Household Tips: 31 Unusual Uses for Coffee (WWII Series)

Coffee is a big part of my of my life, my day doesn't start until I've had that first cup. You ask me a question before I've downed my first cup and the best response that you'll probably get is a grunt or maybe a groan. Coffee was a big part of my grandmother's life too. Not because she couldn't function without it, like me, but because she couldn't frugally run her home without it. I remember her household tips journal containing a huge list of uses for coffee. I can't recall specifically what was on her list, but my family and I were able to come up with some uses for coffee that were surely on that list. 

Household Tips
Picture from: Country Scrap

I'm amazed that coffee hasn't made it into the medical journals as a life saving elixir. My kids would definitely agree that it has saved their lives on more than one occasion. 

Household Tips

Always consult a doctor before using coffee as a treatment.
  1. Breath – to freshen, chew on a coffee bean.
  2. Headache – to treat, drink a cup of coffee that contains caffeine. 
  1. Cellulite – to reduce the appearance, apply a mixture of warm, used coffee grounds and olive oil to your skin. Rub it in using a circular motion and rinse. Repeat daily.
  2. Hair – to add shine, apply a pot of cooled, strong brewed coffee to clean, dry hair. Let it do it do its magic for 20-30 minutes before rinsing. Repeat once a week.
  3. Hair – to soften, mix coffee grounds with your shampoo.
  4. Hair – to temporarily dye, apply a pot of cooled, strong-brewed coffee to clean, dry hair. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing.
  5. Hands – to remove smells, rub your hands with used coffee grounds. Rinse.
  6. Skin – to exfoliate, scrub your skin with a mixture of equal parts ground coffee and olive oil. Rinse.
  7. Skin – to minimize wrinkles, scrub your skin with a mixture of coffee grounds and pure pineapple juice.
  8. Skin – to tighten, scrub your skin with a mixture of equal parts ground coffee and olive oil.
  1. Air Freshener – to make your own, pour fresh coffee grounds into the leg of a pantyhose. Tie a knot and hang.
  2. Air Freshener – to make your own, toast some coffee beans in a skillet until the oils are released. Place them in a decorative dish.
  3. Cleaning Abrasive – to make your own, mix used coffee grounds with a little dish soap.
  4. Drains – to remove odors, pour a cup of coffee grounds into the drain followed by a pot of boiling water.
  5. Fireplace – to minimize dust when cleaning, let the embers cool and then sprinkle them with used, damp coffee grounds. Let the ground sit for about 15-20 minutes before scooping out the ashes.
  6. Furniture – to hide scratches, wipe the area with a paste made from instant coffee and water.
  7. Garbage Disposal – to remove odors, pour a cup of coffee grounds into the garbage disposal and let it sit for 30-40 minutes. Flush with hot water while running the garbage disposal.
  8. Refrigerator – to absorb odors, place a bowl of unused coffee grounds in the fridge for a couple of days.
  1. Ants – to kill the mound, pour a pot of hot brewed coffee inside.
  2. Ants – to repel, sprinkle dry, used coffee grounds around the area that you see ants.
  3. Cats – to keep out of your garden, sprinkle soil with a mixture of used coffee grounds and orange peels.
  4. Dogs – to repel fleas, rub damp, used coffee grounds on your dogs coat after bathing.
  5. Eggs – to dye, soak the eggs in a cup of strong brewed coffee until you reach the desired color.
  6. Fabric – to dye, soak fabric in hot coffee until you reach the desired color.
  7. House Plants – to fertilize, water with diluted coffee.
  8. House Plants – to remedy yellowing, sprinkle the soil with a mixture made from equal parts coffee grounds and sugar.
  9. Meat – to tenderize, marinade meat in freshly brewed coffee.
  10. Paper – to dye, apply strong brewed coffee to paper using a paint brush and let it dry.
  11. Pin Cushion – to make your own, tie up some dry, used coffee grounds in a piece of fabric. This also keeps your pins from rusting.
  12. Plants – to fertilize acidic plants, sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of the plant. Repeat monthly.
  13. Slugs – to repel, sprinkle your garden with used coffee grounds.

Do you have any household tips for coffee?
* If, by some small miracle, you worked at Amway in Ada, MI in the 1980's and were the person my mother loaned the notebook to, please Contact Me. The notebook is a small (aprox. 6"x9") black leather, 3-ring binder, and contains hand drawn patterns (teddy bear), recipes and household tips and tricks. It would mean so much to my family to have it back.


  1. We throw ours out in the garden in summertime. I knew it was good for soil but had no idea about slugs!

  2. Awesome list! And yes I agree! Coffee is truly a lifesaver LOL!

  3. I will have to use the fireplace tip. We already drink it, bake with it, flavor foods, and compost it.