Recycling Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee drinker (not of the instant variety), those used coffee grounds can be put to good use in a number of ways. One way is making your own coffee body scrub. To make a simple exfoliating scrub mix together coffee grounds, some sugar and coconut oil. If the coconut oil is solidified, melt it a little first for easier mixing. Mix together about ½ cup of coffee grounds, ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of coconut oil. The stickiness of the sugar helps bind the ingredients together and also assists with exfoliating but it isn’t absolutely necessary so omit the sugar if you prefer and use more coffee grounds. Many of the commercially sold coffee scrubs also contain added ingredients such as cinnamon, essential oils etc, so feel free to experiment. Coffee scrubs can also be used on your face but coconut oil may clog pores so best to substitute for another type of oil such as olive oil, hemp oil or grape seed oil. Store any unused portion of the scrub in the fridge to prevent mold forming and best to use within a few weeks.   

Please note: after you’ve rinsed off the scrub your shower recess will be extremely slippery so be very, very careful. Another factor to consider is any potential issues caused by coconut oil and coffee grounds being rinsed into drain pipes. A little on occasion shouldn’t be a problem but if using regularly, place a few paper towels over the drain hole to soak up excess oil and catch the coffee grounds. It can then be discarded straight into your compost bin.

Speaking of compost bins, coffee grounds can also be beneficial to your garden. Your saved coffee grounds can be added to your compost bin/bay or worm farm. Or dig some directly into the soil around any plants that have a fondness for acidic soil such as blueberries, gooseberries, potatoes, rhubarb, chillies, radish etc. However, in all honesty you’d likely need to use loads of coffee grounds to change the acidity of the soil due to the used grounds having lost most of their acidity. Although they certainly will assist with improving soil structure, help with retaining moisture and attract earthworms! So now enjoy your coffee guilt-free, knowing the goodness it provides. Coffee makes the world a better place.

 This is a blog post that I had originally written and published on the Infinite Earth - Organic Market website in August 2018.