As it turns out, that daily cup of coffee is good for more than just a morning pick-me-up. Here are some fun and surprising uses for coffee grounds.
Toss what’s left from your daily brew directly into your compost pile for a boost of nitrogen that’s great for your garden and the environment, too.
2. PEST CONTROL
You might love the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee, but pests do not. Sprinkle coffee grounds whenever you need to scare away ants, snails or slugs: these critters are offended by the strong smell, so this is an easy, waste-free way to keep them off your property (and yet another reason that coffee grounds are basically your garden’s best friend).
3. MEAT RUB
Due to their acidity, coffee grounds act as both a natural flavour enhancer and tenderizer for meat. That’s right – grounds can be used in dry rubs and marinades alike for a robust flavour boost and a more succulent finished dish. Best of all, that means you can pour that last bit of red wine into your glass where it belongs.
Instead of baking soda, put a bowl of coffee grounds in the fridge to eliminate icky food smells and even the closet to banish stubborn musty odours. You can also keep them in a dish by the kitchen sink to rub on your hands after chopping onions, garlic or fish – they’ll neutralize the lingering scent quicker than you can say instant coffee.
5. KITCHEN SCRUBBER
Not only will coffee grounds make your kitchen smell nicer, but they can also be used to keep it sparkling clean as well. Pour coffee grounds into the sink and make the most of their abrasive action to eliminate any film from soap scum and food stuff; then send them down the garbage disposal to make that smell fresher, too.
6. SCOUR POTS AND PANS
The coarse texture of coffee grounds is ideal for scraping dishes clean and removing caked-on food bits from your favourite pots and pans. To put those leftovers to good use, simply sprinkle them directly onto your cookware and scrub with a soft sponge or brush. Make sure to rinse thoroughly afterward (unless you like the taste of coffee-flavoured scrambled eggs, that is).
7. FIREPLACE CLEANER
You love your wood-burning fireplace but you’re less enthused about getting rid of the ashes (cue the major mess all over your favorite T-shirt). To avoid sweeping with a dusty cloud all around you, scatter some damp coffee grounds onto the pile of ashes. The grounds will weigh down the ashes and prevent those pesky smoke clouds from forming.
8. PLANT FERTILIZER
Haven’t hopped on the compost train yet? Fear not: You can still use coffee grounds to help your garden thrive. In this case, the grounds aren’t left to compost with other material – a process that yields richer soil, primed for easy planting – but are rather used as fertilizer to feed the plants themselves. Coffee grounds can help make sure that the nutritional needs of fast-growing plants are met, even if you aren’t putting compost in the ground. Still, be sure to have some regular fertilizer on hand as well, since the high acidity of coffee grounds should be balanced out to achieve a more neutral pH for your plants.