As we mentioned in our previous post, coffee has many magical properties but its magic should never be used on your precious gardens.
We’ve already covered why coffee grounds are bad for your garden, from suppressing the growth of other plants, to making the soil too acidic. And even though most articles you will find online will tell you there many benefits to using coffee in your garden, it’s a hard no from us.
But before you discard all of your spent coffee grounds, they can still have many practical uses around your home and can even help spruce up your beauty routine. Yay! Let us tell you more…
Coffee grounds absorb and eliminate odors
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which helps eliminate a foul-smelling sulfur gas from the air when it’s combined with carbon. Basically, it makes them excellent at absorbing odors.
We’ve all experienced some awful lingering smell that you just can’t seem get rid of, whether it be from the garbage or the fridge/freezer. We suggest the following:
- place a bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer to neutralize odors from spoiled or fragrant foods;
- freeze the grounds into cubes and drop one into your running garbage disposal to keep it smelling fresh.
And if you’re dragging the camper out for a summer vacation and have that musty, mothball smell, again place a bowl of coffee grounds in there. You’ll soon notice a difference.
While we’re on the topic of lingering smells, let’s talk about garlic. Personally, I love to put fresh garlic in just about everything I cook but, as we all know, the smell of garlic lingers on the skin.
If you're in the same predicament as me, then fear no more. Store some coffee grounds in a can and keep them ready for the next time you’ve cut garlic/onions, scoop out a small amount and rub into your hands.
Thank us later!
Use coffee grounds as a natural cleaning scrub
Coffee grounds are abrasive, which means that they can help remove buildup on hard-to-clean surfaces. They may even help sanitize due to their antibacterial and antiviral properties.
If you’re like us and want to avoid cleaning with chemicals, used coffee grounds might be worth a try.
Use them to scour your sink, polish your cookware or clean your grill. Just a little note however; take care not to use them on any kind of porous material as they can cause brown stains.
You can also use them to scrape your dishes clean and remove caked-on food from pots and pans. All you have to do is simply sprinkle the grounds directly onto your pots and pans and scrub as usual. Make sure to rinse thoroughly afterward, otherwise you could have some funky tasting food the next time you cook.
Repair scratched furniture with coffee grounds
Another wondrous thing that coffee grounds can do is disguise small scratches on wooden furniture. All you need to do is mix 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture with a cotton swab or cotton ball, then wipe dry.
As with any inconsistent DIY home improvement tip like this, test it in an inconspicuous place first just to be sure you’re happy with the results.
Use coffee grounds to clean dirty hands
Asser Christensen, a coffee expert and founder of The Coffee Chronicler, a website dedicated to specialty coffee states, “The enzymes in the coffee help to break down fat, and the surface area of the tiny coffee particles give the molecules something to adhere to.”
So, if you've been in the garden or outside doing something messy, all you need to do is melt a bar of glycerin soap and stir in 1/3 cup of coffee grounds. Pour it back into a soap mold, let it set, then use to scrub and exfoliate dirty hands after a productive outdoor session. If you don't want to do this you can just use generous amounts of coffee grounds with a drop of castile soap and that'll do the trick too!
Use coffee grounds to remove fleas
Fleas are extremely common for household pets and kids and treating them can be costly, time consuming and in general, just an absolute nightmare.
There are several flea-removal products on the market, but many contain harsh chemicals and can produce unwanted side effects which is always a no go when it comes to our furry family members.
However, coffee to the rescue! Luckily like many bugs, fleas don't appear to like coffee. And, coffee is a chemical free way to treat your pets so it’s a win-win. It’s suggested that you shampoo and then incorporate the coffee grounds throughout your pet’s fur, then rinse and leave to dry as usual. Some even say doing this may also add smoothness and shine to your pet’s coat, but currently there is little to no research to support either of these claims as my cat is far too fast for me to try this on.
NOTE - Coffee grounds should only be used externally. They can be toxic to dogs if consumed so be certain to rinse fido thoroughly.
Exfoliate your skin with coffee grounds
Coffee grounds can make for an excellent exfoliator for skin, and the caffeine in coffee helps promote healthier, tighter skin appearance too. The coarse particles in coffee grounds work as an exfoliating agent to help remove dirt and dead cells from skin giving a healthy glow.
To make your own exfoliating scrub: add coconut oil, vitamin E oil, or jojoba oil to coffee grounds and rub it over your skin while in the shower – with the water temporarily turned off. Coffee grounds can also be mixed with a small amount of honey and used as an exfoliating lip scrub. Ooh la la.
What’s more, the caffeine in coffee grounds has potent antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from sun damage. Still use your SPF though, guys.
Board certified dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer T. Haley, states: “The caffeine and massaging action around the hips, belly, and thighs can help stimulate circulation” and “the organic, cold-pressed jojoba oil is a luxurious moisturizer, so both together leave the skin soft and hydrated.”
I know I’ll be giving this a go!
Coffee grounds are also said to help smooth out cellulite!
Surprisingly enough, coffee is the main ingredient in many of those high-priced cellulite creams!
Cellulite is a condition that gives the skin a dimpled, lumpy appearance and it affects 80–90% of adult women. It occurs when fat deposits push through the connective tissue under your skin.
When caffeine such as that in coffee grounds is applied topically, it may help break down this fat and increase blood flow to the area, thus decreasing the appearance of cellulite.
All you have to do is mix coffee grounds with water or coconut oil and scrub for 10 minutes twice weekly on any areas affected by cellulite. Interesting…
Use coffee grounds as an anti-aging eye treatment
Following on from our last point, coffee grounds are a practically free way to give your under-eye area some love. The skin surrounding the eyes is extremely delicate and contains very little fat tissue. Because of this, it’s one of the first places you might see signs of aging.
Many things can contribute to the development of dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, including fragile blood vessels, poor circulation and inadequate skin quality.
Coffee grounds seem to be a promising solution for brighter, tighter eye skin due to their high antioxidant and caffeine contents. Coffee’s caffeine will help to stimulate the blood flow, which can decrease the appearance of aging and dark circles, and coffee’s antioxidants help to fend off free radicals.
All you’ve got to do is mix the coffee grounds with coconut oil and a little water to create a paste that you can apply under your eyes. Apply the mixture under your eyes and let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process daily or as needed.
Also, coffee’s natural astringent and antioxidant properties make it a great DIY mask treatment, especially for those with acne-prone skin. Just mix your coffee grounds with enough milk to make a paste, then apply it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rub the mixture gently for about a minute before rinsing clean.
There’s no need to drop half your pay check getting all your lotions and potions - you can just make them yourself!
Revive faded dark clothing with coffee
There comes a time when black jeans will start to look a little faded. Before buying new jeans, you can simply use coffee grounds to bring your favourite pair back to life.
Add a pot of freshly brewed coffee and the grounds you used to make it to your washing machine along with your brown and black clothing. The coffee will lightly stain the material to renew and revitalize the look of dark colors.
Coffee adds shine to dark hair
Please note, this is not for us blondes!!
Brunettes and darker redheads can turn up the shine in their hair by rinsing their hair with strong, cooled coffee. Or for a darker, more vibrant shine, steep used coffee grounds in 2 cups hot water for 15 minutes, then allow it to cool before rinsing your hair with it.
As we all know, most shampoos and styling products often leave residue behind that can dull and weigh down your hair.
Exfoliating your scalp with coffee grounds can help remove buildup and dead skin cells. What’s more, several test-tube studies have found that caffeine, such as that in used coffee grounds, stimulates human hair growth.
Clean your fireplace
Those of us with wood-burning fireplaces know just how much a messy task it is. By scattering used coffee grounds over the ashes, you can weigh them down and prevent smoke clouds from forming. This not only makes the ashes easier to remove, but it also keeps dust from escaping and traveling to other parts of the room.
Good to know!
Use coffee grounds to tenderize meat
One of the most common questions about coffee grounds asks if they’re safe for us humans to consume. The answer is yes.
Because meat contains muscle fibers and proteins that can give it a tough consistency and tenderizing helps break them down, resulting in a softer texture. Coffee contains natural acids and enzymes, making it an effective at meat tenderizer, and the acidic nature of coffee can also enhance the flavor of meat.
Coffee grounds are a very versatile ingredient that you can incorporate into different dishes for a smokey touch, from steak to fish, even to fruit such as roasted pineapple. Simply add used coffee grounds to your favorite dry-rub recipe and apply the rub to the meat two hours before cooking. The grounds will get cooked onto the meat and form a dark, crispy crust.
Alternatively, you can rebrew used grounds to make coffee, allow it to cool and use it to marinade meat in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.
Where to get used coffee grounds? Just ask.
Even if you’re not an avid coffee-drinker, you can usually get your hands on coffee grounds just by asking.
• Ask at your local coffee shop if they have any used grounds you could have.
• Many big name coffee shops will happily give bags of used grounds to people who want them.
What more can we say other than, well, coffee is a gift that just keeps on giving!
If you try out any of the above, let us know how it went!
Now that you know how to make use of old coffee grounds (just not in the garden!) Learn more about natural home remedies and green lifestyle tips in the the following pages:
Find more about green living and green home construction in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages and find out about the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here.