A daily morning coffee routine means one thing: daily leftover coffee grounds. Most of the time, they just get tossed in the trash. That’s your first mistake; coffee grounds are happy to be composted, along with coffee filters. But you might not want to be so fast to throw your grounds out at all. Leftover coffee grounds are actually quite useful, from keeping your dishes clean to keeping you looking your best. Not convinced? Here are 10 ways to use your leftover coffee grounds.
1. Make coffee granitas
Coffee, sugar, ice! There’s a reason we’re putting making granitas at the top of this list. You get to drink your coffee and eat it too.
2. Exfoliate your skin
I know, most of you don’t come to Sprudge for beauty tips, but if coffee lovers are going to listen to one beauty tip, it has to be this one: you can exfoliate with coffee grounds. It’s true, coffee works great as an exfoliant, digging into your skin and rubbing away all the dead skin cells. Coffee also contains caffeic acid, which has a variety of skin benefits. Ready to test this out? The easiest scrub you can make is one part coffee grounds mixed with one part oil, like olive oil or coconut oil.
3. Wash your dishes
Just as you can exfoliate and get rid of dead skin with coffee grounds, you can put those abrasive qualities to use on your dishes. If you’ve got a round of hard-to-clean dishes, put a few teaspoons of coffee grounds on a square cleaning rag. Gather the ends and secure with a rubber band. Now you have a coffee sponge to wash dishes with. You can also add in some coffee grounds to your dish soap to make it more abrasive.
4. Fix up furniture scratches
So Mr. Snuggles has been clawing on the black walnut dinner table again, has he? Get those coffee grounds out of the French press. Dip a cotton swab in wet coffee grounds, cover the scratches, let dry and then gently wipe off. Take that, Mr. Snuggles.
5. Keep your plants happy
You’re not the only one who likes coffee–some of your plants do, too. Since coffee grounds are acidic, they’re good for plants that crave acidic soil. We’re talking blueberries, parsley, roses and many more. Coffee grounds can also serve as a good mulch, particularly on tomato plants. Oh, and if Mr. Skritches has been getting in a little too much garden time, snoozing in your plants and doing other unmentionable deeds, sprinkle some coffee grounds on the soil and he’ll find other places to hang out.
6. Get your garbage smelling better
Ok, so coffee won’t actually make your garbage smell better, but it will make it smell less bad, which is essentially the same thing, right? That’s because coffee acts as a deodorizer, so you can throw coffee grounds at the bottom of your trash bin liner next time you switch it out.
7. Deodorize your refrigerator
If it works for the trash, it works for the fridge. Place a bowl of leftover coffee grounds in the refrigerator and you’ll help eliminate any funky odors. You could of course just clean the refrigerator too. But that would take too much time. Coffee grounds it is.
8. Temporarily tattoo yourself
Mix coffee grounds with henna and then go crazy with temporary tattoo designs. Like latte art, but for your skin.
9. Get the best-looking hair ever
Has your hair lost that luster? Not able to pick up cute baristas like before? Take some coffee grounds into the shower with you, and massage into your hair, then rinse. This helps keep your hair nice and shiny, as well as naturally conditions it, leaving you looking better than ever. Hey there Ms./Mr. Barista, I love how you pulled that shot…
10. Launch an artisan coffee soap brand
No really, you can use coffee grounds to make bars of soap. So when the coffee shop business plan fails, this can be your Plan B.
Anna Brones (@annabrones) is a Sprudge.com staff writer based in Paris and the founder of Foodie Underground. Read more Anna Brones on Sprudge.