Imagine a perfect Sunday morning: You wake up feeling refreshed and head to the kitchen to brew your favorite coffee. You carefully measure your beans of choice and grind them until they’re just right for your French press. Once the coffee starts brewing, you can smell the warm, rich aroma in the air. You take a sip, and you can finally start your day. But wait: As you’re cleaning up your brewing equipment, make sure to save up the used coffee grounds.
While it might be tempting to throw out those grounds, there are plenty of ways to give them another life. Here are 5 uses for used coffee grounds that will make that delicious pot of coffee go even further than the fragrant cup in your hand.
Compost, Compost, Compost
Composting is an effective way to get rid of your organic kitchen waste while reducing greenhouse gases—and coffee grounds make a great addition to the mix. If you’re just starting to compost, keep in mind that you’ll want to balance brown and green compost. Even though coffee grounds are naturally brown in color, they’re actually considered green material. Make sure to follow the golden 4-brown-to-1-green ratio, which translates to composting four parts of brown materials (like dry leaves and newspapers) for every one part of green material (like coffee grounds and vegetable scraps).
Pro tip: For smaller kitchens, freezing your compost in a freezer-safe compost bin is a good way to keep it compact until your next dropoff.
Make A DIY Body Scrub
The coarse texture of coffee grounds is ideal for making a scrub that will get your skin silky smooth. Simply combine the grounds with some coconut oil in a small container, and use the mix to exfoliate your face and body. The grounds help remove dead skin cells and dirt, while the coconut oil provides moisture. Your skin will end up feeling softer than it did before.
If body scrubs aren’t your thing, try an easy lip scrub. Just mix some leftover grounds with a little honey and gently rub your lips. The mixture will remove any dry skin and keep your lips looking and feeling nice and smooth.
Neutralize Fridge Odors
Got a pesky smell in your fridge or freezer that you can’t seem to get rid of? Coffee can help. The nitrogen in ground coffee naturally combats any unwanted odors. To tackle any funky scent, first put your grounds in a small bowl and let them dry out completely. Then place the bowl uncovered in your fridge and freezer, and within a few hours, the odor should be much improved; within a full day, it will be gone.
The same method applies anywhere you want to neutralize an unpleasant aroma. To create a mobile scent-control system, put dry coffee grounds in pantyhose and then tie it up to form a small ball. You can then place the coffee packet in your car or even in your shoes, and watch the magic happen.
Clean Your Pots
When you’re cleaning your pots and pans, those hard-to-scrub spots on the bottom of your pans can seem as if they’re here to stay forever. But fear not: The coarse texture of coffee grounds can not only exfoliate your skin, it can scrub down your pots too.
For food that’s really caked on, let your pot or pan soak for at least 30 minutes in hot water. Then drain most of the water out and sprinkle in some coffee grounds. The little bit of water left on the bottom will help swirl the grounds around until the inside gets sparkly again. For extra-stubborn parts, scrub with a sponge. Finish by washing with your favorite dish soap, and admire your nearly new-looking cookware.
Help Your Garden Bloom
Ground coffee is an unsung garden superhero. It can keep certain garden pests away (goodbye snails), deliver acid to plants that need it (like carrots, radishes and blueberries) and feed earthworms that help enrich the soil. A little sprinkle of coffee grounds goes a long way in your garden and helps your plants thrive.
Now, isn’t it time to grind some more coffee beans for your morning cup–and all those other excellent uses? The Conical Brew Coffee Grinder with a built-in digital scale gives you the perfect coffee grind for any brewing method you choose.