Some Alternate Uses for Coffee Beans

 By: Tim Kennedy
It's safe to say that most coffee drinkers simply brew their coffee, enjoy their hot (or cold) beverage and rarely even consider using their beans or grounds for anything other than their intended purpose. However, there does exist a growing subset of people who have discovered countless ways to use coffee for purposes other than consumption. In this article we will take a look at some of the more common non-beverage household uses for coffee beans and grounds.

Refrigerator Freshener - Most of us have, at one time or another, been faced with a refrigerator that is carrying a bit more odor than we would prefer. While some folks turn to an open box of baking soda to address this issue, some prefer to address these issues by leaving an open can of ground coffee beans in their fridge. Most coffee drinkers highly prefer the aroma of their favorite coffee to the smell of a runaway refrigerator, and using this method is a cheap and easy way to quickly solve this aromatic annoyance (you can even try throwing some down your garbage disposal if there is an unpleasant smell emanating from within!).

Hand Cleaner - As we saw in our first example, coffee grounds have the ability to overwhelm other, less pleasant odors when used in our refrigerators. The same can be said of its ability to remove odors from our skin. Many people whose work involves handling items and objects with strong odors (grease, skunks, paint, garlic, etc.) swear by coffee beans as a solution for removing these odors. A simple handful of coffee beans rubbed vigorously between the hands can quickly eliminate these types of unpleasant odors.

Home Garden Defense - Anyone who grows their own vegetables can tell you that one of the top problems they run into is the issue of pests. These unwanted visitors can not only eat up your crop, they can damage them to the point that the plants may actually die. Coffee grounds can be used to build a sort of defensive wall against these intruders - think of a moat surrounding a castle. A coffee border has been shown to dissuade ants, snails and slugs (even household pets like cats and dogs) from sampling your crops and can seriously contribute to a healthier and more productive home garden.

It should be noted that new coffee beans are not required for any of these uses. Although you may prefer the aroma and efficacy of fresh beans for these purposes, used coffee beans will likely be just as effective at addressing these issues for you.
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