5 Things to Do With Your Coffee Beans

by Maggie Wells on 7 November 2011 3 comments
Photo: ZoomTeam

I once walked into a coffee house where all the art on the walls was made from using coffee bean grounds as watercolor paints. Very cool if a little monochromatic — and aromatic, I might add. Upcycling old used coffee beans and grounds into art! But seeing as most of us have used coffee beans every morning and only a small minority of us have an artistic inclination to do coffee bean watercolors, what else can we use them for? (See also: 10 Ways to Reuse Common Household Items)

Garden helper

Depending of course where you live and what the make up of your soil is, used beans are a great soil fixer and additive. They are especially beneficial to berry bushes like blackberries and blueberries. The blackberry behind my old house really loved coffee grounds sprinkled on the roots of the plants. Carrots seem to like them too. Other gardening suggestions can be found at Sustainable Enterprises.

Beauty aid

If you are into making your own soaps, lotions, bath bombs, scrubs, masks and balms, consider coffee. Among other properties, it's an antioxidant and a great exfoliator (not to mention it can smell pretty darn yummy). Mixed with an oil — like olive or an omega-3 oil — it can be used as an anti-cellulite rub. You can use it in a mask. The benefits of drinking coffee come out in force, as people swear by the 'pick me up' of coffee in soaps. I've added it to bath bombs for an extra kick.

Combat odors

Whether it's garlic or meat smells on your hands (that one always bothers me), or a smelly kitchen drain, rubbing some coffee around will soak up the odor and just leave the pleasant smell of coffee behind.

Critter repellent

Lots of animals and insects don't particularly like the smell and feel of coffee and thus coffee becomes a nice non-toxic way to get rid of potential pests. Ants, for example will move if you sprinkle coffee on their hill. Cats will find other places to relieve themselves other than your plants and flower beds if they sense you've put coffee down.

Cleaning agent and stainer

Its mild abrasive qualities make it a good cleaner. I tend to put some grounds (or wash my espresso accoutrements ) when I'm needing to clean something greasy. Some extra grounds in the water help cut the grease. Coffee can make a great stainer too — and if you like the staining process, consider trying that coffee house artwork I mentioned at the beginning.

What do you do with your used coffee beans?

 

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PKamp3

I know you said only art on the walls was made of coffee beans, but I read 'walls' and though of the Bud Light house Super Bowl commercial, haha.

I can attest to the odor fighting power - coffee was a great way to eliminate the smell of college living.

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Matt

Use them as a base filler as well. Especially around a vanilla candle. Smells amazing.

Guest's picture

Great ideas... thanks for sharing these. I had no idea they could be used to repel insects... I am going to try this one in the spring for sure!