Body and Mind

5 on the fly: clever uses for coffee grounds

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by Sarah Halfpenny

Most of us rely on a ‘cup of joe’ to get through the day. Whether you grind your own coffee beans at home, sit in a café to sip your latte or grab a flat white on the go, you’ll notice there are a lot of coffee grounds left over once the coffee is brewed. Don’t throw them out! There’s so much they can be used for, and most cafes will happily give away the abundance of coffee grounds they have. Here are just a few ideas to put them to good use …

  1. Fertiliser

Coffee grounds are amazing for your garden! They not only contain minerals like nitrogen, calcium, iron and magnesium that plants need in order to thrive, but they also help attract worms and decrease the concentration of heavy metals in the soil.

  1. Flea treatment

Fleas and insects are said to be repelled by certain compounds in coffee beans, so for a cheap, all-natural flea treatment simply massage the grounds through your pet’s fur after shampooing, then rinse off and dry as normal. (For external use only).

  1. Odour neutraliser

The nitrogen in coffee grounds gives them the superpower of eliminating unwanted odours. Pop some in a cup in your fridge to keep it smelling good; fill old stockings with grounds and make a little pouch to hang in your wardrobe, gym bag or car; or remove the smell of onion and garlic by rubbing them on your hands after chopping.

  1. Wood cleaner

Sometimes the brown stains that coffee grounds can leave are a good thing! If you have brown wooden furniture with scratches, make a thick paste with coffee grounds and water, smear it on the scuffs and leave it for 5-10 minutes. When you buff it out, the wood should have darkened from the coffee grounds. Repeat every few hours if necessary until you get the desired colour.

  1. Exfoliant

Reveal some glowing skin and increase the blood flow to it by repurposing coarse coffee grounds into an exfoliating scrub, mixed with either water, coconut oil (or even honey for a lip scrub). You can use it all over your body – even on your head, where it’s said to help promote hair growth and strip away build up from shampoo.

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