Did You Know You Can Clean with Coffee?

by Team HomeServe Top Tips and Lists  
Clean with coffee

Coffee. Java. Joe. Latte. Espresso. No matter what name you give it, coffee is something most of us can’t live without. Whether you take yours pitch black, with milk, extra-extra or somewhere in between, all that really matters is the cup being hot and delicious.

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But what's most interesting about coffee is that while being a great meal companion beverage at any time, it also has uses that go beyond pure liquid consumption. Cleaning your stove top or cleaning your microwave (in addition to other kitchen appliances) tops the list, but some people also use coffee as a seasoning, insect repellent and even a skin care product.

Coffee-flavored kitchen cleaning strategies

Not unlike Coca-Cola, coffee's acidity helps it act as a natural cleaner. Consider the following:

  • Using coffee grounds as a supplement to dish soap, hot water and elbow grease can make it much easier to clean off your pots and pans, according to Thrillist.com. The coffee grounds' absorbency soaks up dish grease and its sharp edges ensure other bits of kitchen debris come off. (But be sure not to use coffee grounds on any dishware that might itself be absorbent to avoid the risk of staining.)
  • If your garbage disposal has been running a little bit slowly of late, try pouring some coffee grounds down there along with a teaspoon of hot water. This should sharpen the blades and clean up the gears a bit, which may be enough to solve the problem.
  • You can also use the same mixture - plus some dish soap - to clear minor clogs in the disposal or drain before they become much worse and require professional attention.

Cleaning with coffee elsewhere in the household

The utility of coffee as a cleaner isn't limited to the kitchen - not by a long shot. Let's take a look:

  • Washing your hands with a little bit of ground coffee on them can significantly bolster overall cleanliness and also rid them of particularly persistent smells that sometimes feel like they're stuck to your skin, according to Helpling.com.
  • Grounds can even function as a face or body wash exfoliator. (Just don’t overuse as it is abrasive.)
  • When stored in a breathable fabric vessel (or an open container that's placed in a spot where they won't get knocked over), they make a solid air freshener. SFGate Home Guides recommended adding a few drops of vanilla extract for extra odor-neutralizing power.

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Outdoor uses

Coffee can also have some applications that, while not specifically cleaning-related, are still pretty handy for the exterior part of your household:

  • Got a green thumb? According to Healthline, you can use coffee grounds as both a fertilizer and a composting aid. To the former point, coffee contains nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium - all of which are important minerals for encouraging plant growth. That same nutrient richness aids the latter process as well, when combined with other kitchen waste.
  • The smell of coffee discourages most insects, so placing some crumbs around areas of the house they usually try to congregate can be a reasonably effective repellent. (Cockroaches actually like the scent, so Thrillist.com suggested placing coffee in a glass jar and lining its insides with double-sided tape to trap those particular pests.)
  • While you may not want to rub grounds on your skin to ward off bugs, doing so may be a great all-natural flea repellent for your pets. According to Healthline, after you've applied shampoo, you can rub some grounds through the fur of your four-footed friend and then rinse them off to saturate their skin with a scent that fleas will hate.

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