Coffee: not only can it be used as an energy booster but also as a fertilizer, insect repellant, meat tenderizer, and household cleaner.

For most of us, coffee plays a very crucial role in our everyday routine: it gives us the hit of caffeine we need to get going in the morning, or to work our way through the afternoon slump. But when we empty the rest of the coffee pot down the drain and toss the brewed grounds into the trash or compost, we're missing out on all the other ways this multitasking drink can work for us. Read on for eight easy ways to put the remnants from that daily coffee habit to work in the kitchen, garden, and even the home spa.

1. Make Sweet Treats

Just a small amount of brewed coffee adds big flavor to desserts like cake layered with coffee icing, tiramisu, and black magic cake or for breakfast recipes like coffee date bread.

Tiramisu Layer Cake

2. Add Depth To Meaty Main Dishes

Use brewed coffee in the base of hearty meat dishes like spicy beef chili and slow cooker barbequed pork to enhance the flavor of the meat and add depth to the dish.

3. Freeze It for Iced Drinks

Pour extra coffee left in the pot straight into ice cubes trays. Then, add the frozen cubes to iced coffee drinks to keep them cold without diluting the flavor. Or, blend them up to make homemade cold, frothy iced mochas.

Iced Mochas
Credit: Holiday Baker

4. Scour Pots and Pans

The coarse texture of coffee grounds is just abrasive enough to scrub stuck-on food off the bottoms of pots and pans without damaging the surfaces. Use a few drops of dish detergent, a healthy sprinkling of grounds, and a scouring pad to get your cookware looking brand-new.

5. D.I.Y. Exfoliating Scrub

There's no need to buy pricey exfoliators when it's so easy to make your own at home. Slough dead skin off your body and face with this yummy-smelling combination: one part brown sugar and one part olive or coconut oil mixed with two parts leftover coffee grounds.

6. Neutralize Odors

Keep a small bowl of coffee grounds by the kitchen sink and use them to scrub your hands after chopping garlic or onions to help remove those pungent cooking smells.

Add another small, open bowl of grounds to your fridge to absorb and eliminate odors and keep things smelling fresh. (Just make sure the grounds are thoroughly dry since wet ones will mold.)

Directly Above Shot Of Ground Coffee In Filter
Credit: Tichakorn Malihorm / EyeEm / Getty Images

7. Fertilize Your Garden

Plants take nutrients out of the soil, but sprinkling used coffee grounds on top of garden beds (or turning it into the soil), replenishes the stores of nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium, helping to keep your plants healthy and happy.

This is especially helpful to roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and other flowers that love acidic soil. Adding coffee grounds can even change the color of your hydrangeas from pink to blue since it changes the pH of the soil.

8. Repel Garden Pests

Coffee grounds can also help do double-duty in the garden by managing pests. Scattering brewed grounds in garden beds or sprinkling them on top of potted plants will keep away destructive pests like snails, slugs, and ants. And they'll attract worms, which are great friends to have in the garden because they aerate the soil and speed up decomposition.

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