Before you pour your coffee grounds down the disposal, read this blog and find out what you can do instead with this versatile, nutrient-rich leftover.
- Neutralize odors in your refrigerator or freezer with dried grounds.
- Repel insects by mounding the grounds into a protective ring around plants that will ward off ants, snails and slugs.
- When you clean your fireplace, sprinkle damp grounds on the ashes to cut down on airborne dust.
- Scrub hands with grounds to act as an exfoliant and eliminate food smells like fish and garlic. Grounds are also a good cellulite reducer (see recipe below).
- A few teaspoons placed on a thin rag can be used to clean grease and grime from dishware.
- Steep grounds in hot water to make a natural dye for Easter eggs or fabric.
- For a non-toxic cockroach trap, fill a can with an inch or so of wet grounds and line the neck with extra-sticky double-sided tape. The scent draws the roaches into the trap.
- Add some grounds to your potting soil to give plants and seedlings a nitrogen boost. They may repel root maggots too!
- Coffee grounds dabbed on scratches in dark wood furniture will minimize them. Use a cotton swab to apply and add a bit of liquid; try a test area first.
- Coffee grounds are a nutritious addition to your compost pile!
Companies are doing interesting things with recycled coffee grounds. Moving Comfort, an athletic gear company, uses recycled coffee grounds in a fabric called S. Cafe to absorb odors. My husband’s company, Boston Tree Preservation, has an arrangement with Boston Bean Coffee Company to recycle their spent coffee pods. The pods are fed to the worms in the worm farm; the worm castings are then used to make a rich, nutritious compost tea which is sprayed on customers’ trees as an organic fertilizer, natural fungicide and pest deterrent.
Recipe for Coffee Ground Exfoliant
Since coffee grounds are course, they are a natural exfoliant. They also contain caffeic acid, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects on the skin and stimulates collagen production.
Mix 1 cup warm coffee grounds with 1/2-cup sugar, then add 2 tbsp. olive oil. Rub the mixture all over your skin, especially rough areas such as elbows and feet. If you do this in the shower, put a mesh sink strainer in the drain. Otherwise, the coffee grounds could clog the drain. You can also just use the coffee grounds to exfoliate.
Information compiled from thisoldhouse.com March 2012 and curbly.com.