The average American drinks more than three cups of coffee a day. Things aren’t too different across the pond, with Germans consuming an average of 162 litres of coffee a year – almost half a litre a day. But what happens to all the leftovers?
While coffee grounds are seldom reused, they are potentially a valuable product for use in the bathroom, garden and kitchen. At a time when people are being urged to stay at home, coffee, it turns out, is one less reason to venture out to the DIY store.
Once you’ve removed the coffee grounds either directly from the filter or by cutting open the coffee pad or capsule, it’s time to put those leftovers to work. Here are a six ways you can get more than one use out of your coffee.
> Pesticide: Some coffee grounds in the potting soil should keep pests away and even ward off snails. The same applies to voles and moles. Earthworms, on the other hand, are lured to compost heaps by the coffee grounds where they help the composting process.
> Fertiliser: Coffee is a great fertiliser. It can be mixed directly into the soil or spread on the flowerbed. Or it can be added to compost. There it rots with other green waste to create valuable fertiliser and soil.
> Odour neutraliser: In many hotels and open-plan offices you will find bowls of ground coffee or whole coffee beans. You can do the same at home, either in the fridge or near the bins to help neutralise unpleasant odours. They also help remove cooking smells on your hands.
> Exfoliation: The grounds left over from your morning cup of coffee can also be taken into the bathroom and used to exfoliate. You can use them as they are or mix in a little honey, olive oil and sugar. The mixture can then be massaged into a wet face or rubbed with circular movements over the legs and torso, and then rinsed off with lukewarm water in the shower. The caffeine helps stimulate the blood circulation and makes the skin appear rosier and somewhat firmer. The added oil also makes it soft and supple.
> Scouring agent: Coffee grounds are an alternative and natural scouring agent for cleaning and rinsing. It can be used to give the barbecue grill a new shine once it has become matt. Coffee grounds are particularly practical for cleaning the inside of vases, which can be difficult to reach with cloths: put some in with a little warm water, cover the top of the vase and shake it vigorously. Then rinse it out. Rice grains are a good alternative.
> Keeping drains clear: The scouring effect of coffee grounds is also effective in drains where it can remove fat deposits. However, experts advise against using coffee grounds in blocked, old pipes. – dpa
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