Coffee grounds: why it’s a waste worth its weight in gold

Coffee grounds can be a versatile and eco-friendly addition to your household

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By Alex

Usually, coffee grounds end up in the trash, whether they come from coffee pods or ground coffee. And this is a great waste, because they are a real concentration of beneficial properties and we can recycle them in many different ways and in multiple areas.

It is also possible to recover coffee grounds from coffee capsules: the coffee powder already used, moist and pressed, remains in capsule. If we recover it, even by cutting the aluminum that covers the wafer with scissors, we will be able to use it for many things.

Coffee grounds as fertilizer

First of all, coffee grounds, regardless of the types of coffee used, are excellent fertilizers, useful for making our plants grow healthier and more lush. Rich in important nutrients, especially nitrogen, which contributes to the creation of proteins for healthy and strong branches, stems and leaves of the plant. Then potassium, calcium and magnesium are also present.

They constitute a good organic fertilizer, totally natural and economical, because, like other organic materials such as manure and manure, compared to the most used liquid fertilizers, they have different functions:

  • they enrich the soil
  • they improve the structure
  • they soften
  • they allow good drainage
  • they retain humidity

Coffee grounds can be used either as a dried powder, simply by adding them to the soil, or we can dilute them in the water used for irrigation, thus turning them into a liquid fertilizer. For this second method, the quantities to consider are 3 coffee grounds per 1 liter of water. Before watering the plants, let them rest for a few hours.

Coffee grounds as fertilizer
Coffee grounds are excellent fertilizers!

The best way to use it in the soil, even if it quickly loses its properties, is to let it decompose and mature first. For this purpose, it can be placed in a composter or bokashi. It acts as an activator. But be careful not to use too much.

We have to pay attention to the quantities here. In a percentage greater than 12 percent it could inhibit plant growth, especially when used as a fertilizer.

Coffee grounds in the garden

Coffee grounds can be used for a variety of purposes in the garden:

  • As a fertilizer. Coffee grounds, when distributed around the plants, together with the classic mulch, constitute an excellent fertilizer which acts as compost.
  • To make soil acidic. Coffee grounds contribute to lower the pH of the soil and make it more acidic. Hence, they are ideal for acidophilic plants, such as basil or berries or to help hydrangeas flowers get their blue color.  They are also beneficial to those plants which need neutral pH such as tomatoes.
  • They keep pests away. Coffee grounds can keep aphids, worms and slugs away from the garden because of their strong odor, which these harmful insects do not like. Just distribute quite a few around the perimeter of the vegetable garden or all around the affected plant to form a line of protection.

Among many things, they are helpful if you want to grow carrots.

Furthermore, for sowing these vegetables, it is recommended to mix the carrot seeds with a small part of coffee powder to make their distribution on the ground easier.

They also constitute a useful fertilizer for the home cultivation of mushrooms.

Which plants can be fertilized with coffee grounds

Not all plants like coffee grounds.

Due to their acidifying action on the soil, they are particularly suitable for fertilizing flowers and plants that love acidic soils (with a pH lower than 6.5) such as roses, camellias, azaleas, rhododendron, strawberry tree, gardenia, heather, hydrangeas, witch hazels, magnolias, mimosas, calla lilies, clivies, ferns, lilies and lilacs.

Coffee grounds

Basil and coffee grounds

Basil is one of the aromatic herbs typical of the summer: it needs little to grow, but does best in soils with a pH of no more than 6.5, thus slightly acidic.

Coffee grounds can be used in this way: mix them with soil or compost, they will also provide it with an extra source of nitrogen and phosphate. But remember not to use them while they are still wet, but let them dry first and then spread them on the ground, to prevent them from moulding.

A layer half a finger high at the foot of the plants is enough, and remember that too much watering causes them to lose the nitrogen you have just provided.

Mulch and limit yourself to one watering per day.

Coffee grounds for lemons

Like all citrus trees, lemon trees prefer soils with an acidic pH. Spread coffee at the foot of the trunk. and mix it into the soil by light hoeing.

FOCUS: How to grow a lemon plant

Coffee grounds for tomatoes

They are perfect for tomato seedlings in spring because of their slightly acidic pH (to grow tomatoes it is good to have a pH of 4.6 to give them a slightly acidic taste) and because they are an excellent natural fertilizer.

It nourishes tomatoes in the growing stage, but you have to be careful about the amounts. In fact, not all plants need it equally. Also, an abundant amount of funds can lead to weed growth.

Therefore, tomatoes can be used as a composting agent because of their richness in magnesium, potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. In particular, nitrogen affects tomato development, while potassium and magnesium are rapidly absorbed by plants.

Rosemary and coffee grounds

Rosemary is an aromatic plant that needs an alkaline substrate (a potting soil value with a pH above 7) and therefore grows well in a lime soil.

Since coffee has an acidifying action, it is therefore not suitable for rosemary, but it is good for all those plants that live in the undergrowth.

Coffee grounds in the kitchen

Even in the kitchen, coffee is a valuable waste for solving various rather widespread problems.

  • Eliminate burnt scale on the bottom of pots and pans because of its mildly abrasive action
  • Eliminate bad odors in the refrigerator. Just put a bowl of it inside the refrigerator and remember to change it once a week
  • Remove unpleasant odors from your hands after handling fish, onion and just wipe them with a bit of primer
  • Give more flavor to cakes by adding them into the dough of chocolate desserts
  • Clean and scent the drains of the toilet or sink, but be careful not to overdo it because they may clog it

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds at home

Let us now look at other home uses of coffee grounds. We can use them:

  • To dye fabrics. Boiling them makes a natural dye for dyeing clothes, fabrics and paper
  • To get rid of ants thanks to their strong odor. Just sprinkle some dry powder in areas where you enter the house, windowsills and window sills, areas where you have noticed ants coming and going and likely nests in cracks and holes in the wall.
  • To clean the fireplace and remove the ashes, by sprinkling the surfaces with the still-moist grounds, which will also be helpful in absorbing any bad odors.
  • As rustproof pin cushion. Let the coffee powder air dry and use it to make the padding of a DIY pincushion, sewing some scraps of fabric together. The presence of coffee is very important, as it prevents the appearance of rust.
  • Tp remove stubborn dirt and scale from the washable surfaces of the house by rubbing coffee grounds into the most critical areas with a sponge. If necessary, also add a little water or natural liquid soap.
  • To cover scratches on dark wood furniture by sprinkling on a paste made from coffee grounds and warm water, which will darken the abrasion.
  • As a natural deodorizer. Enclose the powder in small woven cotton bags (an old nylon sock or old pantyhose will do just as well) and place them where they are needed: in certain corners of the house, in the car, in the shoe rack, in the basement, in drawers…

Body care with coffee grounds

These scraps are also worth their weight in gold for body care. In fact, they are excellent ingredients for effective cosmetic treatments and more. Let’s take a look at some do-it-yourself coffee cosmetics recipes.

  • Facial scrub. Mix 2 tablespoons of grounds + 2 of yogurt + 1 of honey. Apply to face, massage gently, insisting on the “T-zone.” Keep on for 20 minutes. Rinse: you will immediately notice smoother, softer and brighter skin
  • Body scrub. Combine 2 tablespoons of funds + 3 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and massage into thighs, legs and abdomen. Do this treatment in the shower, preferably on damp skin. Rinse well.
  • Natural anti-cellulite treatment. Thanks to caffeine, you can dissolve fat, it is one of the best coconut oil. Pass the mix over the affected areas, making circular motions. Rinse well with lukewarm water. Repeat the treatment with some regularity, 2-3 times a week.
  • Energizing Foot Bath, useful for limiting sweating and keeping odor formation at bay. It is prepared by diluting leftover grounds in warm water and massaging into the feet. This scrub is also useful for softening rough heel areas.
    Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds for hair

Dry, dull and brittle hair will return strong and shiny by applying a mask consisting of leftover coffee powder and coconut oil. The mixture should be applied to wet strands, distributing it over all lengths and insisting on the ends.

Coffee also acts as a shimmer if you want henna, allowing you to get naturally dark highlights on an already brown natural color. Alternatively, to brighten the color, do the penultimate rinse with leftover coffee, cold and very diluted.

Coffee grounds

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