Wake Up And Smell The Coffee–More Uses for Old Coffee Grounds

By Larraine Roulston:
Besides composting coffee grounds and sprinkling them around rose bushes, I’ve discovered there are other ways to utilize this valuable resource. There appear to be some very clever people who have discovered several ways to put the daily java grounds to good use. Other sneaky uses for the stuff abound, ranging from making a cleaning scrub for faces to a method for removing hard residue on pots and pans.
When using as a fertilizer, Work leftover grounds into the soil around your plants for extra drainage, water retention and coffee-groundsaeration. For use on most plants, the grounds should be rinsed first; however, you might opt to leave them as is for acid-loving plants such as azaleas and gardenias. If using individual K-cups, peel back the foil, scoop out the grounds, and recycle the containers, which will help lessen their impact on the environment.
To make an exfoliating scrub, run coffee grounds through the grinder at least twice to make them extra fine. By mixing 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 6 tablespoons of coffee grounds, you can create a scrub paste that will leave your face smooth and silky. Rinse thoroughly with water. This facial scrub will keep at room temperature for several weeks,or you can refrigerate it. Your skin will absorb the caffeine and can give you a pleasant boost of energy.
For food that is hard to remove from pots and pans, add some coffee grounds to your pan, and scrub with a sponge. The naturally abrasive coffee grounds will help you get pans clean. By dumping this water into your kitchen organics container, you will be adding needed moisture to your heap.
To repair scratches on dark wood, dab coffee grounds on the spot with a Q-tip. After allowing the grounds to soak in for five to ten minutes, buff with a rag. Coffee grounds can also be used to stain wood. These instructions will take you through the steps: It takes only a few ingredients.
When making a morning cup of coffee  every day, your coffee maker may accumulate mold. Over time, washing with hot water will not be enough to thoroughly clean this small appliance. Along with vinegar, coffee grounds will help a coffee maker remain free of any harmful bacteria.
Before scraping out the ashes from your fireplace, cover them in damp grounds — this illustrates how effective the grounds can be to keep those ashes from going aloft. Both the coffee grounds and ashes can be composted; however, you must wait until the ashes have completely cooled before adding them to your heap.
Baking soda isn’t the only thing that will keep your fridge free of odors.  You can also fill a porous bag with coffee grounds or place some in a small bowl to give your fridge a fresh aroma.
coffee to get rid of antsGardeners state that sprinkling coffee grounds around ants causes them to flee. This probably won’t be terribly effective if you have a large concentration of ants such as an ant hill.

Get your mind brewing and you, too, may discover ingenious ways to utilize leftover coffee grounds.

And, for the little bit of Dr. Seuss in us all:

Oh, the wonderful places coffee grounds can go.  
They can fertilize the soil for flowers to grow.
They’ll stain a door, 
Fix a crack in your floor,
Put a shine on your face,
Dampen ashes in a fireplace,
Keep your fridge smelling sweet as can be.
Sprinkled around ants, can cause them to can flee.
After you have let your coffee steep,
Dump leftover grounds into your compost heap.

Related Links:
Larraine authors children’s adventure books on compost at www.castlecompost.com

Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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