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A Second Life for the Coffee Grounds

coffee grounds and coffee beans

After having your balanced home-brewed cup of coffee, don’t rush to dispose of the grounds, give them a second chance to serve you. Coffee grounds have a few surprising applications. Of course, you can’t use them to make another cup of coffee, but you can also benefit from their other uses.

coffee beans flying

Coffee Grounds to Degrease Cookware

Used coffee grounds are very good at removing grease from surfaces. When softened with water, they are gently abrasive and will not scratch any of your kitchen utensils or cookware. The grounds will capture and carry away oil, fat and sticky pieces of food from the kitchenware. Just apply some coffee grounds on the surface, use a sponge to spread them around. Then flush with hot water and rinse with some degreasing washing liquid. You can use coffee grounds the same way to clean the sink itself. To enhance the degreasing effect, add a drop of a quality degreasing dish soap on them.


Coffee Grounds to Clear and Degrease Drainpipes

Drainpipes, especially ones running from the kitchen, tend to accumulate fat and grease. Coffee grounds will help keep them clearer and extend their lifetime. Mix about a cup of coffee grounds with some quality dish soap and some water. You can also dissolve half a dishwashing tablet in a small amount of hot water instead. Ecover dishwashing liquid or tablets are some good examples of products to use. They will help with the degreasing action and the grounds themselves will act as a sponge. Just run hot water for about a minute, then pour the mixture into the sink. When the mixture fully drains, turn off the water. Let it sit, so the coffee grounds mixture does the job. After five minutes, turn on the water again for another minute. It is essential, that you use hot water, otherwise some of the coffee grounds may stick to the fat on the pipe’s walls.

kitchen sink

Even if you don’t specifically intend to clear your drainpipes, use hot water to flush the coffee grounds down the drain anyway. Otherwise dispose them as regular garbage. A large amount of coffee grounds in combination with cold water can create an opposite effect and cause a blockage.

Coffee Grounds for a Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub

Although used coffee grounds will not energize the skin as well as the fresh ones, they are still a great base for a coffee scrub. Use the same recipes as in the A Scrub That Will Wake You Up article. Just make sure to drain excess water out of them. Remember that only a fine grind is good to use on the face.

coffee grounds scrub

Coffee Grounds to Clear Your Hair and Tone the Skin on the Scalp

Coffee grounds are good at absorbing residue from haircare products and for overall cleansing of the hair. They will also tone and energize the skin on the scalp. Simply rub the grounds into your hair for a few minutes and rinse. You can also mix them with your hair treatment product and apply both at the same time.

coffee grounds

A similar procedure also applies to pets. Additionally, coffee grounds have a potential to repel fleas.

Coffee Grounds as a Deodorizer

Put some dry coffee grounds into a cotton or similar breathable bag. Place the bag in any part of your home you want to eliminate odors from. This kind of bag will work well in the fridge, for example. Not only will it absorb the smells, it will also give off some freshness into the air.

three fridges

Coffee Grounds for Icy Walkways

Grounds can be an easy substitute for sand to sprinkle on icy walkways. Sand is not always available on hand and collecting some dried coffee grounds for the winter can be a good idea.

icy walkway

Coffee Grounds for Gardening

Grounds may still contain a significant amount of caffeine. Caffeine is generally bad for plants; it impairs their growth. Theoretically, coffee grounds can be a good fertilizer, but the presence of caffeine make them rather undesirable in your garden. Not to mention that coffee grounds will acidify the soil, so you will have to balance it with something alkaline. Grounds are also antibacterial in nature, therefore, they may suppress the soil’s natural microflora.

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