How to Reuse Coffee Grounds

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Like countless other conscientious people, you try your best to see that papers, plastics and cardboard products from your home get to the proper recycling location. But how about all of the other items you toss in the trash on a daily basis? A report by National Geographic reports that 80 percent of Americans drink coffee at least occasionally, where a fifth of all coffee is consumed. That is a lot of coffee grounds winding up in the garbage, when they could be put to better use.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Cotton swab
  • Cookie sheet
  • Nylon
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Add a bit of water to coffee grounds to make a paste. Use a cotton swab to rub the paste into scratches on your dark wood furniture. Wipe the excess away with a soft cloth (like a piece of an old T-shirt).

  • Use coffee grounds all over your body. It exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin and can even reduce the appearance of cellulite. Add a little water to some coffee grounds and apply the mixture to your face like a mask. Avoid your eyes, nose and mouth. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water. If you have dark hair, rub coffee grounds through wet hair and rinse out for added shine and highlights.

  • Remove unwanted odors. Spread coffee grounds on a cookie sheet and allow to dry. Put dried grounds inside an old, clean nylon and place in the refrigerator or hang in a closet, shed or garage to deodorize. Rub coffee grounds on your hands when you have been peeling garlic or chopping onions to remove the smells from your skin.

  • Add grounds to your compost heap, or directly to the soil of plants that like acidic soil (see Resources below). An added benefit is that many insects such as ants and slugs do not like coffee.

  • Use coffee grounds in craft projects. Dye everything from eggs to paper to T-shirts by steeping grounds in water or spreading damp grounds directly on the material. Make play dough by combining 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup of coffee grounds and 1/2 cup of cold coffee or water. Store in an airtight container or zip-top baggie.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful when using coffee grounds in your garden or compost pile, as they can be fatally toxic to dogs.
  • Photo Credit http://www.sxc.hu/profile/sveres
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