Morning caffeine is the guilty pleasure that whispers in a voice too alluring for many to resist. One thing is for sure: it’s generally a long journey for beans and leaves to travel from exotic climes to the kitchen counter — so we may as well honor them with some extra chores before condemning them to the trash. For those who add their spent dregs to the compost bin, you can still do so in many of these applications once their mission has been accomplished.
What to do with coffee grounds
- 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, be soft.
- 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 the soil.
- Sadden the ants
Sprinkle coffee grounds around areas of ant infestation to deter them.
- Dumpster Deodorizer
Coffee grounds can absorb the strong odors in your garbage. Fill up an old pair of pantyhose with some dry coffee grounds, and hang the mixture on the inside of your trash can lid.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep cats at bay
Keep kitties out of the garden with a mixture of orange peels and used coffee grounds distributed around plants.
- Refrigerator Deodorizer
Most people use baking soda for this, but coffee grounds work, too. Fill a cheese- cloth with dry coffee grounds, and place the bag on a shelf in your refrigerator. The grounds absorb strong odors.
- Food Flavoring
Used coffee grounds work just as well as fresh grounds in food recipes. You can also add a small amount of grounds to chocolate baked goods for some added flavor.
- Household Cleaner
Wet or dry coffee grounds effectively clean heavily soiled pots and pans, and dirty countertops. Just toss the grounds on the surface, and scrub with a sponge. Test a small area of a countertop for colorfastness before cleaning the entire surface.
- Hair Shine
Running coffee grounds through your hair can give it a nice sheen. Just rub the coffee grounds in as part of a final rinse, and wash them out with cold water.
- Hand Odor Neutralizer
Cooking with onions or garlic leaves a strong odor on your hands that most liquid soaps can’t remove. After cooking, wet your hands and rub a small amount of coffee grounds on them, then rinse with cool water. This removes the odor from your hands and nails.
- Shoe Deodorizer
Sprinkle dry coffee grounds into your shoes, let them sit overnight, and then shake the grounds out over a trashcan. The grounds soak up any odors, leaving your shoes smelling cleaner.
Finding a second life for coffee grounds can help you save money, and live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. I keep a Tupperware jar next to my coffee pot and dump the used grounds in the jar every morning. That way, I have easy access to used coffee grounds if I need to wash my hands, or if I need to make a deodorizing bag.
What are some of the other creative ways you reuse coffee grounds?