Why You Should Consider Adding Coffee Grounds To Your Fireplace

Coffee. Most of us can't live without it, which is how we came to consume as much as 3.44 billion pounds of coffee in 2021 alone, per Statista, leaving us with plenty of coffee grounds to deal with.

For a while, using coffee grounds to turbocharge our gardens seemed like the perfect solution. After all, coffee grounds are a natural ingredient, and as Treehugger points out, grounds were, for a time, rumored to be especially beneficial for plants that thrive in a more acidic environment. Further, when mixed in with other organic material, coffee was found to boost the nutrient content of compost.

But that snapshot, which is widely circulated online, doesn't actually give us a complete picture of the impact coffee grounds have on plants. While coffee grounds can improve soil quality when used properly, they may not be as good for our gardens as we may think, according to research reported by Washington State University. Not only is there no evidence that grounds discourage the presence of slugs and other garden pests, they can inhibit the growth of seedlings, and they actually play a role in diminishing the moisture content in soil instead of aerating it.

So if we end up pulling back on adding coffee grounds to our gardens, does this mean our grounds are destined for landfills? Not necessarily, says the internet, which notes there are still a number of things you can do around the house with coffee grounds, one of which involves your fireplace.

Repurposing your leftover coffee grounds

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the number of new homes with fireplaces has been on a steady decline since 2015, dropping 11% between 2015 and 2018, with 2018 marking a new low of 41% — the lowest since NAHB started to track this metric in 2001. With this said, that still leaves us with a good number of homes in the United States with active, wood-burning fireplaces, which, as it turns out, is a perfect place we could throw our leftover coffee grounds.

If you happen to use your fireplace a good amount during the colder months, then you're well aware of how much ash your fireplace can create. But, if you have an active coffee addiction, have we got an idea for you — one which involves using your spent coffee grounds to accomplish a task that can, in the worst of times, have the potential to trigger respiratory conditions.

Coffee grounds as a simple fireplace cleaner

While coffee grounds may not do much for your garden, they could well be your fireplace's best friend, since damp coffee grounds can help you clean up leftover soot and ashes more efficiently. Cleaning a fireplace introduces easily inhaled material into the air, but as Healthline notes, damp coffee grounds can help cut down dust and particulate levels simply by weighing the light material down.

Further, used coffee grounds aren't just good for cleaning up a fireplace; according to coffee maker Farrer's, coffee discards make great fireplace briquettes, too. To make what the site refers to as coffee logs, you'll need an old bread pan, a wax block of about 225 grams or an 8-ounce wax block, about 2 cups of molasses and 3 cups of dried coffee grounds. Just remember to save some of those grounds for the cleanup afterward.