5 ways to make use of your old coffee grounds

It’s estimated that over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are now consumed around the world every day, and that number is increasing. With instant coffee falling out of favour and being replaced by espresso-based beverages and third wave brew methods such as drip and aeropress, individuals and businesses are finding themselves with large amounts of extracted coffee grounds – often being disposed of in general waste or washed down the sink.

We at Kogarashi coffee are asking the question – Is there a better way to dispose of, recycle, or make use of the increasing amounts of coffee grounds we’re left with after making our favourite brews. We’ve compiled a list of some of our personal favourites for you to try at home:

Body Scrub

Coarse coffee grounds from french press preparations make fantastic, all natural and environmentally friendly alternatives to expensive and often plastic-based body scrubs. You can add essential oils of your choice to create your favourite fragrance and really treat your skin – The perfect exfoliant. You will need:

  • ½ cup used coarse ground coffee
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • A few drops of essential oil (our favourite is vanilla!)

Mix them all together and pop your ‘scrub in a tub’ – it should last several weeks!

Coffee Candles

We tried this for the first time recently and trust us when we say that it’s one of the best candles you’ll ever try. An ideal gift for coffee fanatics, and a lot easier to make that you think! If you haven’t made your own candle before then follow the simple guide below for and incredible authentic coffee smell all night long:

  • Make your choice of wax, paraffin, soy wax or beeswax. Paraffin wax is the traditional and more inexpensive choice, however we prefer the latter two due to fewer health risks and particulates released when being burned.
  • Ensure your coffee grounds are dried completely prior to using them, this is very important.
  • Gently heat the wax in a heavy based pan until fully melted.
  • Apply a small amount of the melted wax to the base of your chosen wick and affix it to the bottom of your chosen container
  • Allow the wax to cool for 2-3 minutes, making it easier to pour.
  • Carefully pour the wax in to your container, layering in the dried used coffee grounds as you choose, ensuring the wick rises straight with the wax and leaving at least an inch to the top of the candle.

Natural pest repellent

It’s a little known fact that coffee contains natural acids and aromas that many insects cannot stand to be around. Placing used coffee grounds around vulnerable areas of your house helps to keep pests such as ants and wasps away!

What’s more… spreading coffee grounds around your garden not only keeps the slugs and snails away – it’s rich in nitrogen which promotes the health growth of plants. Now that’s a double win!

Ground coffee in an espresso filter basket

Exfoliant soap bar

Making your own artisan soap at home is relatively simple and hugely rewarding. Adding dried coarse coffee grounds not only acts as a fantastic natural exfoliant – but also creates a wonderful scent which is bound to wake you up in the morning. Follow these simple steps to turn any boring bar of soap in to your own delicious creation:

  • Start by buying some high quality unscented soap bars, and grating them using a cheese grater. In to a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Top up the pan with water using a 2:1 soap:water ratio, and soak for 2-3 hours, be patient, this allows the soap to soften.
  • Heat the mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer until the soap further softens to a paste.
  • Remove from heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons of either coconut oil or olive oil, a squirt of liquid soap, and half a cup of the dried coffee grounds.
  • Mix well and pour in to your chosen moulds – Allow to cool.

Odour neutraliser

Dried coffee grounds absorb bad smells, try placing some in a pair of trainers or at the back of your fridge to remove unwanted odours.