Are you one of the millions who can’t get started in the morning without a cup of coffee? You know how to brew the perfect cup, and you savor every drop. But what do you do with those leftover coffee grounds? Probably dump them straight into the trash, right? Well, stop that immediately because there are a dozen ways to recycle those coffee grounds to get more than your money’s worth for them.
Not only will drinking your daily cup, or two, of coffee help brighten your day, but, by saving your coffee grounds, you can also make your life a little easier in other ways. Whether you’re looking for a little extra help in the kitchen, want to spice up your beauty routine, or just need to fix up small areas of your house, this list has the answers you crave.
1. Neutralize odors
Have you noticed a funky odor coming from your refrigerator after you left some fruit way past its prime? Does the smell continue to linger even after you’ve cleaned the inside of the fridge? Dry some leftover coffee grounds, put them in a bowl, and place it in the back of the refrigerator. For the next few days, enjoy the aroma of a cup of coffee every time you open the door. By the time the smell of coffee fades, the offensive odor will be long gone.
2. Scour pots and pans
After you’ve finished your coffee, you’re going to have to wash the dishes anyway, so why not give your pots and pans an extra scrub? The abrasiveness of used coffee grounds is the perfect texture for removing stuck-on food, especially in cast-iron pans.
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3. Clean your barbecue grill
If you spend most of the summer grilling in the backyard, you know how important it is to keep your barbecue grill clean. You also know what a pain it is to get rid of burnt-on food particles. Try scrubbing damp coffee grounds across the grate of your grill to loosen food particles. It will save you time on the cleaning process. You can also use a pot of coffee to help remove lingering grease from your grill.
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4. Add extra flavor — and caffeine — to your meals
Now that you’re ready to fire up the grill, consider mixing coffee grounds into your spice rub. This will give your meat dishes a little extra kick for your taste buds and will add a dash of caffeine to your meal.
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5. Freshen skin
While most people think of coffee as something meant to go inside your body, it also has benefits for the outside. You can mix coffee grounds with cocoa and honey to make a facial mask that not only helps detox your skin, but also gives you an extra jolt of energy in the morning. But don’t stop with just your face. You can also combine coffee grounds with olive oil or sea salt for a natural, cleansing body scrub.
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6. Hair growth
If you’re looking for a new hair-care regimen that won’t cost a fortune in brand name products, look no further than your used coffee grounds. The roughness of the coffee grounds helps to exfoliate your scalp, which can stimulate hair growth and add shine. Be cautious with this tip if you have lighter-colored hair, though, as the coffee grounds can darken your hair a bit.
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7. Air freshener
If the scent of freshly brewed coffee is the best way to wake you up in the morning, why not fill the rest of your house with that same pick-me-up? With this simple tutorial, you can recycle your used coffee grounds while finding a use for those socks that no longer have a match. These homemade air fresheners not only make your house smell like your favorite coffee shop, but they also look cute.
8. Make candles
Turning your used coffee grounds into homemade candles is slightly more time consuming than buying a brand new candle, but it’s a great way to recycle both your coffee grounds and the remnants of candles you’d normally throw away. Making these candles will help you save money on new candles, and you’ll get to smell your favorite brew every time you light your homemade candle.
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9. Clean dust and soot from around the fireplace
Unless you call in the dancing chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins, you probably don’t enjoy cleaning your fireplace. You can make this job easier, and far less time-consuming, by sprinkling slightly damp coffee grounds around your fireplace bottom. The grounds will stick to the ash, keeping it from flying up, and allow you to sweep up all of the ash more quickly.
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10. Remove furniture scratches
While cleaning your house, you’ve probably noticed a few scuffs on some of your furniture. Instead of paying to have the scratch buffed out professionally, you can take care of it yourself. Rub your used coffee grounds into the scuff, wait for around 10 minutes, and then buff the furniture out with a cotton rag. This trick works especially well with dark wood furniture.
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11. Get rid of ants
Does it seem that a small colony of ants has suddenly set up camp on your kitchen counters, by your front door, or around your pet’s food bowl? Next time you notice these little pests, don’t stress about contaminating areas of your house with chemical insect repellents. Instead, sprinkle your used coffee grounds in the area the ants appear most often. The strong smell of the coffee will act as a natural repellent, and the ants will vacate the premises.
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12. Trap and kill cockroaches
If your problem is even bigger than ants, you can use your coffee grounds to get rid of cockroaches as well. Fill a glass jar halfway full with water, put a small cup of damp coffee grounds inside the jar, and place the jar wherever you seem to have a roach problem. The cockroaches, attracted to the coffee smell, will crawl inside the jar, where they will become trapped. Make sure to check the traps daily so you can get rid of the dead cockroaches quickly.
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Used coffee grounds are no longer just trash. They come in handy throughout your house, whether for repairs or just to help spruce up the place a little. If you’re going to drink your morning coffee anyway, you might as well get everything you paid for and more: a delicious cup of coffee and a cheap and easy way to improve your home.