Coffee grounds – waste or a versatile by-product!

Coffee grounds

Do you already save them or do you still throw them away?

Coffeekult guest blogger KAROLIN is knowledgeable about coffee grounds: Every day, she starts her day with her French Press, as she beautifully described in her last BLOG “French Press – freshly brewed coffee“.

Of course, there is a lot of COFFEE GROUNDS! In addition, she is a student in a shared apartment and of course others drink coffee AND there are visits from friends AND the family looks times by… you realize already, it falls quickly once larger quantities.

Karolin’s advice:

Just give coffee grounds a SECOND life.

How does that work? She tells us in today’s guest blog:

You drink so much coffee that you collect what feels like tons of coffee grounds in your organic waste? But you can still do so many things with the coffee grounds! Since coffee is a vital part of my life and I celebrate this coffee ritual a bit in the morning, I naturally have a lot of coffee grounds left over. But since there are still valuable ingredients in it, you can use it in the garden, in the house and also in personal hygiene – for example, as fertilizer, as a scrub or even as a breeding ground for your own mushrooms.

Coffee grounds for plants

Let’s take the fertilizer for starters. I’ve always liked having plants in my apartment because they give the room something cozy and natural. Besides, you always have a small task and can watch how they grow, become more beautiful and bigger. In the Corona times, this has also been reinforced. I needed more nature in my room because I had to spend so much time within my own four walls. In order to nourish all the plants well, I searched the Internet a bit and came across coffee grounds. This fits perfectly with my coffee consumption!

Coffee grounds still contain many nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and can therefore be used as fertilizer for many plants. But beware – not every plant tolerates coffee grounds undiluted, as they are slightly acidic and thus change the pH of the soil. Plants that tolerate the coffee grounds so are, for example, tomatoes, hydrangeas, rhododendron, berries and potatoes.

For houseplants, it is best to mix the coffee grounds under some soil in the top layer in the pot. Start there with a tablespoon for now. When you make your balcony beautiful in spring, you can mix the old soil with coffee grounds and put it back into the balcony boxes. Another tip if you have to leave in a hurry and your coffee stays at home: You don’t need to throw away the cold coffee, because you can simply dilute it 1:1 with water and then water your plants with it.


For all my new plants, of course, I needed a lot of space. That’s why I bought pine boards at the hardware store to mount on the wall as a plant shelf. Since the color of the wood was a bit too light for me, I made my own stain. To do this, I mixed my coffee grounds with water in a screw-top jar and let it sit overnight – a bit like a cold brew. The next day the coffee grounds had settled at the bottom of the jar, the water was then brown, and I brushed the boards with it – et voilà.

Coffee grounds-waste-or-a-multipurpose-by-product
Coffee grounds-waste-or-a-multipurpose-by-product

Coffee grounds in body care

  • Grainy coffee grounds are also best used as an exfoliant: mixed with a little olive oil, it’s a super effective and quickly made scrub in the shower.
  • To make a lip scrub, simply mix some olive or coconut oil, sugar and coffee grounds and use it to get rid of flaky skin.
  • If you make your own soap, you can also just mix coffee grounds in there and you’ve made your own exfoliating soap.
  • Do you know coffee shampoo from the drugstore for stronger hair? Alternatively, you can simply mix a little coffee grounds into your shampoo yourself. Especially for dark hair it is highly recommended.

Coffee grounds in the kitchen

I am a cheese lover and unfortunately sometimes they smell a bit strong. If you want to get rid of unpleasant smells from your fridge, coffee powder can help here too: just put a small bowl of coffee grounds in the fridge, it absorbs strong smells very easily.

Do you like mushrooms? Have you ever tried growing them yourself? Coffee grounds are a wonderful nutrient-rich medium for edible mushrooms. In recent years, several startups have emerged that focus on this affordable organic cultivation and sell simple self-growing kits. One such company has also emerged in Innsbruck: Tyroler Glückspilze.

Coffee grounds in the garden

  • Whether in the garden or in the raised bed, the snails like to eat away the lettuce. However, snails don’t like caffeine, so you can just sprinkle coffee grounds all around the vegetable plants. That keeps them away.
  • Ants also do not like the smell. Besides, their smell is neutralized by coffee, so they can not find their streets and you can drive them away from the terrace.
  • If you have problems with wasps in the summer, you can light some dry coffee grounds in a fireproof bowl, as they don’t like the smoke. This will keep them away a bit.

If you have your own compost pile, use the coffee powder for it. The nutrients are very helpful for decomposition, attract earthworms, and thus speed up the process.

coffeekult says THANK YOU to Karolin!

These are very helpful tips and above all, this is real SUSTAINABILITY.

We like that very much!

Let’s just take care of our environment together and try to live more consciously, sustainably and ecologically.

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