Not Just for Drinking

Coffee isn’t content just to rule the earth as the number one consumed beverage.

It also shows its multi-purpose flare by boasting many interesting uses.

After some home trials on just a few of the many uses for spent coffee grounds, I thought a few of these might actually prove useful.

Following is a list of possible uses for your old grounds – ranging from the superb to the outrageous – that you, dear reader, may want to try at home.

Ant repellent.I did not try this one, but have heard on good authority that it works. Simply spread your used grounds in the areas affected. Ants are repelled by coffee and will avoid the area.

Cat repellent.If your cat is driving you crazy peeing in your rose bushes and digging through the tulips, spread some grounds around your plants. Bad kitty will stay away.

I haven’t tested this, and don’t believe it. When it comes to cats, there is no solution – they are crazy and unpredictable. Cats will pee wherever and whenever they choose.

I think this actually might have the reverse effect. My theory is that kitty will see what you’re attempting to do, then urinate there just to annoy you.

Again, just my opinion, but anyone who finds success with this, please tell me.

Natural dye. For centuries people have used coffee grinds to dye wool and cloth.

Get a giant pot out and boil water and grinds until you have the desired hue. Dip your wool into the mix, stirring with wooden spoon.

(There is no basis for the wooden spoon part; it’s just that my mother tells me wooden spoons are best for everything from whacking the kids to mixing batter, so I apply this unfounded wisdom here.)

Furniture scratch polish. I tried this one, and it works well, provided you steep the coffee grinds long enough.

Steep old grinds until water is very dark, than use a Q-tip and apply to scratched areas.

This really only worked on the furniture I had that did not have a heavy finish.

Flea Dip. This is not for eating, but for bathing your pet.

After shampooing, gently rub wet used grinds into dog’s coat, then rinse. A few baths work nicely.

I have not tried this one, as there has been no need, but I looked it up on the internet. As everyone knows, anything on the internet is gospel…

Many sites claim this is the best natural remedy for the pet vermin.

Fridge odour remover. This is precisely why you don’t store your coffee in the fridge.

Coffee is an absorber of odours, so if you have stale old coffee, or that tin of Folgers that you keep for backup, a small dish set inside your fridge will suck up all that fridge stench quite effectively.

Remember this, and don’t store your fresh, lovely and expensive coffee in the fridge!

Odour remover – hands. Coffee grinds will effectively remove that smell of salmon from your hands as nicely as lemon juice, and it stings way less! (Tested and successful.)

Grow mushrooms. Ha! Forget it. I know what you’re all thinking.

Apparently this works best for oyster mushrooms. With minimal light, a spray bottle for moisture, and coffee grinds, you can turn your closet into a mushroom factory.

Sheesh! Even I didn’t attempt this, and quite honestly I have my doubts. But I encourage anyone with time on their hands to try it and let me know!

Dust minimizer. Before you attempt to clean your woodstove, or your fireplace, spread damp coffee grounds on the top of your ash pile and wait 10 minutes. Then simply scoop away.

The dust will not fly around the house, and you will have a clean hearth – and hopefully that feeling you get when you have been particularly green savvy. (Tested and successful.)

Shiny hair. If that’s the look you want, scrub liberally into your scalp and hair.

I am doubtful. I have tried mayo, and egg, and avocado, and I think I am done with adding anything more to my hair routine (which is zero).

Cellulite reducer. I saved the best for last, although I wanted very much to try this at home. Previous home spa trials have proven disastrous for me, so I think we will leave this one in the hands of our dear readership:

Take two cups of ground coffee grinds, and mix with a 1/4 cup of olive oil. Gently exfoliate your mixture onto your rubbery bits, then wrap in plastic wrap for 1/2 hour.

This one killed me, as I could not stop imagining my derriere wrapped in coffee and cling wrap.

As I said, not tested by me, but there is much winter left, so never say never…

A couple weeks ago, a man came into the shop asking for used coffee grinds. When I asked what he was going to use them for, he told me he had spilled varnish on his concrete floor.

He was hoping that the grinds might suck up the mess. I believe he succeeded with this experiment.

I hope that, one day, they find a way to use grinds on a bigger scale. It would be amazing to create those coffee burn logs on a larger scale. The possibilities are endless.

Until they do, I will continue to use them in the compost, dip my pets in them (if need be) and rub them on my cellulite.

Hell, I might even drink a cup!

Bottoms up!

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