A Special Educator by profession. When not busy teaching & mentoring student teachers, Susin likes to experiment with DIY eco-projects.
Coffee Lovers, Exploit the Benefits of Your Brew of Caffeine to the Fullest!
Statistics show that we pour more than a billion cups of coffee daily worldwide. But we also pour that much of the grounds away after we are done brewing our morning and midday shots of energy!
Do you know that coffee grounds contain minerals that may be beneficial for certain plant growth? Their lovely scent acts as a deodorant that can be of good use in our daily household upkeeping. The very lovely smell we love, on the other hand, acts as a pungent deterrence to some insects, bugs and animals. Other merits of coffee grounds include being natural ingredients in maintaining flawless skin and luscious hair!
Harvesting the Grounds
Get free coffee grounds by harvesting them from your very own brew. Rinse the coffee bags used, squeeze to rid them of excess water and lay them out in the sun to dry. In very hot and dry weather conditions, the grounds could be dried in a day. Dry them over a few days and turn the bags for even drying if necessary.
Grounds from filter bags could also be transferred to an open container or tray for similar drying process.
The grounds need to be completely dry before they could be stored away.
Fertilizing the Plants
If using bags or sachets, tear a few packs open and pour the dried grounds onto the plants. Take note however, to use coffee grounds as fertilizers sparingly.
While the grounds are a good source of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other nutrients to the plants, they could also be highly acidic. Reserve coffee grounds as fertilizers for acid-loving plants. That said, the pre-washing of the grounds would have diluted the acidity to an extent however. To use the grounds optimally for this purpose, sprinkle a thin layer on the soil around the plant. Its slow releasing nitrogen properties add organic material to the soil, aiding water retention, drainage as well as aeration to the plant.
Using Coffee Grounds as a Deodorant
Unsurprisingly, coffee lovers will love the faint aroma that the recycled coffee grounds offer.
Gather a few sachets or bags of the stored coffee grounds and place them in a hand-made netting or recycled net pouches. Hang these in the lavatories or bathrooms to send out fresher whiffs. In addition, these lovely-smelling pouches can be kept in cupboards and cabinets to reduce mustiness in their interiors.
Refresh Those Yucky-Smelling Shoes!
Caught in the rain and shoes soaked wet?
Having washed and dried them but they smell rotten?
Throw a few bags of coffee grounds into the shoes and keep them there for a few good hours or a day, and voila, the shoes are fresh-smelling again!
Keep some new pouches in the shoe cabinet or cupboard and have them changed periodically to keep the footwear in them feeling, and smelling, fresher.
Keeping Bugs and Insects at Bay
It is believed that the smell of coffee actually repels mosquitoes, some bugs and insects. Sprinkle coffee grounds around the area to ward off unwanted insects when outdoors.
In addition, sachets of coffee grounds can be kept in kitchen cabinets, closets, etc to keep unwanted critters away.
Coffee Grounds in Beauty Routines
Used coffee grounds are excellent exfoliant. Mix the coffee grounds with some water, and/or coconut oil and brown sugar (if desired) to create a facial and body scrub. The mixture could be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for a few weeks for use.
The grounds could also be combined with shampoo or conditioner for a gentle scalp massage. For best results, do this once a week for shiny hair and improved hair growth.
Do take note however, to be gentle when using coffee grounds as a scrub and also to add a filter to the shower drain to "catch" the grounds so as to prevent the clogging of pipes.
Storing Used Coffee Grounds
Recycled coffee grounds can be stored in their original individual sachets or bags in a container. Loose dried grounds can be stored in an airtight bottle.
A batch could be kept in the fridge for a period of time, before being sun-dried and stored for later use.
Use them whenever needed. Change the pouches periodically to retain the freshness and their ever so valuable and sustainable functions!
© 2021 Susin Lim