7 eco-friendly uses of your leftover coffee grounds
Coffee is a mood booster for many as that one sip gives you alertness alongside providing many health benefits. This favourite drink is prepared using roasted coffee beans or ground coffee. Once you finish brewing your coffee, you are left with coffee grounds which usually end up in a garage bin or down the sink (this is not advisable, as coffee grounds do not dissolve and ends up clogging your sink).
Roughly about 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day, generating nearly 18.5 million tonnes of waste. The leftover waste is dumped in a large quantity in a landfill, thereby emitting methane (a greenhouse gas, 25 times more toxic than carbon dioxide and a primary cause of global warming). (Source)
Being a coffee lover, you would not want your favourite drink to contribute towards global warming.
What if we tell you that instead of dumping there are many useful and environment-friendly ways of repurposing your leftover coffee grounds – including using them as fertilizer for plants and as a mosquito repellent?
Many researchers have performed studies to turn the insoluble nature of used coffee grounds into an eco-friendly use. A study noted that the insoluble nature of used coffee grounds makes them a useful material for road construction.
1. As a fertilizer
P.C.: The Spruce
The first one on our list is the most popular and effective use of the leftover coffee grounds – as a fertilizer for plants and your garden. Leftover coffee grounds can act as excellent nutrition for your acid-loving plants. The acidic nature of coffee works as a steroid for fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, carrots, and radish.
Compost, when mixed with coffee grounds, provides a high amount of nitrogen in your soil. It helps to keep the soil hot for a long time and eventually kills the weeds. However, be aware to compost the coffee grounds for at least 98 days before using them for your plants and garden.
2. As a repellent for insects or pests
A high level of acid and strong aroma of the roasted coffee beans help repel insects such as mosquitos and ants. A study noted that the mosquitos avoid laying eggs in the coffee-treated water compared to tap water.
Sprinkle or make a thick line of used coffee grounds to keep ants away from your kitchen counter. You can even sprinkle them in your garden or sitting areas to keep the bugs away, as they tend to dislike the intense smell of coffee.
3. Use as a natural dye
P.C.: The Spruce Crafts
You may know very well that the stain of coffee is stubborn, and it barely leaves your fabric. Instead of overlooking this characteristic, some researchers decided to make it into something useful. Every year the textile industry uses over two million tons of chemicals. According to a study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, the researchers found that the used coffee grounds are a potential, sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes in the textile and dyeing industries.
Coffee is a natural product, and it acts as a beneficial alternative to your commercial hair dyes. Caffeine promotes hair growth, and the colour of natural coffee dye stays up two to three weeks long.
4. To neutralize odours
Now this one is only for people who don’t mind the smell of roasted coffee beans or coffee in general. Once you finish brewing, keep a bowl of dried coffee grounds at different corners of your house. As coffee tends to absorb the smell quickly, the aroma of coffee will eliminate the stringent smell lingering inside your home or outdoor areas.
5. On scratched or scuffed wooden furniture
Wooden furniture is very likely to get scratched or scuffed after a certain amount of time, be it because of shifting from one house to another or having kids scratching the surface or overuse. Instead of throwing them away, you can easily repair the scuffed or scratched surface of your wooden furniture with the help of a natural alternative – used coffee grounds. Make the mixture of a 1/4cup of used coffee grounds, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of warm water, let it sit for an hour, then apply it on the scratched areas and voila, you got new looking furniture.
6. Coffee candles
If you love the smell of ground coffee or roasted coffee beans and like having coffee-scented candles in your house rather than buying them from the store, you can make your own by using leftover coffee grounds. The coffee grounds between the wax look beautiful and scents your whole house with the aroma of coffee. Coffee candles are easy to make, though if you have no experience with candle making, we advise you to follow some expert tutorials.
7. Scour pots and pans
One of the best ways of cleaning any food build up on your pans and pots is by scrubbing them with used coffee grounds. Use few amounts of used coffee grounds and gently abrase them on the surface. Then rinse your pan thoroughly. Acting as a natural cleaning scrub, coffee grounds, remove the stubborn grease and brings back your pots or pans to their shiny old self.
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