Here we’re going to be providing you with 10 tips to recycle used Coffee grounds. Whether you try one or all of them, it’ll be making a difference - be it to the world or, perhaps, more simply, to you. 

Even better is the fact that, once you’ve learnt everything, you can buy delicious and invigorating Fresh Coffee from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Brew it up, enjoy its wholesome flavour, reap its potential health benefits, and then find new and interesting ways to recycle used Coffee grounds. What more could you want from your morning cuppa? 

What is Ground Coffee

What is Ground Coffee?

From harvesting to drying to grading to roasting, the Coffee Process is an incredible journey. What follows is the grinding of Coffee Beans, which is a necessity to release its true character.

This involves breaking down the roasted Coffee to expose its interior, allowing the extraction of the right amount of oils and flavours. We have three grinding options: Espresso Fine, Medium Fine and Cafetiere Coarse. 

The first is a style best suited to Espresso machines. The second is what you’d use in filter or drop Coffee machines. Finally Cafetiere Coffee, as its name likely suggests, undergoes grinding catered to those who have a Cafetiere.

(Should you be curious about How to Use a Cafetiere, we have written an article on the topic.) But what to do with Coffee grounds after you’ve finished? That’s the question.

Coffee Grounds for Plants

1. Coffee Grounds for Plants

Are Coffee grounds good for plants? Absolutely. Most soil is almost entirely void of essential nutrients needed for optimal plant growth. What’s more, as these plants grow, they absorb any nutrients that do exist, which ultimately leaves the soil depleted.

It is for this reason that most gardens need fertilisation to ensure your plants receive the full nourishment needed to survive. 

Using Coffee grounds in the garden is a solution to the problem. They contain key minerals such as nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium - constituents of which, combined, lead to thriving flowers.

Which plants like coffee grounds? Consider Coffee grounds for roses and coffee grounds for hydrangeas. Simply sprinkle them onto the soil and wait for terrific results. 

Coffee Grounds Compost Well

2. Coffee Grounds Compost Well

Garden uses for used Coffee grounds don’t stop there. Should you have no immediate need for fertiliser, then another option is to contribute to the compost heap.

Most avid gardeners will know already that composting is a natural process that turns organic items such as food scraps into dark, rich material. This can help the soil hold onto more nutrients and water, thereby improving your plants’ health. 

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Bioresource Technology discovered that compost with Coffee grounds was richer in nutrients than compost made with waste alone.

Another study found that compost containing 40% used Coffee grounds produced the fewest greenhouse gas emissions - excellent news for environmentally-friendly individuals. And there’s still more. 

Ground Coffee Slugs

3. Do Coffee Grounds Deter Slugs?

Part of our collective love for Coffee is its caffeine content. Indeed, caffeine in Coffee is one of the reasons we get out of bed in the morning, enabling us to start the day the right way.

That’s all fair and well if you’re human. But caffeine kills slugs and snails. This makes used Coffee grounds an excellent choice for keeping pests out of your vegetable patch.

A 2002 study conducted in the United States can explain the details. Researcher Robert Hollingsworth, alongside his team, found that a 1-2% caffeine solution killed nearly all slugs and snails within two days.

The average cup of instant Coffee has around 0.05% caffeine, while brewed Coffee has more. We stock only the latter - and the finest quality types at that - so rest assured that your lettuce will be protected. 

Coffee Ground Scrub

4. Coffee Ground Scrub

A quick recap: We know the answer to the question, “Are Coffee grounds good for the garden?” We know, too, that, among other qualities, Coffee grounds deter slugs.

But it’s time to head back indoors now. It’s time to explore the idea of a coffee grounds face scrub. Washing your face with Coffee grounds might work miracles because they serve as an exfoliating agent capable of removing dirt and dead cells. 

Their coarseness has a role to play, as do their antibacterial and antiviral properties. And if that wasn’t enough, they contain high levels of antioxidants.

What you’ll want to do is mix them with a little bit of water or coconut oil. All that’s left, then, is to apply the concoction directly to your face or even your body. An alternative is to blend it with a small amount of honey for an exfoliating lip scrub. 

Coffee for Under Eyes

5. Coconut Oil and Coffee Grounds for Under Eyes

We’ve shown you how to make body scrubs out of Coffee grounds and coconut oil. Allow us next to explore the possibility of applying the same ingredients for a different purpose.

It turns out that utilising coconut oil and Coffee grounds for under eyes is equally worthwhile. This is because the skin surrounding the eyes is extremely delicate and contains little fat tissue, meaning it needs extra support. 

Research has long established that skincare products containing antioxidants and caffeine can help prevent the appearance of ageing while reducing under-eye circles.

The Caffeine in Coffee, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates blood circulation around the eyes. Antioxidants, meanwhile, combat free radicals in the body, thereby working on a molecular level to protect skin under eyes. 

Coffee Grounds for Cleaning

6. Coffee Grounds for Cleaning Surfaces, Furniture and More

Used Coffee grounds are abrasive and can help in removing build-up on hard-to-clean surfaces. They may also have the capacity to sanitise due to their antibacterial and antiviral properties - properties that help you and your home alike.

If you’re someone who prefers to steer clear of chemicals, who is championing the “all-natural” cause wherever possible, then look no further than your former morning cuppa. 

You can scour your sink, polish your cookware or clean your grill; the grounds’ coarse nature should do the trick. Additionally, if you own wooden furniture covered in scuffs and scratches, you’ll find that the same rules apply.

Make a thick paste with Coffee and water before rubbing it into affected areas using a cotton swab. Wait for five to ten minutes and finally wipe with a cotton rag. You won’t regret it.

Stimulate Hair Growth

7. Used Coffee Grounds Stimulate Hair Growth

Would you believe that Coffee ground hacks could, potentially, extend (literally) to hair growth? Numerous scientific studies conducted in recent years indicate that the reason is the caffeine within.

Before you apply your shampoo, take a handful of grounds and massage them into your scalp and hair for several minutes. Wash and rinse as you usually would afterwards and wait to see what happens. 

Coffee ground hair masks, as they’re so-called, can go further still by acting as a natural hair dye. Those who’re cautious when putting chemicals into their hair have, undoubtedly, found a great non-toxic alternative here.

Used Coffee grounds will, perhaps understandably, work best on already dark hair, but they could enable you to change your style without spending too much.

Odour Neutraliser

8. Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds as an Odour Neutraliser?

You’ve read about used Coffee grounds for plants. You know that they make a good Coffee ground scrub, can improve skin health and clean surfaces efficiently. Now we can talk about their ability to absorb and eliminate odours.

According to research from the Journal of Hazardous Materials, they contain nitrogen, which helps get rid of nasty-smelling sulfur gas from the air when combined with carbon. 

Why not try placing a bowl of grounds in your fridge or freezer to neutralise unpleasant odours left behind by spoiled or potent foods? You don’t have to live with the smell of camembert forever.

Another idea is to fill old socks, tie them off, and make them portable air fresheners. Place these in your shoes, bedroom drawers, gym bag or under your car seat - anywhere that needs deodorising.

Keep Mosquitoes Away Burning Coffee

9. Does Burning Coffee Grounds Really Keep Mosquitoes Away?

We shall return to garden pests momentarily. Coffee grounds kill mosquitoes in much the same way they do slugs. Specific compounds within, notably caffeine in diterpenes, appear to be highly toxic to insects.

This means that they can repel bugs, including, of course, mosquitoes. Other creatures that seem not to like grounds are fruit flies and beetles - a simple solution, then, for those who hate creepy crawlies. 

You can, indeed, burn used Coffee grounds if you so wish. However, something as simple as putting a bowl of them out or scattering them on the floor, particularly around seating areas, works just as well.

The bottom line is that, while your guests at a BBQ might stare quizzically, you can explain that what you’re doing is for their sake. That it’ll ensure a peaceful evening without itchy bites.

Coffee Repels Cats and Dods Fleas

10. Coffee Grounds Repel Cats’ and Dogs’ Fleas

Finally, we’ll take the idea of Coffee grounds for skin tightening with their bug repellant abilities and combine them into one. Though admittedly, it sounds strange on the surface, the consensus is that they help remove fleas from your beloved pets.

Fleas are an all too common problem in cats and dogs, and treating them can often be costly and time-consuming. Not in this instance. 

These critters - similar to slugs, snails, mosquitoes, fruit flies and beetles - don’t like Coffee at all. This is why grounds are a brilliant natural treatment when you want to avoid applying harsh chemicals to your pets.

All you’ll need to do is rub them through the animal’s fur after shampooing, then rinse them off and dry. There are even suggestions that such a method adds smoothness and shine to your pet’s coat!

Used Coffee Tips Conclusion

Once you’ve drained your cup, don’t immediately get rid of the leftovers. Try these 10 tips to recycle used Coffee grounds to ensure you’re doing “your bit” for mother nature.

The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, too, has become increasingly eco-conscious, prompting several changes. We now stock Plastic Free Tea Bags and Plant One Tree for Every Online Order. And that’s just the beginning. 

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.