Top 10 Alternative Uses for Coffee Grounds and Beans

alternative uses for coffee (coffee grounds)

You can use coffee for many purposes besides making a delicious cup of Joe. Coffee can be used in alternative ways outside the kitchen, from cleaning to grooming. Here are our top 10 alternative uses for coffee:

1. Coffee Grounds Have Many Uses in the Garden and On the Farm

Adding coffee grounds to your compost pile, worm farm, or garden can boost the soil and improve its health. The grounds are a natural fertilizer, helping to retain moisture and enriching the soil with nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium. As well as being good for your plants, they also help keep pests away (coffee is toxic to slugs and snails). Coffee grounds are also useful in repelling ants; just place some around their pathways to keep them out of sight.

2. Can Be Used in Your Compost

Coffee grounds are great for your garden and can be used as a fertilizer. Coffee grounds provide a natural source of nitrogen, which is another essential component of healthy soil. The nitrogen in coffee grounds will give your plants an added boost and help them grow faster.

Using coffee as fertilizer is also good for the environment because it saves you from buying fertilizers that may contain chemicals. You can use coffee grounds directly on the soil or add them to your compost pile if you have one. If you’re using them directly on the soil, spread a thin layer over the top of the soil to a depth of about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm).

If you’re adding them to your compost pile, combine equal parts coffee grounds with other kitchen scraps or grass clippings in an open composting container such as a wheelbarrow or large bucket made especially for composting (available at most home improvement stores).

3. Used in a Salad Dressing Provide a Powerful Antioxidant Punch

To make the dressing, blend together 1/4 cup of your favorite oil (canola or olive will do), 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. You can add a pinch of salt if you like, but there’s no need to add sugar. All it takes is a few simple ingredients and a blender.

You might be wondering why anyone would want to use coffee grounds in a salad dressing. Coffee grounds are just as rich in antioxidants as regular coffee (or espresso). The benefit of using them in salad dressing is that they provide an easy way to consume natural caffeine with less acidity than drinking coffee. It’s also great for making use of those old grounds that have been sitting around waiting for you to compost them in your garden!

4. Make a Charcoal Mask for Your Face

This one is an excellent alternative use for coffee for your beauty. You can use coffee to make a charcoal mask for your face. Moreover, this is a great way to reduce pore size and improve your skin’s complexion. Mix some ground coffee with honey and a little bit of water, apply onto your face, let dry for 10 minutes, and wash off with warm water. Use regularly for the best results!

5. Repel Pests and Attract Worms

Who would have thought that the mere coffee grounds could help repel pests and attract worms in your garden? Caffeine stimulates the growth of various plants. It also repels some harmful insects to your plants while attracting others that are beneficial. Coffee grounds can be used as fertilizers in a number of ways; you can simply scatter them on top of the soil or dig them deep into it.

Alternatively, you may steep coffee grounds in water for about 45 minutes before using them in your garden for best results.

6. Scare Away Cats from Your Plants and Animals

Did you know that cats don’t like the smell of coffee grounds? As it turns out, there is a good reason for this. Believe it or not, coffee can be used to deter cats from using your garden as their litter box. It’s an effective natural repellent for cats and some other animals and works just like the commercial repellents that are typically sold at pet stores.

You can sprinkle some used coffee grounds around your garden plants or use some dried ones in a homemade cat repellent spray by mixing them with warm water and spraying the solution all over the areas where you want to protect your plants from cats. Used coffee grounds can also be sprinkled around chicken coops as they tend to keep bugs away as well!

7. Make Soap or Shampoo

If soap is not your thing, but you are interested in making your own shampoo, there are a few things that you will need to get started: 1 cup of brewed coffee, 2 cups of water, and ¼ cup of liquid castile soap. You will also need to add some additives, such as aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil.

Mix the water with the brewed coffee and microwave for 15 seconds to make the shampoo. Remove from the microwave and add the castile soap and aloe vera gel (if you want). Stir until it is mixed together well. Pour into a bottle or pump dispenser.

8. Coffee Beans Can Be Used As an Effective Deodorizer for Your Home and Refrigerator

Believe it or not, coffee beans can be used as an effective deodorizer for your home and refrigerator. Coffee has the ability to absorb bad odors, which is why it’s a perfect substitute for chemical air fresheners and store-bought odor absorbers. Instead of masking the smells with scent, coffee actually absorbs unpleasant smells from your house.

If you want to use coffee beans as an air freshener or odor absorber, simply pour them into a small bowl (or two) and place them around your home, such as on kitchen counters or in smelly closets. If you want to keep them out of sight, you can always place them inside a decorative candy dish (bonus points if they match the rest of your kitchen decor). You should change out the beans every seven days—just pour the old ones into a baggie or container and toss them into the trash.

To use coffee as an odor absorber in your refrigerator, get several mason jars with lids and fill each one about halfway full with whole coffee beans. Place one jar on each shelf, then cover tightly with their lids. Replace them once a month so that they continue to work effectively at absorbing odors from fruits and vegetables going bad in your fridge

9. Coffee Has Many Uses in Arts and Crafts Activities, Including Candle Making, Bolder Dying, and Yarn Dyeing

As mentioned above, coffee is an excellent odor absorber. You can make your own coffee candle by placing a few coffee beans wrapped in cheesecloth in the bottom of a glass and then pouring wax on top. You could also mix some melted butter into the wax before pouring it over the beans to give your candle some additional fragrance.

Additionally, coffee grounds are good for eliminating odors from both clothing and upholstery. To remove unpleasant smells from clothing or other fabrics, simply sprinkle them with a mixture of baking soda and fresh ground coffee.

10. Clean your Carpets

Sprinkle damp, used coffee grounds on your carpet, let them sit for 15 minutes, and vacuum them up to remove odors and stains! This is one of the best alternative uses for coffee around your house.


In reality, there are tons of different alternative uses for coffee. Many are environmentally friendly, but some are more effective than others.

So, next time you are about to throw out an old coffee bag or your leftover grounds from the weekend, think again.