Have you ever sat back and wondered if there was a way to recycle your used coffee grounds, rather than just adding them to the garbage bin? As you can imagine, we make quite a few coffees during the day here at Quest which leaves us with quite a bit of waste product afterwards. We thought we would share with you some cool ways to recycle your coffee grounds…after all, we like to do our best for the environment where we can.

1. Beauty

Soften your hair and give it some extra shine by adding some grounds to your shampoo or conditioner. BEWARE: If you have fair hair, you may end up with darker hair after this beauty treatment.

If you love the smell of coffee, you can make your own soap. Coffee is a good deodoriser after all.

Coffee scrubs are cheaper and more natural than the common salt scrubs and will make your skin feel silky smooth. We wouldn’t recommend using coffee grounds for making a nice scrub; instead, we make a lovely organic coffee scrub, with all natural ingredients. You can even apply the scrub to the area just under your eyes to help alleviate those pesky dark circles.

Beauty Ideas for Recycled Coffee Grounds
Beauty Ideas for Recycling Coffee Grounds

2. Gardening

Coffee grounds are acidic and therefore pests like slugs, snails and other bugs don’t like them. By spreading coffee grounds on the ground around your plants, you can be sure they’ll leave your plants alone. If you have a vegetable garden, carrots and radishes love coffee grounds so mixing your seeds with the grounds before planting will help increase your harvest.

Worms are great to have in your garden as they turn the soil and fertilise it at the same time. They also love coffee grounds so you will invite more of them to your garden party by spreading the grounds around your plants.

Nobody enjoys the neighbourhood cat having a stroll through their garden and undoing all their hard work. You just have to spread the coffee grounds, together with some orange peel, where the cat’s favourite walking track is and they’ll be sure to find someone else’s garden to traipse through. If the cat is weird and actually likes the orange peel, try mixing with grounds with rosemary oil instead.

Composting is great for the garden and by adding grounds to your heap, you will add more nitrogen which will help your compost decompose.

If you have a trail of ants, sprinkle the grounds in their path. The ants will eat them which will cause them to collapse. Better still, if you can find the anthill or colony entrance, pouring the grounds over that will have a much greater effect in deterring them.

Some plants change colour if the PH level is low enough. Coffee grounds will reduce the PH level and can change the colour of flowers of Hydrangeas (for example) from pink to blue! This would have to be one of the coolest ways to recycle the grounds!

Gardening Ideas for Recycled Coffee Grounds
Gardening Ideas for Recycling Coffee Grounds

3. Cleaning

A quick and easy way to unclog your drains is to use coffee grounds with some boiling water and a little dishwashing liquid. You don’t want to use too much though or you will end up clogging your drains more.

Who loves the smell of their hands after chopping garlic and onion? Most people would admit that they don’t. Keep some grounds nearby in the kitchen to rub your hands in afterwards as they will help absorb the odour.

We’ve all heard of using baking soda in the fridge to help it smell fresh all the time. The great news is you can save your baking soda for….baking….and use coffee grounds instead. It has the same effect.

Smelly shoes? Put a about 1 tablespoon of grounds in the shoes and it will absorb the odour for you.

Coffee is abrasive and acidic, so scouring your pans with a few teaspoons of coffee grounds to help get rid of stubborn stains and burn marks. We wouldn’t recommend using them on ceramic dishes or ones that are easily stained though.

Cleaning Ideas for Used Coffee Grounds
Cleaning Ideas for Recycling Coffee Grounds

4. Pets

Your dog will love you getting rid of fleas the natural way. Coffee grounds act as a natural flea repellant. No nasty chemicals for your pooch and super cheap!

Cute Puppy with NO Fleas!
Cute Puppy with NO Fleas!

We have more ideas on our Pinterest page so head over there for more recycling inspiration.

If we have managed to inspire you today and you need extra grounds, we are happy to share some of ours. Obviously we can’t send them via the post, given how bulky they are, but feel free to call into the café at the end of the day and our friendly team will happily pass them on.

Written by Therese Glowaski.