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How To Recycle Stale Coffee and Used Coffee Grounds

Don’t toss that cold coffee or the grounds. Both can be recycled in really useful ways.


  • Step 1: They may not be terribly tasty, but coffee grounds are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Mix them into coffee-flavored yogurt or ice cream for a fiber and energy boost.
  • TIP: Protect plants from cats by spreading a mix of coffee grounds and orange peels around them. It will also keep snails and slugs away.
  • Step 2: Rub coffee grounds into areas with cellulite, then shower. Caffeine, after all, is a lead ingredient in cellulite treatments--plus, Cindy Crawford swears by it.
  • Step 3: Get rid of refrigerator odors by tucking a bowl of used coffee grounds in the back of the fridge.
  • Step 4: Sprinkle leftover coffee and/or coffee grounds in areas where ants congregate. The scent repels them.
  • Step 5: Keep a small bowl of coffee grounds at the kitchen sink. After you’ve handled smelly food, like garlic or fish, scoop some into your hand, add a squirt of dishwashing liquid, and rub your hands. The mixture will clean, deodorize, and exfoliate--all in one shot.
  • Step 6: Mix two cups cold coffee with one pint of ice cream, a tablespoon of sugar, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Freeze it in four lidded beverage containers. When you’re ready, take one out of the freezer and drink it when slushy.
  • Step 7: If you’ve got furniture scratches, apply some cold coffee to the mark with a cotton swab.
  • Step 8: Save used coffee grounds for the next time you clean the fireplace. Just distribute them over ashes to prevent a dust-up when you shovel out your fireplace.
  • Step 9: Mix coffee grounds in with your topsoil, or toss into your compost. It conditions your soil and spurs decomposition.
  • Step 10: Make faux parchment paper by soaking plain white paper in a bowl of cold coffee, then laying it flat to dry.
  • FACT: For her wedding to Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe soaked a white bridal veil in coffee to get it to match her champagne-colored dress.

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