Java recycling: 7 ways to use old coffee and coffee grounds

Coffee lovers can’t start their day without a delicious cup of their favorite coffee blend. Yet, they’re often left wondering what to do with those seemingly useless old coffee grounds or leftover cups of cold coffee. Here are some fantastic ways to reuse and recycle old coffee:

1. Gardening – Old coffee grounds are excellent to add to your composting pile. Not only do they increase the acidity of your soil, but they also act as a natural fertilizer. (Be careful not too add too many coffee grounds or else you may create a composting material that is too acidic.)

2. Indoor plants – Add some old grounds or a last cup of black coffee (your plant won’t love cream & sugar as much as you do) to your houseplants. Most of them will love this boost of acidity!

3. Java Hair Rinse – I know, I know, you’re likely rolling your eyes at this tip, but it’s a proven fact – coffee makes a great hair rinse! If you have dark hair, use leftover coffee as a final hair rinse to add super shine. And, a delicious scent as a great bonus.

4. Crazy Skin Pack – use a handful of old grounds, mixed togetherith a bit of water (or cream for added moisturizing) and create a messy paste of this in a small bowl. Pat this goopy mixture onto clean skin, being careful to avoid nose, mouth and eyes. Let sit for about 15 minutes and rinse off. You Java Beauty Queen, you…

5. Odor Neutralizer – This is one tip I discovered entirely by accident. Old coffee grounds at the bottom of, let’s say, a garbage bag help to neutralize odors! (I did this one time and realized it worked.) A little plate of leftover grounds left out in areas of particular stinkiness (cat litter box, anyone?) can help to naturally get rid of offensive smells.

6. Ant control – Pouring old coffee grounds around areas in your garden that are prone to ants will help get rid of them! Ants apparently hate coffee (they’re the only creatures that do) and won’t cross a line of coffee grounds.

7. Furniture Scratches – Very strong coffee can be a handy dye to use on furniture scratches. Dip a cotton swab into old, strong coffee and use on dark wood furniture to hide scratches.

Christina Spence is a freelance writer who loves coffee! Get her favorite FREE gourmet coffee recipes (including some Starbuck clone recipes) at: