If you’re like me, you’ve got to have that morning cup (or pot) of coffee every morning. That means you have an endless supply of coffee grounds that you’re probably just throwing away. Surprisingly, even something as simple as used coffee grounds has a number of good uses. Here’s a few of the ways you can reuse them!
1. Cleaning Dishes
If you’re out of scouring powder, spoon coffee grounds over baked-on dirt and use a cloth or sponge to scour dirty pots and pans. Not only does this work well in the kitchen, but coffee grounds also make a great exfoliant for your hands.
2. Acidify Your Soil
Blueberries, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and other shrubs can be difficult to grow if the soil isn’t acidic enough. Used coffee grounds are free and they work just as well as expensive fertilizers. Simply work a few handfuls into the soil around your shrubs to keep them happy and healthy. This is a particularly good trick for hydrangeas because the coffee grounds help them absorb aluminum soil additives you need for those bright blue blooms.
3. Fertilize Your Gardens
Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, which means that they are a great fertilizer for most flowers and vegetables. Sprinkle them in garden beds or add them to a watering can so that you can pour them over the soil. If you’re a fan of organic coffee blends, then you’ll have an endless supply of organic fertilizer.
4. Snail and Slug Repellant
We all love the scent and flavor of coffee, but it turns out that snails and slugs hate it. If you have a problem with these pests in your garden, sprinkle coffee grounds around the base of your plants to keep them away.
5. Stain Wood
One of the most interesting ways to reuse coffee grounds is to use them as a stain for patio furniture or any other unfinished wood that needs a lovely weathered brown finish. Soak your coffee grounds until the water turns a color you like, and then use a clean cloth to rub the stain into the wood.
In fact, this is a trick I’ve tried myself. If you’ve got a piece of furniture that has been dinged so that it’s showing fresh wood, use your brew to stain that nick so it blends better with the original finish. You can also use your stained water to make sepia-toned paintings or give paper a dark, antiqued look.
6. Refresh Worn Leather
This works similarly to coffee as a wood stain: Soak the used coffee grounds until the water turns suitably dark, and then use a clean cloth to rub the liquid over the leather. Just make sure that you test the stain on a hidden area before you get started. This will help you minimize scuffs and scratches or deepen the color of the leather.
7. Make Air Fresheners
It sounds odd, but it works like a charm: Use old, dried coffee grounds to make air fresheners. Make small sachets out of your favorite fabric, and if desired, use vanilla flavoring to enhance the coffee’s aroma. Although you can use your coffee air fresheners anywhere, they work particularly well in the car.
8. Remove Pet Odors
Coffee grounds are similar to baking soda in that they’ll absorb odors. Many people like to use them in the refrigerator, and they’re also great for removing stubborn pet odors from carpeting. Let the coffee grounds dry, and then sprinkle a thick layer over the affected area. Leave the grounds in place for up to 24 hours, and then come back with a vacuum to clean them up.