What To Do with Old Coffee Beans – Updated Guide 2022

An estimated 98% of coffee around the world is made from ground coffee beans, but some people may be wondering what to do with old or unused coffee beans.

If you’re one of those people, this article will give you some ideas.

Oftentimes, you open a bag of coffee beans and a few days later they go stale probably because you didn’t put them in an airtight container and they lost their freshness.

Or you bought much more beans than you actually needed and now they’re past the expiration date.

Either way, don’t throw them out as they can easily be repurposed.

Every year, there is tons of food waste thrown out and this pretty much contributes to the problem of food security and global warming.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, please try to reduce your waste as much as possible.

Luckily, there are too many ideas for repurposing old coffee beans and we’ll give you a few of them right now.

So, let’s begin.

What to do with old coffee beans

Many people brew their own coffee at home, but oftentimes they run into the problem of stale beans.

Sometimes, you’ve got excess coffee beans lying around in a cupboard for months and you don’t want to throw them out as your favorite coffee shops charge pretty much for every cup of coffee.

So don’t waste your money or those coffee beans.

Give them a chance and you’ll be able to accomplish amazing things with them.

Here are 12 useful ideas on what to do with your old coffee beans and how you can repurpose them.

Natural Plant fertilizer

If you’ve got a green thumb and you’re planning to grow some plants, old coffee beans are the best natural fertilizer for your plants.

This is because they contain nitrogen and potassium, which plants need a lot of.

You have probably heard that banana peels are great for this purpose, but old coffee beans can do the same job.

Simply take out the beans and spread them on your plant’s soil.

In no time, you’re garden or a flowerbed will be flourishing.

Fruit plants such as blueberries and cranberries benefit a lot from the nitrogen and potassium that old coffee beans contain.

If you’re looking for even more nutrition, add some chicken manure and other organic fertilizers to your soil.

It will be the perfect way to get your garden ready for the upcoming season.

Another benefit of this method is that coffee beans have a very nice smell so your plants will be pest-free because most insects and bugs won’t dare to come near them.

Improve your compost

If you’re looking to improve your compost pile, old coffee beans are the perfect thing for your garden soil.

There are different types of coffee beans, but all of them contain nitrogen which means that they’ll work great for improving your compost.

In fact, research suggests compost that has coffee grounds tends to be more nutrient-rich than the usual compost that doesn’t contain coffee grounds.

This way you’ll be able to create soil that’s rich in nutrients and will benefit your garden immensely.

The best thing about coffee beans is that they don’t have a harsh smell, so if you’re planning to use them in order to boost your compost pile, there won’t be any unpleasant smells from you garden.

Furthermore, they add organic matter into the soil making it better at water retention and aeration.

Use as décor

Again, if you’re looking for a great way to repurpose old coffee beans and at the same time add some life to your home then you should use them as décor.

For example, you can use them to make a lovely table or home candle, or you can even put them in a bowl and use them as room décor.

You can find some great ideas on Pinterest if you want to learn more about this method.

The concept here is to turn those unused coffee beans into a work of art and use them at home.

This is definitely a great idea for people who are looking for unique décor ideas without spending a lot of money.

Get rid of unwanted odors

Most homes deal with some type of unwanted odors.

Coffee grounds can come in handy when it comes to eliminating pungent odors in the refrigerator and freezer.

They naturally absorb bad smells and help prevent them from spreading.

At the same time, they are great at reducing and eliminating refrigerator odors.

If you’ve got a way of storing your coffee beans, try to keep a plastic or glass jar of them in your fridge or freezer and the unwanted odors will disappear quickly.

You’ll be able to use this jar for other purposes as well.

Also, use them to deodorize musty cupboards, closets and other areas in your home.

If you do it regularly, you’ll be able to keep your home odor-free and fresh all the time.

The wonderful smell of coffee is a welcome scent in any room.

A snack made of chocolate covered Espresso beans

If you have no idea what to do with the excess coffee beans, try to make your very own homemade chocolate covered espresso beans.

It’s an easy treat and you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg at the grocery stores.

The best part is that they are delicious.

All you need is some chocolate and a bowl with the excess coffee beans you don’t need.

Melt the chocolate, dip the beans and then place them on a lined tray to cool.

In a few minutes, you’ll have a great tasting snack for yourself or for your family and friends.

See, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel after all.

Use it as a natural dye

Brewed coffee beans can be used as a natural dye.

In this case, brew your coffee beans and use the resulting liquid to dye your fabrics or anything that takes dye well.

The coffee beans will not only color your fabrics but they will also help you to achieve a natural look by providing you with a more intense shade of color.

If you like, you can also use the redder part of the beans as a base for your custom colors.

Ward away pesky pests

Research indicates coffee has an inhibiting effect on mosquito larvae.

Most homes are equipped with air conditioning units and central heating systems.

However, this also makes homes a perfect spot for pests such as mosquitoes, lizards and various moths.

Oftentimes, these insects are attracted to your house because they like the smell of food waste.

In order to ward them off (or at least reduce the number of pests in your home) put some of the unused coffee beans in a glass or an open container inside the kitchen cabinet or the garbage can.

This way, the scent of coffee will act as a deterrent and you’ll be able to live in a pest-free home.

However, keep in mind that if you want to use this method for long term pest control, you’ll have to replace the beans on regular basis.

It’s also an ideal way to keep pests away from your outdoor area or garden.

Incorporate them in your skincare

For centuries, coffee beans and other natural ingredients have been used in order to reduce and eliminate the visibility of skin imperfections such as acne, minor scars and wrinkles.

You can make a natural scrub for your body and face using ground coffee beans, honey, yogurt, sugar and oil.

The caffeine and antioxidants in the ground coffee will nourish the skin, reduce inflammation, and speed up the process of skin renewal.

Also, caffeine will eliminate any dead skin cells that you may have accumulated on the surface of your face.

As a matter of fact, you might cut down on money spent on expensive cosmetics products if you use this method regularly.

Reduce the appearance of cellulite

If you’re looking for a natural way to reduce the appearance of cellulite on your thighs and other parts of your body, coffee grounds will likely get the job done.

Caffeine has a natural ability to boost blood circulation in your skin and hence it will help tone up your body and eliminate unsightly cellulite.

You should use this method on a regular basis, preferably with an evening scrub before you go to bed.

Additionally, the antioxidants found in coffee beans stimulate collagen production contributing to an overall healthy skin.

You’ll be able to see results after a few weeks.

Scrub Dishes

Those stale and unwanted coffee grounds are perfect to use as a scrubber in the kitchen.

The coffee grounds can help remove dried-on and burnt food on your pans and pots.

They are excellent at polishing cookware and other items as well.

Coffee grounds are actually better than the commercial scrubbers that you can purchase on the market, as they’re natural and they don’t contain any toxic chemicals that can be harmful to humans.

You will save money and you’ll also eliminate the need to buy scrubbing pads, which are not eco-friendly in the first place.

Also, coffee grounds are cheap, so you won’t have any major expenses after all.

Just place damp coffee grounds on the dish that requires scrubbing and use it to rub the dirty areas on that particular dish.

The smell won’t bother you and the coffee grounds are capable of removing the toughest stains and burnt food pieces.

Use on your hair

Powdered coffee beans can be used on your hair as well.

They are a great way to combat dandruff and they’re also capable of controlling the production of sebum.

If you have oily hair, coffee grounds can help reduce the oiliness by preventing your scalp from making too much oil.

At the same time, it will remove all that extra oil from your scalp.

Another benefit of this method is that the coffee will stimulate timely hair growth while at the same time combating issues such as hair loss and hair thinning.

In fact, a 2007 study shows the positive effects of caffeine on hair follicles.

You need to make a mixture of olive oil, honey and crushed coffee grounds and leave it on your hair for about half an hour before you wash it off.

Soon, your hair will appear silkier and shinier.

Marinate meat

Here is another idea that is gaining popularity.

If you’ve got some leftover coffee beans, put them in a coffee grinder and grind them until they become a powder.

Now, you can use this coffee powder to marinate your meat.

Mix it with other spices such as paprika, black pepper, salt and garlic powder.

You should mix them well and let the meat marinate overnight or for a few hours.

The meat will taste great and at the same time you’ll be able to save on other marinating ingredients since coffee beans contain antioxidants and natural oils that help keep your meat moist and tender.

Now, this might sound weird as we’ve all seen meat marinades made with extracts, spices and herbs but most of them lack the taste and texture of true meat.

Well, this homemade recipe will change your mind about this for sure.

It will help you to obtain great tasting meat even if it’s cooked with no additional herbs and spices.

Final Thoughts

Why throw out those unused coffee beans if they can be used in so many ways?

With this guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your unused coffee beans.

You’ll turn them into a reusable product instead of tossing them in the garbage bin.

Also, you’ll be able to help the environment even if it’s just by a little.


Can you put old coffee beans in the garden?

Of course! They will become a perfect fertilizer for your garden and a great source of nutrients for your plants.

This is especially useful for plants that require nitrogen to produce beautiful and healthy flowers or fruits.

Do coffee grounds repel mosquitoes?

Coffee grounds are a natural repellant and will keep mosquitoes away both inside the house or outside on your patio.

Just make sure to replace them on regular basis.