6 Things You Can Do With Coffee Other Than Drink It
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
02 October 2019
Think of coffee and immediately you imagine sipping down cups of the magic brew. But did you know that there were many other things that the dark liquid and leftover coffee grounds could be used for instead.
Try these other creative ways in which java can be used:
1. Cooking and baking
Coffee adds deep, earthy notes to food, and its rich taste is used in flavouring everything from tiramisu and coffee cakes to red meat marinades and spice rubs.
2. Clear drains
Coffee is an efficient (and cheap) deodoriser like baking soda, and is great for clearing up grease build up in clogged drains and kitchen sinks. Mix up dish soap, coffee grounds and boiling water in equal parts and add a touch of baking soda. Pour the solution down the drain and let it sit overnight. Not only will your drain be clean, but you’ll have a lovely coffee aroma too.
3. Natural air freshener
Who doesn’t like (or need) the smell of freshly brewed coffee? Instead of buying expensive air fresheners, make your own DIY coffee fragrance air freshener. Not only does coffee absorb and cover up unpleasant odours, but it also helps keep the odours away, much like what baking soda does in the fridge. Simply pour your favourite brew into an old sock (or something porous with fine holes that can be tied up) and let the liquid drip away completely. Place or hang the dry grounds wherever you need to.
4. Natural insect repellent
Coffee has a unique smell that seems to successfully ward off insects and bugs like ants and mosquitoes. Studies have shown that coffee grounds and caffeine can kill larvae and so prevent the development of adult mosquitoes. Just sprinkle coffee grounds in and around the areas that you’re trying to save from the annoying insects and watch them disappear.
5. Natural wood stain
Staining with coffee is a great DIY project. It’s cheaper than buying chemical-based commercial solutions, it’s easy to do, and the colour gets darker over time. Simply brew a pot of coffee and allow it to cool (the stronger the brew, the darker the colour will be). Sand down the surface to be stained, and use a sponge to spread the coffee evenly over the wood surface. Let sit for 10 minutes and then repeat as required.
6. Compost and fertilizer
Earning greenie points couldn’t be easier when you use your coffee grounds as compost or fertiliser. Coffee grounds contain high amounts of calcium, magnesium and nitrogen, so they make for an excellent layer of organic topsoil to the garden bed and a chemical-free fertiliser at the same time. And while insects may not like coffee, studies show that coffee grows a bacteria that worms enjoy, hence its ability to be a key composting ingredient. Benefits include the coffee repelling snails and slugs in the garden bed; and improving the soil’s drainage, aeration and water retention abilities.