4 Uses for Coffee Grounds on the Homestead
We love our coffee around here, and usually go through a few bags a month. That means we have a lot of spent grounds. We compost what we can but that still leaves us throwing away a fair amount of grounds. This made me wonder; are there any uses for coffee grounds on the homestead? Turns out, there are quite a few and we’ve spent the past several months trying them out.
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This one is kind of obvious, but probably the most efficient use for spent coffee grounds on the homestead. Coffee grounds make a great addition to compost because they are a rich source of nitrogen. Layer the grounds along with carbon sources (like coffee filters or leaves) in your compost bin. The grounds should make up no more than 25% of your compost. The resulting compost will add rich organic material to your soil for healthy plants. Coffee grounds can also be added to vermicompost systems in small amounts.
Use in the garden
Coffee grounds have a few different uses in the garden. Of course, you can add your coffee ground compost mixture to your garden soil since the carbon in the compost has neutralized the acidity. Though it's a bit controversial, most agree that the nitrogen-rich grounds can be used directly on the top of soil as a mulch. Create a thin layer above the soil and apply around acid loving plants like tomatoes, azaleas and blueberries. Some gardeners state that the grounds are too acidic to be added directly to soil, but I have found that when used in moderation, coffee grounds do not harm and perhaps help my acid loving plants. Coffee grounds also make a great natural pest control for keeping slugs and nails away. Lightly sprinkle the grounds around your plants to create a barrier that these pest won’t cross.
Since coffee grounds are able to both exfoliate and protect skin through their antioxidant content, it makes sense that they would be a great ingredient for a homemade scrub. Combine grounds with oils to moisturize skin and sugar to exfoliate dead skin cells and you’ve got yourself a scrub that’s just as good, if not better, than ones you can buy from the store.
Try this recipe for a nourishing homemade coffee scrub
1 cup spent coffee grounds
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated. Store for up to 2 months at room temperature in an air tight container (I use these mini mason jars). Gently rub the mixture over skin and leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse off. Use this scrub 1-2 times per week for some soft, healthy skin (and it smells good too).
Natural Odor Neutralizer
I’m always looking for more natural and organic substitutes for toxic cleaning products. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that coffee grounds can actually absorb and eliminate odors. You can essentially use them anywhere, but I especially like to use them in my fridge. I started keeping a small bowl of coffee grounds in the back of my refrigerator and noticed the difference within a day. Be sure to let your grounds thoroughly dry out first, then place in containers around the house or even in the car to help trap and eliminate unwanted odors. Who knew there were so many different uses for coffee grounds on the homestead? Leave a comment if you have anymore!