About 83% of American adults drink coffee, but not everyone knows what to do with their coffee grounds when they’re done enjoying their morning cup of java. Dumping your used grounds down the drain can cause blockages or clogged pipes, and dumping them in the trash often makes for a soggy mess.
So what’s a die-hard coffee junkie to do with all those spent grounds? Thankfully, recycling coffee grounds for household use is a great alternative to the headache. Here are ten ways that you can reuse coffee grounds around your home and garden, starting this summer.
1. Coffee Grounds as Plant Food
Coffee is highly acidic and when combined with dead grass, old leaves, and other compostable greens, it makes for exceptional plant food. Your tomatoes, hydrangeas, blueberries, strawberries and other garden favorites will love you for it.
2. Natural Insecticide
Snails and slugs are a gardener’s worst nightmare. Lucky for us, these garden pests hate coffee. Coffee makes for a natural alternative to those harsh chemical insecticides, which are bad for the environment and ourselves. Never let a snail or slug ruin your hard work again!
3. Worm Attractant
In contrast to pests such a snails, slugs, and ants, worms love coffee! Worms might be a little off-putting, but they do wonders for your garden. Through their digestive system, worms eat dirt and turn it into rich fertilizer. More worms mean better soil, and better soil means happier plants! And remember, make sure your garden’s worms know all about the compost pile, and the two make natural best friends!
4. Odor Absorption
Replace that old box of baking soda in your fridge with coffee grounds and your nose will thank you. Everyone gets a funky fridge every now and then, but by using coffee grounds (and changing them out every few weeks), you’ll enjoy prolonged freshness in your refrigerator.
Coffee beans are rich in nitrogen, which aids carbon’s ability to absorb sulfur from the air. Many of the bad smells from our refrigerators are due to sulfur from decomposing food, and coffee grounds absorb those unpleasant odors like a champ.
5. Rid Hands of Garlic Smell
Garlic is a staple in nearly every cuisine in the world. But why does the smell linger on your hands long after you’re done chopping it? To get rid of the smell, simply grab a handful of coffee grounds and scrub your hands thoroughly.
6. DIY Dye
It can be a real disappointment when coffee is spilled on a white shirt, and we all have that one perfect ring stained into our coffee table we can’t get rid of. But what if you could use the staining power of coffee for good? Well, you can. Damp coffee grounds can be used to dye a number of things, including clothing, hair, tiles, paper, and more.
7. Scrub for Dirty Pots and Pans
Don’t waste your money on another scrubbing pad! Coffee grounds, due to their coarse texture, are perfect for cleaning up those stubborn food and grease-encrusted pans. Adding grounds to a paper towel and scrubbing a dirty pan is a quick and effective way to clean up those difficult food messes.
8. Body Scrub
The coarseness of coffee grounds makes for a perfect exfoliant for your skin. Plus, coffee beans are full of antioxidants, which are also great for your skin. Some beauty experts even claim that coffee grounds have cellulite elimination properties as well.
9. Don’t Forget the Face!
Coffee grounds can also be recycled into a facial mask! Using a coffee face mask in the morning is especially beneficial due to the caffeine in the beans. Again, it’s loaded with antioxidants, which rid your skin of toxins and help to bring out your natural glow.
10. Edible Play-Dough
Who knew recycling could be so fun? Kids and adults alike enjoy getting their hands in play-dough. With this do-it-yourself recipe, you can make play dough at home and recycle coffee grounds at the same time. Did we mention it’s edible?