Having a morning cup of coffee has become a ritual for me. I’m on a first name basis with almost every barista at my shop, and apparently I’m not alone. According to the National Coffee Association, 54% of Americans drink coffee every day with an average of 3 cups per day.
Recently, while waiting in line to purchase my third cup of coffee, I noticed that Starbucks was packaging and giving away used grounds for your garden. That got made me wondering. What can’t coffee do? The answer is: not much. As a person who goes through a lot of coffee grounds and loves to reuse and recycle, I began searching for creative ways to get the most out of that magic bean. Here’s what I’ve found.
1. Keep Your Pipes Clean
If your pipes are draining slowly, just pour some used coffee grounds down there, followed by some dish soap and a pot of boiling water. You can also try making these useful pods to easily clean out your garbage disposal. Be careful though, throwing coffee down your pipes too often will create build up and cause it to clog.
2. Cook Meat Like A Pro
I bet you didn’t know that coffee makes an awesome dry rub. The grounds caramelize to form a crust on the meat that locks in moisture and leaves it so tender it’ll fall right off the bone. Show off your skills and impress your friends at the next barbecue with this quick, easy rub.
3. Homemade Beauty Products
Don’t forget this miracle ingredient the next time you treat yourself to a spa day. As a natural exfoliator, coffee grounds are great for making cheap scrubs. The caffeine and antioxidants it contains also help to stimulate blood flow which reduces skin redness and under eye puffiness – perfect for your next facial. Also check out this recipe for homemade coffee soap that will leave you smelling great all day.
#SpoonTip: Mix the grounds with coconut oil to make a body scrub that smells like heaven.
4. Coffee-Scented Candles
Who doesn’t love the smell of coffee in the morning? With this recipe you can enjoy it at any time of day. If you’re looking for a quick fix for bad odors, you can throw some un-brewed coffee grounds in a bowl and let them do the work.
5. Brown Sugar Coffee Cookies
These cookies sounded too good to be true, so I baked and ate them myself (for science of course). Conclusion: they’re just as delicious as you would think. Baking cookies is probably the best way to upcycle anything ever, so try it yourself with this recipe.
6. Make Your Plants Happy
Used coffee grounds work as a great natural fertilizer. When mixed into your garden, it attracts helpful earthworms while deterring snails that feed on your plants. Grounds can even be used for potted plants inside your home. They help retain moisture and support beneficial microorganisms that keep your plants alive for longer.