Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world today, and the raw materials and other factors that go into its production are equally vital. After finishing the brewing process, it is advised to clean and tidy up the work surface.
Keep reading to find out how coffee grounds can be disposed of successfully and other uses for them, which are great for the environment. You would be surprised that not everything that seems like waste deserves to be disposed of.
How Do We Get Coffee Grounds?
Coffee grounds are the end product of the brewing process shortly before you get to savor that rich-tasting cup of espresso. After being tamped and aligned with the portafilter, pressurized water is run through the ground coffee to draw out the flavor.
Every brewing method leaves coffee grounds – whether it’s a French press, Aeropress, siphon method, or even pour-over. It can be annoying cleaning for them (and all that comes with them) afterward.
To get coffee grounds, one must have brewed coffee and gotten the flavor out. A good number of coffee shops have a lot of bags of coffee grounds for disposal lying somewhere.
How Not To Dispose Of Coffee Grounds
Although coffee grounds have MANY great usages, it’s important to figure out what NOT to do with them. Here are a few examples:
1. Do Not Flush Your Coffee Grounds Down The Toilet
We don’t recommend flushing coffee grounds down the toilet. This can cause a lot of damage to your plumbing system, including clogging up your pipes.
With time, the grounds are going to clump together and create a lump causing a blockage. We all know how blocked toilets can be messy and overflow with stagnant water, which is not the best.
2. Do Not Try To Shove Coffee Grounds Down Your Kitchen Sink
Almost like the first point, there would be a blockage caused by the coffee grounds accumulating in the pipes. This will only lead to you having to hire a plumber to fix the mess, which could have easily been avoided.
3. Do Not Throw Coffee Grounds Out of The Window Randomly
This particular precaution is very essential, especially if you have a pet such as a dog or a cat at home. Be it Arabica or Robusta coffee, the caffeine content and acidity persists in coffee grounds.
Caffeine is lethal to small dogs and cats, and ingestion can cause death. If disposing of coffee grounds outside the house, make sure it is out of the reach of your pets.
How Then Do I Dispose Of Coffee Grounds?
Now that you know not to attempt flushing or shoving coffee grounds down the kitchen sink or toilet, how do you safely dispose of them?
1. Throw The Coffee Grounds In The Trash Can
This is the best way to dispose of coffee grounds after you are done brewing. Dispose of them in a place where your pets can’t reach and consume them if you’re curious.”
You could also look for a recycle or composting bin close to your residence.
Recycling Coffee Grounds 12 Awesome Alternative
Aside from being re-used for another round of brewing, coffee grounds have a variety of other uses. Even yet, there is a potential that the bitter-tasting chemicals will be extracted in the second round of brewing.
Coffee grounds have found use as fertilizers and great additions to composting heaps. Below are twelve ways which you can convert your coffee grounds to serve you better, rather than just discarding them in the garbage;
Can Be Used As a Fertilizer
Most soils are not too rich in nutrients and minerals required for plant growth, hence the need for fertilizers and manure. Even if the soil had nutrients, the plants would use them up quickly, leaving the soil depleted of vital minerals like phosphorus and potassium.
They are rich in essential minerals, such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, which are required for plant growth. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (the famous NPK trio) are also found in coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds may also absorb heavy metals like copper and cadmium, which can contaminate the soil. Coffee grounds also attract worms which are great for your crops.
Take note that you should do this for acid-loving plants like blueberries, daffodils, and azaleas. Sprinkle the coffee grounds around the plants and leave to release minerals into the soil.
Great Repellant For Pests and Insects
Coffee grounds contain chemical compounds like diterpenes and caffeine, which are toxic to insects. Therefore, they can help keep off insects from your residence, especially on farms.
You can use them to ward off bugs, aphids, fruit flies, snails, beetles, slugs, and mosquitoes.
Sprinkle the coffee grounds around selected plants, or fill bowls up with coffee grounds and leave them exposed in designated areas.
Make A Great Addition To Compost
Compost is organic matter such as leaves, kitchen, and yard waste brought together to decompose into more minor compounds. The process of doing this is called composting.
They can be added to existing compost piles for further composition and the addition of nutrients. This is an excellent option if you are not in immediate need of fertilizers.
Compost is excellent in adding nutrients to the soil and is of utmost importance to farmers. Coffee grounds, when added, can help increase earthworm activity, which is good for the heap of organic matter.
Use To Scour Your Kitchen Utensils
Coffee grounds are coarse, and this property makes them great to use as a scrub when cleaning kitchen utensils.
Sprinkle the coffee grounds like you would do with detergents and proceed to wash with a sponge.
Make A Great Exfoliator
The particles found in coffee grounds are pretty coarse and effective at removing dirt and decayed cells from the skin surface.
Mixing them with coconut oil is a great way to use them as an exfoliating scrub on your face. To make a better one, combine them with olive oil and dead sea salt.
Coffee grounds have been found to contain antioxidants that can help curb damage from the sun on the skin.
Are Great For Tenderizing Meat
Most animal meats such as beef, pork, and lamb consist of fiber, muscle, and connective tissue, which give them a tough consistency. Meat would cook a lot faster if it were tenderized.
There are commonly used substances for softening meat, namely acids, salt, and enzymes. Coffee grounds contain enzymes and acids, making them ideal for tenderizing meat.
Place coffee grounds in your dry-rub recipe two hours before cooking the meat. They will form a dark, crispy crust on the meat while cooking.
Restore Colour To Washed-Off Furniture
Wooden furniture, especially those made from mahogany, can quickly get scratched and worn off. However, you can try using coffee grounds to restore color before applying polish and other chemical alternatives.
Make a thick paste with coffee grounds and water. Gently dab the affected area with a cotton swab and let it sit for ten minutes. Repeat this until you have covered the affected surface.
Be sure to try this on a tiny spot first. Your furniture should not have a dark-brown coloration to it.
Can Be Used To Mask And Absorb Odours
They can be used to absorb odors as intense as that of sulfur when mixed with carbon. Carbon grounds have been added to trash bags to conceal the foul smell of dustbins.
You can also keep a bowl of coffee grounds in the fridge to reduce the smell being given off by fragrant foods.
They also are tied in socks or put in containers and kept in areas inside the house that need deodorizing.
They Are Used As A Natural Dye
Wet coffee grounds can be used as an alternative to dyes that contain potentially dangerous chemicals. They are also commonly used to dye materials like linen, cotton, and rayon.
Can be used as hair dyes or to color Easter eggs and your kids’ artwork around the house.
Can Be Used To Clean Your Fireplace
Cleaning fireplaces can be quite a tricky and messy chore. Anything to make cleaning a fireplace with all the ash easier would be greatly appreciated.
When your fireplace is damp, sprinkle coffee grounds to help inhibit dust and ash while you clean.
Can Help Reduce The Appearance Of Cellulite
Cellulite is a skin condition that gives the skin a lumpy appearance. Cellulite is common among 8 to 9 out of 10 women. Cellulite occurs when deposits of fat make their way through connective tissues and are commonly seen in thighs.
When caffeine, like the one found in coffee grounds, is applied to the skin (topically), these fat deposits are broken down, and blood flow is released to the area.
Mix coffee grounds with coconut oil or water, apply to the affected surface as a scrub for ten minutes. Apply this once or twice weekly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Coffee Grounds Be Brewed and Re-used Again?
Doctors strongly advise against this, as coffee contains two chemical compounds known as cafestol and kahweol; these compounds can increase blood cholesterol levels.
If I Cannot Brew And Re-use My Coffee Grounds, What Can I Use Them For Then?
Asides from the creative uses mentioned above, like fertilizers and insect repellants, there are other ways you can use them.
Since Coffee Grounds Can Be Used In Compost, Can They Be Used As Biofuels?
Coffee beans are currently being explored as means of biofuels and biochemicals. There is now a company called Bio Bean working on recycling coffee grounds for renewable and sustainable energy.
Coffee grounds are not useless as one might think. Instead of throwing them away, one could use them as fertilizer, insect repellants, and many other uses. There is even a scheme by Starbucks where they collect coffee grounds and distribute them to farmers.