20 Uses for Coffee You Didn’t Know About Before
Here's how to use coffee after brewing and give new life to coffee grounds, cans, and the java itself.
Every coffee drinker knows that the morning doesn’t start until they’ve had their first cup of coffee. Did you know coffee has a variety of uses beyond starting the day with a bit of caffeine? From halting headaches to fertilizing plants, here are a few unusual uses for coffee you didn’t know before.
You can help relieve headaches
It’s great to have a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, but it may also be good to have when you have a headache. “Caffeine can provide some headache relief. For example, one small controlled study found that caffeine was better than placebo, and as good as acetaminophen, in relieving tension-type headaches,” the American Migraine Foundation notes. Here are 3 common things you think trigger migraines but don’t.
You can fix furniture
Is that small crack, nick, or gouge all you can see each time you look at your dark wood dresser? Reach for the instant coffee. Mix two to three tablespoons with just enough water to make a thick paste; for wood with red tones, add a few drops of iodine. Put the paste on a small putty knife or a disposable plastic knife and use it to fill the crack. Remove any excess around the edges with a barely damp cloth. Let the paste dry completely, then buff with furniture wax. Make sure you know these 10 mistakes you make when rearranging your furniture.
You can clean your car
To keep your car smelling fresh and clean, place a small open container filled with freshly ground coffee beans where it won’t get knocked over. The grounds will absorb any strong odors you bring into the car—the smell of fast food, for example. Here are a few more car freshening hacks you probably haven’t thought of.
You can speed up your composting
Coffee grounds are a great material for adding to your compost because the grounds are an excellent nitrogen source, according to Oregon State University. To use, sprinkle on the soil and then mix it in.
You can grill your food
Here’s a handy tip from Mother Jones. Turn a coffee can into a grill by cutting some holes into the metal bottom and a “moderate size” triangle into the top. Flip the can upside down and throw some kindling—dry pine needles, for example—into that triangular space and light. Once the metal bottom is heated up, add meat and veggies. Here are a few favorite grilling tips from professional chefs.
You can eliminate pet odors
Some pet owners have found they can remove pet odors from a room by heating a cupful of freshly ground coffee beans in a cast-iron skillet over low heat. As soon as the scent is released, remove the pan to the smelly room and set it on a trivet. By the time the ground beans are cool, much of the pet odor should be gone.
You can clean your face
Chris Barnes notes in this Stylelist feature that you can exfoliate your skin with coffee grounds. Rub the moist grounds in gently to get rid of dead skin, then rinse. These are the beauty innovations that are actually worth the hype.
You can bake bread
Caught without cookware? A quick bread will bake just fine in a coffee can. Be sure to spray the interior with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour. Did you know that the best bread in the world has only two ingredients?
You can get glossier hair
Applying “extra-strong” coffee to your hair, while it’s dry and clean, will make it shinier, according to EcoSalon. Keep the coffee in for about 20 minutes, then rinse. Repeat for seven days to get the best results. These are the 14 everyday mistakes that are aging your hair.
You can keep cords under control
What are the holidays without strings of lights, and what are fresh-out-of-storage cords of lights if not tangled? Grab an empty coffee can and its lid. First, slice the plastic lid of the can with a sharp knife and insert one end of the cord. Then wrap the cord of lights around the can, taping the end to the can to keep everything in place. Before putting on the lid, fill the can with extra bulbs and an extension cord. No tangles, no misplaced accessories.
You can perk up your meat
To give lamb stew a beautiful dark color and great flavor, add one cup of black coffee to the stew pot about halfway through the cooking process. You can also lookup great dry rubs with coffee for beef, pork, and other meat dishes. These are the 35 recipes everyone should know by the time they turn 35.
You can dye Easter eggs
We’ve rounded up 11 ways to dye Easter eggs naturally, and among the colorful ingredients is simple brewed coffee. Make one quart of strong coffee plus water to cover for an easy brown hue.
You can make furniture
As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and used coffee grounds are no exception. British designer Adam Fairweather is an expert in recycling technologies and came up with the idea to launch Re-Worked, a company that makes furniture by incorporating materials from coffee ground waste.
You can get rid of refrigerator odors
Can you still smell the produce that has gone bad in your refrigerator? Place fresh coffee grounds in your fridge to help with the smell.
You can cook with leftover coffee
All you have to do is take your leftover coffee and pour into ice cube trays and pop the tray into the freezer, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. You can use this for iced drinks or for cooking.
You can add brewed coffee to cake mix
According to Taste of Home, a sister site of Reader’s Digest, by replacing water with brewed coffee in boxed chocolate cake mixes, you get a richer cake.
You can use in your fireplace
When cleaning your fireplace, sprinkle wet coffee grounds across the surface to help ash and dust from polluting the air as you clean.
You can clean your garbage disposal
You can make frozen coffee ground tables to deodorize your garbage disposal, according to the lifestyle blog One Good Thing By Jilliee. Simply mix coffee grounds, Epsom salt, baking soda, and white vinegar together and make little balls on a baking tray. Place the tray in the freezer and then, once frozen, you can use it in your garbage disposal and then rinse with cold water.
You’ll have better bait worms
If you enjoy fishing, then you know this practice well. Worms, like people, enjoy coffee grounds. Bait worms like coffee grounds, too, and the fish are attracted to the scent.