4 Uses for Old Coffee, Plus 1 Use You Should Avoid

If you landed here at Coletti Coffee, odds are you’re a coffee lover. If you’re the average American, odds are you’re open to ideas that could help you save money. This post covers both bases at once.  From now on, start saving your grounds, because coffee has a handful of practical uses around the home and garden.


Although fall isn’t prime time for gardening, keep this tip in mind for next spring when you start planning and planting your garden. Oregon State University’s Extension Service offers a variety of information on agricultural topics, including this article providing an overview of how to use coffee grounds as fertilizer. It’s interesting to note that you can use coffee filters in the garden too, as a source of carbon. Another useful tip: Coffee grounds don’t spoil, so you can keep them in large, sealed buckets for later use.

Hair Rejuvenator

Until I dug up this research in the British Journal of Dermatology, I assumed claims about coffee’s effect on hair were anecdotal. According to the study, coffee can actually promote hair growth in both men and women. While the study didn’t offer methods for applying coffee to hair for maximum benefit, there are plenty of resources online. This website provides a recipe for coffee oil that you can apply to your hair in various ways, as a pre-shampoo treatment or as an additive to your shampoo (a few drops added before each wash).

Air Freshener

A decade or so ago when I lived in another state, I wore perfume oils purchased at my favorite locally owned gift shop. Amid all the bottles was a small bag of coffee beans. Since coffee absorbs odors, it helped customers clear out the scent of one oil in preparation for smelling another (or many others if you’re indecisive like me). There’s legit science supporting coffee’s odor-absorbing qualities too. Although we can’t create high-tech coffee filters at home, we can go the DIY route and make a simple refrigerator deodorizer with coffee grounds.

Coffee as Insect Repellant

Insect Repellant/Preventive

According to an article at Modern Farmer, “studies instead have found that water with significant amounts of coffee grounds in them can disable mosquito larvae from developing or surviving.” A study published at the National Institutes of Health website confirms this and also shows that mosquitos are actually repelled by the smell of coffee, which substantiates the numerous articles on the web about burning old, dry coffee grounds. This is great news for anyone who likes being outdoors in the summertime—which is just about everyone, isn’t it?


Coffee has long been heralded as a natural alternative to store-bought exfoliators. Unfortunately it has some serious downsides. While coffee might help remove dead skin, its sharp edges can actually damage the skin along the way. Plus, coffee grounds are bad news for plumbing. So in this case, it’s best to make yourself a nice pour-over while wearing an exfoliating mask that’s safe for your drain.

Do you use coffee for any of these or other unusual uses? Share with us in the comments below!

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