It’s no secret that humans run primarily on coffee. If you can’t function before your morning cup of joe, you are not alone, with surveys revealing that over 64% of American adults consume coffee every day. Some, multiple times per day. The excellent news is, coffee is actually good for you! It is loaded with antioxidants that help clear away cancer-causing free radicals, and it can lead to a boost in brain function, energy levels, and can help keep you going throughout your day. If you are in the majority and enjoy this healthy drink on the regular, you’ve likely wondered what you could do with your coffee grounds instead of throwing them in the trash. Here are a few creative ideas to help inspire you.
Remove garlic and onion scent from hands
When you’re chopping up a storm for dinner, you probably don’t notice that the lingering garlic smell is coming from your hands until you are sitting down to eat. Even if you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, you might still notice a bit of an odor. Keep a container of coffee grounds in your kitchen and scrub your hands with a spoonful. It’ll eliminate the stinky scent and leave you smelling great.
Keep pests away
Sprinkle coffee grounds around your plants and your outdoor living areas to deter crawling and flying insects. Caffeine and diterpene, two of the compounds in coffee, are highly toxic to specific bugs, and the coarse grounds will also help keep snails and slugs from crawling to your plants.
You can also try mixing the grounds with ground-up citrus peels and sprinkling in your garden to help deter your (and your neighbors) cats from using your garden as their personal litter box.
Use them as a fertilizer
There are many ways to use coffee grounds to help encourage bigger blooms, provide nutrients for your plants, and improve nitrogen content while increasing water retention. Simply sprinkle the grounds around your outdoor plants or mix them into the soil of your houseplants. You can also combine the grounds with some water to make a “coffee tea” for easier distribution. Remember, coffee grounds should be used in conjunction with another type of fertilizer as they do not provide all necessary nutrients.
Scrub away stuck-on food
A handful of coffee grounds can help give you that extra abrasion that you need to scrub stubborn pots and pans and eliminate stuck-on food. Sprinkle some over your dish and scrub as you normally would with soap and water, rinsing to reveal a clean, food-free dish.
Just as coffee grounds work to scrub away food, they can also function as a natural body scrub and help eliminate dead, dry skin. Simply mix your grounds with a little coconut oil and water to create a moisturizing scrub and apply in circles to damp skin. This can get a little messy, so it is a good idea to use it in the shower.
This same combination of ingredients can be patted around the eye area to reduce the appearance of under-eye bags, diminish wrinkles, and prevent puffiness. Pat it lightly around the eye, let it sit for about five minutes, and wash your face.
Tenderize tough meat
While shopping in the discounted meat freezer at the grocery store is excellent for your wallet, meat in these areas can sometimes leave a lot to be desired regarding taste. To bring some tenderness to these budget cuts of meat without altering the flavor, add a few scoops of coffee ground to your dry rub and rub it into the meat a few hours before cooking. The enzymes and acids (two types of natural meat tenderizers) in the grounds will break down tough proteins and muscle fibers that give meat that chewy consistency.
If you have a compost bin or worm composting setup, coffee grounds are an essential addition to your pile. They decompose (along with the filters) wonderfully and can deliver the perfect balance of nitrogen to your “black gold”. Plus, tossing your grounds in your compost bin requires little effort and provides a big reward.
Repair scratches in wood furniture
Believe it or not, coffee grounds can actually help repair minor scratches in your wooden furniture. Mix 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and use a Q-tip to apply this mixture to the scratch or scuff mark. Let it sit for about an hour, then wipe away with a dry cloth. Feel free to repeat this process as many times as needed to match the stain of your furniture. Be sure to test on an inconspicuous area before using!