Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Nick Baskett
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world, so most of the time, the coffee grounds end up in the trash. UK-based business Coffee-Direct offers tips on how to re-purpose coffee grounds. They have shared ten ideas using the whole beans, coffee grounds, and even a cold coffee cup.
1. Natural Pest Repellent
The smell of coffee is excellent for repelling common household pests such as mosquitos, ants, slugs, cockroaches, and more.
All you have to do is set bowls of coffee grounds out, and this should keep the pests away. Freshly ground coffee is recommended for this, as the aromas will linger longer. You can also use some of these coffee grounds in your pet shampoo to help naturally prevent fleas.
2. Wood Stain
Coffee is a natural, non-flammable alternative to store-bought wood stains, staining with coffee will give the wood a beautiful, caramel tone. Coffee reacts with the wood’s tannins to help reduce blotchiness and give the wood a uniform colour. Wait for your brewed coffee to go cold, sand down the wood surface, and use a rag to coat the wood evenly. The darker you want the stain, the more coffee you use.
3. Leave-In Conditioner
Caffeine in coffee is excellent for hair. It encourages the hair roots to grow, but it stimulates the roots and improves scalp health. After shampooing your hair, gently mix in a cold coffee solution over your head and scalp.
Leave the coffee solution in for half an hour before rinsing off with warm water. Do this weekly, and you will notice an improvement in your hair’s thickness and texture. (please send us photos if you do this!)
4. Indoor Décor
Old or leftover coffee beans make rustic and beautiful vase fillers for your home. Collect light and dark variations of coffee beans in clear glass vases, checking if they have a subtle scent when combined.
Arrange flowers in the vase, and you will find that the coffee beans hold the stem upright. If you do not have enough coffee beans to fill the vase, you could try layering them with other small stones, dried petals, or glass beads for visual interest.
Few people know that brewed coffee can provide a pleasant and delicate taste to steak, pork, or fish with the right spices.
Sauté one medium onion and four minced garlic gloves and add it to a bowl. To this, add 240ml strong coffee, 60ml balsamic vinegar, 55g of brown sugar, 60ml Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp olive oil, pepper, and salt to taste. Cover fish or meat in the marinade and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking.
6. Plant Fertiliser
Diluted coffee can be extremely beneficial to plant health. As brewed, black coffee contains potassium and magnesium; it acts as a nutrient to plants allowing for stronger stems and vibrant, green growth.
To use coffee as fertiliser, dilute your brewed black coffee so that it is a 1: 4 ratio (coffee: water) and feed your plants every week with this solution. Make sure no sweetener could attract pests, and that your coffee is not too strong when ‘watering’ your plants, as it could be too acidic for the soil.
We were contacted by British website DIY Garden who drew our attention to a post they wrote about using coffee in the garden – it’s worth checking out if gardening is your thing.
7. DIY Air Freshener
Coffee is fantastic for neutralising other odours, which is why it makes a great DIY air freshener. Place some coffee beans in a mesh bag and stash it away under the passenger seat. The coffee’s natural scent will be released slowly, and the beans will absorb any unpleasant, overpowering odours.
8. Eliminate Bad Breath
While those old coffee beans may not be good enough to make coffee with, they may still be edible. Some may attribute their bad breath to drinking coffee, but the caffeine is to blame – not the bean.
Believe it or not, sucking on a coffee bean can help eliminate bad breath. As well as being much cheaper than a breath mint, it also tastes great and neutralises even the strongest scents such as garlic.
9. Ice Cubes
If you don’t want to water down your iced coffee, pour your leftover brew into an ice cube tray. Freeze the cubes, and then pop them out whenever you need to make your iced drink extra cold and flavourful. Depending on your coffee flavour, you can add or adjust the ingredients in your ice cubes to upgrade your drink.
For example, you can mix sweetened condensed milk and leftover coffee for a Vietnamese coffee variation, or add caramel to your leftover coffee before freezing for a Macchiato variation.
10. Coffee Syrup
You can use coffee syrup to drizzle over your next coffee frappé. Boil brewed, black coffee with an equal amount of sugar until it becomes thick in texture. The syrup can last for two weeks, so you can also use this to upgrade desserts.
Finding an alternative for coffee grounds can help you live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. So, next time when you prepare your coffee, use your coffee grounds to try some of these ideas.