Interesting Ways to Use Coffee and Coffee Grounds

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Coffee Grounds

For many of us, coffee is an essential part of our everyday lives. But did you know there are other uses for coffee besides just drinking it? Read on!

Ways to Use Coffee for Hair and Body


Add coffee grounds to any homemade body scrub for great exfoliation. It helps slough off dead skin cells and encourages new skin cells to come to the surface.

Reduce appearance of cellulite

Make an anti-cellulite scrub. Mix together fresh coffee grounds, dried sage leaves, and melted coconut oil. Rub this into legs, belly, or anywhere else cellulite might be lurking. Both sage and coffee help to break down cellulite and increase circulation. Be very careful as the coconut oil can make the shower very slippery!

Darken hair

Make a natural coffee rinse for darkening hair that will be a great alternative to chemical hair dyes. You can find the complete instructions in our Homemade Herbal Hair Dye article.

Eliminate odors from hands

Make a dip bowl and keep it by your sink to rid your hands of odors after chopping onions or garlic. Add coffee grounds to a small bowl and mix in a small amount of liquid castile soap. After chopping onions or garlic, scoop out a small amount of the mixture and rub it into your hands. Rinse well.

Ingredient in homemade soap

Alternately, add fresh coffee grounds to your soap when you are making cold process or melt and pour soap. It will work much the same way.

Dry shampoo

Make a quick dry shampoo for your hair. Mix fresh coffee grounds into some arrowroot powder, adjusting the amounts to match your hair color. (You may want to run the coffee grounds through a coffee/spice grinder to be sure it’s very finely ground.) You can make a little or a lot and keep it for future use. Use a foundation brush to brush the mixture into your scalp at the hairline. Let sit a few minutes to soak up excess oil, then brush out. Your hair will look fresher and smell better. (See our other article on making Homemade Dry Shampoo for different hair colors.)

Using Coffee Grounds Around the House

Hide scratches in wood

Make a paste from fresh, unused coffee grounds and a small amount of cooking oil. (Any oil will work.) Rub this into furniture to minimize the appearance of scratches.

Houseplant food

Add coffee grounds (used or fresh) to houseplants to give them a boost, mixing it into the soil. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, and are great for houseplants.

Eliminate musty odors

Have a musty smell coming from under the sink or in a closet? Fill a pie pan with fresh coffee grounds and place it in the area. The coffee will absorb any odors in this area. This works great in the refrigerator too!

Natural air freshener

Use flavored coffee grounds in a shallow dish anywhere in the house to impart a fun scent.

Garden helper

Mix coffee grounds into your soil when planting in the garden. Not only does it add nitrogen, as above with the houseplants, it will also make a nice, aerated soil mix. Plus, it’s light-weight and inexpensive (or free if you were going to toss them out anyway).

Absorb vacuum odors

Make a pouch of coffee grounds wrapped in cheesecloth and place in your vacuum cleaner bag. Discard with the bag when full. This will absorb any odors in the bag. You can also use this in bagless vacuums, just remember to remove before you dump out since you empty this more often.

Repel slugs

Sprinkle under outdoor plants like hostas to discourage slugs from moving in. Then don’t like to crawl over the rough surface.

For fireplace clean-up

When you are cleaning your fireplace or wood stove, sprinkle damp coffee grounds over everything first. It will keep the dust down and help to gather up all of the small bits of burnt wood that remain. It will also help absorb some of the heavy odors.

Grill rub

Add finely ground fresh coffee to any rub that you would use for meat. It adds a great flavor!

Have you used coffee in an unusual way? Tell us about it!


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Akeersa says

    I used this coffee rub and loved it! Only difference I did was adding baking soda and epsom salt because I didn’t have any sage. I tell you now i have only only done this twice in my thighs, butt and abdominal area and I already notice a change in my appearance. Everything look smoother and I love it!!! I am 26 years old and a mother of 4!!! Every time I look in the mirror I kick myself for not taking better care of my health and appearance. SO i jump on any opportunity to help my situation naturally. Besides when you have 4 kids who has the money to spend on laser treatments and wraps???

  2. Anoop says

    Thank you for this tips. Coffee with herbs are good for health. Please visit AVA Store you will get different type of coffee herbs mix which naturally made. I always prefer to buy from AVA Store

  3. Bethany says

    I wonder if the removal of odor from hands trick would extend to helping remove the oil of hot peppers from my hands. Onion/garlic odors on my hands don’t seem to be a big issue for me. But I never remember to wear gloves when chopping hot peppers, and end up with burning hands (and everything I touch) for a day or two.
    Have you tried the coffee grounds & liquid castille soap for that purpose?

    • Carisa says

      I have never used coffee beans for this, but what I do that works is wash hands with cold water before cutting the peppers, and immediately after done cutting the peppers wash again in very cold water and use a good oil fighting soap, like Dawn, liberally. It is uncomfortable, all that cold water, but the cold water closes your pores so that the jalapeño oil doesn’t get it, then the Dawn soap washes it away. I’ve not had any problems since doing this!

  4. Jennifer says

    This sort of goes with the “eliminating musty odors” with coffee grounds…but ever spill wet garbage inside your car…or as one of my friends did…turkey drippings?!? I had her sprinkle fresh coffee grounds on the fabric/flooring and leave it overnight. In the morning I had her vacuum it up and odor was gone. It sure was worth the price of a cheap brick/can of coffee!!!