We coffee drinkers love and need that morning jolt. In fact if we don’t get it we’re probably miserable and extra grouchy until at least 2 in the afternoon, so coffee for us is a necessity. However, once you’ve finished your morning brew what do you do with those grounds? If you’re like most folks you probably just toss them out for the garbage man, but there are actually some really cool uses for coffee after you’ve consumed it.
Composting. This one’s pretty obvious, but the reason why coffee is good for composting is because it contains high levels of nitrogen and acidity. Most gardens and compost piles need plenty of nitrogen, particularly if you regularly grow tomatoes and potatoes. One way to re-nitrogenate the soil is to plant legumes every other year in that space. Or you can mix in coffee. Some plants love the acidity too; Nikko Blue hydrangeas come to mind. You can actually manipulate the flower’s colors from pink to blue depending on the acidity level of the soil. Know your plant, however, because not all of them will thrive in highly acidic, unbalanced soil.
Smells on hands. Ever cut up garlic and can’t get the smell off your hands no matter how many times you wash them? Well, that’s because garlic contains high levels of sulfur. When you peel and cut things like garlic and onions the sulfur molecules end up on your hands, but when you wash them the sulfur turns into sulfuric acid. One method to inoculate the sulfur is to squeeze a lemon on your cutting board, knife, and hands. Another method is to grab something made of stainless steel, like a sink faucet. Our favorite method of removal is to wash our hands with a little bit of coffee grounds.
Air freshener. Another great use of spent coffee is to dry it out, wrap it up in a coffee filter, secure it with a rubber band and use it as an inexpensive air freshener. Keeping one in the refrigerator helps eliminate odors. Keeping one in your car makes it a joy to step into, especially on warm sunny days.
Wood stain. An old furniture stain trick is to use coffee to color wood. It doesn’t work so well if you’re trying to do an entire rocking chair or dining room table, but as your wood furniture, baseboards and such get nicks and scratches rub a little bit of wet coffee grounds into the notches and indentations. Before long you won’t know it was ever there – that is until the neighbor’s kid (not yours, of course) throws a toy against it again.
Face and body scrub. Coffee works as a great exfoliator, making your skin feel smooth. In particular the caffeine is the enemy of cellulite, temporarily helping remedy those baggy eyes. It’s also thought that coffee’s antioxidant properties help fight skin aging too. Consult your dermatologist before attempting your own skin therapy treatments and remedies.
Those are just a few of the many unique and helpful uses of coffee grounds. So, next time think twice about just tossing them to the curb. As always, whenever you need a good, local and reliable source for coffee, we’re here for you.