What To Do With Leftover Coffee Grounds

What to do with leftover coffee grounds

Coffee doesn't just work miracles in the morning. It works wonders even after you're through brewing. Your coffee grounds are great for all sorts of things, from cooking and cleaning to gardening. Once you start seeing the value in those little grounds, you'll stop viewing them as a hassle that's only going to go in the trash.

Making coffee at home is already a great way to save money. Reusing the grounds stretches your dollar even further. So have at it. Here are seven ways to put your coffee grounds to good use.

① Clean Your Grill, Pots and Pans

Abrasive coffee grounds are great for scrubbing greasy grills, pots and pans. Put grounds on a rag and gleefully scrub away, knowing you're using a natural product to eliminate hard-to-clean grime.

② Add Grounds to Your Compost Pile

If you keep a compost pile, add the grounds to help improve the soil you use for your plants. Serious Eats says, "Worms love the stuff: They'll munch your day-old coffee happily, turning it into black gold by digesting it and producing nutrient-rich castings."

③ Use Them as Fertilizer for Your Plants

Speaking of which, as an organic fertilizer, coffee grounds improve "drainage, water retention and aeration in soil." Mixing grounds directly into soil helps plants get essential elements like phosphorus and potassium without the use of chemical fertilizers. Be sure to rinse the naturally acidic grounds first, however, or add them to compost before using them in soil.

④ Rid Your Hands of Garlic and Onion Smells

Oniony and garlicky odors like to linger on the hands. If you find yourself struggling to completely rid yourself of the gnarly stench, try rubbing your hands with coffee grounds when you're finished handling these pesky alliums.

⑤ Keep a Bowl in Your Fridge to Eliminate Odors

Just as coffee can remove the stubborn smells from your hands, so too can it rid your refrigerator of lasting odors. Dry out leftover grounds, stick them in a bowl in your fridge and say so long to whatever food smells are creeping around in there.

⑥ Hide Scratches on Your Furniture

Coffee's naturally dark color makes it perfect for hiding scratches on wood tables, chairs or other furniture. Let the grounds sit for up to 10 minutes to stain unwanted marks, then wipe away with a rag for a more polished appearance with almost no effort.

⑦ Use Grounds as a Rub for Meat

Coffee makes a great rub on meats like pork or beef. Since they're bitter, using a sweetener, like sugar or molasses, is advisable. Get creative with it.