Is there a more perfect beverage than coffee? It’s delicious, it wakes you up, and it smells amazing. But as it turns out, coffee is so much more than just a pick-me-up.
Whether you have fresh coffee beans, grounds that have gone stale, or used grounds — these 20 unusual for coffee will make your life so much easier.
From skin treatments to insect repellent, there really isn’t much that coffee can’t be used for.
1. Get rid of strong odors on your hands
Handling fish or cutting garlic can leave your hands smelling not-so-fresh; these strong scents also tend to linger around for a while. Rid your hands of the smelly odor by rubbing used coffee grounds between your hands and rinsing with water.
2. Add extra shine to your hair
Coffee is an all-natural way to get gorgeous, shiny locks. Make an extra strong pot of coffee and let it cool. Apply the coffee to clean, dry hair and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing. Treat your hair once a week for glossy strands.
3. Make homemade pincushions
Dried, used coffee grounds are the perfect craft material for filling up a DIY homemade pin cushion. Wrap the dried coffee grounds in a cloth, tie the cloth with a rubber band, and place in a container near your sewing area. The grounds will also prevent your needles from rusting.
4. Fertilize your plants
Plants like Azaleas, blueberry shrubs and rhododendrons absolutely thrive when coffee grounds are placed around their roots. These acid-loving plants will eat up all of the wonderful nutrients in the coffee. Dilute your leftover coffee and pour it right into your potted plants (as long as there’s no cream or sugar!) to help them stay healthy.
5. Homemade car air freshener
All you need is some unused pantyhose or nylons and some coffee grounds (new or old) for this simple DIY project. Keep your car smelling that morning cup of Joe by securing coffee grounds in the pantyhose and securing with a string or rubber band. Place your homemade car air freshener underneath a seat or hanging from the rearview mirror. A full tutorial is here.
6. Use as a creative vase filler
Instead of throwing out stale coffee beans, use them to fill vases instead. They look pretty, and they’ll smell good for quite some time.
7. Make it your “secret ingredient”
Adding a touch of coffee to dishes like ice cream, chili, or chocolate dishes can take them to the next level. Marinating meats in coffee will make the meat incredibly tender with a hint of smoky flavor. Add a bit of coffee to your next dish for that magical touch.
8. Eliminate fridge odors
Place a bowl of fresh coffee grounds inside your fridge to soak up and eliminate smells from rotten fruits, raw chicken, or other smelly food items. Plus, every time you open the fridge door, you’ll get a lovely whiff of coffee!
9. Make cleaning your fireplace a breeze
Cleaning a wood-burning fireplace can be extremely messy. The ash is so lightweight that it tends to fly everywhere. Instead, sprinkle damp coffee grounds on the cool embers and let them sit for 15 minutes. The coffee grounds will cling to the ashes, making it much easier to scoop without such a mess.
10. Repel ants
Sprinkle used, dry coffee grounds in areas where you have trouble with ants, whether it’s in your yard or your home. If you have an ant mound in your yard, pour a pot of hot coffee over it to eliminate them.
11. Use it as a kitchen scrub
Coffee grounds are amazing for scrubbing kitchen counters or appliances because of it’s acid and mildly abrasive texture. Use the grounds alone or with a bit of dish soap to get off tough grime and grease.
12. Keep your pet rid of fleas
For an all-natural flea repellent, rub used coffee grounds on your pet’s fur after bathing them. Plus, they’ll smell much better than a wet dog.
13. Hide scratches on your furniture
Just rub a little bit of instant coffee with a little water on the scratches in your wood furniture and watch them instantly disappear. Repeat the process until the desired color matches the wood.
14. Help reduce cellulite
Caffeine is generally always the number one ingredient in those expensive cellulite creams. It enhances the metabolism of fat and reduces the appearance of cellulite. Just mix warm, used coffee grounds with coconut oil and rub in a circular motion before rinsing in the shower.
15. Make compost for your garden
Adding coffee grounds to your compost bin will do wonders for your garden. Grounds are rich in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper, which are all wonderful nutrients for your plants and veggies. Many coffee shops will give you used or stale coffee grounds for free.
16. Create a natural dye
The pigments that occur naturally in coffee are a great way to dye paper, fabrics, or even Easter eggs. Brush paper with a strong brew of coffee or soak fabric for a few minutes up to a few hours. The color, however, may bleed out when washed.
17. Exfoliate your skin
The same properties that reduce cellulite are the same properties that will help smooth and tighten your skin. Make a paste out of coffee grounds and olive oil to give your face a good scrub. You can also add a couple of drops of an essential oil of your choice to enhance the smell and benefits.
18. Keep cats out of your garden
Gardens are hard work. Tending to one involves a lot of patience, dedication, and effort. So when a cat treats it like a giant litter box, it’s infuriating! Just sprinkle some coffee grounds all over your garden, and the cats won’t want to come anywhere near it.
19. Grow mushrooms
Mushrooms absolutely thrive when grown in coffee. In fact, you can buy an entire kit that includes coffee grounds, mushroom roots, and a mini spray bottle. The kit can produce up to 1.5 pounds of oyster mushrooms within ten days.
20. Begin vermicomposting
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Worms absolutely love coffee for some reason. If you’re okay with having these harmless creepy crawlies around, then coffee is the perfect way to encourage your worms in your vermicomposting bin to eat all of your organic garbage.