Most people throw away old coffee grounds after they are done brewing a pot of their favorite coffee. However, it is a good idea to rethink this action, as there are a number of things that those grounds could be used for.A growing trend is to toss coffee grounds onto a compost heap so that the nutrients contained within enrich the compost, but that is only touching the tip of the iceberg. Here are some uses of coffee grounds that you might never have considered but that you should take a moment to consider before you toss your next batch of coffee grounds in the trash can.
In addition to being used as a component of your compost, coffee grounds can help plants by themselves as well. Mix a few coffee grounds in with the soil when planting flowers and other plants that benefit form acidic soil. The plants can absorb the nutrients as they grow.
Some garden plants such as carrots and radishes do especially well with coffee grounds, and you can increase your yield by mixing some grounds in with the seeds before you start to plant. Adding additional coffee grounds around the base of plants as they grow can give them an added boost at a greatly reduced cost to most plant foods and fertilizers.
Also, if you are trying to control pests, coffee grounds can have a wonderful effect on that process as well. Place coffee grounds around the foundation of your home in areas where insects or other pests are entering, or mix them in with mulch while doing landscaping to help keep ants and termites from infesting your mulch bed.
Putting used grounds around flowers or plants in your garden will also help to repel snails and slugs that might otherwise cause serious damage to your plants. If the pests that you are worried about are of the larger variety, sprinkling coffee grounds over flower beds can help keep cats, dogs, and other animals from digging in the bed or damaging your plants. For added effectiveness, mix the coffee grounds with small portions of fresh orange peel before placing them in the flower beds.
This option is certainly not for everyone, but coffee grounds can also be used as a beauty product as well. They can enrich hair, soften skin, and even help to control unwanted cellulite. Coffee grounds can be a wonderful exfoliate, and can be used as easily as applying them wet to the skin then rubbing them over the skin before rinsing them off. Again, this application is not for everyone.
Provided you do not have bleached or exceedingly light hair that readily absorbs color, a similar method can be used to enrich your hair while taking a shower; rub the coffee grounds into your hair then rinse them away to make your hair softer and add additional shine to it. Coffee grounds that are warmed and mixed with a little bit of olive oil can be applied to areas where you have problems with cellulite, then held tightly in place with plastic wrap for several minutes. Take a warm shower afterwards, and those problem areas will begin to soften and become much less unsightly.
A more traditional use of coffee grounds is to control odors or get rid of unwanted smells. Place a bowl of used grounds into your freezer in order to get rid of any smells that might be present in there, and rub them over your hands before washing them in order to neutralize the smell of chopped onions, garlic, or other strong plant odors.
Dried coffee grounds can also be used as an odor neutralizer in other locations around the house, either keeping them in a container with ventilation in it or making small sachets for the grounds to go in. Add a drop or two of vanilla or some other scent that you prefer to the grounds if you want to help avoid the smell of coffee taking over whatever odor you are trying to remove.
There are even more uses for coffee grounds around the house. Provided the material is not prone to staining, you can use your leftover grounds as an abrasive cleaner to help you remove stuck-on or stubborn dirt or other materials. The grounds can also be used as an all-natural dye to give clothes or other cloth a brown tone (with the intensity of the brown depending on the amount of grounds used.)
You can even make use of coffee grounds when giving pets a bath in much the same manner as you would use it on your own hair. Not only will it soften and add shine to your pet's coat, but it can also help to keep fleas and other pests at bay.
Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics pertaining to the food and beverage industry such as Coffee Pod | Melitta Coffee Pods
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