If you're like many coffee lovers, your favorite part of the day is after you grind your Columbian whole bean coffee and take that first sip of hot, delicious coffee. At the same time, you may be wondering if there's any real use for your leftover coffee grounds. You may already know that adding coffee grounds to compost is common, but this won't do you much good if you choose not to compost. However, that doesn't mean it's necessary to toss used coffee grounds out with the trash. Following are five unusual-but-useful household uses for your leftover coffee grounds.
Scrub Your Pots and Pans With Them
Coffee grounds have a coarse, abrasive texture that's perfect for removing stubborn food residue from pots and pans. Simply mix it with a small amount of mild dishwashing detergent on a soft cotton cloth and scrub the stuck-on food particles away. Coffee grounds also make a great degreaser, so you can use them to clean oily cookware even when caked-on food isn't part of the picture.
Use Them to Neutralize Odors
Leaving an open bowl of used coffee grounds next to your kitchen sink and in the refrigerator to neutralize pesky kitchen odors. As an added bonus, you'll have them handy for scrubbing pots and pans if they're placed near your sink.
Use Them to Turn Pink Hydrangeas Blue
You may already know that hydrangea flowers are affected by the pH level of the soil. Because coffee contains compounds that contribute to acidic soil, distributing them around the trunk of the plant increases the acidity in the soil, which will result in flowers turning blue. This makes a great at-home science experiment for parents of curious children.
Dye Paper for Arts and Crafts Projects
Whether you want to make beautiful, customized personal stationery that resembles antique parchment or just want something new and different for the kids to do on a rainy afternoon, used coffee grounds make a great dye for arts and crafts projects. All you need to do is create a mixture of grounds and water, allow it to steep for a few minutes, and use a clean rag or a cotton ball to gently dab the mixture onto the paper. Either blot it dry or allow it to air dry before using it as the base for a pretty picture.
Use Them to Add Depth and Flavor to Food
Used coffee grounds can be used in a variety of ways to add depth and flavor to food. You can use them in marinades and rubs for meat dishes, blend them into shakes, stir them into brownie batter, or stir them into savory soups and stews.