10 ways to recycle coffee grinds - but first, coffee

10 Ways to Recycle Old Coffee Grounds

If you are trying to move towards a zero waste lifestyle, you may be wondering what to do with old coffee grounds. The first and most obvious way to recycle old coffee grounds is in your composting system. But adding too many can be detrimental, due to their caffeine content and growth-curtailing characteristics. While you can add them to your compost in moderation, it is best not to add too many. So, if you drink coffee every day, you'll need to think of other ways to use them. Here are 15 other ways to recycle old coffee grounds!


Recycle Old Coffee Grounds for For a Clean, Fresh, Natural Household

You may be surprised to learn of the amazing variety of ways that old coffee grounds can be used to keep your household clean, fresh smelling, healthy and looking good. For example, you can:

  1. Recycle Old Coffee Grounds As an Abrasive Cleaner for Pots & Pans.
  2. Use Them As An a Deodorizer in Your Fridge.

(Simply place old coffee grounds in an open jar in your fridge to absorb odors.)

  1. Touch Up Scratches on Old Wood Furniture.
  2. Repel Insects With Old Coffee Grounds.

(Sprinkle them around the home perimeter as an ant deterrent or burn them to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects.)


Coffee Grounds Mosquito Repellent

Image by Farhan Ahsan


Recycle Old Coffee Grounds in Your Cleaning & Beauty Regime

You can also use old coffee grounds in a range of different ways to keep you yourself healthy, clean and looking good. For example, you can:

  1. Soothe Puffy Eyes.

(By dabbing a mix of coffee and honey gently under your eyes.)

  1. Make a Natural Coffee Soap.
  2. Make an Exfoliating Scrub. Check out our simple recipe below!



Get Creative With Old Coffee Grounds

There are also plenty of creative solutions for art, crafting and childcare that help you make use of your old coffee grounds. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Use Old Coffee Grounds to Make a Natural Brown Dye for Textiles.
  2. Make an 'Ancient' Map For Kids' Treasure Hunts.

(Rub paper with coffee to 'age' it, or paint on maps with coffee ground water-paint.)

  1. Make Some Fake Fossils or Stone-Like Decorations.

(Mix coffee grounds with flour and salt to make into salt dough, imprint with a design, then bake in the oven for natural ornaments or decorations.)


Coffee grounds fossils art project for kids

Photo via annies home


These are just some of the ways that you can make use of coffee grounds and keep them out of landfill. It also allows us to make full use of all the coffee we buy. Finding use for all our waste products is just one more way to move closer to a zero waste lifestyle.


If you’re not a coffee drinker but still want to be creative with the grounds, check out your local café and ask if they have some leftover grounds that you could take home. From our experience, they are more than happy to! Keep upcycling, eco-warrior!

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