Do you remember walking through the coffee aisle when you were a child? That was my favorite part of those daunting afternoon grocery endeavors.
I was not too fond of the taste of coffee back then, but those aromas would massage my mind into a near nirvana. Essentially, I fell in love with the smell of coffee far before the flavor (and caffeine).
That sweet aroma is coffee’s most essential aspect, 2nd only to taste!
But for how long can coffee hold its fragrant presence? Does it inevitably fade from existence?
Coffee is at optimum freshness 1 to 2 weeks after roasting, although it’s after the beans are ground the clock really starts counting down. Your coffee will be drinkable after a month or two, but most of its flavor and smell has packed its bags and moved on.
Do Used Coffee Grounds Absorb Odors
I’m going to nip this in the bud really quick and say, yes, they absorb and neutralize odors.
Believe it or not, you can actually brew previously used grounds. It’s still going to provide a kick, but almost its flavors will be long gone.
I would recommend using raw, unbrewed coffee grounds. They hold a stronger smell and are already dried.
Using previously used grounds does hold a few benefits.
ScienceDaily says that coffee grounds can sop up hydrogen sulfide gas. This is the chemical that makes raw sewage sticky.
Coffee grounds lose most of their aromas and oils after brewing, but they can still conjure up heavy scents that mask unpleasant odors. The trick is to dry the grounds thoroughly to prevent mold and odor blockage.
Using brewed grounds also means you don’t have to waste your raw coffee. Although, if you find yourself the proud owner of a high quantity of stale/expired coffee grounds, they’ll work perfectly.
Deodorizer and Other Ways to Use Coffee Grounds
Whether you are a productive early riser or find yourself half-awake crawling across the floor towards your coffee machine, java is an essential step of the day.
People have been drinking coffee for over 500 years; surely, we’ve come up with other creative functions for this magical coffee product, right?
Coffee is incredibly versatile with alternate uses, from cleaner to even health and wellness applications.
Using Coffee in Cooking and Baking
Cooking with coffee isn’t a rare practice. Many delicious desserts use coffee as the main ingredient!
Treats such as cookies, brownies, pies, and even cheesecake are perfect for baking with coffee grounds!
Cookies and cups have some of the best recipes if you want to check them out here, Cookies & Cups.
Not much of a baker? No worries! Coffee grounds are perfect for preparing cold desserts. Grounds are perfect for making coffee-flavored ice-cream and even whipped cream. It’s also the main ingredient in Tiramisu.
Coffee’s culinary applications don’t end at baking. Grounds make the perfect meat tenderizer! There are multiple online recipes for marinades using brewed coffee! It provides a unique, creative flavor.
Have you ever cooked with onions or garlic? I’ll wash my hands 100 times after chopping and will still have a garlicky odor. Scrubbing your hands with grounds will eliminate the residual smell.
If you’ve ever owned a cast iron pan, you know how annoying it can be to score it before using it. Coffee has a rigged, granule texture perfect for the task that doesn’t damage the pan.
Coffee Uses in Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning with coffee grounds is something most folks don’t think about doing.
Its texture is perfect for unclogging drains. Just add a bit of dish soap and some hot water, and those obstructions won’t stand a chance. Freezing small clusters of grounds are perfect for clearing gunk in the garbage disposal.
Coffee can also be utilized for the heavier messes.
A few years back, I was bartending, and a customer threw up all over the foyer. It was quite a mess and had to be cleaned quickly. My manager grabbed two bags of coffee and thoroughly sprinkled it over the substance that came from his stomach.
After 5 minutes, it had soaked into the coffee grounds and simply needed to be swept up. It not only made cleaning 10x easier, but the coffee’s aromas help mask the unpleasant odor.
If your home has a fireplace, you understand how mind-numbingly frustrating cleaning it can be. Coffee grounds will help you clean it without coating your living room in an inch of soot.
You can use grounds to quickly and effectively clean almost any spilled mess.
Sift the grounds over the ashes and sweep it up. The coffee coat will help prevent dust and char from dispersing into the air.
Cleaning Your Pots and Pans with Coffee Grounds
With coarse coffee grounds scrubbing suborn pots and pans will come in handy. The coarse texture acts like a soft sand on the surface.
Make sure to never use anything coarse or ruff against non-stick surfaces. This can rub off the non-stick coating, making it flake off, destroying the surface. Coffee grounds are safe for cast-iron, or stainless steel cookware.
Using Coffee as a Helpful Utility
Outside of cleaning, coffee still has tons of practical uses!
During the wintertime, experiencing the chilly throws of old man winter, when it’s getting a little icy out there is a great time to use your old coffee grounds. Sprinkling coffee grounds over icy pathways help create traction.
It won’t melt the ice like salt but will provide more stable footing. It can even help free cars that are stuck in the snow. Just sprinkle some coffee behind the tire to provide improved traction.
Besides slippery slopes, coffee grounds can help catch invasive pests! Just line the inside of a can or jar with an adhesive substance. Then place moistened coffee grounds inside and set the jar in the problem area. The aromas should attract and trap the bugs.
Coffee can also help repair small scratches and scuffs on wooden floors and furniture. The natural oils help cover and fill minor blemishes.
I’ve even used coffee grounds to add color to newly painted furniture. Rub some coffee grounds on the paint to add an antique look. It looks better on the corners and the legs of the furniture.
Family Handyman has a good write up on how to mix grounds with paint to stain wood and furniture.
Coffee and Home Gardening
Using coffee grounds in your garden is going to be a complete game-changer. Coffee naturally contains nitrogen and acidic components, which are perfect for floral life.
Coffee adds nitrogen to the soil that helps plant life thrive and experience brighter and fuller blooms.
Are you a composter? Good news! The steady PH balance in coffee is perfect for breaking down into rich and nutrient-packed compost. In our article Are Coffee Filters Compostable – Let’s Find Out! We go over what coffee filters are compostable.
If you are using coffee grounds for gardening, it’s important to use new grounds. When coffee is brewed, it loses pretty much all the aroma and acidity. The only thing left is caffeine. Used grounds won’t have much of an impact on the soil.
Use fresh grounds for fresh soil. Grounds are perfect for house plants too! Simply add the coffee to the soil. It’s effective, provides plenty of sustenance, and smells pretty good.
Have you found creative ways of using coffee grounds around the house? If so, we’d love to hear about it down in the comments!