Coffee plays a critical role in our mornings. It can be the difference between starting the day on an energized note and … well, not. But that’s not the only way coffee is a household superhero — the grounds (even used ones!) are problem solvers all over the house.
1. Fight freezer funk.
Our home care expert Heloise recommends using coffee grounds to keep your freezer from getting stinky. Just toss dry grounds into an old margarine tub with holes in the lid and place the tub in the freezer to absorb odors.
2. Help your favorite plants thrive.
Try this trick after you’ve brewed your morning pot of joe: The used grounds are full of nutrients like nitrogen and can be used as fertilizer for acid-loving plants, like rose bushes, azaleas, evergreens, and camellias. Spread them on top of your flower bed and you can (literally) watch your plants grow.
3. Minimize mess when cleaning your fireplace.
Before you sweep up the ashes in your fireplace, first sprinkle some still-wet grounds on top of the dust. The added bulk helps keep the minute particles from raising up and creating a storm of ashes (and an even bigger mess).
4. Make a deodorizing soap.
Add some fresh grounds to DIY bar soap recipe like Ruth from Living Well Spending Less did here. The coffee helps ward off everyday scents, and the bar will smells a little bit like your favorite cafe, too.
5. Get rid of “garlic hands.”
Nothing is worse than smelling like the food you cooked hours later. Heloise recommends keeping used grounds by your sink, rubbing them onto your hands, then rinsing with water to get rid of any lingering scents (try it after you cook fish or chop onions). Bonus: The texture will act like an exfoliator so your hands will get super soft, too.
6. Shoo your cat from your flower bed.
Your prized hydrangeas don’t double as the fanciest litter box ever. Combine used grounds with orange peels to create a pungent mixture, then sprinkle it on top of the soil. Your kitty won’t want to go anywhere near the odor.
7. Tackle dirty pots and pans.
Use the grainy texture of coffee grounds to help you remove gunk from cooking tools. Just throw in a handful of grounds, scrub away, and rinse. Skip this tip on cookware that’s too delicate to handle the abrasion, though.
8. Feed your compost.
The nitrogen in coffee grounds that helps your plants grow can also work hard in your compost bin. Pour used grounds onto your pile, give everything a solid stir, then sit back and let it do its thing.
9. De-stink smelly shoes.
Jillee from One Good Thing recommends dumping dry grounds into a sock or old pantyhose, tying a knot at the end, then dropping it into shoes to zap the odor overnight. These handy satchets can also freshen up a musty closet if you sneak one onto a shelf.