Pollards 8 unusual uses for coffee

Everybody knows – when life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee. Because, believe it or not, coffee might actually be more useful! Pollards have been looking into the latest claims on how coffee can be used – after your morning caffeine fix that is. After your cup of Joe, put those leftover coffee grounds to even more good use! Use our Pollards guide to unusual coffee uses!

The modern consumer loves all things recycle, reuse and home hacks so Pollards have set to work finding uses for coffee beyond just drinking the tasty drink! This blog features our top 8 uses for coffee and how they can help solve some of life’s little problems.

1. Uses in Gardening

To start you off we thought you would like to know how coffee can be used in the garden. Especially now the sun has started to shine with summer on the way, we all want to be outdoors. Spent coffee grounds can be put to use in your back garden if you are green fingered!


Coffee grounds are useful as a composting agent in your yard. Coffee is surprisingly good for the worms digestive system. It isn’t just us who enjoy coffee. In fact, the worms love it that much that Cornell University advise to use the coffee grounds to line the composting pile, in order to attract worms. The worms eat up the bacteria that grows on the grounds, and the grounds themselves help them to digest better. Worms need gritty foods in their diet to help aid digestion and this puts the coffee grounds to good use.

Pollards Tip – coffee is quite acidic, and some studies claim that the grounds will effect the acidity of the soil – although other studies say otherwise. To combat this, compost the grounds in moderation. Otherwise you may end up with high acid levels. You can monitor this and tweak the levels accordingly. Worms like PH levels between 6-8. If the compost smells more like vinegar than earthy, then your acid levels may be too high, so use less coffee grounds.

When composting you can even throw the coffee filter in too! It will biodegrade along with the grounds. If you purchase the biodegradable ones that is!

Another bonus to using coffee grounds in your composting is that the lovely aroma of the coffee, will help to hide those nasty smells in the bin.



Use coffee grounds on soil near plants

Coffee grounds can be used as an effective fertiliser. Just add a small amount directly to the top soil. As we know, coffee is slightly acidic so only place them near suitable plants. Examples of plants that like high acidity in the soil are roses or azaleas. Tomatoes and grapes won’t tolerate acidic soil so be careful. The plant in the photograph is a Bonsai Tree.

Coffee is full of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, nitrogen and potassium to name a few. Spreading the coffee grounds on the top soil allows these minerals to release into your plants.

Pollards Tip: Sprinkle the grounds first and then water the plant, to allow the nutrients to be spread down deep into the soil.


We humans all love the smell of coffee, but other animals and insects aren’t as keen. We can use this to our advantage! Insects such as ants and slugs dislike the acidic soil so fertilise the ground to repel those pests.

Mosquitoes in particular dislike the scent of coffee. But it seems like the coffee can also be used to kill off the larvae too, as an natural insecticide. You can add coffee to any water sources near your home to repel the insects and kill any larvae present.

Some claims state that ants also hate coffee grounds and will avoid them. Especially if they are just setting up a new nest, sprinkle the area with the used grounds and watch them walk away. We tested this out and had mixed results, some ants simply move the coffee after a while, but new nests prefer to find less hostile environments before they settle down.

The powerful aroma of the coffee also repels larger animals such as the local neighbourhood cats. Their sensitive noses and increased senses pick up the scent and they give your garden a miss in future.

2. Use as a palette cleanser

Increasing amounts of perfume shops are offering coffee beans up for a sniff between testing perfume scents. The strong smell of the coffee helps you to distinguish between the perfume scents in the shop when you become used to a smell. This is called Olfactory fatigue. The coffee practically ‘resets’ your sense of smell. There have been various studies on this matter and it appears to be a key use for coffee beans.

3. Home Decor

coffee painting on white paper

Painting with coffee uses the natural colorants as a dye

Wood Stain & Watercolour Painting are two of the many home decor uses for coffee. When mixed with water the coffee released the colourant into the liquid allowing easy application to porous materials such as wood. The stain can be allowed the dry then layered to create a deeper colour. Some people can get really creative with designs and it gives your home an antiqued feel to it. Plus is smells amazing and is a cheap alternative!

Additionally, other home decor ideas are all over pinterest and the like. Seasonal decorations are always the height of fashionable home decor, why not use coffee beans as a decoration with fancy candle holders or fill decorative vases. The smell will brighten up your home, whilst the beans look aesthetically pleasing. This home hack is simple and effective.

4. Cooking with coffee

We all love to drink coffee but have you thought about cooking with it!?

cooking with coffee, utensils on marble board

Cooking with coffee

Coffee adds a lovely layer of depth and complexity to all dishes. It can be used in baking, soups, gravies, smoothies. You can even create a tasty meat rub for your dish, used alongside herbs and spices in your cupboard coffee could soon become a staple ingredient.

Drink iced coffee? Simply freeze leftover coffee to add to iced drinks.

5. Deodoriser

Use coffee to get rid of nasty scents in your home. A well known fact is that the smell of coffee helps to sell a property quicker. Well don’t wait to sell before using coffee in this hack!

Wash your hands with those coffee grounds to help get rid of cooking smells such as garlic and onion. You can also place coffee in the fridge or freezer to absorb lingering smells.

6. Pin cushion filler

Your coffee grounds can be used as a filler for your pin cushion! Brew your coffee, dry out the grounds and fill up your pin cushion. A bonus for this hack is that the coffee will stop your pins from rusting! Handy!

7. Household cleaner

Because coffee is slightly acidic and the grounds are abrasive, this makes them a great cleaner for your home. The coffee can be used as a scrub for work surfaces and they smell great too! A natural way to clean. We love this tip! Bonus – this works for the dishes too, stubborn residue can be removed with the abrasive grounds, just make sure the dishes are stain resistant!

8. Beauty remedies

making pollards coffee soap with moulds and coffee grounds

Making Pollards coffee soap as an exfoliant

Coffee grounds can be used in many ways in our beauty routine!

Mixing the coffee grounds with water to form a paste, can create an under eye mask to reduce the appearance of puffy undereyes. Similar to tea. Another use for coffee grounds is to make a natural face scrub and exfoliate – this leaves your skin beautifully soft and clear.

We decided to make our own ‘Pollards Coffee Soap’ which you can make at home too! (blog coming soon!). The soap will exfoliate the skin while cleaning.

Coffee can also be used as a hair scrub when washing and even a mild and temporary hair dye if you leave it in! Finally, the miracle of coffee can even be used to reduce cellulite! This deserves its own whole blog post!


– Pollards.