6 Simple Ways to Recycle Coffee Beans

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Ways to Recycle Coffee Beans

Coffee is love; Coffee is life. For a Coffee lover like me, home ground beans are a must. I must grind and roast my beans for the full coffee experience. Because of this, I have a lot of spent beans, and I looked up ideas for what to do with them.

Air Freshener

There are many simple ways to recycle coffee beans, on the top of my list is as an Air Freshener. I love the smell of coffee and freshly roasted beans. So, I learned that if I just placed the ground beans in a container and left it in an area where I could use it as a free Air freshener! For example, I could use the coffee grounds to make my home office smell like a coffee shop.

As a bonus, the strong smell of Coffee somehow absorbs or drowns out unpleasant smells. So, it would make a great substitute for store-bought air fresheners. For example, it hides the unpleasant smells that might come from the home gym.


Unsurprisingly, coffee grounds contain residual amounts of caffeine and most insects don’t like it. Sprinkle the used coffee grounds in the garden and watch all those pests give the plants a wide berth.

As someone who likes to keep an herb garden at home, using coffee grounds as a natural pest repellant is probably one of my favorite ways to recycle coffee beans. Fragrant herbs like thyme and rosemary tend to attract pests like crazy, so I appreciate how the coffee grounds repel them.

Even better the harmony of fragrant herbs and the coffee smell is like music to my nose. The dual benefits are just too good to pass up.

As I’ll mention on this list, the natural pesticide is also a great fertilizer.

Supersize the Soil

About using the coffee grounds as a kind of pest-be-gone, I recycle the coffee beans as a means of fertilizing the soil. The coffee grounds are still very rich in nutrients that the soil can absorb and transfer to the plants.

I mentioned having an herb garden earlier. I get a two-for-one! Not only does the coffee groundward away the pests it also fertilizes the soil

The value of recycling is made even better by the fact that not only do I benefit from its utility. I also save money on pest repellent and fertilizer.

The best part it this is almost effortless. I take the used coffee beans and spread them in the soil that I want to be fertilized and freed from garden variety pests. It is so simple I’m surprised that I haven’t done this before.

Food Odor Absorber

Among the simple ways to recycle coffee beans using it as a food odor absorber was not obvious to me at the start. While I was well aware of the desirable smell of coffee grounds and the fact that it overpowers other smells, see the first of my ways to recycle coffee beans, I did not realize they could be used for the fridge.

I was skeptical at first since most of my coffee knowledge said that I should keep coffee beans in a ziplock or some other method to isolate it from the rest of the fridge. I must say I was a bit surprised when it worked. Coffee grounds work just as well as baking soda at keeping unwanted odors away.

DIY Food Coloring

Coffee stains can be a hassle, the risk of staining furniture and clothes is an acceptable risk for people who like to be around coffee. Nevertheless, we can turn the strong coloring effect to our benefit.

It may come as a surprise, but the turkey’s and roast chickens on TV aren’t golden brown because of how perfectly they were baked or roasted. To make them more appealing to the audience.

Even better-using coffee as a food coloring is as easy as simply putting them in water and then applying the colored water with a paintbrush. Applied on paper, or any surface, the dyed water will exhibit a brilliant golden hue. Word of warning though the resulting color is very hard to remove.

Caffeine Soap

Recycle coffee beans by turning it into soap! This might be a little more involved than my previous picks, but I can guarantee it is worth the effort.

There are many beauty products today that try to sell the idea of coffee as a refreshing or awakening ingredient. Those products aren’t wrong. The coffee smell is a great benefit not only because of the smell but apparently because coffee is good for the skin.

For this one, investment in other ingredients is necessary. Some glycerin is needed to form the base of the coffee soap. Once the coffee infused soap is ready, it can be a great alternative to expensive “coffee extract” facial care products on the market.

As a bonus, coffee soaps are so popular a profit could be made selling them in a weekend market. Nothing like recycling to help mother earth while also earning some extra money in the process.


To recap I’ve proposed six ways to recycle coffee beans:

  • Air freshener.
  • Organic Pesticide
  • Supersizing soil/fertilizer
  • Food odor absorber
  • DIY food coloring
  • Caffeine soaps.

Keep in mind that my number one criteria for proposing these are ease of use and convenience to make sure they can be easily implemented. After all, it does no good to propose a solution if it needs specialized equipment that the average person does not have access too.


Coffee is truly a blessing. Many people need coffee to wake up and be able to get set up for their day. For the true fan of coffee brewed is a must. One of the few downsides of going with brewed coffee is the used beans. This article gives you some ideas about what to do with them. Why not try out some of these ideas?



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