How to reuse your coffee grounds at home - bio-bean
spent coffee grounds


18th May 2020

How to reuse your coffee grounds at home

When coffee grounds are thrown in the general waste bin and sent to landfill they emit methane, a harmful greenhouse gas and a major contributor to climate change. So to reduce waste and emissions, coffee shops and other businesses instead send their spent grounds to us at bio-bean, where we recycle the grounds into a variety of sustainable products, like Coffee Logs.

But what are our options at home? With lockdown restrictions in place, many of us are working from home while also maintaining households, managing relationships and maybe even home-schooling in confined spaces. So chances are, if you’re like us, your coffee intake has increased dramatically. But what to do with the build up of spent coffee grounds?

About a month ago we teamed up with our coffee recycling partner, Costa Coffee, to bring their customers some ideas for recycling coffee grounds at home, and we thought it worth sharing some tips here for you, too.

We’ve all heard that rinsing them down the drain can clog our pipes. And there seems to be some debate over their benefit as a fertiliser in our gardens. So here are 5 creative alternative ways to give your coffee grounds at home a second life:

Make homemade soaps or a face scrub

Coffee grounds make a great exfoliator and the caffeine in the grounds helps to boost blood microcirculation and acts as an anti-inflammatory. So coffee grounds make a great ingredient for homemade soaps or body scrubs. We even found a recipe for treating under-eye circles with a paste of spent grounds and water or coconut oil.

Neutralise odours

Coffee grounds work as an odour absorber, so placing a bowl of dried, spent coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer will help neutralize any unpleasant odours. You can even keep some grounds by the kitchen sink to scrub your hands with after chopping garlic or onions.

Deter snails and slugs from your garden plants

The grainy texture of coffee grounds acts as a great barrier to pests in your garden like snails and slugs. They won’t like to cross over. Build up little walls of spent coffee grounds around your potted plants and you’ve got an organic pesticide.

Touch up scratched furniture

Try touching up scuffs and scratches on your dark, wooden furniture with coffee grounds. First, make a paste of used coffee grounds and water. Then, using a cotton bud, apply the paste to the affected area. Wait about 10-15 minutes and then buff away the grounds with a cotton rag. The coarse texture of the grounds acts as a buffer and the pigment helps to darken the area.

Bake beer bread, shortbreads or crisp breads

Now this is one we hadn’t seen before and admittedly, we haven’t yet tried it. IKEA’s future living lab space, SPACE10, has created a cookbook called Future Food Today, and they’ve included recipes for baking beer bread, shortbreads or crisp breads using spent coffee grounds!

There are many options out there for reusing your spent coffee grounds, and some of them are perfect activities to get the whole family involved.