Discovered centuries ago in the lands of Arabia, coffee has, today, become a much-needed drink to kick-start the day. But, beyond the fresh brew, coffee beans and used coffee grounds have other uses. An anti-oxidant, it is used in face scrubs. Being acidic, it is good for plants. It can also be used as an additional spice while cooking. Before you throw the leftover coffee grounds, here are five ways you can put them to good use:
Grow healthier plants without chemicals
Coffee grounds make a great pest repellent in gardens, keeping out snails and slugs because of its acidity levels. Some people also use coffee beans with peels of orange to keep away mice, rats and cats. Green-thumbed gardeners have for long sprinkled dried coffee grounds along with seeds of carrot, lettuce and radish for better growth. Coffee grounds, rich in nutrients, release nitrogen into the soil, which helps plants better than chemical fertilisers.
For the artist, beyond the taste palette
Coffee painting has come up as an art in its own right, created by using coffee as an alternative to paint. But, for those less inclined towards creating pretty paintings, you can use ground coffee as a dye for tea-cosy or feathers. Hide scratches on wood-coloured furniture by using ground coffee. Make sure you first let the ground coffee sit in hot water for a while, before using a cotton swab to dab it on to the cracks and scratches.
Make coffee-flavoured dishes for any time of the day
Go beyond the regular cuppa and add a dash of coffee to your main dishes and desserts for a new flavour. Instant coffee powder can be used as a minor additive while whipping up brownie, cake or cookie batter. It is also added to thin sauces or dry rubs that go well with brisket, steak or ribs. To add the coffee zing to drinks, add used coffee powder (from filter coffee) to water on an ice tray and freeze.
Another secret to glowing, fresh-feeling skin
A facial scrub or exfoliator made of just coffee grounds soaked in water with Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) is known to brighten up and rejuvenate skin. Spread a little on the bags under your eye and lift up those tired eyes within 30 minutes. It is also said to reduce cellulite when mixed with coconut, but this claim is often debated. Coffee infused into shampoo and used for more than a month reportedly also helps to get silky, shiny hair.
At home, replace foul odour with coffee
There is no scent better than a house touched by the warm aroma of coffee. A fresh cup of coffee beans can absorb bad odour. Place it in your oven, refrigerator, pet house or room, even smelly shoes. Depending on the quality of the coffee beans, it can also be used as an air freshener or pot pourri. Besides this, ground coffee mixed with soap can also be used in cleaning surfaces, clothes and pans soiled with stubborn stains.