The Daily Grind: 11 Uses for Recycled Coffee Grounds

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recycling coffee grounds: sustainable living made easy

Coffee grounds mixed with water for fertilizing

The average American consumes about three cups of coffee a day–recycling your coffee grounds can lessen the load on the environment in some surprisingly useful ways.

1. My own number one favorite use for morning cup leftovers is as a fertilizer that goes on my flower pots and garden. I fill my French press pot (or mug) with cold water so the coffee grounds get lifted from the bottom and mixed with water. Then I water my plants with it. I only do this every other day so I don’t overdo it–coffee is acidic, and not all plants favor acidic soil. Vegetables that do like in acidic soils include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans and onions, and most garden plants (here’s a full list). If you have a composter you can also add your coffee grounds to it.

2. My number two use for coffee grounds is as an insect repellant. Scatter your coffee grounds in spots where you don’t want ants. If you sprinkle it on their anthills, any residents will vacate the premises.

going green by using coffee grounds in a planter

Coffee grounds used in a planter

3. My number three use is as a deodorizer. Coffee grounds can be used to remove lingering odors like fish or garlic; simply rub grounds on your hands, then wash off; the offending odors will leave, too.  You can also dry them for use in your refrigerator, freezer or closet, either in a small plastic container or packed in old nylons; they’ll absorb odors there, too.

Other uses:

4. Cleaning. Since coffee grounds are slightly abrasive, they can be used for scrubbing greasy and soiled stain-resistant objects, including kitchen dishes.

5. Doggie flea dip. After shampooing, gently rub grounds into your dog’s skin. Fleas will flee, and Fido’s fur will feel softer, too.

6. Color Dye. Add coffee grounds to hot water to make brown dye for “natural” colored fabric, paper, Easter eggs and more.

7. Furniture scratch cover-up. Steep grounds and apply a bit of the liquid to furniture scratches with a Q-tip.

8. Cat repellent. To keep cats from using your garden as a litterbox, sprinkle grounds mixed with orange peels around your plants.

9. Dust inhibitor. Before you clean out your fireplace, throw wet coffee grounds over the ashes to keep their dust from spreading to the surrounding area.

10. Cellulite reducer.  Caffeine is one of the few topical treatments actually shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and many expensive creams attempt to incorporate it into their formulas. Mix 1/4 cup warm, used coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. While standing over an old towel or newspaper, apply the mixture to “problem areas,” then wrap with plastic wrap and leave on for several minutes. Unwind the wrap, brush loose grounds off your skin, and shower with warm water. For best results, repeat twice a week.

11. Facial masque: Mix ¼ cup coffee grinds with one egg white and massage onto face like a “mud pack.” Leave on for 10 minutes, then wash away with warm water.

If you’re not an avid coffee drinker but you live near a coffee shop or café, you can always ask them for the old grounds. Starbucks even has a corporate policy of trying to reduce waste and will, at most locations, provide complimentary grounds for asking. You may need to gently remind the staff of the policy but usually they will be glad to comply.

More from the source

Read more on recycling your coffee grounds from Curbly and Green Options, and please suggest more of your own!

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