8 Creative Ways to Use Your Leftover Coffee

We are living in the age of recycling and the efficient utilization of energy. Nothing is thrown away. You’ve probably never thought about it, but there are many ways you can re-use leftover coffee. In no way do we want to give an exhaustive list of all the ways to make leftover coffee useful, but we will try to at least mention the most interesting and efficient utilization of coffee that didn’t make their way to your belly.

leftover coffee

First of all, brewed and ground coffee are re-used in somewhat different ways. If you have loads of cold, watered down coffee, you would want to use it for domestic purposes. We’ll show you how later in the text. Ground coffee, on the other hand, can act as fuel, and there are actually some companies that use it in their business. Needless to say, you don’t want to use fresh ground coffee- the residue is the “real deal”. But even the residue that’s left after you brew your espresso, macchiato or mocha, can be recycled or used as a fertilizer.

1. Plant Watering

Coffee lowers pH value of the soil, which means that the ground becomes more acidic. Some plants thrive in soils with smaller pH values, which means that you can water them with your leftover coffee without any fears- quite the contrary, some plants like Azalea will love it! Other plants that like acidic grounds are Camellias, Rhododendrons, Daffodil, Japanese Andromeda, etc.

You just have to be careful not to go over the top with coffee watering, as you might literally scorch your favorite flowers. To avoid this you might want to dilute your leftover coffee a bit. Also pay attention to the plants- if they start to turn yellow or brown, stop with coffee watering immediately. Finally, coffee used for this kind of watering should be sugar-free, milk-free- simply put, without any additives, as pests really love those things.

2. Art-Making

This one probably came out of blue, but leftovers of your favorite caffeine beverage can be used for painting! You kids will love it, and besides, this kind of “caffeinated” paint is completely harmless- which is always good when you have little children. You can also dilute it with milk to get more colors!

3. Fertilization

Residue ground coffee is often used as a supplement to your plants’ nutrition. This is its most popular use, but there are other, less known ways which we will elaborate on later. Grounds contain a lot of healthy nutrients- potassium, magnesium, nitrogen, chromium, iron, phosphorus, and calcium. Your plants will simply love this healthy mixture of elements. According to some sources, ground coffee will also “filter” heavy metals that often can be found in soil.

Worms also love ground coffee- and don’t think that worms are bad for your garden- quite the contrary, they aerate the soil and allow it to breathe, which is essential for fertility.

4. Pest Repellant

Some chemicals that are found in coffee beans can be used to repel insects and pests. Among such chemicals, the most efficient are caffeine and diterpenes. Ground coffee works best against mosquitos, beetles, and fruit flies, but it also has a toxic effect on all insects. Most importantly, the application is easy- just sprinkle a bit of coffee ground around your garden or other outdoor areas. It’s also good to know a bit about insects’ breeding places- mosquitos, for example, like humid, wet areas, so this is where you would want to apply your caffeine pest repellant.

5. Removing Fleas From Pets

This will inevitably happen, especially if you love to let your pet run around and have fun. It’s frustrating to see your pet full of fleas, and removing them is a lot of hassle. Also, if you have a lot of pets your wallet might suffer a lot, as flea-removing shower gels and other products aren’t that cheap. Finally, flea-removing chemicals are sometimes quite toxic and harsh. Some even have bad side effects.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, insects don’t like coffee, and the same stands for fleas. Ground coffee works the best when you rub it in your pet’s fur while you are showering it. Of course, you should then rinse off the powder.

Note that coffee grounds aren’t that effective against fleas. So if it doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to use other products. Also, pets should avoid ingesting coffee.

6. Odor Neutralization

Nitrogen in coffee powder may eliminate some bad smells that are caused by sulfur gas. Sulfur has that foul odor that has a characteristic “egg” smell. Options are practically limitless- don’t hesitate to be creative. For example, you can put a bowl of grounds in your fridge, if you want to neutralize the smell of some strong foods. Similarly, you can put bowls in other, more “contaminated” places- gym bags, your old shoes, etc.

Rub ground coffee between your palms if you want to get rid of the garlic and onion smell that sometimes stays for days.

7. Skin Care and Cosmetics

Applying leftover residue on the skin can have beneficial effects. Especially for some skin conditions like cellulite.

Cellulite is a particularly inconvenient thing, but coffee grounds will help with breaking down the fat that got stacked up in your legs. Additionally, rubbing it onto your skin will increase the blood flow which will in turn help with fat elimination.

To do this appropriately, you’ll have to put in some work. Mix the coffee residue with oil (olive or coconut), or water and apply it onto your skin. Keep rubbing for several minutes (max 5), and do this 2 or 3 times weekly and you’re good to go.

8. Soften your meat

Often you would use salt or acids to tenderize the meat, but coffee will also do the job, as it naturally contains enzymes that will break down meat fibers. To do this, rub the meat with coffee residue a few hours before baking or cooking. Not only will you tenderize the meat, but the grounds will form a nice crispy crust. Yummy!

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Ivan is a 24-year old graphic design and computer science student from Serbia who loves driving motorcycle in his free time and is absolutely obsessed with nature, sports and hanging out with friends.

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