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

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.

Attract worms

Work the grounds into your soil to attract these little garden helpers.

Boost compost

Add coffee grounds, along with the filter, directly to your compost pile. The grounds, which are rich in nitrogen, make excellent green matter.

Fertilize plants

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.

Simple Living Well by Julia Watkins
Simple Living Well by Julia Watkins

REPURPOSING EGGSHELLS

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.

Start seedlings

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

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