So you just finished brewing that pot of coffee, and are enjoying it, but now it is time to make a new pot, but what can you do with used coffee grounds other than simply throwing them out?
There is a lot you can do! Below are eight examples of ways to make those grounds work one more time before they go out. If you are simply in the habit of opening the cupboard and pitching them into the garbage, then place an empty container on the counter and dump them in there so you can make your next pot. Once you are in the habit of NOT throwing them out, try some of these ideas to get mileage out of them and save on other cleaning products.
1. Fridge or Freezer Deodorizer
This is the quickest and easiest way to recycle. Take those grounds and dump them into a small bowl and then put in the refrigerator or the freezer. Even used they will still deodorize your refrigerator. You can simply replace them each time you make a pot or every couple of days. After they have done their job in your fridge, you can now compost them, or into the green bin (or whatever your town does with food scraps) or throw them on your garden soil or try some of the ideas below.
2. Keep Slugs Away and Attract Worms
Worms are good for the soil, but not everyone is happy with slugs on their flowers, leaves or veggies. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around your plants, and you will find that slugs don’t like the acid content of coffee and will not cross the grounds, but the worms love it, so no worries there.
3. Help Hydrangeas Bloom Brighter
Hydrangeas will have deeper colors depending on the PH balance in the soil, by adding used coffee grounds to the soil around them, you will find the flowers become brighter and blue. Give it a try.
4. Keep Away the Free Spirited Cats
Take used coffee grounds and mix with a few orange peels and spread in the garden they have been visiting and they won’t likely visit anymore. I love cats, and am a cat owner but there are many free spirited cats that roam especially at night, and love to do their “business” in nice fresh turned over gardens. This is not good for the soil nor is it good for the plant that quite often ends dug up.
So if you are a coffee drinker then give this a try. Start eating an orange a day as well. This is good for you, and save the peel to add to the coffee grounds. They will eventually decompose into the garden and keep those cats away.
5. Clean and Freshen Drains
Take those used coffee grounds and dump them down the sink. Add a couple drops of dish soap and then put the kettle on to boil. Once it has boiled, slowly pour the boiling water down the drain. The grounds and dish soap combination will scour the drain. This works well on slow drains and stinky drains.
I personally have found it works really well if your drains tend to smell. We have a double kitchen sink, and one side tends to be used more than the other. Many things get poured down a sink and if you don’t run the water very often, odors can form. I have taken the coffee grounds I used to deodorize the refrigerator for a couple of days, and then washed them down the sink with this method. It scours and helps to keep them fresh. It also means more uses for that coffee we drank yesterday!
6. Scour Pans
Grounds will dry out quickly if you leave them in a bowl. Many people think it is simply horrid to have these wet used coffee grounds sitting around. But they dry out quickly and are still very useful. Keep a small bowl by the sink and when you are trying to scrub a pan, simply dip your wet soapy cloth or pan scrubber into the grounds and watch them go to work. This works well with burnt on foods too without damage to the pan. Replace them every so often with freshly used!
If you want to get an antique look to paper, you can take some grounds and place in containers and add some water and stir and then let settle. Take a large paint brush and brush the paper with the water. It will lightly stain the paper giving it that antique or rustic look you are looking for. Let dry and use your paper for your crafts.
Another great look is to only paint around the edges to give the look of older paper. You could do this by dipping a cloth in the coffee water and rubbing it around the edges. I find used grounds work well for this as they are not a strong as using a cup of coffee. You just want it lightly stained. Once you are finished, you could dump some of the grounds down the sink, into your compost, or your garden.
There is actually no need to throw them in the garbage. There are so many other uses before they need to end up in a landfill, if at all.
Coffee consumption is huge, and most homes will use the drip coffee method to brew or even fancier machines, but at the end of the process there are coffee grounds waiting to be dealt with.
8. Car Deodorizer
If you car has an odor you just can’t get rid of, then try this overnight. Take a few bowls of coffee grounds and place on the floor of your car overnight. By morning it will smell fresher. Just don’t forget to take them out before you hop in for the day or there may be a mess to clean up, but at least it won’t smell bad!