strong smells from the skin using coffee grounds?

It's true! Just keep a bag of coffee grounds in your fridge, and take them out whenever you are working with vinegar, fish, onions - anything with a strong odor. Scrub your hands with coffee grounds and you will be amazed how quickly the odor goes away.

Staining Wood

Do you have a wood deck that needs to be stained? Or perhaps you always wanted darker cabinets. What if I told you that your used coffee grounds work as an excellent wood stainer?

Not only can coffee grounds stain wood, but they even allow you to determine how light or dark of a stain you would like. Simply soak the grounds in water for about a day, then drain the grounds. Coat the wood with the drained coffee grounds and leave them there for several hours.

The ratio of water to coffee grounds is how you control the lightness or darkness of the stain.

Coffee Grounds Can Improve Your Garden

Exfoliating Your Skin

Do you want younger, healthier looking skin? If so, switch up your regular beauty routine with used coffee grounds. Besides ridding your skin of unpleasant smells, coffee grounds can also work as an excellent skin exfoliant.

While soap and other cleansers strip your skin when you exfoliate, coffee grounds don't.

Simply coat your face with the grounds like you would with a regular clay mask, allowing the grounds to soak up oil. Wash the grounds off after about thirty minutes or so. You can repeat this regimen as often as you would like.

Cleaning Your Drain

Used properly, coffee grounds can work as a great drain cleaner. Because they erode build-up in the pipes, you can pour coffee grounds down the drain in order to clean your kitchen drain.

In order to do this right, make sure that you follow up the grounds with a large pot of boiling water in order to prevent clogs forming in your pipes.

CAUTION: If this is not done properly, you will not benefit from a clean drain, but rather, you will wind up with clogged pipes that may need repair or replacement.

Coffee Grounds Make Eco-Friendly, Eco-Savvy Fertilizer

Ridding Your Fridge of Unpleasant Odors

Do you ever notice foul smells in your fridge or in your freezer? Although baking soda is a popular way to keep smells from breeding inside of your fridge, coffee grounds cost you nothing!

Simply fill a bowl with damp, used coffee grounds, and add a drop or two of vanilla extract to the bowl. Don't wrap up the bowl. Just place it in your fridge and/or freezer and you now have a cost-effective, eco-friendly freshener that lasts for weeks!

Conditioning Your Hair

Unfortunately, this use for coffee grounds only works for those with dark or gray hair. However, if you happen to have dark hair, either natural or colored, coffee grounds can be a great accessory in your shower.

Coffee is full of anti-oxidants that promote healthy, glistening hair. Just steep one quarter cup of coffee grounds in three cups of hot water. Once the water cools, pour the grounds over clean hair and let set for 3 minutes and rinse with warm water. The natural properties found in the grounds work to condition the locks, giving your hair body and shine.

Repelling Fleas

Do you have dogs or cats? If so, you may be surprised to find out that coffee grounds work as a natural flea repellent.

After giving your pets a bath, coat them with coffee grounds while their fur is still damp. Allow the grounds to sit as long as your pet allows them to, and then dry off your pet with a towel, removing the grounds.

Have You Been Underestimating Your Coffee?

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal


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