21 Curious Uses For Coffee (That Are TRULY Wonderful!)

21 Curious Uses For Coffee (That Are TRULY Wonderful!)


Coffee is truly amazing. Not only does it help us to feel semi-human in the morning, but it smells amazing and has some really powerful properties that can be used for a range of other tasks too!

Whether it's instant, coffee grounds, used or unbrewed, there are tonnes of uses for coffee to discover in the list below - don't miss out.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in June 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in December 2018.

Beauty uses

1. Hair dye

brunnette long hair
Get those locks looking gorgeous!

Are you a brunette? If so, there's no need to spend loads in the salon for expensive hair-enhancing treatments. You can use coffee as a hair colour enhancer and it will darken and add shine to your locks!

Make a strongly brewed coffee and pour it through your hair, but be sure to let the coffee cool off first. Keep it under a shower cap and leave it to sink into your hair for 45 minutes before rinsing.

2. Coffee exfoliator

There are many benefits of exfoliating regularly. Removing dead skin cells will not only improve the appearance of your skin but allow it to take in more nutrients from moisturising products too.

To make your own using coffee, add used coffee grounds to warm water or coconut oil and scrub your skin from head to foot. Goodbye dead skin cells!

3. Hair rinse for shedding & residue build-up

Over time product can build up in hair and make it greasy and dull.

Get rid of residue left by hair styling products by massaging used coffee grounds into your hair before you shampoo. You can also help to prevent your hair shedding with a coffee rinse, just apply after you shampoo or condition.

Remember to take care when you're in the bathroom, you don't want coffee splashed everywhere - it would be a pain to clean up!

4. Reduce cellulite

Cellulite is completely natural yet many of us want to get rid of it. You may have seen cellulite-reducing products in beauty shops which include caffeine, which is said to be helpful in encouraging it to disappear.

Now you can help get rid of your cellulite with a homemade coffee scrub! Follow the fun little video above to learn how to make yours. 

Cleaning with coffee

5. Drain cleaner

Is your drain starting to pong a bit? It's easy to fix with the help of leftover coffee grounds.

Pour them down the drain and follow up with a kettle full of boiling water to help oust odours. Lovely stuff.

If your problems persist, read our article on how to remove hair from drains

6. Deodorise the fridge

open fridge door
What's lurking inside yours?

Spillages, mouldy veg and smelly cheese can make your fridge smell surprisingly bad!

Coffee grounds can be used to absorb smells and fill the air with an earthy freshness. Fill up some bowls of used coffee grounds and pop them onto fridge shelves overnight. It's an easy way to get rid of the stink.

7. Surface scrubber

Say goodbye to harsh chemicals - homemade cleaning products are where it's at.

Use a cleaning cloth and some old coffee grounds to help clean food from kitchen counters, cooking hobs or dirty dishes. The grounds are mildly abrasive, which means they won't damage your surfaces - so you can scrub on without fear!

8. DIY air freshener

Mmmm the smell of coffee... all the time!
Mmmm the smell of coffee... all the time!

Do you love, love, LOVE the smell of coffee? Why not use it as an air freshener? All you need is an odd sock, some coffee beans, an elastic band and a spoon.

Find out how to make your very own natural coffee air freshener at Snapguide.com.

Household uses

9. Help carrots grow

Got a veggie garden on the go? You'll be pleased to learn that coffee grounds can help your carrot harvest. Mix dried coffee grounds with your carrot seeds to give them a boost of nutrients and stimulate growth.

10. Grow mushrooms

Can you see any fairies?

Conquered the carrots? Time to give mushrooms a go!

All you need to get started are some coffee grounds - easy, right! Head to Storm The Castle to get clued up on the growing process and you'll never have to go to the shop again.

11. Wood stain

It's not just hair that coffee can be used on - if your wooden table or fence needs a pick-me-up, try out using coffee as a natural wood stain.

Whole Green Love has a wonderful guide that wil help you get your wood looking as good as new again!

12. Hand cleaner

After chopping garlic or onions, your hands might be slightly stinky. Don't worry, those trusty coffee grounds will come to your rescue - give your hands a rub with some grounds to help counteract any smelly odours and leave your hands smelling fresh.

13. Natural ant repellent

ant trail
Critters be gone!

Got an ant infestation but don't want to harm them?

If you've discovered ants, grab some coffee grounds to keep them at bay by sprinkling around entry points. Whether it's the size of the grounds or the smell, they're not big fans, so it's worth a try.

14. Slug & snail repellent

Speaking of uninvited guests, coffee could also help with slugs and snails that are taking over your vegetable patch. As well as killing plants, slugs can also eat seedlings and even seeds before they've had a chance at growing.

Help prevent a potential massacre by putting used coffee grounds at the base of plants to keep them safe.

15. Attract friendly worms

And now some animals we'd like to see more of!

Worms help give your soil and plants nutrients and the tunnels they create when they slither along will help to aerate the soil which will allow roots to grow.

They're big fans of coffee so adding coffee grounds to your garden flowerbeds will help attract them.

16. Keep unwanted cats away

cat in garden
Here comes trouble...

Now it's time to tackle those pesky four-pawed friends.

Cats seem to really HATE the smell of coffee so grab a handful to spread throughout the garden, and they'll soon stay away from your precious plants. Mix your grounds with orange peels to give it that extra cat-repelling effect.

It'll stop them from leaving smelly presents on your lawn too!

17. In your compost

Give your soil a boost by adding coffee grounds to your compost. They are rich with nitrogen which will help your dear plants convert sunlight into energy. You could even try heading into a local coffee shop to see if they'll let you take away their used coffee - what a freebie!

This is not only good for your plants, but a great way to save on waste too.

Fun ways to use coffee

18. DIY coffee candle

Why not pimp out your tealights and make your home smell like an Artisan coffee shop?

Fill a bowl with coffee beans and place tea lights on top! The heat of the candle will warm the coffee beans and you can enjoy a lovely aroma throughout the room.

19. Fabric dye

Make yourself a mixture of coffee grounds and water and use it to dye clothing... or Ostrich feathers! Find out how to do it in the video above.

20. Use as Pincushion filler

If you love to sew, you can never have too many pincushions!

Craft yourself a new one with coffee grounds. It'll make your sewing kit smell amazing, keep hands protected, and they'll also keep your pins from rusting. Who knew?

21. Painting with coffee

coffee painting
Easy peasy!

Run out of paint? Or perhaps you just fancy trying something new? Give coffee paint a go!

It's simple - all you have to do is mix coffee with water instead. To get different tones, change the amount of water - for a more intense colour, use less water. You'll soon be creating beautiful artworks for your home.

It's a great option for the kids to use, and it's also incredibly cheap!

Blimey - who knew there were so many uses for coffee?


If you know more, please let me know in the comments below!

Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author DanielleC on June 21, 2015 at 1:27 am

    WoW amazing uses for coffee, especially those where I can enjoy drinking the coffee first. As the T-disks in my Tassimo are non-recyclable and are 1 use only this also means: as I drink my morning coffee my particular way, it's not only useful for kick-starting my day, I'm keeping those pesky little ants at bay, Im helping my carrots to grow big and juicy and makes sure my fence colours are kept dark and sprucey.

    1. Author Colleen B on June 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      What a great poet you are, thanks very much!

  2. Author Gloria general on July 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for the great ideas for coffee grounds for my garden

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      You're welcome Gloria! Glad you liked them :)

  3. Author Angela on August 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Hey Colleen/Stephanie Thanks for some great tips, I love my coffee! Especially like the air freshener and fridge deodoriser ideas, will be using them for sure ;-)

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 2, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks Angela - I'm glad you enjoyed our tips :)

  4. Author Stephen on August 18, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Clever young lady I will to give them a whirl ,

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 21, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Hi Stephen. Glad you liked the article! Good luck trying some of the ideas :)

  5. Author Sandy on November 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    For a coffee hair rinse has it got to be ground or will instant do --

    1. Author Stephanie C on November 6, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Sandy. We'd recommend ground but if you can't get hold of it, strong, quality instant should do. I hope that helps! :)

  6. Author Joan on November 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Love the coffee tips, will be trying a few of these. I'm a keen gardener and dislike cats messing in my garden and I love mushrooms. I'll have to start drinking more proper coffee.

    1. Author Stephanie C on November 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Joan. So glad you like the coffee tips. Proper coffee is definitely worth the extra effort and money. Think of the garden! Hope our tips work for the cats. :)

  7. Author Jen Thorsen on November 9, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    You missed one! Coffee is great for getting rid of cold sores. Just dab the cold sore with cold coffee (I always use black) and the pain will disappear in a day or so and so will the sore.

    1. Author Stephanie C on November 9, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Hiya Jen. Wow, really? We've never heard of this one before! What a great idea - I can't wait to try this :)

  8. Author Aadje on May 28, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    After painting a wall, I had paint on my hands, Normally a kitchen scrubber gets most off, but ouch. Now I 'washed' my hands with this morning's coffee grounds. The paint came right off, from the nails as well. and without any pain, so I am going with clean hands to an appointment!

    1. Author Stephanie C on May 29, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Hi Aadje, Thanks for your comment. We're so glad the coffee grounds hack worked for you! :)

  9. Author Robert Adoko on June 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Excellent,lesson learnt a 100%

    1. Author Joanne A on June 5, 2019 at 9:01 am

      Thanks, Robert!

  10. Author shirley on August 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

    lot of helpful tips..apart from cats not liking coffee.my neighbours cat loves to try and share my cup of coffee!

    1. Author Joanne A on August 30, 2019 at 11:16 am

      How funny, Shirley! Maybe it's a very milky cuppa...

  11. Author barbara hiott on July 8, 2020 at 3:02 am

    I hear it works on gray hair? If it does let me know what to do. Thank you 😊

    1. Author Joanne A on January 17, 2023 at 3:43 pm

      No scientific evidence suggests that coffee can reverse or prevent grey hair. Some people believe that massaging coffee into the scalp may darken hair, but this is likely due to the temporary staining of the hair rather than any true reversing of the greying process.

  12. Author Elizabeth on January 16, 2024 at 11:59 am

    I use coffee grounds in home made soap. My son in kaw loves it. He works with fresh fish and it removes yhe fushy smey

    1. Author Joanne A on April 15, 2024 at 11:18 am

      Using coffee grounds in homemade soap is a great idea! It adds a nice exfoliating touch to the soap.


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