Recycle used coffee grounds in these 15 practical ways to keep your home, your pets and yourself looking beautiful
BY NABANITA DUTT
The leftover, brown mess from your morning cup of joe* has so many cool uses after the coffee’s made. From home clean-ups and food recipes, to pet grooming, plant grooming, personal grooming and so much more. Save your used coffee grounds every day and put them to any of these unexpected uses we have discovered. If you’ve got a large project at hand, most neighborhood coffee shops will be glad to let you have their used grounds, if you only ask…
* Cup of joe: The phrase comes from “Cup of Jamocke” – (Java + Mocha, the original homes of good coffee). Association with images of `common man’ and `camaraderie’ also helped popularize the use of the term `joe’ in America instead of plain, old `coffee’.
15 SURPRISING THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH USED COFFEE GROUNDS
Keep cats from pooping all over your yard
♦ Cats are not big on the scent of ground coffee. Your outdoor space can become a pooping ground they now suddenly want to avoid if you mix used coffee grounds with citrus skin like orange peel and scatter it around your precious plants. The mixture fertilizes your greens too.
Scrub obstinate grease off pots and pans
♦ Mix equal parts of used coffee grounds with baking soda and rub those obstinate grease scars from pots and pans. Not to be used on delicate surfaces, of course.
Make scent balls with used coffee grounds
♦ Pop a handful of coffee grounds into some old pantyhose you may have stashes away in your lingerie drawer and make aromatic, room-refreshing balls with this instruction sheet.
Attract earthworms to fertilize flowerbeds
♦ Re-supply nutrients to plants with coffee grounds that attract earthworms and increases organic richness of the soil. Add coffee grounds to compost to help add nitrogen to the mix. No need to discard the coffee filters either.
Keep kitchen garbage disposal blades sharp
♦ Sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal with coffee grounds. Let the water run in your sink as you flip the disposal switch, and the coffee grounds will take care of the rest. We love this DIY recipe by Sarah Lipoff, to make little cakes with coffee grounds, Epsom salt, baking soda and vinegar to keep the disposal looking sharp and smelling good.
Clean fireplace without causing an ashy storm
♦ When you’re cleaning out your fireplace, sprinkle some of the used coffee grounds you’ve saved on top of the ash heap before tackling the job. This will keep much of the dust down and save your carpets, upholstery and furniture from getting covered in a film of ash.
Keep dog flea-free with a coffee grounds scrub
♦ Fleas dislike the smell of coffee grounds, and adding some to your doggie’s bath will send out signals in the critter world that your pet is not a generous host.
Fix minor scratches on wood surfaces
♦ Mix 1 tbsp of coffee grounds with 1 tsp of olive oil and gently rub the mix into the surface. Wipe away the excess and small scratches on wood furniture should disappear from sight.
Make a DIY candle with coffee grounds
♦ Here’s a really fun recipe from Sarah Lipoff at Poposugar, where she shows us how to make candles with paper coffee cups, coffee ground and leftover wax from old, used-up candles. Find Sarah’s detailed directions here.
Reduce eye bags with a coffee grounds mask
♦ Gently rub coffee grounds under your eyes if they’re looking puffy. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes before washing off in the shower. Caffeine is rich in antioxidants that absorb easily into the skin. This no-fuss, under-eye pack will help shrink blood vessels and drain the water content, smoothening the skin and even reducing dark circles.
Remove garlic/onions smells from your hands
♦ Coffee grounds can absorb strong cooking odors. Every time you chop raw garlic and onions, get rid of the lingering smell by scrubbing your hands with leftover coffee grounds. Along with the odor, some dead skin will be rubbed off too, making your hands look soft and smooth.
Melt snow around the house and driveway
♦ To control the snow and ice build-up around your house and driveway during winter, sprinkle used coffee grounds, as the acid in it will melt the snow.
Highlight dark hair with coffee grounds dye
♦ Bring the glow back to brown, black or deep auburn hair by soaking in water steeped with used coffee grounds for about 30 minutes. Leave in your hair for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.
Make your own `antique’ paper for crafts
♦ Stain paper for an antique, parchment look. Dip dye the paper for overall sepia brown tones on marble or faux paint the coffee on with a soft rag or sponge. This article walks you through 8 ways to get your paper looking old.
Use coffee grounds to tenderize meat
♦ Add coffee grounds to the marinade or as a rub when preparing pork, beef or chicken. Or use coffee grounds that will form a `coat’ on tip, keeping the meat inside all tender and juicy. Here’s a nice recipe for Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak from Epicurious and another basic recipe to make a coffee grounds steak rub from FoodReference.