You’re grounded! When you were younger, those were words you absolutely never wanted to hear. It meant no television, no dessert after dinner, no hanging out with your friends after school. Now that you’re a little bit older, you probably take it as a compliment. “Oh, you’re so grounded, so down to earth,” a friend may say when impressed by your chill nature. It’s something we could all strive to be.
But ever since we started drinking our morning lattes all those years ago, we started to wonder: what the hell are we going to do with all those coffee grounds? We’re all about sustainability here at TCPJ, recycling the bottles we use and opting for utensils and straws made from corn by-products instead of environmentally unfriendly plastic, so we hated the idea that our beautiful coffee grounds would go to waste.
That’s when we started to do a little research, and boy did we find out some exciting stuff. We thought coffee was just good for waking you up in the morning (and incredibly good for your body!), but it actually is an incredible tool for a whole host of other practical things. Want to have baby smooth skin? Coffee grounds! Itching to change the colour of an old white t-shirt? Coffee grounds!
Essentially, there’s almost nothing this kitchen superhero can’t do. Here are our favourite ways to make use of those delicious smelling dregs.
1. Get rid of bugs. As much as you love coffee, pests like ants, slugs and snails hate it. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plants, and you’ll keep these destructive garden bugs away from your plant children!
2. Scrub away tough spills. Coffee grounds are actually a great natural, gentle abrasive. If you sprinkle some onto an old cleaning cloth, you can scrub away food that’s stuck onto counters or dishes without damaging the surfaces.
3. Slough away dead skin. The same principle applies here as with your countertops. Coffee grounds make an amazing exfoliating body scrub! Add some grounds to a bit of warm water and your favourite natural oil (we particularly like coconut oil) and scrub your body head to toe. Not a coffee drinker? The Rub Scrub does all the work for you in making a beautiful and effective coffee-based scrub.
4. Fertilize your garden. Depending on what you’re growing, you may have the golden ticket to healthy, thriving plants in your coffee grounds. Acid-loving plants like azaleas, camellias, roses and hydrangeas benefit from a fertilizer made from coffee grounds mixed with grass clippings and brown leaves. They’ll add potassium and nitrogen to the soil and boost the magnesium, all making for healthy, happy plants.
5. Dye your whites. Or any other light colours really. If you have old not-so-white clothes or cloths, you can use coffee grounds to dye them a beautiful golden colour. Bonus: you can also dye Easter eggs with coffee grounds!
6. Give yourself a facial. If you want your face to glow anew, reflecting the way you feel after a rejuvenating cup of coffee, mix a couple tablespoons of coffee grounds with the same amount of organic cacao powder. Add a few tablespoons of unsweetened coconut or oat milk and a tablespoon of honey. Gently massage it into your skin before wiping it away with a warm, damp cloth.
7. Get rid of those pesky smells. Just as you would with baking soda, place a small open container filled with old coffee grounds in the back of the fridge and wait for it to do its magic. It will pull the bad odours from the air inside your fridge or freezer within a week or so.