You might not think there’s much use for the grounds which are left over after enjoying a cup of coffee. However you might be surprised to learn that, just like many other things, there’s a wealth of alternatives uses. Here’s 10 fascinating uses for coffee that you have probably never heard of that could even save you a few pennies too!
1. Banish bad smells
If you’re worried about getting a smelly fridge, coffee can be incredible for stopping bad odours from building up. All you need to do is put a small amount of coffee in a container and leave it in your fridge. And if your hands are similarly stinky, give them a rub over with coffee and then rinse the residue off with warm water. You’ll find that the smell has miraculously gone.
2. Soften the skin
Coffee beans may not be the first thing you turn to when you want to exfoliate but the grounds are very effective not just at softening the skin, but also reducing cellulite too. If you want to get rid of the dreaded orange peel appearance, mix up some coconut oil with coffee grounds and then, using a circular motion, rub it into the problem areas. A similar concoction can be used to exfoliate the skin too. Replace the coconut oil with olive oil and you’ll have a revitalising coffee ground paste. Just rub the mixture over the skin and rinse off and you’ll be left feeling silky-soft and smooth.
3. Compost it down
If you’re looking for some compost for the garden, coffee is what you need. And as well as making the perfect material for compost, it can even be used to create more acidic soil by pouring it on the plants directly. This is because coffee naturally contains elements such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and copper. These elements can provide a magnificent boost to the growth of both radish and carrot seeds too.
4. Shiny tresses
When you next add water to coffee, rather than getting ready for a brew, use the mixture to give your hair a real shine. But don’t use hot water like you normally would, tepid or cold water works better. After you’ve washed your hair, pour over and leave for around 20 minutes. Rinse off for glorious shine.
5. Repel insects
Ants are a nuisance but coffee can be an excellent deterrent and is easy to use too. To get rid of ants from any area just sprinkle dry coffee grounds on the surface and you’ll soon be free of the little critters.
But it’s not just ants that don’t like the smell of coffee; it works for getting rid of other animals too, especially cats. For the most effective cat-repeller, mix up the grounds with the rinds from oranges and lemon. This smell is unpleasant to many animals and that’s why it works as a repellent. You can extend the use of coffee grounds to rub onto your pets as well; this keeps fleas away as well as giving them a very nice-smelling coat!
6. Cleaning the house
To get the worktops and other surfaces in your home sparkling clean, forget about commercial products and use coffee instead! Ground coffee is both acidic and abrasive, the perfect qualities for an effective cleaner.
Combine some soap and water with the ground coffee and simply use on whatever parts of your house need a spot of grime-busting!
7. Freshening the air
As we’ve already seen from the above information, coffee is excellent for getting rid of and preventing horrible smells. But you can do even better than this; coffee can be used as an air freshener too. Gently waft the pleasant smell off coffee around the air by placing some of the ground beans into some kind of porous fabric or mesh bag. Fruit rind, essential oils or other aromatic materials could be added to the coffee bag to make an air freshener which smells even more delicious.
8. Deal with dust
A tricky customer to banish at the best of times, dust can be made much easier to get rid of by using dry coffee. This is particularly useful in areas which are prone to getting particularly dirty or covered with mildew. Sprinkle the coffee over the areas of dirt and dust to make it easier to simply wipe clean.
One word of warning: don’t ever use wet or damp coffee grounds because this will have the opposite of the desired effect.
9. Take care of furniture
Forget about furniture polish if you’ve got some coffee to hand. The grounds are fabulous with helping to preserve wood and for giving the finish a real sheen. Use a duster or other soft cloth to apply the grounds to the surface and buff gently to a high shine.
10. Culinary creations
Coffee is often used in the preparation of delicious dishes, most notably pastries and cakes. But it’s also extremely useful in the preparation and growth of many plants and substances, such as mushrooms. Used as a bottom layer, coffee is very handy when growing mushrooms. As described above, coffee can be perfect for changing the pH levels of the soil and this can be beneficial for a number of different plants.
So now you’ve read about just 10 of the alternative uses for coffee, were you surprised to learn just how fabulous this humble bean really is?