7 ways to recycle old coffee grounds from your Instant Drip Coffee

7 ways to recycle old coffee grounds from your Instant Drip Coffee


From clothes to coffee, we like finding new purposes for previously loved items. The very premise of our “Reconstructed Pleasure” collection is proof of this. So when we launched our Instant Drip Coffee, we wanted to milk every last drop of those cups of coffee.

We showed how you can use the filter packets for cold brew as well as hot coffee, and now we wanted to show multiple creative ways you can recycle the coffee grounds from the packets once you’re done using them:

1. Compost/fertilizer

Add leftover coffee grounds to your at-home compost bin - typically composed of organic waste such as food scraps and yard debris - as it makes the compost even more rich. Or if you have a home garden, sprinkle the grounds directly on the dirt as it helps the soil better absorb the water and nutrients your plants need to grow.

2. Repel insects and pests

Use your grounds to keep bugs away thanks to compounds found in coffee that can be highly toxic to insects. By placing coffee grounds in bowls or sprinkling them around outdoor areas, mosquitos, fruit flies and beetles can be kept at bay. If placed around plants and gardens, they can create a natural barrier that slugs and snails do not want to cross.

3. Neutralize odors

Not only does coffee smell great while brewing, but using the grounds afterwards actually helps pull unpleasant odors from the air, neutralizing smells in your home, fridge, and wherever you need it. You can even rub the grounds on your hands while washing them after chopping onions or garlic to help remove the scent.

4. Natural cleaning scrub

Coffee grounds’ granular nature makes them a convenient replacement for cleaning products that contain lots of harsh chemicals - and they may even help sanitize thanks to their antibacterial and antiviral properties. Use them to scrub down your sink, your dishware, or your grill; just be cautious with porous surfaces as they can leave a brown residue behind. 

5. Exfoliate your skin

Thanks to the properties that make it an effective surface scrub, coffee grounds also make for an at-home exfoliator as well. Just add a bit of water or oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and scrub with your hands onto the desired part of your body. Not only does it help exfoliate dead skin, it can also increase blood flow and even reduce the appearance of cellulite.

6. Natural dye for fabrics

By adding water to used coffee grounds, you can create your own at-home, natural dye for materials such as cotton, rayon, linen, paper, and cellophane. Here’s a helpful tutorial to follow when making your own at-home dye.

7. Tenderize meat

Coffee contains natural acids and enzymes which make them a great compound to tenderize meat by helping to break down the muscle fibers and proteins that can cause meat to be tough. Add the grounds to your favorite dry-rub recipe and apply to meat 2 hours before cooking. The coffee can also help enhance the flavor of the meat thanks to the acidic nature of it.

It’s pretty amazing to think of the ways coffee keeps on giving, even after your cup is done. Next time you’re about to throw out your coffee packets, think about giving it a second life.

Our Instant Drip Coffee can be purchased here