For many of us, drinking coffee is like breathing — you need it to stay alive. With 57% of Americans drinking coffee on a daily basis (National Coffee Association), there’s a whole lot of used coffee grounds floating around out there. Did you know there’s more to used coffee grounds than adding them to your compost pile?
How to reuse old coffee grounds
Cleaning. Coffee grounds are abrasive and acidic, which makes them perfect for cleaning caked-on pots and pans and other greasy, grimey household items. Mix used grounds with water and scrub with a brush. Be sure that the item is stain/dye resistant as coffee grounds can leave marks.
Insect and pest repellant. Sprinkle used coffee grounds in and around your garden as an eco-friendly way to repel ants, snails and slugs. Coffee grounds mixed with orange peels will also keep cats out of your garden.
Deoderizer. Have you ever noticed that some perfume shops have bowls of coffee beans sitting on their shelves? It’s because coffee is a natural deoderizer. To reuse your coffee grounds as a deoderizer, you will need to dry them first. The easiest way is to spread them out on a cookie sheet and let them dry overnight on your countertop. You can then put the dried coffee grounds in a recycled yogurt or butter tub in your freezer or refrigerator (in place of baking soda), or in a sachet to keep cabinet or dresser drawers fresh. Rubbing the dried grounds on your hands also will remove pungent food prep smells.
Dust buster. Cleaning a well-used fireplace can be a disaster! Next time, throw a handful of used, wet coffee grounds over your ashes to prevent stirring up dust.
Dye. If you’ve ever owned a white coffee maker, you know that coffee stains. The same holds true for fabric. If you’re looking for a particular shade of tan or brown, try using coffee grounds. Steep the grounds in hot water and then soak fabric or paper in the water to achieve your dye. Or, try creating a pair of vintage-style jeans!
Cover furniture scratches. Since coffee stains so nicely, you can steep used grounds in water and then apply a small amount of the liquid to furniture scratches. It’s worth a try before buying costly stain or touch-up paint!
Plant food. In addition to adding used coffee grounds to compost, you can also add them directly to the soil of plants that prefer acidic soil.
So there you have it. 7 reasons to brew yet another pot tomorrow morning. As if you needed any more!
Picture by ballistikcoffeeboy.
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