Nothing makes me happier than a bargain. The other day on my way out of the local grocery store, there sat a bag of used coffee grounds next to the bag recycling bin. Above the bag was a sign: FREE for your compost, worm garden, or roses. Well, of course I can’t pass up a bargain, especially if it’s free. I brought them home to the compost, but I wondered what else I could do with them.
As a crafter, I know coffee and coffee grounds can antique paper and dye clothing. Easter eggs with a coffee stain are pretty among the other colored eggs.
But back to gardening, these used grounds are great for compost bins, as long as they don’t make up more than 25% of the total volume. According to Rosie Lerner, Purdue University Extension Consumer Horticulturist, grounds are a low-level source of nitrogen, having a fertilizer value of around 2.0-0.3-0.2, and a minor source of calcium and magnesium. Since the used grounds are slightly to highly acidic, they could be applied to those acid-loving plants. But she also warns that the grounds could pack down, decreasing the aeration and increasing the possibility of fungal growth. Check out her information here.
Supposedly the coffee grounds repel ants and slugs. We sure could use that as the spring approaches.
In Haley’s Cleaning Hints, they suggested when sweeping ashes from the fireplace, spread used, wet grounds on the ashes first. This will help keep ash dust from spreading. We don’t have a fireplace, but sounds like it would work.
An interesting use I found was to fill old nylons (I’ve got lot of those around from the old days) with dry grounds, tie the ends, and hang in closets and refrigerators to absorb odors.
But the best way we are going to use our grounds (besides our daily addition to the compost bin) is add them as exfoliants in our next soap batch. We will be soaping this afternoon and I can’t wait to try some used sots in our soap. Stay tuned and thanks for dropping by.