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Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds?

Feeding your coffee addiction can be expensive. So, if you're finally noticing that your cravings are draining your wallet, you may be wondering if you’ll ever sink to a level in which the idea of reusing coffee grounds is something you’d even entertain. 

There are people (not sure who they are exactly, but they’re out there) advocating the concept of reusing coffee grounds after the first brew. Never mind whether it’s safe, you're wondering if it is sacrilegious, pathetic, or simply disgusting.

Therefore, in this article, we'll explain the above questions and tell you when you can reuse coffee grounds. Spoiler alert: brewing a second pot with used coffee grounds results in coffee that tastes different from the first brew.

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Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds to Make Coffee After the First Brew?

The answer to this question depends on how you enjoy your coffee. Reusing coffee grounds affects the quality of the second cup. The second cup might taste bitter and have an extremely low caffeine level, which is not ideal.

If you're a purist who’s serious about the flavor ratios and profiles in your cup of coffee, you will never reuse coffee grounds. The second cup will never taste the same as your first brew. So, if you need extra-fresh pick-me-ups several times a day, then you will have to brew a fresh batch of coffee every time.

Brewing coffee is a unique science of coffee to water ratio, brewing method, steeping time, and water temperature. And when prepared correctly, this beverage can deliver gorgeous flavor and pick-me-up goodness whenever you need it. Coffee has an optimal amount of extraction, which is mandatory for it to create a unique drink, and reusing it will lower the flavor. 

However, if you’re one of those who go heavy on sugar and creamer with your coffee, you might not notice the difference. You could go ahead and reuse those grounds to make a second cup of coffee. But make sure you reuse it quickly.

Can You Reuse Your Coffee Grounds More Than Twice or After a Day?

Reusing coffee grounds twice in less than 12 hours is ok for some people, but waiting for more than 24 hours is not a good idea. Unless you are drying and dumping them in between usage, you will find them soggy and saturated.

Wet and saturated coffee grounds create an excellent breeding ground for molds, fungus, and bacteria. And if you leave them for over three days, then you need to throw them out.

Either way, you should never reuse coffee grounds to brew your favorite beverage more than twice. Not only will your drink taste terrible, but you will have wasted water. So you should never push things this far.
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So, How Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds?

Now, this is the right question that you should be asking. Are there any other ways to make use of coffee grounds around your home? The answer is yes. Don’t throw them directly to the trash bin as there are numerous ways you can reuse coffee grounds, and some of them will surprise you. 

Make Coffee Face and Body Scrub

Well, coffee grounds are natural exfoliants with antioxidant properties. Plus, they are relatively easy to mix into body and face scrub that can easily get rid of the dead skin cells. All you have to do is mix a cup of coffee grounds with six tablespoons of jojoba oil and three spoons of sugar or salt in a jar. Mix them well until they are well incorporated before applying them on any part of your body, like a mask. And to get rid of the dead skin cells, all you have to do is rub the coffee grounds gently on your skin.

Scrub Your Pans and Pots

Dried used grounds are acidic and abrasive; therefore, they can scrape burnt-on gunk from pots and pans. Simply soak your dishes, pans, and pots in hot water for about half an hour. And then, rub the dried grounds on the pots' surface to remove the residue and stain. But make sure you don't use too much force when scrubbing the dishes.

Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

If you've been working the whole night or had a late night out, you might notice bags under your eyes. This is quite normal; however, did you know that you can get rid of them using coffee grounds? Well, numerous studies have confirmed that caffeine can help remove puffiness under your eyes. Just apply the grounds to the affected area and then wash them off once they have dried. 

Caffeine can also help remove the dark circles under your eyes that make you seem tired. It’s actually a common additive in eye creams and eye serums.

Hide Furniture Scratches

Numerous small scratches on your furniture can leave them with some light streaks on the surface. Fortunately, coffee's dark color can help hide these light streaks, giving your furniture its unique uniform color. All you have to do is apply wet grounds on the scratched region and wipe them off until the lines disappear. But make sure you don't leave the coffee grounds on the unscratched region as it may leave these regions darker than before.

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Make Homemade Soaps

If you are already making your soap at home using your DIY kit, then this can be a lot easier for you. We are not suggesting that you prepare coffee-flavored soap; instead, we propose that you add a few grounds to your ingredient. The used coffee grounds will give your soap a gritty texture that will help slough off dirt and dead skin cells from your body and clear your pores.

Make DIY Air Fresheners

We all enjoy the taste of caffeine, and to be honest, the scent of coffee is very beautiful, and for coffee lovers, it's even better. This DIY air freshener can be as simple as adding coffee grounds to some empty air freshener bottles. These jars have a unique lid with holes that help release the smell of coffee slowly. This is ideal since the scent of coffee can be quite intense for some people.

And being hygroscopic, you can put some baked grounds in your refrigerator to help absorb all the smell in there. Coffee grounds can also help eliminate odor in numerous places in the house. You can also put it near your garbage bag to help eliminate the foul smell.

Compost Your Coffee Grounds

The high nutrient content in coffee grounds makes them a great addition to your compost. And with time, the microorganisms can turn the coffee grounds into highly nutritious and rich soil for the garden. Other than improving your compost's nutritional content, coffee grounds will help mask the foul scent produced by compost.

The coffee grounds can help stabilize the compost's pH level, which will help the waste products degrade evenly and faster. 

And if you keep worms to help with vermicomposting, you can feed them coffee grounds. Adding coffee grounds will help them live longer and prepare more compost in the future.

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Toss Them Around the Base of Your Plant

All acid-loving plants thrive when exposed to coffee. Some of these plants include azaleas, rhododendrons, radishes, carrots, and blueberries. However, you have to be very careful when sprinkling coffee grounds around your plant's roots, as it can inhibit the growth of some plant species. So ask a nursery plant expert about which plants thrive when exposed to coffee grounds.

Attract or Repel Certain Insects and Pests

Coffee grounds can be used to attract numerous types of insects like cockroaches which love coffee. Simply put some coffee in a jar that they can't escape from and leave it overnight. And by the time you wake up, your jar will be filled with cockroaches. You can also use it to repel slugs in your garden if you have planted strawberries, spinach, or lettuce. Coffee beans can also repel rabbits and cats from your garden.

Get Rid of Shoe Odor

If your shoes produce a terrible smell, you can pour some coffee ground in them and leave them overnight. And then, in the morning, you can pour them out, and your shoes will smell fresh. After all, coffee is known to soak up all the smells in its vicinity.

Use It as a Unique Natural Hair Dye

Many people claim that coffee grounds can add a richer and deeper tone to your hair. Simply soak your hair in a bowl of wet grounds until your hair is damp. And then wrap your hair and wear your shower cap. Leave it like that for a few minutes, and then wash your hair when it's almost dry.

Besides giving your hair a richer color, you will also notice that it has increased your hair's shine. And that is because the acid in these grounds will get rid of any buildups in your hair strands.

Get Rid of Fleas in Your Pet

Fleas are a very common issue with our pets, and treating them can be both time-consuming and costly. Plus, a huge percentage of the pesticides in the market contain harsh chemicals that can harm your pet. So, instead of using these harmful chemicals, you can try some natural flea treatments like coffee.

Just rub these grounds all over your dog's body after shampooing it and then rinse it off and allow it to air dry. The smell of coffee will keep the fleas away while improving the shine and smoothness of its coat.


Grow Mushrooms

Mushrooms are picky plants that only grow under specific conditions. Plus, they are quite difficult to grow. Mushrooms don't grow on the normal garden soil, as they need an underlying layer. And coffee grounds can make great substrates for your mushrooms to thrive. Used grounds are packed with nutrients that mushrooms need to thrive.

Final Thoughts

Brewing coffee is an art that depends on a wide range of variables to produce a perfect coffee. Some of these variables include the brewing method, steeping time, water temperature, and coffee to water ratio. And most of the caffeine is normally extracted from the grounds during the first brew. Therefore, reusing the same ground to make a second cup is not an option for serious coffee lovers.

However, people who add sugar or creamer to their coffee can reuse it. And that is because they already dilute their coffee and might never tell the difference. But you can never reuse the coffee grounds more than twice or after you have left it for more than 24 hours. And that is because it becomes soggy and a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Luckily, there are numerous ways you can reuse your coffee grounds in the house. Some of its uses include making a DIY air freshener and adding to your compost. So instead of throwing away the used ground, why don't you try the above uses?



Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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