How to Reuse Your Coffee Grounds and Tea Leaves

Hey Everyone,

Every morning I wakeup with a cup of Black River Roasters coffee and every night I cuddle up with a warm cup of tea.  I never thought to reuse my coffee grounds and/or tea leaves until I found an article tweeted by the Rainforest Alliance showing what to do with them.

The original article is here, but I have also copy and pasted it below.

What to do with coffee grounds…

  1. Soften skin – Exfoliate with a body scrub made of coffee grounds, coconut oil and a little brown sugar.  Gently massage it on in the shower, rinse and be soft.
  2. Please the flowers – Use coffee grounds as mulch for acid-loving plants (roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreens, hydrangeas and camellias).  They like coffee grounds for the natural acidity and nutrients they add to soil.
  3. Sadden the ants – Sprinkle coffee grounds around areas of ant infestation to deter them.
  4. Deter gastropods – Used grounds are said to repel snails and slugs, so sprinkle them in problem areas.
  5. Simplify fireplace cleaning – Before cleaning the fireplace, sprinkle with dampened used coffee grounds, which will weigh down the ash and thus eliminate clouds of smoke-flavored dust. 
  6. Make a sepia dye – Soak used grounds in hot water and use as a dye bath for Easter eggs, fabric and paper for a lovely, soft brown tinge.
  7. Keep cats at bay – Keep kitties out of the garden with a mixture of orange peels and used coffee grounds distributed around plants.
  8. Encourage the carrots – To boost a carrot harvest, mix seeds with dried coffee grounds before sowing.  The extra bulk makes the wee seeds easier to manage, while the coffee aroma can nourish the soil and help repel pests.

What to do with tea leaves and tea bags…

Some tips call for dried leaves, here’s how: When you’re finished brewing tea, place the leaves into a large strainer or colander.  Press out as much moisture as possible, and then spread the leaves on paper.  Let the leaves dry thoroughly, turning over several times in the process.  Also note that wet tea leaves stain, so if you are using wet tea leaves on or near a porous surface, be sure to test in an inconspicuous place first.

  1. Tame stings and burns – Cool tea bags can bring relief when applied to bug bites and minor burns, including sunburn.  For overall skin irritation, put spent tea leaves in a bath and soak.
  2. Soothe your eyes – The tannins in tea have anti-inflammatory effects, which is why cool ones are often employed on puffy eyes.  The chill also helps with swelling.
  3. Feed the garden – Use tea leaves as food for garden plants – green tea is high in nitrogen, and as a bonus, the leaves can ward off pests and insects.  This is also good for houseplants, so add old tea leaves to their water.
  4. Boost potted plaints – When potting plants, place a few used tea bags on top of the drainage layer at the bottom of the planter before adding soil.  The tea bags will help retain water and will also leach some nutrients into the potting medium.
  5. Quell the cat box smell – Sprinkle used, dried tea leaves in litter boxes to help reduce the smell. 
  6. Eliminate other pet odors – Sprinkle dried, used green tea leaves on your pet’s pillow, bed, in the doghouse, or other smelly spots to eliminate odor.
  7. Freshen the carpet – Sprinkle dry tea leaves onto the carpet, crush them lightly and let sit for 10 minutes, then vacuum.  This will refresh the carpet and deodorize your vacuum cleaner and bag.
  8. Treat the dog – As an extravagance, loose leaf gunpowder tea is a great treat for dogs to roll around in.  It’s great for the aroma and luster it adds to the coat.
  9. Freshen mats and beds – It is common in Southeast Asia to wash straw sleeping mats in tubs of water to which tea has been added.  The tea works as a deodorizer, so you can apply this method to yoga mats and air mattresses.
  10. Save the fridge – If you’re out of baking soda, place dried, used green tea bags or leaves in a small open bowl in your refrigerator to help absorb orders.
  11. Wash your hands – Rid your hands of food odors (garlic, onion, etc) by rubbing them with wet green tea leaves, an instant deodorizer.
  12. Deodorize kitchen surfaces – Rub wet tea leaves on cutting boards and counters to remove food odors.

Wow I cannot wait to try some of these ideas.

Ashley