After that morning cup of coffee has given you the pep you need to get through the day, what do you do with the leftover coffee grounds? If your answer is throw them away or wash them down the drain, we have some tips for you!

First of all, you should never wash your used coffee grounds down the drain. The oils in grounds can build up and harden and eventually clog your drain. So what else can you do with them, you ask? Here are four earth-friendly ways to recycle those coffee grounds:

1. Kitchen compost: Coffee grounds can go directly into your kitchen compost. In fact, coffee grounds are an excellent nitrogen source for composting. The folks at Sunset Magazine have a nice little primer on composting coffee grounds.

2. Plant fertilizer: Even if you live in an apartment and don’t have a need or desire to compost, you can still use coffee grounds to fertilize plants. House plants can benefit from the little spike in acidity provided by coffee. However, experts do suggest using coffee grounds sparingly in houseplants and to avoid watering plants unless they’re very dry.

3. Deodorize refrigerator: That’s right – those coffee grounds that can make you garbage stinky can actually be used to deodorize a refrigerator. Simply leave a full bowl of used coffee grounds in the fridge overnight, and the grounds will absorb all sorts of odors.

4. Scrub pots and pans: Used coffee grounds also make an effective scouring agent for pots and pans. The naturally abrasive texture of grounds will scrub your cookware just as well as chemical cleaners. Coffee grounds are especially useful for scrubbing pans – like cast iron – on which you wouldn’t want to use soap or other cleansers.

How do you re-use your coffee grounds? Tell us in the comments below!

Before you can have used coffee grounds, you first need a coffee maker. Fortunately, Kenmore has you covered with a range of coffee and espresso makers – sold exclusively at Sears

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