If you’re like me, you’re thinking “why on earth would I need to know any other uses for coffee aside from drinking it?” Hey, I hear you! I drink coffee like my life depends on it. Considering my body is probably 75% coffee at this point, it probably does! Still, as I was grinding beans this afternoon and transferring it into a jar, I spilled a little. Gasp, shudder, coffee abuse! Rather than just tossing it, I used it as a quick scrub on my hands. Inspiration struck!

Coffee is delicious and brilliant for drinking, sure, but did you know that you can use those used and unused grounds for loads of other things? Even that brewed coffee has more uses than caffeinating your tired self! Check out 27 brilliant uses for coffee, aside from the obvious!


These uses for coffee aside from the obvious include things to do with the leftover grounds after you brew your delicious morning cup, those unused grounds that you just never get around to using (or spill because you’re a klutz) and even the rejected flavors that come in those coffee samplers deals.

Brilliant Uses for Coffee Besides Drinking It

Since there are so many other uses for coffee aside from just drinking it, I’ll break this up into a few sections: around the house,  on your body and in your food.

Uses for Coffee Around the House

  • Use coffee grounds to scrub stuck-on food off your pots and pans.
  • Leftover grounds are also great for scrubbing your grill!
  • Use as a deodorizer: Stick unused grounds in an open jar (or a jar that has a slotted lid or lid with holes) and pop into your fridge, laundry room, or any other stinky place to absorb odors.
  • Fill a tightly-woven sachet with unused grounds and hang in the back of a musty closet to keep it odor-free.
  • Keep feral kitties out of a certain area. While The Fuzz seems to like coffee  (he’s always trying to stick his face in mine!), cats don’t like coffee grounds as a rule. So if you want to keep them from hanging out in front of your porch or digging up your garden, throw some used coffee grounds on top of the soil. It’s also a great fertilizer for some plants. Which? I don’t know I kill plants, so I’m not the best person to discuss anything having to do with growing them!
  • Use coffee to dye fabric. Check out this great tutorial on how to antique fabric with coffee.
  • Make a coffee candle. This one is super simple and pretty.
  • Send slugs and ants packing by pouring a line of coffee grounds in areas they like to hang out.
  • Fix scratches in dark wood furniture by making a paste of coffee grounds and water. Rub it on the scratch. The coffee will stain the wood and make it less noticeable.
  • Check out this recipe from Kids Activity Blog to make Mud-Like play dough using coffee.


 Uses for Coffee for Your Body

Brilliant Uses for Coffee include making a coffee scrub recipe, like this one from OurFamilyWorld.com!

Coffee Scrub Recipe from OurFamilyWorld.com


  • Use it as a hand scrub. Just grab a few used or unused grounds, rub them around in your hands with a bit of water, then rinse. This is great if you’ve been working with really smelly food!
  • Coffee body scrub: go all out and make a whole coffee body scrub to really awaken your senses. Check out this coffee scrub recipe from OurFamilyWorld.
  • Use it as a “nose cleaner!” No, I don’t mean shove it up your nose. If you’re smelling a bunch of different scents, though, sniff a jar of coffee grinds in between to “cleanse” your nasal palate, so to speak.
  • Give brown hair a natural shine and color boost with a coffee rinse. Brew 2 cups of strong coffee  (or more for longer, thicker hair), let it cool. Pour it over your hair after shampooing and conditioning. You can either leave it in or rinse it out after a few minutes. Obviously, don’t do this if you have light or bleached hair.
  • You can also just rub the grounds into your hair, then rinse to help degunk your hair and boost shine. Again, be careful with light hair.
  • Make coffee soap! My mom used to make soap and she had an awesome recipe. I don’t know what she did with it, but I like this Cheryll’s Cafe Au Lait soap.
  • Make a face mask to help fight acne and cleanse your pores. There are tons of coffee face mask recipes out there. My favorite so far is this one from Beauty Banter, because it also has cocoa in it. Yum!

Cooking with Coffee

Get a few nifty tips for cooking with coffee, plus see how easy it is to make this delicious (albeit not exactly beautiful) Caffeinated Brownies!

You can also use coffee in delicious recipes! No, I’m not talking about actual coffee drinks like lattes and whatnot, but actually using it as an ingredient. There are zillions of recipes out there, just Bing “cooking with coffee” or “recipes using coffee.” Check out a few of my favorite ideas.

  • Make a coffee rub by mixing unused coffee grounds with other dry ingredients, like kosher salt, pepper, paprika, etc. Use it to flavor meats. Just search “coffee rub” on Bing and you’ll find tons of different recipes.
  • Caffeinated brownies: check out my recipe for using coffee in your brownie recipe to give it an extra boost!
  • Make tiramisu with espresso
  • Add it to BBQ sauce
  • Make coffee ice cubes with leftover brewed coffee, use it in your iced coffee so regular cubes don’t water it down.
  • Make mocha ice pops. Theoretically, you could mix coffee, sugar and milk, pour into ice pop molds and freeze. Or you could follow this recipe.
  • Coffee pudding, anyone?
  • Oh my! Someone actually made espresso popcorn! All the feels!
  • Chocolate covered espresso beans. Best thing ever.
  • Homemade coffee ice cream, yum!

See, coffee is useful for so many things besides just drinking it! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a nice hot oversized cup of joe either!
Do you have any other favorite uses for coffee aside from the obvious? Tell me in the comments!