12 Surprising Things You Can Do With Coffee Grounds

Jun 2, 2015
Jason Chambers

12 natural ways you can reuse coffee grounds at homeIf you are a coffee drinker like me, chances are you generate a surprising amount of coffee grounds in a week. You may not have found any use for these dark, wet grounds, and certainly figured out the trash bin was the most appropriate place to throw them. But think again! Used coffee grounds have plenty of practical uses you may not even know about! It’s 100% natural and the best part is that coffee grounds are free! Discover twelve natural uses for old coffee grounds from your coffee maker:

Get rid of smelly hands
Banish cooking odor on your palms by rubbing a handful of used coffee grounds on your hands and rinsing with warm water.

Make compost
Coffee grounds are rich in potassium, magnesium, phosporous and copper. Just toss fresh grounds in your planters and next to your plants in the garden. If you’re an avid gardener, ask for used grounds for free at your local coffee shop! Unless you’re adding inches of coffee grounds to your garden, you’re not going to see a difference in your soil pH. After making the morning wakeup, coffee grounds contain up to 2% nitrogen, similar to grass clippings.

Repel ants
Ants are extremely susceptible to caffeine. This safe material confuses the worker ants because they lose their scent trails. Leave coffee grounds where the ants are and they will carry it home and eat it. This method takes a few weeks to see, but after a while you’ll notice a decrease of the ants population.

Make soap!
Coffee ground soap is seriously easy to make with a few inexpensive ingredients and exfoliate and deodorize, leaving skin nice and healthy without any « girly » scents. Follow the great tutorial at Pop Sugar.

Keep cats at bay
Keep cats and their dejections out of your garden with a mixture of orange peels and used coffee grounds distributed around plants.

Repel slugs
If you fear a massive invasions of slugs in your garden, cover the soil with used coffee grounds and create « olfactive barriers ». Your regular cup of joe contains about 0.05% caffeine, this means that coffee grounds and fresh coffee will not kill slugs but may act as a mild deterrent.

Feed earthworms in your garden
Worms are highly beneficial for the garden and they just love coffee grounds. So feed them generously, they will thank you!

Kill fridge odor
Fridges are know to keep full of dubious odors, so place a bowl of fresh, unused coffee grounds inside your refrigerator and let it sit for a day or two. The coffee will absorb the odors and leave your fridge smelling fresh.

Fertilize plants
Dilute the leftover coffee in your mug and pour it right into your potted plants. Use coffee grounds as mulch for acid-loving plants like roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreens, hydrangeas and camellias.

Scrub
Mildly abrasive, coffee grounds are great for scrubbing surfaces like cooking ranges and refrigerators. Use them alone or mix them with a little dish soap and a soft sponge.

Clean stainless steel sinks
As said above, coffee grounds are mildly abrasive and thus, pretty efficient over stainless steel surfaces. Scrub the bottom and sides of your kitchen sink to make it shine like never before. Also, you can regularly drop a dose into the sink drain to help clean out the trap and pipes.

Clean the fireplace
Before cleaning your fireplace, sprinkle with wet used coffee grounds. They will weigh down the ash and thus eliminate clouds of smoke-flavored dust that are difficult to get rid of.

Set the mood

(Picture by Dennis Tang, Creative Commons)

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