Monday, July 21, 2014

Mindful Monday: 20 Uses for Coffee Grounds

Coffee is one of the most versatile things found in the kitchen.  Aside from it obvious use as a delicious wake-me-up beverage (sweetener and lots of cream, please), coffee offers benefits to the garden, house, and even personal beauty.  

I looked at several websites, and found lots of used for both fresh and used grounds.  From the incredibly practical, to the somewhat fanatical (cellulite treatment, anyone?), coffee definitely goes above and beyond it's normal call of duty.

I have chosen 19 of my favorites to list here.  While I haven't tried all of them (for instance, I'm closer to strawberry-blond then auburn), the ones I have tried really do work.

1.  Use an old margarine tub--or other reusable container for green purposes--and fill it with fresh grounds.  Put it in your refrigerator to eat up offensive odors.  Every couple days, give it a stir, and replace it after about a month.  (Just like baking soda, right?)

2.  Freshen your car, too.  Use the toe of an old pair of nylon stockings (or the middle of the leg, just be sure to tie off both ends).  Fill it with fresh coffee grounds, add a couple drops of vanilla extract (I like almond, too), and tie it off.  Slip it under your seat in the car, and voila!  

3.  The odor-removal technique also works with you personal olfactory glands.  If you have an odor you can't get out of your nose, sniff at some coffee.  Beans or grounds, it matters not.  The coffee will cleanse your olfactory palette, and allow you to smell the fresh air again.  (This also works if you are trying to smell differences in perfumes or candles, too.)

4.  You can use damp grounds to aid in fireplace cleanup.  Just sprinkle them on the ashes.  It will cut down on airborne dust as you remove them.  (It also adds that wonderful aroma.)

5.  Use a few teaspoons of grounds (fresh or used) on a dish rag, and scour grime off of dishes, pans, or even tools.  Wash with soap afterward.  (Note: Don't do this with non-stick cookware, painted dishes, or plastic.  It's too abrasive.)

6.  Use a cotton swab dipped in steeped grounds to minimize the appearance of scratches on dark wood furniture.  (Be sure to test in an inconspicuous area first.)

7.  Old grounds make a nice sepia dye for paper or fabrics.  Soak the grounds in hot water then add whatever you want to color.  The longer you soak it, the darker it gets.  (This also works using tea, which is how I first tried it when I was in high school.)

8.  Ward off ants, slugs, and other creepy-crawlies that cause damage to your plants by mounding grounds in a ring around the base of the plant.  (Keep in mind that leaves touching the ground are still vulnerable.)

9.  On the other hand, worms like the coarse grounds.  They need gritty substances in their diet to aid digestion.

10.  Got roaches?  Make a roach trap by filling a can or jar with 1-2 inches of moist grounds, and line the neck with double-sided tape.  The scent draws the roaches into the trap.

11.  Keep cats out of your garden with a mixture of orange peels and coffee grounds.  Sprinkle it around plants or areas they seem to like.

12.  Coffee being acidic, your acid-loving plants will love it as much as you do.  Roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, camellias, and evergreens all love acidic soil.  Work the grounds into the soil around the base of the plant.  They will do the rest. (Note: Do NOT do this for pink hydrangeas, else they will slowly turn blue.)

13.  Stir grounds into a watering can or soil to give seedlings a boost of nitrogen.

14.  Mix carrot seeds with fresh grounds before sowing to give them an energy boost and keep pests away.

15.  Working with stinky foods or chemicals?  Rub some grounds over your hands to exfoliate the dead skin odors cling to.  This is great for fish and garlic, but I'm thinking of rosemary, whose piney scent is a sticky and sappy as it smells.

16.  Speaking of exfoliating, add some mineral oil or vitamin E to old grounds and apply it to your skin with a loofah.  Not only does it remove dead skin, it stimulates blood flow, promoting healthier and tighter skin.

17.  Give yourself a facelift utilizing 1/4 cup of grounds mixed with one egg white.  Spread the mixture on your face.  When it becomes dry and flaky, rub it off and rinse.  See instantly tighter skin.  Can't beat that.  

18.  Stay out of the sun, but still get a tan.  Boil 1 cup of water and your old grounds, let it cool, and rub it on your skin.  Let it soak in for about 15 minutes,and rinse.  (It is unclear if this works on us pale-skins without prior sun exposure, but it will rejuvenate a fading tan.)

19.  If you are brunette or have dark red hair, a coffee rinse can rejuvenate the color.  Steep used grounds in 2 cups of hot water, rinse through your hair, and rinse with water.

What do you use your coffee grounds for?

This post is part of the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

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