I’m not a coffee drinker…but I’ve had plenty of practice making it at various jobs in the past..so when I ran across an article talking about the many uses of used coffee grounds I was intrigued! Who knew that brown gunk was actually good for something?! :-)
I looked into it further and found that the average American consumes about 3 cups of coffee a day. That’s A LOT of used coffee grounds! Before you throw them in the trash, consider some of the following very useful and resourceful options!
- Dry the grounds out on a cookie sheet and then put them in a bowl in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize odors. This also works well to get rid of Mothball smells from closets or campers!
- Keep some grounds in a small can under the sink, then the next time you chop an onion or fresh garlic, scoop out a small amount, rub them over your hands and rinse. Odor gone!
- Coffee grounds are highly acidic, so spread them generously over the flower beds of acid loving plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and Hydrangeas, for amazing blooms!
- Give seedlings a nitrogen boost by stirring grounds into soil or a watering can.
- When planting carrot and radish seeds, mix them liberally with coffee grounds before you plant. You will double your harvest!
- Coffee grounds are loaded with phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper. They’re a tad acidic and as they degrade they release nitrogen which makes for especially rich compost.
- Make your own gardeners soap by melting a bar of glycerin soap and adding 1/3 cup coffee grounds, reshape bar in a mold and use. Great scrubbing and exfoliating action at the same time!
- If you like fishing and have a wormbed at home, add coffee grounds! The BEST worm bed mix is aged horse manure and coffee grounds. You’ll grow some nice fat ones for fishing!
- Sprinkle old grounds around places you don’t want ants, or on the ant hills themselves. Used grounds also repel snails and slugs.
- Fill a can or jar with an inch or two of moistened coffee grounds, then line the container’s neck with extra-sticky double-sided tape. The scent will draw cockroaches into the trap.
Dogs And Cats
- Mix used grounds with chopped orange peels and sprinkle liberally around your garden and flowerbeds to keep your cat from using your garden as a restroom.
- After bathing your dog, rub 1 to 2 cups of coffee grounds into his fur and rinse well. Not only does this kill fleas, but will make his fur silky smooth.
Scratched Furniture Repair
- Mix 1 tablespoon coffee grounds with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Apply with a cotton swab or cotton ball, wipe dry. Test in an inconspicuous area first.
- Adding a tablespoon of fresh coffee grounds to meat marinades will tenderize the meat and give it a mild smokiness. Coffee also enhances chocolate cakes and chili. Substitute strong coffee for some of a recipe’s water for a richer, bolder flavor.
Coffee as Cleaner
- Scour Power. For a quick abrasive cleaner – mix equal parts of old coffee grounds and baking soda. Use to scour away grease and grime from your pots and pans. Rinse thoroughly. (Be careful of using this on surfaces that are susceptible to stains!)
- Sharpen garbage disposal blades by adding 1 tablespoon of grounds to running disposal (with water running also!)
- Before cleaning out your fireplace, sprinkle damp coffee grounds liberally over the ashes to cut down on airborne dust as you sweep them up.
- Cellulite Fighter. Not sure if I “buy” this one….but…coffee IS the main ingredient in many of those high-priced cellulite creams. Simply mix 1/4 cup warm coffee grounds with 1 tablespoon olive oil and apply liberally to problem areas, wrap with plastic wrap. Let set for 10 minutes, unwrap and shower normally. Couldn’t hurt!
- Exfoliating Scrub. The caffeine in coffee helps stimulate skin cells and promotes healthier, tighter skin. Simply add coconut oil, vitamin E oil or jojoba oil to coffee grounds and massage it on in the shower.
- Highlight Hair Naturally. Brunettes and darker redheads can turn up the shine in their hair by rinsing dry, clean hair with strong, cooled coffee. Steep used coffee grounds in 2 cups hot water for 15 minutes or so and then rinse through hair for a darker, more vibrant shine. You can also pour 1-2 tablespoons straight into your conditioner. Not recommended for blonde or silver hair.
- Clear up acne. Coffee has natural astringent and antioxidant properties which make it a great cleanser and toner for your face. Just mix your coffee grounds with enough milk to make a paste. Rub it on for about a minute, then relax and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse clean.
- Freshen up your autumn wardrobe. Add a pot of freshly brewed coffee and the grounds to a load of wash, toss in any brown clothing and walk away. The coffee stains the material and keeps dark colors looking great.
- Give paper an antique look by first crinkling it up into a ball, smoothing it out, then dipping it in a slurry of coffee grounds and water. Allow them to soak for a minute or two, gently blot excess coffee off, then let dry and brush off the grounds.
- Steep the grounds in boiling water to make your own dye for fabric or easter eggs. Even homemade “Henna” Tattoos.
- Make your own pin cushions with dried out used coffee grounds as a filler. Helps keep the pins rust free!
- Make your own fun treasure stones from coffee grounds, salt, cornmeal and water.
- Beards for Halloween costumes are a cinch with a little honey and dried coffee grounds. Warm up a little bit of honey in the microwave or on the stove. Spread the warm (not hot!) honey over the face in the pattern of a mustache and beard. Spread dried coffee grounds over the honey. Washes off easily after trick-or-treating is done.
Not an avid coffee-drinker? Check your local coffee shop. Places like Starbucks actually give bags of used grounds away to people who use them for their home and gardens.
Those little brown granules sure can do a lot more that just perk up your morning! I hope some of these were as helpful to you as they were to me.
What uses for coffee grounds would you add to the list?