Can you reuse coffee grounds?If you’re like me you have a least one filter full of coffee at the end of each day, sometimes two…depending on the day.
Overall, in America alone there are 156 billion cups of coffee drank every year! That’s a staggering amount of old coffee grounds.
I started felt bad throwing all those grounds away after a while. So I decided to search the internet and find out ways that you could reuse coffee grounds.
There are all sorts of creative ways to reuse old grounds. I found some really cool things, like candles(I’ll go into detailed shortly!) and some off the wall things like play-dough .
Would have never thought to make play- doh with coffee, I wonder if you would feel the caffeine through playing with it?
Note: in some of these situations you will have to prepare your coffee grounds for reuse. To prepare your grounds, just lay them out flat and even to be dried.
Creative ways to reuse coffee grounds
Rebrew with them.
I bet some people will have a fit about this one but, hear me out! I don’t recommend doing this with every brewing method. You will not have to dry out your grounds to reuse them obviously.
There are some reasons for wanting to stretch the life out of your beans. Maybe you’re beginning to realize that your coffee addiction is starting to cost you a little too much?
Technically, the answer is yes you can brew another pot of coffee with used grounds.But, be prepared for a weaker cup of course. This applies to almost all methods but especially to auto drip and pour over methods.
But hey, maybe weak coffee is your thing! I know someone who uses 2 tablespoons of coffee for an entire 12 cup pot, it’s pretty much just the essence of coffee.
Coffee is personal and everybody likes it differently.
There are some brewing methods however that do allow for decent results with spent grounds.
Cold brewing, Aeropress and even espresso will give you decent results with a second extraction. This is because of the extraction process.
Cold brewing is a slower longer extraction process and because of this, the coffee bean holds on to a lot of the bitter tones that is usually brought out by a hot brew the second time around.
Aeropress and espresso are usually fast brewing processes and don’t fully extract everything the bean has to offer. Which is a good thing, if done right you’ve only taken what you wanted.
However, there will be some things left in those beans. The second time around your cup will just be more bitter with less drugs(caffeine) in it.
But if you like your coffee like a”normal” coffee drinker(If there is such a thing) I wouldn’t recommend trying to get a second use out of your grinds with any method except an aeropress and maybe an espresso.
There is a really good discussion about this one coffee.stack exchange.
So, sure you can reuse coffee grounds in some situations, you will just get different results than you had the first time.
In the garden
I love gardening and If you have a green thumb (or even just enjoy having plants around long enough to kill them) you can use old coffee grounds to your advantage.
Compost – If you aren’t familiar with what it is, basically it’s when nitrogen(green) and carbon(brown) materials are mixed together and left alone to decompose.
This makes a great garden amendment with lots of biological activity. Coffee counts as a green material and actually attracts lots of worms and black soldier fly larva. I know sounds gross but it’s not, They love coffee as much as you do!
If you feel like your coffee consumption alone isn’t enough for your compost, don’t forget to ask your local coffee shop. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind giving you something they plan on throwing away.
If you don’t compost but still garden, you can still use old grounds Just sprinkle your grounds right onto your soil.
Important: be sure to wash your grounds before doing this though. Washing them will neutralize the grounds Ph level. Coffee grounds are acidic and will change your soil’s PH. There is no need to wash your grounds before composting though.
Some people have even had luck using spent coffee grounds as a cat repellent in the garden.
Around the house
The internet is great, people are so creative with the ways that they have reused old grounds around the house. Coffee grounds have a coarse texture making them good for scrubbing things like dishes!
You can simply add a packed little chunk of used grounds to a wash cloth and they will add an extra little grit to your scrub!
Make sure the ends of your cloth are secured with a clip or rubber band so your grounds don’t just pour out.
Note: avoid using coffee grounds on ceramic dishes as they may stain.
Not only are used grounds good for cleaning they can also be used to repair scratched furniture.
Your furniture should be dark colored, obviously don’t try this on a white side table.
It’s pretty simple, just take a q-tip(or something like it) and rub the used grounds into the scratch or ding. Let the grounds sit for about 10 minutes.
After they begin to dry, buff them out with a dry cloth. Repeat if necessary.
Got a stinky sink? You can make these easy coffee grounds disposal cleaners. These are great and if you click on the link there is an easy to follow recipes that asks for a couple extra ingredients that you probably have laying around the house.
Note: make sure you have a kitchen sink disposal when using these, this effectively breaks up the coffee enough to not cause drain problems.
You can also make candles out of used coffee grounds! Check out this great video I found on youtube made by Suz en Chin
Not only does it clean smelly drains but you can remove odors from your fridge as well. I just dry out my grounds and place them in a paper bag or a little tupperware in the back of the fridge. The grounds absorb all of the smells!
Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and caffeine which is actually extremely beneficial to your skin.
There is a long list of benefits that you can get from coffee when using it cosmetically.
Even though your beans have been used they do still contain small amounts of caffeine. Caffeine actually works to reduce swelling and inflammation in your body.
For these reasons using coffee to make different face creams is great. You can reduce dark circles and puffiness from under your eyes and get silky smooth skin.
The Indian Spot has a great article on how you can make the perfect eye cream and eye serum.
Both of those recipes require that you have homemade coffee oil to use. This is super simple to make.
There are two ways to make it, one faster than the other and involves heat.
If you want to use the no-heat method you will need 1 cup of either olive oil or coconut oil. (I prefer coconut oil) and then ¾ cup of coffee grounds.
Place them in a jar and shake. They will have to sit together for about a month and during this time you will have to give it a shake once every day or two.
If you want to make your coffee oil on the stove simply add two parts oil to one part coffee. For example 12 tablespoons coconut oil(or olive oil) to 6 tablespoons coffee grounds. Heat over a low setting for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
After the oil has been infused with all that coffee goodness you need to strain the grounds out. This applies for both methods.
You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
You can also keeps this oil in your shower and add a few drops to your body wash to get the benefits from it as well.
Or maybe you want to make your own coffee soap? It’s pretty simple to do, I like to get unscented bar soap to make mine.
I found the recipe that I follow on popsugar.
All you need is soap, coffee grounds, two pans, a muffin tin, vanilla(for scent) and optional powdered milk. (The milk is used to give the soap a little thickness.)
Simply heat a pan full of water enough to where it begins to steam. Take your second pan and fill it with soap.
Place the pan filled with soap on top of the first pan as it begins to steam. Let the steam melt the soap into a liquid.
While this soap is melting lightly grease the muffin tin and put a small amount(approx. 1 teaspoon) of used coffee grounds into each tin.
Once the soap has melted, remove from heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla and your coffee grounds.
Note: for every 8 ounces of soap you used add ¼ cup of used coffee grounds.
At this point( if you have it) add a teaspoon of powdered milk.
Give this a good mix and pour into your muffin tins. Allow them to sit and harden for a few hours.
After the soap is back to a solid form simply pop them out of the tins and begin scrubbing your body! This soap works great to exfoliate the skin.
Note: make sure your soap is sitting on a dish or something that you don’t mind getting stained when in the shower.
There are so many great cosmetic uses that you can reuse coffee grounds for and I want to through in just this one more.
Coffee Masks, Beauty Banter has a great recipe for making coffee masks.(all of the ingredients are food, that’s kinda fun!)
You will need a few extras like organic Cocoa powder with milk, lemon juice and honey.
For full directions on the recipe click on their link above.
A coffee mask gives your skin all sorts of benefits like reducing redness and great exfoliation.
After searching the internet for a while I thought these were the most useful way to reuse coffee grounds.
I know this wasn’t about about giving you guys a better cup of coffee directly, but coffee creates a lot of waste.(given that a huge amount of the population drinks it)
I believe the earth is warming and that means less habitat for growing great coffee. So in a roundabout way it kind of also IS about giving everybody a better coffee.
If you adopt some of these ideas and create less waste you are in a way contributing to everybody having a great cup!
Please like, comment or share this article if you found it helpful or cool. Join in on the conversation, what do you want to read about in the coffee world?