Everybody drinks coffee. Well, maybe not everybody, but enough of us so that wet, cold, used coffee grounds are a daily throw-away for most households. That’s a shame, because coffee grounds have a lot of uses! I mean, good uses, not just some kindergarten craft medium or compost material (although you can do both of those things with them).
Out of doors
To remove bugs and tar from your vehicle, use a soft cloth and work up a lather with your regular washing solution. Add a tablespoon of coffee grounds to the cloth and use that to scrub the gunk off.
Dry coffee grounds can be burned in a charcoal pit to help heat it up. It burns hotter than charcoal, so be prepared to watch food more closely if you use it.
Coffee grounds make a very good addition to a compost pile or to work right into the top inch or so of soil in the garden and leave them there to compost.
If you leave them in a heap on top of the ground, they’ll discourage mites and small bugs from attacking your plants. They’ll also provide a slow release of nitrogen and, if spread thickly enough, keep down weeds and keep moisture in the soil.
Used coffee grounds are said to be especially effective against ants of all kinds, even fire ants. It’s also said that if you put a ring of coffee grounds around a tree or plant, it will keep ants away from them.
If you have a worm bed, or if you’d like to encourage worms in your garden, coffee grounds are a great addition. If you have to transport worms, keep them happy in a container of moist coffee grounds.
Spread used coffee grounds on a cookie sheet to dry, then tie them up in a pantyhose leg or something similar and hang them in the closet to absorb odors, or push it under your car seat to rid your car of unpleasant odors.
They make a good, gentle abrasive for cleaning gunky things like ovens and grills, stinky ash trays, greasy pans and so on. Mix just a little dish detergent and scrub away.
Deodorize your hands while cooking by gently scrubbing them with used coffee grounds. Keep a shaker container filled with dried, used grounds within easy reach.
Steep used coffee grounds in hot water for a few minutes and use the water to paint small scratches on furniture or floors.
Got gray? Wash it away! Steep a day’s worth of coffee grounds in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes or so, then strain and use it as a hair rinse to cover gray hair.
Fill a muslin bag with used grounds and use as an all over scrub in the shower. It’s a gentle exfoliator and deodorizer in one. It works for your face, too. Just scrub gently and rinse with warm water.
If you need a toning and firming facial, mix a quarter cup of grounds with an egg white and massage it into you skin. Leave it until it dries, then rinse. Follow with a moisturizer.
With all those uses, you might be looking for more coffee grounds! Don’t overlook your local Starbucks or other coffee house. Just ask.