Anybody else here live off of coffee? For the hubs and I, it’s just part of our morning routine, and as integral and necessary as say brushing our teeth or getting dressed. Don’t expect me to function if I haven’t had my coffee. But speaking of coffee, as you stumble your way into the kitchen, wiping the sleep from your eyes, how much thought have you given to the coffee grounds when you add them to your Keurig or coffee pot’s filter? If you’re like the hubs and I, of course you didn’t give them a second thought, before you used them OR after you threw them away. They’d served their only purpose in life, creating the lifeblood of our people. But if you’re also like us, one day you’re going to have a friend over and offer to make them coffee. Then you’re going to react with confusion and dismay when you toss the used coffee grounds out and they react like you’ve just thrown dollar bills down the disposal. And then you’ll be thanking the dear sweet Lord for the sweet sweet nectar of the gods while you’re
lectured educated on the many, many, many used for coffee grounds. And then you’re not going to be able to forget. And then it’s going to click that you could be saving some money, and since you’re not above being cheap to do so, you’ll do some research and before you know it you’ll see coffee grounds floating down the drain as money washing away or it spilled on the counter as loose change to be scraped together. And pennies make dollars, people.
So yeah, coffee has A LOT of uses in a variety of applications beyond just being vital to starting our day off on the right, non violent, foot. Here’s a list of some of our favorites, with my personal favorite — a frugal exfoliating scrub — last, but not least.
1. Deodorizer – Did you know that coffee, much like the tried and true baking soda, is a deodorizer and can keep your fridge odor free? Place clean, unused coffee grounds in an open bowl or cup at the back of the refrigerator to eliminate food odor. They can even be used in the freezer. You can also make closet freshening pouches with coffee. Take cheesecloth or another breathable material (the hubs prefers using coffee filters because they’re cheaper) and wrap around a small amount of coffee grounds, secure the sachet closed, and hang or place it somewhere in the back of the closet. Got babies? Putting a packet of coffee grounds in the bottom of the Diaper Genie works wonders! Hate the way your hands smell after chopping onions or garlic, even after scrubbing them with soap? Keep some coffe grounds handy near or under the sink and rub a handful of them on before washing and they’ll absorb any smelly, lingering odors.
2. Healthier Harvesting: When it comes to gardening, coffee grounds are an unsung hero. You may think of worms as just another pest problem, but in the garden they’re a welcome sight. They’re little unsung, unseen miracle workers. They enrich and turn your soil just with their own body processes. Guess what brings all the worms to the yard? Coffee grounds mixed in with your garden soil. Planning on planting carrots or radishes this year? Sprinkle some coffee grounds in with the seeds at planting to help keep bugs and pests away and to increase your yield. Composting? Don’t toss out those used grounds with the trash. Add them to the compost bin for a healthy boost of nitrogen.
4. Pest Control: Slugs won’t cross over a perimeter of the stuff, and Ants are sensitive to strong smells so sprinkle a little (used or unused) at their point of entry to encourage the little buggers to find food elsewhere. Do the neighborhood cats liked your yard, or maybe your garden beds in particular? Sprinkle coffee grounds mixed with orange peel where you don’t want them to go and sit back and wait until your neighbors come asking for your secret!
5. Touch up furniture scratches – Overtime, all furniture begins to show signs of wear and tear, especially wooden furniture, but before you go by an expensive can of finishing wax, get ready to strip it down to refinish, or consider throwing it away, find some instant coffee. If your wood has a darker stain, mix the coffee grounds with water to form a thick pasta and rub it into the scratches, repeating as necessary until the scratched area matches the rest of the wood.
And lastly, I love, love love, using coffee grounds as a cheap (yep, I said it!) and very effective exfoliant. Add clean coffee grounds to a body wash. Massage into skin and rinse. It’s a great remover of dry skin. You can also use them for a great facial. Mix a few tablespoons of grounds with enough water to make a paste. Pat it on skin and let stand for a few minutes and then massage in circles. Rinse thoroughly.
This particular recipe for our coffee sugar scrub helps nourish skin and lessen the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. The coffee itself acts as a temporary anti-inflammatory helping skin appear firmer. The almond oil and vitamin e will moisturize your skin leaving it silky smooth. If you’ve got oily or acne prone skin, opt for lemon or tea tree essential oil instead as both help control oil production. This works either applied to a specific area, like hands, feet, or face, or even used as an overall body scrub.
Homemade Coffee Brown Sugar Scrub
1 cup ground coffee, used or unused
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4-1/3 cup almond oil
1/4 tsp vitamin e oil
10 drops orange essential oil (optional), or 10 drops lemon or tea tree essential oil for oily or acne prone skin
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir together until everything’s evenly incorporated.
2. Before full use, apply a small (very small amount) to a small patch of skin and check for a reaction to make sure you aren’t allergic to anything in the scrub. Wet the desired area. Apple sugar scrub and gently massage into skin in circular motions.
3. Use a dry rag or paper towel to remove as much as you can.
4. Wash away the rest in the sink or the shower, depending on your application.
5. Store in an airtight container.