Putting coffee grounds to good use

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In
February 15, 2015

Fresh off Valentine’s Day and just a few days before my husband’s and my six-month anniversary, I am feeling the love in the air. It’s put me in a good place as I help my cousin gear up for her wedding next year. I can’t help but reflect on my own wedding, as I give her tips and advice, but also help to make it special for her in other ways.

I think about some of the most memorable gifts Scott and I received from family and friends, which included my great grandmother’s bracelet, the personalized hanger with my new last name and the custom glass dish with d├ęcor symbolizing our first vacation together. I also remember some of the amazing gifts that helped to make our house feel more like home (especially our favorite room, the kitchen), which included anti-fatigue mats, enameled cast iron cook-ware and a fancy espresso machine.

We use many of these items on a regular basis, but perhaps none more than our espresso machine. We go through several pounds of coffee beans per month, which also results in plenty of used coffee grounds.

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Luckily for us, recycling the grounds and putting them to good use couldn’t be easier. If you’re a coffee drinker too, consider these tips for making the caffeine work overtime.

Deodorize your fridge. An alternative to the baking soda in the door, fresh coffee grounds can help to absorb funky odors. Simply pour a cup of fresh grounds into a bowl and set it inside, uncovered. You also can use the grounds to deodorize your hands after handling odorous foods like garlic or fish.

Clean your grill. A better use for leftover coffee is to place your grill grates into a basin and pour a pot of coffee over them. Let it sit for one hour before a quick scrub and rinse. The acid from the coffee will break down any caked-on grease.

Scrub the dishes. Coarse grounds are perfect for stubborn dishes, pots and pans. Place the grounds directly onto the surface and scrub away with your usual method (sponge, brush, etc.). Just make sure the item you are cleaning is not apt to staining.

Minimize scratches. This works great for dark wood furniture. Apply steeped coffee grounds to the scratch using a cotton swab. Allow the grounds to sit for five to 10 minutes before wiping away with a rag. Just remember to test an inconspicuous area first.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.