What to do With Coffee Grounds?

April 19, 2023 2 min read

Quoi faire avec le marc de café? - Café Barista

Naturally, you can compost them. But these now ‘useless; coffee grounds, from coffee that’s already been used for brewing, actually has all kinds of uses in cooking, cosmetics, and other home applications. Here are a few ways to give your pounds of used coffee a second life!


In the Fridge and in the Closet

Admit it. You probably can’t remember the last time you changed the box of baking soda in your fridge. Instead, you could use what’s left of your Sunday coffee to wick away those unwelcome smells. After brewing, let the coffee grounds cool, then place them in a small, unsealed container at the back of your refrigerator.

Coffee grounds provide an appealing alternative to baking soda thanks to their odour-absorbing properties. In fact, it’s probably the only time that we’ll tell you to put coffee in the fridge!

You can also use this little trick to get rid of smells in your closets.

For Skin Care

Caffeine is quite commonly used in pharmacology, particularly for its energizing and cellulite-fighting characteristics. But it can also be used to improve the blood’s microcirculation and dissolve keratin (eliminating dead cells and oxygenating skin). However, there’s a new idea that’s been gaining traction lately: coffee grounds can be excellent for exfoliating skin!

Mix a bit of coffee with coconut, vegetable, or sweet almond oil, or even with honey, to get a 100% natural exfoliating scrub. Massage the mixture into your face or neck, or whatever other area you want to treat, then rinse with warm water. It’s recommended to test it on a small patch of skin before going for the full treatment. In addition to all its other benefits, using coffee as an exfoliator will also make your skin nice and soft!

You could also choose to use this treatment’s ‘eye contour’ version in order to stimulate blood flow and reduce dark circles under the eyes. To do this mix an egg white, a teaspoon of coffee grounds, and half a teaspoon of honey, then apply under your eyes for five minutes. Gently rinse.


For Cooking

Some blogs claim that setting meat in coffee grounds for a few hours can make it super tender. We haven’t tried it out, but let us know about the results if you’re game!

However, what we do know is that coffee grounds are excellent in desserts or meat marinades. For example, we found this beef carpaccio recipe from François Chartier that really got our mouths watering.


In the Garden

This section is actually only meant to bust the myth that coffee grounds are excellent compost and make for a great insecticide. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case! Studies have shown that this is more of a placebo effect, since coffee doesn’t have any effect at all on either slugs or plant growth.

However, and as we noted above, coffee is perfectly good in compost. If you’re making compost at home (rather than through your city), know that coffee grounds should only be added to your mix in small quantities.

Sources for the editor




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