Life Hacks | Did You Know

13 Unusual Uses For Coffee That Have Nothing To Do With Drinking It

Estormiz from Wikimedia Commons / Orin Zebest/flickr

If starting your day with a cup of coffee is essential, then you know the importance of this delicious ground bean. Whether it's the caffeine fix or the intoxicating aroma, many Americans start their day with a cup of Joe. Well, as it turns out, there are more uses for coffee than to wake you up in the morning.

So it's time to start saving those used coffee grounds because they will come in handy in places you hadn't even considered.

Stop Fridge Odor

If the smell of your fridge is a mixture of old vegetables, soggy leftovers, and spoiled milk, then clearly you need some help. Place a bowl of fresh, unused coffee grounds inside your fridge and leave it for a day or two. The coffee will absorb the awful smells and you will crave a cup of Joe every time you open the fridge. Sounds like a win-win to me!  

Reduce Cellulite

Cellulite creams can get costly and they may not always work. These creams and coffee have one major ingredient in common: caffeine. Caffeine is supposed to enhance fat metabolism and helps to reduce the appearance of these fatty pockets under your skin. To make your own treatment, mix warm used coffee grounds with coconut oil and rub it onto your skin using a circular motion. Then rinse away.

Create Shiny Hair

The secret to shiny, healthy-looking hair is not confined to your shampoo bottle. Coffee is a natural way to keep your hair looking glossy. Brew up a nice strong pot of coffee, let it cool, and then apply it to your dry, clean hair. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes, and then rinse it away. Doing this regiment once a week will give you beautiful hair without expensive salon treatments.

Exfoliate Skin

Not only can coffee be good for your hair, but it can also help give you great skin! The same properties that can help reduce cellulite can actually help smooth and tighten your skin. The texture of ground coffee will help to remove dead skin cells too! Make your own skin scrub by combining a tablespoon of coffee grounds, with half a tablespoon of olive oil, as well as a drop of your favorite essential oil for a great scent.

Remove Smell From Your Hands

Have you been chopping garlic and now no matter how many times you wash your hands they still smell? While it may have been delicious at the time, the lingering odor is starting to become offensive. Get rid of the strong scent by rubbing a handful of used coffee grounds on your hands and then rinsing them with warm water.

Make Great Compost

You will want to put aside your used coffee ground this winter for the spring thaw. Many gardeners swear by adding used coffee grounds to their compost. Rich in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper, the coffee grounds will release nitrogen into the soil as they break down.

Using It As A Crafting Dye

I think we all remember that one school project where we wanted to 'age' a note left behind from someone in history. The natural pigments in coffee make for a great natural dye for fabric, paper and Easter eggs. Just brush the paper with a strong brew of coffee and let it dry or soak into the fabric in a cup of hot coffee.

Clean Out Your Fireplace

I wish I had known this one before I had someone in to clean my fireplace after Christmas. Clean up your fireplace without causing a dust storm with the help of coffee. When the embers are cool, sprinkle damp coffee grounds all over the ashes and let them sit for 15 minutes before scooping out the whole mess. The coffee grounds will cling to the ashes and you won't end up with a bigger mess than what you started with.

Get Rid Of Ants

The ants will go marching away from your home thanks to the strong scent of coffee. All you have to do to repel those ants is to sprinkle dry, used coffee grounds in the areas you are finding ants in your home and they may just pick up their stuff and leave. If you are dealing with large ant mounds, pour an entire pot of brewed coffee right on the mound.

Keep Cats Out Of Your Garden

Sure, you're growing a beautiful vegetable and herb garden to eat from all summer, but to the neighborhood cats think it looks like one giant litter box. Give the felines the message they don't belong there by sprinkling some coffee grounds on the soil and they will stay far away.

Fertilize Your Plants

The uses for coffee in your garden continue as a fertilizer for your plants! Step aside Miracle-Gro, because this kitchen staple could be exactly what you need to get the lush garden you have been hoping for. Plants that love acid will appreciate you sprinkling your used coffee grounds around their roots. Specifically, azaleas, blueberry shrubs and rhododendrons will flourish when treated with coffee. You can also dilute leftover coffee (like there is such a thing) and pour it right into your potted plants.

Repel Fleas

Do you struggle with your pets bringing home fleas? Rub used, damp coffee grounds through your pet's fur after a bath and it will help repel fleas without the expensive chemical treatments you see in the stores.

Touch Up Furniture Scratches

Are you still looking at the scratches on your table from your last move? Maybe they were put there by a careless toddler close to 20 years ago and you haven't figured out what do to about it. Well oddly enough, instant coffee could be your answer to erasing those unsightly scratches. Scratches on wood furniture could virtually disappear by simply rubbing a little bit of instant coffee dampened into a paste with hot water.