Household Items You Should Be Cleaning With Coffee Grounds

If you start each morning with a home-brewed cup of joe, then chances are that you generate a lot of used coffee grounds. If you've been tossing these coffee grounds in the trash can, then you've been making a big mistake. Coffee grounds can serve as a natural fertilizer in the garden, work as a natural pest repellent, and help control odors in the garage. Beyond these uses, you can even use coffee grounds to clean a variety of items around the house.

If you're ready to up your eco-friendly cleaning game, then using coffee grounds may be the perfect solution for you. Not only are you cleaning your home without some of the potentially harmful chemicals found in commercial products, but you're also doing your part to minimize the amount of waste you generate. Ahead, we'll take a look at several items you can clean in practically every room in your home.

Use coffee grounds to degrease cookware

One unexpected way you can use coffee grounds is to degrease cookware. If you set the burner a bit too high and the sauce for your dish got caked on the bottom of the pan, the coarse texture of coffee grounds can help you loosen the gunk, leaving you with a clean and ready-to-use pot. Using coffee grounds to clean your cookware is simple. Just sprinkle a few tablespoons of the grounds into the pot or pan and scrub them along the base with a sponge.

Wet grounds will work for this hack, but you may find it even more effective to use dry coffee grounds. Don't worry; this doesn't mean that you have to waste your unused coffee straight from the jar. You can lay out the used grounds outside in the sun for a few hours, and they'll dry out beautifully. Just spread them out to help speed up the process. The drying process will also yield slightly finer granules that will be even "sharper" and more effective at clearing the gunk off your pans.

Sprinkle coffee grounds over ash to make clean up easier

If you've ever built a fire in your home fireplace, then you know how relaxing and peaceful it can be to enjoy the dancing flames and the warmth they generate. At the same time, you probably also know just how challenging it can be to clean up the inside of the fireplace. The ash is so fine and lightweight that it can get all over everything around the fireplace, leaving you with an even bigger mess to tend to.

Next time you need to clean up the ashes in your fireplace, put some used coffee grounds to good use. After the fire has been put out and the ashes have cooled completely, sprinkle coffee grounds over them before you try sweeping them up. The added weight of the coffee grounds will keep the ashes from flying all over the place when you sweep them up. Using some coffee grounds can also help if you want to vacuum up fireplace ash. However, keep in mind that household vacuums should not be used to suck up fireplace ashes. It is possible that they could cause a fire inside the machine. But, even if that doesn't happen, they can cause other damage to the unit or even escape back into your home's air, making it potentially unsafe for household members to breathe.

Let coffee grounds help keep your fridge odor-free

From forgotten leftovers, the occasional piece of rotting fruit, pungent onions, or that dinner from last night when you added a bit too much garlic, refrigerators are full of smells, many of which can be rather unpleasant. Before you head out to purchase a commercial deodorizer or risk introducing chemicals into your fridge, try using some coffee grounds to neutralize fridge odors.

All you need to do is pour some of your used coffee grounds — dry or wet — into a jar or bowl with a wide rim. Then, place the container on a shelf in the refrigerator. Beyond the pleasant smell of the coffee, the grounds will also absorb foul smells in the fridge. The nitrogen in the coffee grounds is what makes them so effective at absorbing odors. While you're preparing the grounds for the refrigerator, fill a second bowl with coffee grounds to leave out in the kitchen to neutralize other cooking and food odors while also keeping pests at bay.

A few considerations to keep in mind: wet grounds will produce a more robust coffee smell, which, depending on how strong your affinity for coffee is, could either be a positive or a negative; wet grounds can also grow mold. So, if you choose to use them, be sure to replace the old grounds with newer ones every few days or as needed.

Get burnt-on messes off of your oven and grill grates with some help from coffee grounds

Whether you're cooking on the grill or in the oven, the metal grates always seem to get coated with burnt-on messes. If you're looking for a natural cleaner to keep chemicals away from cooking surfaces — or simply ran out of your favorite product — consider putting used coffee grounds to work here, too. As mentioned earlier, coffee grounds are very fine and sharp. This means that as you scrub them across the metal grates, they'll be able to loosen and remove caked-on grime. Sprinkle coffee grounds on a sponge or microfiber cloth and use it to wipe the metal grates. Wet grounds can work, but you'll likely find that finer and sharper dry grounds (even if used) will offer the best results.

While this hack can work on both grill grates and ovens, you might decide that it is best suited for the grill. Rinsing the grill grates off after you've finished will likely be easier than trying to wipe all the coffee residue from your oven grates. If you decide to try cleaning dirty oven grates, consider working in the bathtub, where you'll be able to rinse the grime away with ease.

Say goodbye to scuffs or stains on wood flooring or furniture

If you have dark wood furniture or flooring, then you know how glaring scuffs and scratches can be. They can really take away from the overall charm and appeal the dark wood delivers. If you don't want to completely refinish your floors or furniture because of a few stains — and who does — try this hack that relies on some used, wet coffee grounds. The deep color of the grounds is ideal for covering up the scratch marks and blending in with dark wood tones.

Even better, this hack takes only minutes of your time and requires minimal effort. Start by dipping a Q-tip into a bowl of coffee grounds and spreading the wet grounds over any scuffs or scratches. Be sure to cover the entire affected area, then let the grounds sit for 10 to 15 minutes so the deep coffee color will seep into the wood. After the time has passed, use a cotton cloth to buff the grounds into the wood and remove the excess from the top of the floor or furniture. If the scratch or scuff is in a very noticeable area, you may want to test this technique in an inconspicuous spot before proceeding, just to make sure that the grounds don't discolor the wood in a way that doesn't blend in with the rest of the finish.

Deodorize your microwave with coffee grounds

The refrigerator isn't the only source of odors in a kitchen. Microwaves are also notorious for collecting food odors and spreading them throughout a space. If you've ever walked away and accidentally let a bag of popcorn cook too long in the microwave, then you also know how pungent that burnt smell can be. Whatever your reasons, let coffee grounds offer much-needed assistance when deodorizing the microwave.

Start by cleaning out the microwave to remove as much gunk and grime from the sides and glass as possible. Put a lemon in a bowl of water and heat it for several minutes in the microwave to create steam that will loosen grimy messes. After letting the microwave cool for a few minutes, use a sponge or paper towel to wipe off all the gunk. Finally, put about a cup of used coffee grounds (dry) in a bowl and leave the bowl in the microwave overnight. Coffee grounds are excellent at absorbing odors. When you remove the bowl in the morning, your microwave should smell fresh and clean.

Wash your hands using coffee grounds

Let's face it. When you're thinking about all the items in your house that get dirty and need to be cleaned regularly, is there really anything that you wash more frequently than your hands? While soap is great for getting rid of germs and bacteria, it doesn't always do the best job removing greasy or sticky messes, paints, or oil. Whether you've just completed a DIY project or got too hands-on when cooking, use some coffee grounds to get the gunk off your hands.

You could always scoop a few teaspoons of the grounds directly on your hands and scrub them together to loosen and release all the grime. However, if you foresee using this hack more than once, it might behoove you to make up coffee grounds soap that will always be ready. All you'll need is a regular bottle of soap (whichever type you prefer), the grounds, and some water. Measure out about three tablespoons of the coffee grounds and add them to the soap in the dispenser. Then mix it all together (you might want to add a little water if it seems overly thick). Now, you'll have the dispenser ready to go whenever you need to take advantage of the extra scrubbing power of the coffee grounds. Leave a bottle of it in your kitchen, workshop, or anywhere else you think it will come in handy.