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Coffee may be the most popular beverage in the world – and if it’s not, it’s pretty darn close – but tasting good isn’t the only thing that coffee does well. Coffee has many uses around your home and garden that might surprise you – though chances are good that your grandmother knew them well. Coffee can clean your hands, fix scratches on your wood furniture, get rid of that nasty smell in your basement and make your plants grow faster than weeds. Really, it can. Here’s how.
Coffee comes in hand in the garden in a few different ways. Here’s a quick list:
1. Dump those coffee grounds right into the compost heap. They’ll decompose quickly and help other things decompose more quickly.
2. Work spent coffee grounds into the dirt around azaleas, rose bushes and other acid loving flowering bushes for bigger, showier blooms. Be sure to work the
grounds into the soil a few inches away from the stems for best results.
3. Coffee grounds make a great slug and pest repellent. Just draw a line of coffee grounds around plants that are attracting slugs and snails and you’ll find that the little critters turn aside and head in another direction.
No, I’m not suggesting that you bring your coffee mug into the shower to help you wake up in the morning, though that’s not a bad idea if you have a covered mug. These are some of the ways that coffee can help you with your toiletries.
1. Dissolve slivers of soap (especially glycerin soap) in a small amount of water. Add half a cup or so of fresh or used coffee grounds to make coffee scrub. Keep the scrub in a covered jar on the sink to wash your hands after handling smelly things like fish or onions.
2. Buy coffee soap – or make your own with a glycerin base and coffee grounds – to take advantage of caffeine’s firming properties. While there’s little scientific evidence to back it up, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that coffee soap with caffeine encourages your skin to slough off old layers and accelerates the growth of new skin cells. The result is tighter, younger looking skin. Yes, apparently coffee is good for your skin.
3. Keep the depth and gleam of brunette hair by rinsing it with strong coffee. Brew up a cup of strong espresso and let it cool. After you wash your hair, work the cooled espresso through it and let it sit for two to three minutes before rinsing. Repeat a couple times a week to keep dark hair looking shiny and smooth.
Coffee’s deodorizing power is legendary and quite useful around your house. Surprisingly, despite coffee’s strong aroma, it doesn’t just cover up the stink. Instead, it absorbs other odors. Here are a few ways that you can use coffee to keep your home smelling sweeter.
1. Musty basement odors? Open a can of coffee and pour it out into a couple of bowls. Put the bowls in different corners of the room and leave out for a day or two to absorb the mustiness.
2. Sprinkle dry, unused coffee grounds over a carpet and then vacuum up to get rid of pet smells and musty smells.
3. Stinky closet or locker? Fill a loose cloth bag – cheesecloth is ideal – with dry coffee grounds and tuck it into the closet or on a locker shelf to keep the odors at bay.