If you are anything like most Americans, chances are your day doesn’t start until you’ve had your first cup of coffee. And you’ll have a couple more cups throughout the day. And maybe a cup of tea or two as well. That’s a lot of coffee grounds and tea leaves you shouldn’t be throwing away. But did you know you could have been reusing them in your home and garden all this time? Neither did we! (Keep reading.)

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When you think about what to do with used tea leaves and coffee grounds, the obvious answer is “compost them”. Sure, you can never go wrong with composting, but there are much more creative uses you could be taking advantage of. For example, coffee grounds are highly acidic and packed with plant-friendly nutrients. Use them in the soil for your plants and flowers to help them grow healthy and strong.

Pesticides are toxic, dangerous and harmful to the environment, so it makes sense to look for natural and organic alternatives. Your used coffee grounds are perfect for this. Place them around your precious plants and flowers to prevent ant infestations. You can also surround your most vulnerable plants with them to create a barrier that slugs and snails won’t cross. Tea leaves can also fend off these pests and fertilize your plants as well.

Your used coffee grounds will not only make your plants stay beautiful, they will make you stay beautiful as well. Mix them with coconut oil and coarse brown sugar to make an energizing and natural skin exfoliant. Use it on your face and legs and rinse in the shower for smooth and young-looking skin. This is a great way to avoid the harmful plastic microbeads that are so common in beauty products nowadays. And the smell of coffee will definitely wake you up during your morning shower.

Used tea leaves also smell good and they can absorb and neutralize bad odors around your home as well. Scatter used tea leaves around your smelly carpets and leave for ten to fifteen minutes. Then, just vacuum them up and enjoy your clean and fresh carpets. If your cat’s litter box is stinking up your home, sprinkle some used tea leaves on the litter to diffuse the smell. Finally, instead of using baking soda to neutralize odors in your fridge, use tea leaves. Wait until the leaves are dry and place them in a mesh or tea bag inside your fridge (you can use an old nylon sock for this). Enjoy your fresh-smelling fridge.

As you can see, coffee and tea will do so much more than wake you up in the morning or help you wind down in the afternoon. With a little creativity and know-how, your old coffee grounds and tea leaves will find new life around your house.