Breakfast goodness: 17 ways to use leftover coffee grounds and eggshells
There are plenty of uses for these leftovers – from composting to cleaning
Use empty egg shells, with a hole poked in the bottom, as seedling planters. Faces optional. Photograph: Getty Images
Coffee is good for more than just waking you up in the morning and high-protein eggs have more goodness to give in their shells. Before you toss used grounds and eggshells, and send them to the landfill, consider putting them to use in the garden, around the house, or in bath and body products. Here are a few ways to repurpose them.
Repel garden pests
Sprinkle liberally around your plants or the perimeter of your garden to deter pests like ants, slugs, and snails.
Work the grounds into your soil to attract these little garden helpers.
Add coffee grounds, along with the filter, directly to your compost pile. The grounds, which are rich in nitrogen, make excellent green matter.
To make fertilizer, mix old grounds with dead grass clippings, brown leaves, or dry straw, then spread the mixture around acid-loving plants like azaleas, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and roses.
Jump-start carrot and radish seeds
To double your harvest, mix dried coffee grounds with carrot and radish seeds before planting them.
Make a gardener’s soap
To make an exfoliating soap, melt one bar of glycerin soap, add one third of a cup of coffee grounds, mix well, and pour into a soap mould.
Deodorize your fridge
To neutralize food odours, fill a jar with grounds and place it, uncovered, at the back of the fridge.
Deodorize your hands
After chopping garlic or onions, rub grounds on your hands to eliminate odours.
Clean tools and cookware
Sprinkle coffee grounds onto a scrubbing brush and use them as an abrasive to remove stuck-on food from pots, pans, and utensils.
Remove product buildup from your hair
Before shampooing, massage a handful of coffee grounds into your hair to remove residue from shampoo, conditioner, and other hair-care products.
One food scrap that holds boundless potential for reuse is the eggshell. Here are a few of my favourite ways to use them.
Deter garden pests
Sprinkle crushed eggshells around the garden to ward off slugs and snails. Grind them into a powder and sprinkle on plants to deter beetles.
Brighten white laundry
Put eggshells in a mesh or muslin bag, secure tightly with string or twine, and add to the washing machine with a load of whites.
Boost indoor plants
Fill a glass jar with crushed eggshells, top it with water, and soak for a few days. Strain and use the liquid to water houseplants.
Instead of pots, use eggshells as seedling starters. Poke holes in the bottom of eggshell halves, place them in an empty egg carton, fill each one with potting soil, and plant one or two seeds per shell.
Fortify garden tomatoes
To prevent blossom end rot in tomatoes, use a coffee grinder to crush eggshells into a fine powder that can be sprinkled in the hole before planting seeds or young tomato plants.
Scrub pots and pans
Mix crushed eggshells with hot water and use as an abrasive to scrub pots and pans. Rinse with soap and water to get completely clean.
Make a skin-tightening face mask
Combine 2 tablespoons of finely powdered eggshells with an egg white and mix into a paste. Apply as a natural face mask. Allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash off with warm water, using circular motions to exfoliate.
This is an edited extract from Simply Living Well, by Julia Watkins, published by Hardie Grant