Uses for Coffee Grounds

Uses for used coffee grounds are actually pretty varied, and there is no reason why you need to throw them away every day after you brew your morning pot of coffee. There are plenty of other things you could be doing with them. If you compost, you can just toss the grounds (filter and all, if you use paper filters) into your compost bin. That's better than adding them to your garbage, but it's not really a practical "use" for coffee grounds. Still helpful to know though.

Ants apparently hate coffee, and you can sprinkle your used coffee grounds around the garden to keep them away. A line of grounds around an anthill, or across and doors or windows where they are sneaking in can keep the pests away. Some other insects, like cutworms or caterpillars will also stay away from coffee so you can put them in your vegetable garden too. The smell can also drive away any cats that have been using your garden as a litter box.

You can also use grounds to create a kind of brown dye or stain. Soak your grounds in water, and use that to age paper for crafts or even dye Easter eggs (if you like brown eggs). It doesn't work that well for actually staining wood, but you can fix up small scratches in dark wood. Same goes for scratches in black or brown leathe shoes.

Used coffee grounds are actually good for your skin too, so you might want to keep some of them in the bathroom. They are just rough enough to make a good exfoliant to scrub your face without harsh chemicals. Once dry, you can also use your old coffee grounds as an odor neutralizer. They absorb bad smells, and you can put that to good use in many places. A small bowl of used grounds in the fridge is almost as good as using baking soda to get rid of odors. Another popular option is to fill a small cheesecloth or mesh bag with dried grounds, and store it in your shoes to keep them smelling a little fresher. A bowl of them next to the sink in the kitchen, and you can get garlic or onion smell off of your hands with just a quick coffee scrub.

If some of these ideas really appeal to you, but you don't use enough coffee on your own to supply your needs, ask as your local Starbucks or other coffee house and see if you can get their used grounds. Most Starbucks locations already offer them to customers, or will save them if you ask. Just be careful when using or storing your grounds. They can (and will) stain surfaces.

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