9 Smart Ways to Recycle Coffee Grounds

Ways to Recycle Coffee Grounds
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash.com

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of recycling. But what if I told you that there was an easy way to recycle one of your favorite things – coffee grounds? Believe it or not, there are tons of ways to reuse those little bits of ground-up coffee beans. And if you own a food truck, food stand or food cart, then you may end up with a lot of used coffee grounds at the end of the day.

So before you toss your used coffee grounds in the trash and let them go to waste, you can check out these nine smart ways to recycle them! After all, used coffee grounds still have lots of benefits that can save you some cash in the long run.

9 Smart Ways to Recycle Coffee Grounds

1. Use Coffee Grounds for Cooking

Whether dark or medium roast coffee, used coffee grounds can feature as the main ingredient in several recipes. One of my favorite usages for used coffee grounds is creating a coffee marinade. Coffee has a strong flavor that can be paired perfectly with meat. 

Since coffee is acidic, its acidity can help tenderize your steak, making it softer while enhancing the moisture content in meat. To create a coffee marinade, you can mix garlic, coffee grounds, vinegar, and seasoning. You can apply the mixture to your meat to help tenderize it while improving its taste.

2. Eliminate Odor

Coffee is known and loved for its exceptional aroma that wakes us every morning while activating our taste buds. But did you know that used coffee grounds can help you eliminate odor? Coffee grounds are known for absorbing odor, and they can serve as filters for removing any toxic gas in your surroundings. Coffee beans can achieve this thanks to the numerous elements, like nitrogen, that are known for absorbing sulfur.

Be it spoilt food, cigarette smoke or burnt food, coffee grounds can do the trick. Plus, the fact that they have a robust scent means that they can easily neutralize the air and get rid of odor produced by rotten food or garbage. You can place the coffee grounds in the pet litter box, fridge, bathroom shelf, and cabinets and let them neutralize the air.

3. Compost the Coffee Grounds

Adding used coffee grounds to your compost pile is one of the best methods to ensure that what would fill the landfill is recycled. Used coffee grounds can add some nitrogen to the compost pile; you can even add the used coffee filter.

The ratio of green compost materials to brown compost materials should be 1:4. When you add coffee grounds, make sure you balance the addition of brown compost materials with the green compost materials in your compost piles. After all, coffee grounds are green compost materials.

4. Fertilize Your Garden Using Coffee Grounds

If composting isn’t an option, then you can add the grounds directly to the farm. You can either sprinkle it on the topsoil layer and leave it there or scratch it a few inches into the soil. 

When mixed in small amounts with some dry materials, coffee can provide your garden with the needed nitrogen. Make sure you don’t use too much coffee grounds; remember, a small number of coffee grounds can help lock the soil together and create a water-resistant barrier in the soil.

Recycle Coffee Grounds
Fertilize your garden with used coffee grounds. Photo by CDC on Unsplash.com

5. Turn Coffee Ground to Soap

Another fun activity that you can do when recycling coffee grounds is converting them into soap. This means that you can melt some bar soaps in the microwave for about 40 seconds and then repeat this procedure after about 20 seconds until it’s fully melted. Add coffee grounds to the melted soap and continue stirring before adding it to the single mold and letting it solidify.

6. Cleaning the Fireplace

If your home has a fireplace, you know how messy it can be cleaning it. But with coffee grounds, you’ll never have to worry about smoke clouds forming when you’re cleaning it. Simply pour some coffee grounds on the ashes, and they will weigh them down.

The coffee grounds will not only make it easy for you to remove ashes, but it will prevent the dust from moving to other parts of the house.

7. Freshen Your Facial Skin

Coffee grounds are exceptional exfoliating agents that can get rid of the dead cells and dirt on your skin. You have to create a facemask and apply it to your face. To make the face mask, you should do the following:

  • Mix equal parts of coffee grounds and olive oil in a bowl.
  • Apply the mixture on your face using a circular motion.
  • Leave it on your skin for about an hour before rinsing it off using warm water.
  • You can repeat this procedure thrice per week.

8. Repel Pests and Insects

You can make the perfect repellent to fight off those pesky bugs by burning coffee grounds. Used coffee grounds are more potent when burned. So all you need to do is place a bowl of coffee grounds on a flat surface outside and burn them like incense, and you’re good to go.

9. Remove Scratches on Surfaces

Coffee grounds are exceptional things that can remove scratches and scuff marks from wooden furniture and stains, too! First, make a thick paste using coffee grounds, water, and vinegar; then rub the mixture onto your scratched surface using soft cotton swabs or rags until it has dried. Finally, you can wipe any excess liquid/paste off the surface as best as you can to prevent it from buffing outside.


Used coffee grounds are quite beneficial, so instead of throwing them away, you can recycle them on your farm, at home, or even on your skin as an exfoliating agent. If you’re anything like me, you probably have a lot of leftover coffee grounds each week.

Therefore, you can start trying the above DIY beneficial uses of used coffee grounds and improving your lives in the end. Used coffee grounds can do more than just introduce nitrogen in the soil. They can help with composting while introducing a wide range of elements and nutrients to the soil.

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