14 Clever Uses for Fresh & Used Coffee Grounds

There is more to coffee than giving you a nice wake up call to the day. Hold onto the coffee grounds the next time you brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Here are 14 clever ways to make use of coffee grounds at home.

Promoting Healthy Skin

Skin Exfoliation: coffee grounds have a naturally abrasive texture. Gently rubbing used coffee grounds on your body could be a great way to peel off dead skin cells, leaving you with vibrant, refreshed skin. Take care when rubbing coffee grounds on the face though. Facial skin is sensitive so unless the coffee grounds consist of fine powder, it may do more bad than good over the long-term by creating micro-tears on it.

Ageing Skin: one study found that the extracts in coffee grounds could help reduce the formation of wrinkles. The results suggest that the topical application of coffee could help increase the production of elastin and collagen. A lack of both proteins could lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.

Skin Inflammation: coffee is unsurprisingly a rich source of antioxidants. Some of the antioxidants, such as gamma tocopherol, have anti-inflammatory benefits. Want to avoid an acne breakout? Consider incorporating coffee grounds to your skincare regime.

Repelling Common Garden Pests

Pest Repellent: while it won’t kill the pests, the odor of coffee grounds could do enough to repel them from your home or backyard. Coffee ground is a popular choice among gardeners that need to deter pests like ants and snails.

Mosquito Breeding: one study found that the presence of coffee could help reduce the mosquito population by killing off mosquito larvae. If there is still water around your backyard that you are unable to get rid of then it may be worthwhile to sprinkle in some coffee grounds. This may help deter certain species of mosquitoes from breeding.

Promoting Healthy Garden Soil

Composting: a successful compost pile requires an optimal balance of carbon and nitrogen. Coffee grounds happen to be one of several natural ingredients rich in nitrogen. “Green” matter materials like coffee grounds can help maintain the heat and moisture content of the compost pile.

Earthworms: coffee grounds could attract earthworms to your garden. While they may be perceived as disgusting to some, earthworms play an important role for plants. The tunnels they build aerate the ground and the materials they excrete provide valuable nutrients to plants.

Aeration: adding organic materials like coffee grounds could help improve soil drainage, aeration, and water retention. Avoid adding fresh coffee grounds to the soil unless you are growing plants (like blueberries and azaleas) that thrive in acidic soil.

Neutralizing Strong Odor

Refrigerator Odor: over time, your refrigerator may start to gain a funky smell. If that smell does not go away despite all your cleaning efforts then consider placing a small bowl of fresh coffee grounds in the fridge. The coffee grounds could act as a natural freshener and odor reducer.

Shoe Odor: get rid of stinky feet by putting a bag of fresh coffee grounds in the inner-front of the shoe. The aroma of the coffee bean could help absorb any lingering shoe odor.

Miscellaneous Home Uses

Wooden Furniture Scratches: have small marks or scratches on dark wood furniture? Apply some used coffee grounds on those spots using a Q-tip.

Natural Detergent: the natural abrasiveness of coffee grounds could help remove the grease and leftovers from pots and pans. Add some used coffee grounds to a dish rag then gently scrub the pot until the grease is gone. Do not dump the coffee grounds down the sink. It may lead to blockages and clogged pipes.

Cooking Uses for Coffee Grounds

Coffee Rub: leftover coffee grounds can help add a rich, earthy flavor to various cuts of meat. Popular dishes include coffee-rubbed ribs and coffee-rub briskets.

Desserts: coffee grounds can also add a nice touch to various desserts like cookies, cakes, and ice creams. Tiramisu is a popular choice of dessert that works well with coffee grounds.

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