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3 Brilliant Ideas for Used Coffee Grounds

You love coffee, but how often do you think about your coffee grounds after brewing your morning cup? Most people don't give their used coffee grounds a second thought, but there are many valuable ways to implement coffee grounds into your home, garden, and beauty routine.

It doesn't matter if you’re using coffee pods, coarse or fine ground coffee beans, or cold brew coffee grounds. We have some great ways to utilize those grounds!

3 Ways to use Coffee Grounds

French Vanilla Coffee Pods
  • Gardening
  • Neutralize odors
  • Exfoliate skin
As an added bonus try for use on your under eye circles!

 

Coffee Grounds for Gardening

One of the most popular ways to utilize used coffee grounds is in your garden. Oftentimes soil does not have all the necessary nutrients needed for successful plant growth. Even when the soil is rich in nutrients, the more plants there are, the more nutrients are being depleted. Consistent fertilization of your lawn is key to gorgeous flowers and plants.

Coffee grounds contain many essential nutrients for plant growth:

  • calcium
  • copper
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • nitrogen
  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • zinc

In addition, they absorb heavy metals that contaminate soil and water. Coffee beans come from a plant, so it makes sense that they would have nutritional benefits for other plants.

The earthworm is possibly the most important but under-appreciated part of healthy plant growth. They’re small in size but big in environmental impact. When earthworms and your used coffee grounds come together in your garden, it’s like magic for your soil.

Coffee Grounds and Earthworms Improve Soil Through

  • Soil aeration
  • Structure
  • Infiltration
  • Nutrient cycle
  • Water movement
  • Plant growth
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Earthworms are like overworked moms; they are responsible for the structural integrity and nutrient cycle of their home, they receive little to no recognition, and what they desperately want is some coffee. Earthworms use coffee grounds as a food source that gets deposited deeper into the soil and improves soil structure.

Coffee Pro Tip: Coffee grounds are acidic. They should be reserved for plants that thrive on acidity, like azaleas, hydrangeas, roses, lilies, radishes, blueberries, and carrots. Bonus: the acidity in coffee grounds can change the color of your hydrangeas to blue!

How to Neutralize Odors With Coffee Grounds

The smell of coffee is incredible. That's just a fact. But did you know that just the smell of coffee can provide many of the benefits we crave from our morning cup? The aroma of coffee can improve concentration, memory, and mood. So, why aren’t we using it in more places?

Place ground coffee beans (dry) in a clean sock, small paper bag, or tea bag to create a travel-sized air freshener. If using a paper bag, seal the bag and use a hole punch to allow the fragrance to escape. These are great for placing in your home, hanging on your rearview mirror, or nestling under your car seat.

Another simple way to incorporate the aroma of coffee is by placing coffee beans or coffee grounds in a jar or dish in your home. It won't be overpowering, just enough to get those cognitive processes in gear. Likewise, placing a bowl of used coffee beans (dry) in your refrigerator can neutralize smells from old or overly fragrant foods.

Coffee Pro Tip: Since cold brew is typically done in large batches, you’ll get more cold brew coffee grounds than you’d get by brewing one cup.

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How to Create a Skin Exfoliator With Coffee Grounds

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Coffee grounds won’t dissolve in water, so they are ideal as a body scrub for removing dead skin cells. Coffee is also chock-full of antioxidants, like caffeine, that help your skin fight off free radicals and give you a glowy complexion. Even better news, you likely already have all the ingredients needed to make a delicious coffee scrub in your pantry. 

How to Make Body Scrub With Coffee Grounds

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coffee grounds (fresh or used)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or your favorite extract) 

Directions:

  1. Mix coffee grounds, brown sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract together.
  2. Gently massage the mixture all over your body, let it soak for several minutes, then rinse off.

Coffee Pro Tip: Use a finer grind for more sensitive skin. Cold brew coffee grounds are coarser; while not ideal for sensitive skin, they work better on areas like feet. 

Can Coffee Grounds Fix Under Eye Circles and Decrease Puffiness?

The caffeine in coffee grounds has been proven to have antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. In addition, research shows that regular coffee drinkers have less inflammation than those that do not drink coffee. Like the coffee body scrub above, you can also make an eye mask to combat inflammation under the eyes.

Recipe for a perfect weekend: Make cold brew on Saturday morning; the next day, use your cold brew coffee grounds to develop the perfect body scrub and eye mask. It's a win-win. Start your week with a pitcher of cold brew to get you revved up in the mornings and fight free radicals and puffiness while you read a book or binge the latest documentary that's trending on HBO or Netflix. It's called multitasking.

How to Make an Eye Mask from Cold Brew Coffee Grounds

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cold brew coffee grounds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Cotton rounds or similar applicator (optional)

Directions:

French Vanilla Cold Brew, Dark Roast
  1. Combine cold brew coffee grounds, honey, and water. Add more water if needed for desired consistency.
  2. Either tap the mixture under your eyes - it might be runny, so be prepared to lay down and relax - or cut cotton rounds in half and soak them in the mixture. If opting for the latter option, apply the cotton rounds under your eyes, sit back, and relax.
  3. Leave the eye mask on for 10-15 minutes.

Why add honey? Honey smells amazing, creates a more cohesive consistency, and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Honey is often a go-to ingredient in skincare from acne to psoriasis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Coffee Pro Tip: Since you're not massaging the mask onto the tender under-eye skin, cold brew coffee grounds will work perfectly. However, any grind size will work.

Coffee Isn’t Just for Drinking

Who knew your espresso or cold brew coffee grounds had so much potential? Tossing your espresso or cold brew coffee grounds is a thing of the past. From now on, while our coffee puts us in a better mood, our used coffee grounds will work to improve our garden, home, skin, and those pesky under-eye circles. Happy grinding!

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