What are coffee beans used for

Here’s What Coffee Beans Used For Alternatively: Top 23 Uses

99% of the time we associated coffee beans with one thing only – making coffee. In fact, I think that most believe absolutely believe that these beans are only good for brewing java. But as you’re about to find out, the good old coffee beans can prove to be quite versatile. Even the most delicate java might have more uses than simply drinking it. So let’s cut to the chase – what are coffee beans used for?

Apart from brewing coffee with them, you can use coffee beans for a plethora of other things.

From cleaning and household uses to gardening and even health and beauty applications.

Actually, you can even go as far as to repair your scratched furniture with the help of coffee or even create candles out of coffee, “do it yourself” style!

So you better think twice before throwing away your old coffee beans!

And because there are dozens of brilliant uses for coffee beans and coffee in general, I’ve decided to compile a beat list for you.

Thus, here are the 23 most awesome uses for your seemingly worthless java beans – enjoy!

What Can I Do With Roasted Coffee Beans?

Well, you can grind the roasted coffee beans and then make coffee with them.

But if you have an old batch of roasted coffee beans or you’re simply looking for alternative ways to use them, have a look at the following list:

What are coffee beans used for
I bet she uses coffee grounds to treat her under-eye area on a regular basis!

1. Dark Circles Treatment

Yes, believe it or not, ground coffee (grounded coffee beans) can help with those dreaded under-eye dark circles.


Well, according to science, the caffeine and antioxidants that can be found in coffee can decrease puffiness and dark circles (1).

In fact, applying coffee to your skin can also act as an anti-aging tool!

All that you have to do is create a paste-like mixture consisting of ground coffee and water.

Then you apply the compound to the skin beneath your eyes and wait for around 10 mins or so.

After that, you can rinse the mixture off your face and you can even repeat this procedure several times a day.

2. Natural Hair Color Enhancer

Who says that you have to put expensive chemicals on your hair?

The coffee that you’re ready to throw away can actually naturally dye your hair!

It can enhance and even darken the color of your hair, while also giving it a shiny look.

To use coffee as a hair dye, brew about 1 or 2 cups of strong coffee (more coffee, less water), wait for it to cool off and then apply it to your hair.

After that put a shower cap on and let the coffee do its job for roughly 45 mins, then rinse.

3. Eliminate Hair Styling Products Residue

Using hair styling products can certainly leave a nasty residue that can build up over time.

And getting rid of that residue might prove to be a hassle, but that’s where coffee comes in.

To remove the grease and residue build-up in your hair, simply massage your locks using ground coffee, prior to using shampoo.

Also, you can take it a step further by rinsing your hair with coffee, to decrease hair shedding.

4. Stimulate Hair Growth

Massaging your scalp with coffee grounds can even stimulate hair growth, thanks to caffeine – according to science (2)!

However, caffeine has even more benefits for your beautiful locks.

Researchers have also found that when applied to the skin, caffeine can improve blood flow and hasten the rate at which your hair grows (3).

So, massaging your scalp with coffee grounds one to two times a week can accelerate hair growth.

What are coffee beans used for
Using ground coffee on your hair can give you such beautiful locks.

5. Skin Exfoliator

Your ground coffee can prove to be a great and cheap skin exfoliator.

To do that, just combine coffee grounds with warm water (or even coconut oil) and start scrubbing your skin.

Feel free to scrub your entire body with the coffee/water (or coconut oil) mixture.

On the other hand, for delicate parts such as your lips, you can mix the ground coffee with a bit of honey for a more gentle exfoliating scrub.

6. Natural Cellulite Reduction Treatment

Cellulite affects approximately 90% of adult women out there as the result of fat breaking through your connective tissue.

But apart from complicated procedures or expensive products, coffee is a readily available and affordable tool that can help with reducing the appearance of cellulite.

Applying coffee grounds to the desired area (e.g. your thighs or butt) can improve the blood flow and even assist in breaking down the fat that’s causing it.

To make your very own anti-cellulite DIY coffee scrub, you’ll need to mix coffee grounds with water (or preferably coconut oil).

Once you have a homogenous mixture, you can scrub the affected area for around 10 mins and repeat twice a week.

7. Removing Stink From Your Hands

Having stinky hands is quite unpleasant and unfortunately, there are many things that can make your hands smell bad.

It can be anything from chopping onions to touching the gas station hose with bare hands.

Now, while regular soup might not help, coffee grounds certainly can!

Rub your hands with ground coffee to get rid of smelly hands.

8. Coffee Air Freshener

Who doesn’t like the smell of coffee, honestly?

Now imagine having an air freshener that smells like coffee – yummy!

Whether you want to enjoy the smell of coffee in your home or even if you want to deodorize your shoes or gym bag, coffee grounds will get the job done.

The easiest way to make a DIY coffee air freshener is by filling a sock (or pantyhose) with ground coffee and tieing it properly.

9. Natural Refridgerator Deodorizer

Opening your fridge can certainly unlock a plethora of foul smells.

But you can get rid of all nasty smells coming from your fridge by using ground coffee!

Not only can coffee absorb unpleasant odor, but it also leaves its trademark coffee aroma in the air.

To deodorize your fridge using coffee, simply fill a bowl or two with ground coffee.

Then place them somewhere in your refrigerator and leave them overnight.

Thank me later…

10. Improve Composting

Did you know that you can use ground coffee to give more oomph to your composting?

Yep, you can!

Obviously, the addition of compost to the soil is good for your garden as it results in healthier plants.

What’s more interesting though, is the fact that compost consisting of coffee grounds (and other kitchen waste) has more nutrients than regular waste-only compost, according to researchers (4).

So, used coffee is good for soil too!

11. Insect Repellent

Yes, another cool thing that coffee can be used for is as an insect repellent!

That’s because diterpenes and caffeine (found in coffee) can be rather toxic to insects like flies and mosquitos.

And no, you won’t have to apply coffee grounds to your skin or anything.

All that you need to do to repel insects is to place a bowl filled with ground coffee near you.

12. Repellent For Pests

Apart from insects like mosquitos, you can use coffee to repel other pests as well.

This includes snails and slugs, which can be a total PITA if you’re growing veggies or plants in general.

Thus, create a barrier made of ground coffee around your precious plants to protect them from pests.

13. Growing Mushrooms

Okay, growing mushrooms is not an example of a walk in the park.

But ground coffee can help you with that.

For instance, ground coffee is already sterile due to the roasting process so which simplifies the mushroom growing process.

Basically, moisturized ground coffee offers just about optimal growing conditions for mushrooms.

14. Growing Carrots

In a similar fashion to mushrooms, carrots are another sort of veggie that you can grow with the help of coffee grounds.

Coffee can positively stimulate the growth of carrots by providing them with a nutrient boost.

All that you need to do is combine the ground coffee with the carrot seeds – just keep in mind that the coffee grounds have to be dry.

15. Fireplace Cleanup

If you want to make your life easier, scatter ground coffee over your fireplace.

This makes cleaning all the ashes less messy, while also preventing the dust and smoke from making their way into your house.

So, before you start cleaning your fireplace, pour some ground coffee on top of the ashes to make cleaning easier.

16. Scrubbing Kitchen Utensils

Your old ground coffee can prove to be the perfect alternative to cleaning your kitchen utensils with chemicals.

Coffee grounds have a coarse and abrasive texture that’s ideal for scraping away any burnt food from pans, pots, kitchen counters etc.

Just get a clean piece of cloth and use a bit of ground coffee to scrub all that dirt.

17. Keep Feline Intruders Away

Are you tired of different cats walking through your yard, leaving urine and even excrement behind?

Well, one of the solutions is using coffee grounds.

You see, our feline buddies aren’t very fond of the smell of coffee.

So, you can create a ground coffee-orange peel mixture.

And you can then place at strategic locations in your garden e.g. near plants to fend off those feline intruders!

18. Bring Useful Worms To Your Garden

Yep, some worms can help your plants to grow.

That’s because they provide the soil around your plants with nutrients, while also aerating it at the same time.

All of this lets your plants grow faster.

And in order to attract more of the good worms, add some ground coffee to the flowerbeds in your garden.

19. Get Rid Of Fleas (On Your Pet)

Okay, we already know that insects don’t really like coffee.

Guess what – fleas are actually insects!

Thus, if your pet has fleas, before using prescription drugs to treat them, give the coffee a try.

Not only can coffee help to fend off the fleas, but it might also make your pet’s coat shinier.

Simply bathe your pet using ground coffee before shampooing and then rinse.

20. Fabric And Linen Dyeing

Who would’ve thought that you’d be able to dye your clothes using coffee grounds?

Well, you can – by mixing the ground coffee with hot water.

Get a larger bowl and add a tablespoon of coffee plus 3/4 to 1 full cup of boiling water.

Then put the piece of cloth inside and let it sit for 15 mins.

If needed, let them sit for longer if you’re looking for a darker dye.

21. Caffeinated Tealight (Or Coffeelight Even)

Tealights are the go-to candles if you want to create a romantic setting out of nothing.

But what if you’d like your tealight to also carry that distinctive coffee aroma?

You can have the best of both worlds by placing tealights on top of a bowl filled with coffee beans (or ground coffee).

22. Painting

Whether your inner Picasso or Leonardo da Vinci calls, you can give painting with coffee a try.

Using coffee to paint can prove to be lots of fun for the entire family.

You can do that by mixing your old and seemingly good-for-nothing coffee grounds with warm water and getting started.

The more coffee and less water you use, the darker the color and vice versa.

23. Marinade And Tenderize Meat

While beer and wine might be obvious choices when it comes to marinating meat, coffee is yet another viable option.

The reason for that is hidden within coffee’s acidic characteristics.

More specifically, the enzymes and acids found in coffee possess the capabilities to make meat more tender and even optimize its flavor.

Now, you have two different options when it comes to marinating meat with coffee.

First, you can add ground coffee to a quick-fix or dry rub recipe before applying it to the meat, an hour or two prior to cooking it.

Your second option is to brew coffee using your old and used ground coffee, then let it cool off.

After that you’ll use the coffee to marinate the meat and leave it in the fridge for about 24 hours – then you can cook it.

Is It OK To Use Old Coffee Beans?

For brewing coffee?

Yes, you can totally use old coffee beans to make coffee.

It won’t kill you or anything.

The only problem would be the taste and aroma of the coffee, which can be quite nasty.

Generally, coffee beans go stale as time passes by and you’ll notice that instantly from the first sip.

It’ll most likely taste quite bitter.

Don’t worry – old coffee beans have many other uses besides brewing coffee with them such as home and garden uses!

So don’t be surprised if the coffee at your local vending machine or large institutions e.g. hospitals tastes like crap.

Remember that some of the coffee beans out there used for brewing are even decades-old (check the video above for proof)!

How To Store Used Coffee Grounds?

Here’s a clever and simple way of storing your old ground coffee:

  • Get an airtight container (whether plastic or glass)
  • Give it a nice clean from the inside and dry it
  • Fill the container with your used coffee grounds (make sure the container is 100% dry)
  • Put a thin piece of paper on top of the ground coffee (e.g. a newspaper strip) so that it absorbs any moisture
  • Seal the airtight container and leave it in a dark, cool and dry place

Are There Any Uses For Unbrewed Coffee Grounds?


You can find a dozen of them in my rather long list of 23 awesome uses for coffee beans.

But just to summarize it again, this is what you can do with your unbrewed coffee grounds in general:

  • Fertilize your garden
  • Keep pests and insects away
  • Use in skin and hair beauty procedures
  • Clean kitchen utensils (pots, pans etc.)
  • Neutralize unpleasant odors

What Are The Main Coffee Grounds Uses For Skin?

The main use of ground coffee for your skin is undoubtedly exfoliation.

Due to the coarse texture of coffee grounds, you can successfully make a DIY exfoliating facial mask with coffee.

Here’s how:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon of ground coffee
  • Massage your face (and neck if needed) with the compound
  • Leave it for about 5 mins
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Repeat up to 2 times a week

Some of the other ground coffee uses for your skin include:

  • Dealing with under-eye dark circles
  • Smoothing the lips
  • Foot scrub
  • Entire body polish


Coffee never ceases to amaze me.

Not only can we use its beans to brew flavorful and tasty coffee drinks, but there’s a plethora of other uses for coffee beans as well.

So, the next time someone asks you – What are coffee beans used for?

Simply send them this article so that they take advantage of any (or even all) of the 23 awesome uses of coffee beans that I just listed for you!

Over to you now – what do you personally use coffee beans for, besides making coffee with them?

I’d love to read about it so make sure to leave your answer in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Here’s What Coffee Beans Used For Alternatively: Top 23 Uses”

  1. I enjoyed your post. There were many more uses for coffee & coffee grounds I had not heard about.
    Learn something everyday.

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