6 things you did not know you could do with used coffee grounds.

6 things you did not know you could do with used coffee grounds.

Things you did not know you could do with used coffee grounds.

When you brew as much coffee as I do, the used grounds can really start to pile up.

Many people know the benefits of utilizing coffee grounds in the garden to prevent insects and nourish plants. It’s even more likely you recall using them to "age" paper during school. (Do they still do that?)

However, few are aware that these grounds can also be used for cleaning purposes. It might come as a surprise, but instead of being just a mess, the leftovers of your morning cup of joe can actually be recycled for cleaning and repairs.
Coffee grounds may not be as commonly used around the house as other ingredients like lemons or baking soda, but they can be surprisingly helpful when it comes to cleaning.

Isn’t it great how coffee just keeps on giving even after it provides the much needed daily elixir of life?!

Below are six ways to utilize coffee grounds to clean up everyday messes and items.

1. Clean and Remove Grease from Pots and Pans

Cookware can be effectively cleaned with the use of coffee grounds, which have a slightly abrasive texture that can scrape away any stubborn oil and grease. The texture of coffee can be considered mildly abrasive, similar to baking soda, and is thus safe to use even on delicate surfaces like Teflon and cast iron. Additionally, coffee has natural degreasing properties, which make it ideal for removing oily buildup from pots and pans while simultaneously lifting stuck-on food.

For cleaning pots and pans, fill the pan with one-third to half of warm, soapy water and add 1 Tbsp. of grounds. Scrub the pan with the soapy mixture, using a non-abrasive sponge. When complete, rinse it off and dry as normal.

2. Soak Oven and Grill Grates

Coffee grounds have remarkable degreasing and scouring properties that make them ideal for cleaning oven and grill grates. To use them, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds with warm water, either in a bowl or in a plastic bag.

Soak the racks or grates for 45 minutes and then use a sponge or running water to wipe away the grease and stuck-on food. This is a convenient hands-off approach for cleaning oven racks and bbq grates. So relax with an excellent cup of java after you smoke those ribs, while you put those coffee grounds to work.

3. Eliminate Unpleasant Refrigerator Smells

Occasionally, even the most orderly and well-maintained refrigerators, or the super messy ones (not saying this is me, but this is me), can acquire an unpleasant odor, due to an forgotten old food spill or past their prime leftovers.

After eliminating the source of the smell, place a small bowl or cup of dry coffee grounds in the refrigerator; this will absorb any remaining odors. Mini Science alert! The nitrogen in the grounds will interact with carbon, resulting in the neutralization and ultimate elimination of the unpleasant smell. Thanks coffee!

Bonus Tim Tip! I usually put at least one batch of used coffee grounds in the kitchen garbage can too. It soaks up all the odors in there too! 

4. Get Rid of Aromas from your Hands

If you cook and cut veggies for dinner several times a week like we do, this may be helpful! Veggie smells can linger on our hands for hours. The same way that pungent aromas in the refrigerator can be suppressed with coffee grounds, coffee can help your hands. The same technique can be applied to hands that have been in contact with strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions. Rubbing a bit of the grounds between the palms is a great way to make the smell vanish. As an additional reward, your hands will be left softer due to the exfoliating properties of the grounds. Bonus!

5. Eliminate Scratches on Wooden Pieces of Furniture and Floors

This one surprised me a bit. I thought grounds would cause scratches or damage on wood furniture. But no, this is not the case.

To repair scratches or dents in wooden furnishings or flooring, a paste can be made from coffee grounds and a bit of water or oil. This paste should be applied to the affected areas and lightly rubbed in. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping away any excess and buffing the wood dry. The process can be repeated to completely conceal the damage. This could have saved me from a few punishments when I was a kid!

6. Reduce Ashes for a Simpler Fireplace Cleanup Process

This one I wish I had known as a youngster, too. We had a big wood burning fireplace in our den. It had originally been a garage that we converted, so it had no heat vents from the HVAC system. The fireplace was the heat source.

One of my many chores was to clean the ashes out of the fireplace. It could get very messy. Even the most careful shoveling of ashes can cause a dust storm. I was probably also not the most careful cleaner-upper.

To help contain the ash and other fine particles when shoveling, you can sprinkle coffee grounds on top of them. This will help to keep the ash down, making it much easier to scoop up and dispose of. Sadly, this is wisdom that arrived too late for me.

You may ask, "What if I don't have that much leftover coffee grounds for all these new found cool uses?"

The easy solution to that is DRINK MORE COFFEE!

But if that is somehow not an option (which would confuse me) most local coffee shops, and even the big chains, provide their leftover grounds to the public. Most are even packaged up in a nice bag too!

Often overlooked as mere waste, your used coffee grounds reveal a surprising versatility beyond brewing the morning jumpstart to your day.
Who would have thought that the remnants of your daily coffee ritual could contribute not only to your alertness but also to a cleaner, more efficient home?

So, the next time you enjoy your cup of joe, consider the possibilities that extend beyond the brew, turning coffee grounds into a resourceful tool for household cleanliness.

Stay Caffeinated, my friends


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