Updated: May 21
Now not many things claim to be able to save the world...and this probably shouldn't be one of them either! It is, after all, only soap. But it is pretty good soap.
So as we've been using lots of this lockdown time to stay rather busy developing new coffee blends and solve some of those age old problems, I have come up with a rather nifty way of solving one of our bigger problems.
Used coffee grounds.
These little blighters can really bother me because they are a byproduct of what we produce and enjoy. Some roasters just ignore it, but we don't work that way. We are a bit different to all the other coffee roasters because we have a strong social conscience and really do believe we are all born to make a difference #BTMAD.
So out of the pondering came an idea...what can we do with the coffee grounds? The little nifty grounds have a few good uses I have discovered after some careful research.
Feeding the Garden
After lots of online time I discovered used coffee grounds go great on the garden beds and can just be applied directly! I thought you had to have a compost heap for making use of the used grounds this way, but it turn out their nitrogen rich body is perfect for just chucking or working into the soil! You don't even have to mix them in - just sprinkle them over your beds and not only do they boost nutrients, add texture to clay soils but they also naturally help repel the neighbours cats and slugs/snails!
We haven't tried this one yet, but there are businesses based on this nifty trick. Used coffee grounds are perfect for growing mushrooms on. So if you drink a lot of coffee (like us naturally!) then maybe try this one. Collect the grounds and allow them to air dry (windowsills works well), sprinkle over your spore plugs or medium and enjoy some super food that's grown on used food!
Again, not only we've tried but there are some clever folk out there blending the coffee grounds with resin compounds to make rather modern looking things such as lamp shades, chairs and even picture frames. Basically anything that can be mould casted. Probably not one to try at home, but good to know it's happening.
Cleaning equipment and tools around the home and garden
Used grounds make great abrasive cleaners when you need them - think garden tools, sticky kitchen things like bread making things (required in our home!) and things the kids have made messy (again!). Great for cleaning up paint and oil spills, dry used grounds can come in very handy.
Neutralizing smelly places
I am not really thinking of smelly trainers here, more like smelly kitchens after you've cooked home made fish and chips or in the fridge to shift that stubborn stink. Great for church kitchen fridges after you discovered that mystery object that used to be something else. Coffee grounds are nitrogen rich, which naturally bonds with odour molecules to lock them away and remove the smell. Try it in a bowl in your fridge or spread on a plate on the kitchen side, leave over night and enjoy!
Pet deodorizer and cleaner
Yes, it's true! Even your pooch can smell better after a coffee!
When it comes to cleaning down the dog after a muddy walk used coffee grounds are great at getting rid of a few things:
Odours are soaked up (thanks nitrogen), grease and dirt is locked into the grounds and the coffee acts as a natural bug repellent. Fantastic! Just make sure Tommy (our labrador) doesn't shake off before you've rinsed him down or expect a coffee explosion!
Chucking those used grounds just straight into the compost is a great way of adding brown material to your heap whilst investing in your garden. If you've used a filter paper as well like that which comes with our Hero blend then that can go in as well! It's so easy when you've got a compost heap to live in a more circular economy. For church, maybe you have a compost heap in your grounds (lucky you!) but if not make sure your disposing of the grounds and filter in a brown food waste bin so that your council can turn those grounds into biogas!
Washing your hair
Just like your pooch, you can use coffee grounds as a great deep cleaner - especially if you have long hair! - which will soak up grease, product residue and leave your hair refreshed and smooth. Use prior to your normal shampoo and conditioning in wet hair by rubbing through (yes it is a bit messy) but your hair will thank you for it once you've rinsed it away.
Making funky, useful soap!
We have proudly taken this idea further and made the grounds into a brand new, useful product. We have blended the finest goats milk soap with our very own coffee grounds to create for you a soap that will make the keenest of chefs super pleased there is finally a soap available to remove those onion smells whilst leaving their hands clean and fresh.
Our soap not only makes for super clean, fresh, soft hands, but it reduces waste as we reuse those pesky grounds and make wonderful soap.
We used our fair trade spent coffee grounds and undertook a very careful process to ensure they were just right for combining with our soap ingredients. We then cured and moulded our soaps into handy size soaps that can be kept on the side by the sink.
Packing 4 of these into every bundle, we think these make a great present, but also why not just keep them for yourself! At under £1 per miniature soap, it's a great way to know you've got clean hands no matter how smelly the fish gets!
Plus, you know that your helping reduce waste, reuse a natural product and benefit from making your hands super fresh again. To find out more and purchase our soaps online, click here.
This article was written by James, The Friendliest Christian Coffee Roaster.
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