Lots of people brew their own coffee at home and just toss their coffee grounds into the bin after they're done. But wait! Didn't you know that you can get so much more use out of your coffee grounds?? Here are some ways you can use your coffee grounds to prolong their lives before condemning them to the trash.
1. Fertilise plants
I'm sure most people already know about this. Some cafes even leave bags of used coffee grounds at the door of their shops so that customers can bring them home to use as fertiliser or compost. The high levels of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium and potassium contained in coffee makes it a good source of minerals for plants which like acidic soil. Just sprinkle some coffee grounds onto the soil of your plants and let them slowly absorb the minerals from the coffee. I guess coffee doesn't just wake up humans, but plants too!
2. Repel insects
If you have an ant problem at home, you can stop them from coming by sprinkling coffee grounds on the areas you don't want them on. The ants will avoid the coffee grounds like the plague because they dislike the odour given off by the coffee. You can also repel mosquitos by burning coffee grounds in a metal dish! If you're going to have a party outdoors and you're about to be the victims of their bloodsucking, just put some coffee grounds onto an aluminium foil plate and let them dry thoroughly, then add a few drops of lighter fluid to the coffee and light it with a match. Once the coffee grounds start smoking and smouldering, smother the fire with a damp towel. The smoke that keeps coming off the coffee grounds should deter mosquitos and keep you bite-free!
3. Make arts and crafts
Coffee grounds can be mixed with water and used as paint for water colour paintings. It beats that strange smell of paint and gives an interesting colour to your painting! Besides that, you can also soak some paper in the mixture to give it an aged and antique look for an added artistic effect! Perfect for someone who's drawing a treasure map for a treasure hunt!
4. Hide furniture scratches
Oh no, you accidentally scratched the wooden surface of your furniture? No problem! You can hide the scratch by steeping some coffee grounds in water, then using a cotton bud to apply the mixture to the scratch on the wood. The spot should darken a bit and blend in with the rest of the furniture!
5. Clean with ease
Due to the abrasive nature of the coffee grounds, they can help remove grease and grime from your pots and pans. Just add some coffee grounds to your dirty dishes and scour them with a cleaning rag. The coffee will absorb the oil and make your pots and pans clean in no time! Remember to rinse it off thoroughly as well!
6. Deodorise the fridge
Coffee grounds are a great absorbent of smell and they can neutralise and get rid of any stale smell in your fridge. You need to leave your coffee grounds out on a sheet to dry thoroughly, then put them into a bowl and leave it in the fridge to soak up the bad smells while leaving a pleasant coffee aroma behind!
7. Scrub your face/hands
Besides deodorising your fridge, coffee grounds can help get rid of bad smells on your hands from handling fish, onions or garlic. Better yet, it can also be used as a scrub to remove dead skin cells! Grab a small handful of coffee grounds, rub it gently all over your hands and face, then wash it off. Your skin will be left feeling smoother and will even give off a faint smell of coffee!
8. Get rid of cellulite
That's right, coffee can help you get rid of cellulite! It is recommended that you use freshly ground coffee instead of used coffee grounds for this as freshly ground coffee contains more antioxidants and caffeine than used ones. The scrub that you can use to hide cellulite is made out of coffee grounds, water, oil, and sometimes salt. You need to apply the scrub over the areas you want in the shower, massage it in, then wash it off. The caffeine in the coffee is supposed to mitigate the appearance of cellulite by dilating blood vessels, which tightens and tones tissue, besides increasing circulation and reducing water retention. The antioxidants help to release toxins which is healthy for your skin in general. For recipes on how to prepare the scrub, you can refer to Women's Health Magazine and Elle.
9. Stop bleeding
Not many people know that coffee grounds can be used as a home remedy to reduce blood loss from a cut or wound, but it is very effective! The next time you get cut, just apply some coffee grounds directly to the wound and the blood should start clotting very fast. If your cut or wound is rather large, you do have to seek medical attention though because this method is more suitable for smaller cuts.
10. Relieve puffy eyes
The caffeine and antioxidants shrink blood vessels and remove water content, which help to deflate puffy eyes. After using your coffee grounds, sit them aside to let them cool, then apply some under your eyes and on your eyelids. Close your eyes and relax for at least 20 minutes, then rinse off the coffee with water and pat your eyes dry. You can also make a facial mask out of your coffee grounds but they need to be fresh for this. To make the mask, mix 2 tablespoons of dry and unground coffee with 3 tablespoons of yogurt or heavy cream, then apply it to your face in circular motions. After 20 minutes, wash the mask off and your whole face will look brighter!
11. Rub into meat
If you cook at home and are looking for new recipes to try, you should check out coffee ground rubs. Instead of the usual black pepper and spices, try adding some ground coffee to your meat instead and discover a whole new range of flavours! This works especially well with steaks, so if you're a steak lover, it's time to bring out your coffee for dinnertime as well. The coffee grounds have to be fresh for this as used coffee grounds don't bring out enough flavour in the steak.
12. Develop photos
Photographers who shoot their photos with film and develop them the traditional way can try developing photos with coffee instead of chemicals. You can produce this film developer at home with coffee and this is called Caffenol! Sometimes, Caffenol is made with Vitamin C as well and produces even better results. Film developed in Caffenol comes out with a distinctive look and will have more contrast than a normal photo. To find out how to make this happen, you can check out this post on Photojojo.
So the next time you're brewing your coffee, think twice before disposing your coffee grounds, because they can offer you so much more. Or if you don't brew coffee at home, you can start picking up those free bags of coffee grounds to experiment with at home!
If you know of any other ways coffee grounds can be used, let us know in the comments and we'll try them out too ;)