Reusing Coffee Grounds - Reduce Your Waste Forever!

Reusing Coffee Grounds – Reduce Your Waste Forever!

Last updated on March 3rd, 2024 at 11:19

Reusing coffee grounds and reducing your impact on the environment has many other spin-off secondary benefits for the environment and for you personally!

The most satisfying thing is knowing that you are doing your bit and the money saving aspect is very enjoyable too, especially in this day and age!

Keep reading for some great ways of reusing your coffee grounds and saving some pennies too!

Reusing Coffee Grounds

Reusing coffee grounds will help you to reduce your coffee waste, and there are no excuses as there are multiple practical uses for old coffee grounds that will reduce your environmental impact and save you some money.

This article focuses on the benefits of reusing coffee grounds that have a distinctive use that you will appreciate from beauty, to the garden and beyond.

Let me absolutely clear on two things: you can’t reuse them to make a second cup of coffee, and you have no point in just throwing them out; you have no advantage at all.

If there is no advantage to tossing out your used coffee grounds, why do it?

Reusing Coffee Grounds
Reusing Coffee Grounds

Read: What to do with old coffee grounds

Benefits Of Reusing Coffee Grounds

If you are a coffee drinker and coffee lover, you will be very familiar with coffee grounds and probably just throw them in the trash can.

Stop doing that!

Your coffee waste is rich in nutrients like:

  • Calcium.
  • Magnesium.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Potassium.
  • Niacin.
  • Nitrogen.
  • Riboflavin.
  • Chlorogenic acid.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Flavonoids.
  • Phenolic compounds.

And you can put them to great use for healthy hair, skin, garden and more.

Recycle your spent coffee grounds and give them a second or third life.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker?

When you are preparing or considering making a second pot of coffee, it is very tempting to use those same old coffee grounds to make a pot of coffee.

Seriously, you simply can’t reuse your coffee grounds and get a good quality second cup of coffee no matter what type of coffee maker is used, be it drip coffee, siphon coffee machine or an espresso machine.

Even the type of coffee, be it percolated coffee, cold brew coffee, moka pot coffee.

You can still reuse your coffee in a coffee maker if you want to rebrew them to make a liquid fertilizer for your plants, root vegetable and even your lawn.

Let it cool to room temperature first.

One thing I’ll make clear, you will only get a fresh cup of coffee by using fresh grounds.

In some cases, secondary uses are best with fresh coffee grounds.

Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds In A Coffee Maker
You Can’t Rebrew Old Grounds!

Reusing Coffee Grounds Caffeine – Does Reusing Coffee Grounds Reduce Caffeine?

Yes, when you brew your coffee the first time round you are extracting flavor compounds and caffeine. Your resulting old coffee grounds have a reduced caffeine content due to having already had most of it extracted.

On average, the typical fresh coffee grounds contain 10 mg to 12 mg of caffeine while reused coffee grounds have only 3.6 mg to 8 mg of caffeine.

Thus, a second batch or a second cup of coffee will have a reduced amount of caffeine.

How To Reuse Coffee Grounds For Skin

This is one of the favorite uses that women have for their used coffee grounds. As a man, I love the results and have a cute little hobby of making customized beauty products from old ground coffee that would otherwise be thrown out.

Seriously, guys, pay good attention to your woman and her skin and what it needs, she’ll tell you!

You will both enjoy the results as her beauty exudes! There is nowhere that makes tailored skin care to the precise individual person. This is where using your leftover coffee grounds comes into great use.

Fully personalized beauty products!

Use Your Used Coffee Grounds For An Exfoliating Body Scrub

Used coffee contains caffeine, a whole host of nutrients, potent antioxidants and flavonoids and phenolic compounds that can help to repair damaged skin.

The abrasive nature of coffee grounds makes them great for exfoliating.

You can simply use your leftover coffee grounds as they are for a coffee scrub by just adding extra virgin coconut oil and brown sugar.

Or you can add a host of ingredients for a super healthy body scrub that nourishes your skin.

As the base ingredients, use:

  • 4 Oz (120 grams) dried used coffee grounds.
  • 2 Oz (60 ml) organic extra virgin coconut oil.
  • 2 Oz (60 grams) brown sugar.

This alone is more than good enough; however, you can make it better and tailor it to your skin by adding relaxing Epsom salts and cayenne pepper for a fat-burning cellulite shifting effect. Collagen is obviously a great addition for your skin’s health.

Vitamin C and E are great additions. I love adding L Citrulline. It’s an amino acid that aids circulation. The effect here is improving circulation to the skin surface to aid repair and regeneration.

As a note, this particular formulation requires that you apply it at night as your skin burns and has a reddish glow for a few hours due to the L citrulline.

Apply the scrub and leave it on your body for an hour and let your skin absorb the nutrients.

How To Reuse Coffee Grounds For Skin
Make A Skin Scrub!

Read: Can you reuse coffee grounds?

Use Your Used Coffee Grounds For Face Scrub

You can reuse your coffee grounds to make an amazing facial scrub that absolutely revitalizes your skin when you first use it as a scrub and then secondly apply it as a facial mask and leave it on for at least one hour.

Use the same basic ingredients as making a body scrub, which is as follows:

  • 4 Oz (120 grams) used coffee grounds.
  • 2 Oz (60 grams) brown sugar.
  • 2 Oz (60 ml) organic extra virgin coconut oil.

To turn it into an amazing skin care product for your face, add pearl powder, which is rich in zinc and known as a Japanese lady’s secret to clean, clear and glowing skin.

Add pine pollen powder, shilajit powder, maca powder and raw organic cacao as they are rich in nutrients which will replenish your skin.

Enrich it further with vitamin A, C, D and E. Adding L citrulline to aid circulation and collagen to aid your skin’s health is a great idea.

Leave your mask on for a minimum of one hour. Don’t be concerned if your face is red. It’s a temporary effect that will last about 4 hours. It’s due to the L citrulline stimulating circulation and bringing blood to the area to aid your skin’s repair.

Use 3x daily and after 30 days you will notice the difference.

Apply at night as this is when your body goes into repair mode.

Use Your Used Coffee Grounds To Reduce Puffy Eyes

There is a body of research that indicates that coffee grounds added to the area below your eyes helps to reduce the puffiness and dark circle around your eyes.

Simply apply your used coffee grounds gently around your eyes and gently massage them into your skin in this area.

Leave it on for around an hour for the caffeine and nutrients to be absorbed.

Then rinse them off.

Make A Stimulating And Nourishing Hair Mask And Scalp Scrub

Your hair and your scalp under goes a serious assault, chemical warfare from all angles, from the chemicals in shampoo and conditioner to hair dye and various hair sprays, gels and more.

You can help restore your hair by making a restorative hair mask.

Use 4 oz (60 grams) of used coffee grounds, 2 Oz (60 ml) of extra virgin coconut oil and 2 Oz (60 grams) of brown sugar.

Massage into your scalp and use as a hair mask.

Just like the skin care products you can add a wide range of vitamins, minerals, essential oils and amino acids to restore the health of your hair.

Use twice per week at least.

Make A Stimulating And Nourishing Hair Mask And Scalp Scrub
Many Beauty Treatments Are Made With Coffee

Make A Healthy Coffee Ground Bath

You can make a healthy and relaxing coffee ground bath by adding Epsom salts and coffee grounds into your bath.

To make the coffee part you will need a cheesecloth to hold your used coffee grounds.

Tie into a pouch, wrap it or use a rubber band. Then simply use it as a bath bomb.

The caffeine, nutrients and antioxidants will aid your skin and health.

Use Your Coffee Grounds To Absorb Odors

Make an odor absorber by wrapping your old and dried coffee grounds in cheesecloth, tie it in a knot and place your odor absorber in your fridge, freezer, shoes, your vegetable rack or wherever you need to place it.

It’s not going to make your fridge or freezer smell fresh but will absorb the odors.

Fire Safety!

This is something I use in my coffee shop, we have a lot of old coffee grounds from our knock box. Our ashtrays have some coffee grounds in the bottom for two reasons, one is they absorb odors, the second reason is they are completely fire retardant. That cigarette that is poorly extinguished can be a problem. Not with damp coffee grounds.

Clean Out Your Barbecue

Putting out your summer barbecue, wood stove or any open fires you have. Coffee grounds are heavier than ash and make it easier to clean. Simply throw your coffee grounds on the ash, which weighs them down and makes it easier to clean.

Clean Pots And Pans

We all have dirty pots and pans that need a good cleaning and your old coffee grounds can come to the rescue!

Your old used coffee grounds are acidic, abrasive and can be used to remove difficult-to-remove gunk and burnt-on stains from your pots and pans. Just soak your pots and pans in hot water for half an hour. Add baking soda or brown sugar to help you.

Gently scour with your old coffee grounds.

Due to the abrasive nature, only use your coffee grounds as if it were steel wool.

Make Coffee Candles

A neat little hobby to have in the spring and summer is to make some amazing-looking candles. I particularly love having a coffee candle burning on my balcony as it has a fantastic aroma and as a bonus repels insects like mosquitos.

Admittedly, fresh Italian roast coffee beans work best. You can get very creative and make your own combination with essential oils to prevent mosquitos.

They are fun to make, and yes they work!

Make A Coffee Candle
Make A Coffee Candle

Reusing Your Coffee Grounds In Your Garden

Coffee grounds are great for your garden in multiple ways, giving you multiple benefits which will result in amazing results for your flower bed, plants and your vegetable patch.

Some of the ways are straight up brilliant and pretty much what I call elusive and obvious!

Make A Liquid Fertilizer

This is something that I touched on earlier and is very easy to do. Simply brew your old coffee grounds using the most convenient brewing method, be it percolator coffee, or brewed coffee using your drip coffee maker.

Brew a whole carafe and let it cool down to room temperature. Using your watering can, sprinkle your plants, flowers, lawn and veggies with it.

Add Your Coffee Grounds To Your Soil

You can go direct and add your coffee grounds to your soil, which has two main benefits. It adds nutrients and nitrogen to your soil, aiding the quality of your soil.

The second benefit is coffee grounds ability to retain moisture. Sprinkle your coffee grounds liberally on garden soil, front lawn and your vegetable patch.

It is unlikely that you will put your soil out of pH balance. This is only a concern when you are putting your coffee grounds in plant pots.

If you are concerned about over acidification, sprinkle baking soda on your soil.

Start A Mini Worm Farm

Starting a worm farm is easy, very easy and as a bonus, worms are coffee lovers! They love to eat coffee grounds. They eat them, poop them out in what is called worm castings which are rich in nutrients.

Use these worm castings to add to your soil or plant pots and mix in well. Scatter over your vegetable garden.

A mini worm farm is great for reusing your food waste as worms will eat anything!

Reuse Your Coffee In Your Compost Pile

You can also reuse your food waste and your coffee grounds in your compost pile. Your compost pile should have no greater than 20% coffee grounds. Slowly over time your food waste and your used old coffee grounds will decay into a nutrient rich compost.

You simply put your compost in with your garden soil and increase your soil quality.

Repel Slugs, Insects, Rabbits And Cats

Every keen gardener knows just how much a pest slugs, insects and pests can be for your garden. I include ants in that list.

While your old coffee grounds are effective, fresh Italian roasted coffee grounds are better, much better.

In my own experience, using whole beans is a better long term solution due to decaying slower and slowly releasing the nutrients into your soil. For regular maintenance and keeping pests away, used coffee grounds are perfectly fine.

Frequently Asked Questions About Reusing Coffee Grounds

Can You Use The Same Coffee Grounds Twice?

Yes, you can use the same coffee grounds twice but not for making a second cup of coffee.

You can rebrew your coffee grounds and use the weak and sour tasting coffee as a liquid fertilizer for your garden or houseplants.

You can also use your old coffee grounds and mix them with your soil for the same effect.

Is It OK To Reuse Coffee Grounds?

Yes, it is perfectly fine for reused coffee grounds to be given an alternative use. What you can’t do is to reuse coffee grounds to make a second cup of coffee as it will taste weak, watery and slightly sour.

If reused coffee grounds or old coffee grounds could make a good second cup of coffee, your coffee brewing technique or coffee machine needs to be adjusted as you should be getting all the flavor into your first cup of coffee.

Can Coffee Grounds Be Rebrewed?

No, reusing coffee grounds and trying to get a second cup of coffee out of them is not a good idea. Unfortunately, spent coffee grounds make a terrible cup of coffee, no matter what type, even a K-cup coffee pods or Nespresso, as they are specifically designed to get all the best flavors extracted into the first and only cup of coffee, even cold brew coffee is the same.

Should I Save Used Coffee Grounds?

Yes! Absolutely. Saving your used coffee grounds will reduce your household waste and there are many great uses for spent coffee grounds, including absorbing unpleasant odors, adding nitrogen and nutrients to your compost pile or making a coffee scrub that is great for your skin and hair.

Old grounds can also be used to clean pots and pans as well as furniture stainer.

Can You Put Moldy Coffee Grounds In Your Garden?

Yes. Even though your old coffee grounds may develop a fungus or mold, that mold is still good and beneficial for your soil and will help to add nutrients and other compounds to aid the health of your garden soil.

Do Used Coffee Grounds Attract Pests?

No, according to the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency coffee grounds have the opposite effect and are good at repelling pests.

What Is The White Stuff In Coffee Grounds?

The white stuff that you see in coffee grounds is nothing to be concerned about. It is coffee chaff, a completely natural by-product from the roasting process. It’s a parchment-like layer in the center of coffee beans. They will look like specs on the coffee grounds.

What Animals Are Attracted To Coffee Grounds?

One “animal” that loves coffee grounds and will enjoy eating them are worms. Worms will literally eat anything that is edible that we throw out, even coffee grounds. They then poop them out as worm castings (worm poop), which is fantastic at regenerating soil and producing high quality soil.

Final Thoughts – Reusing Coffee Grounds

Reusing coffee grounds, in my own opinion, is an absolute must! Seriously, why throw them in the trash when you can at the very minimum revitalize your household plants and garden?

It’s such an effortless way of reusing your coffee grounds.

You can also have fun making customized beauty products tailored to your skin! That is the part I love, and I bet that you do too!

Join our fun and friendly coffee community and tell us what you do with your old coffee grounds! Do you have a fabulous way of reusing them? Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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