What to Do with Old Coffee Beans: Tips and Hacks

jar of old coffee beans

Getting different packs of coffee beans from different brands is a good thing to explore a wide variety of flavors and tastes, however, sometimes coffee beans go stale before you have consumed the entire pack or when you don’t store them the right way, which results in non-fresh coffee beans that cannot be used to brew coffee anymore.

But don’t worry, you will not have to throw them out every time! There are many uses of old coffee beans that I bet you have never heard of.

In our article, you will find everything you need to know about coffee storage to keep your beans fresh in addition to a list of the best 10 practical ways to use stale coffee beans whole or ground at home.

How Do I Know If My Coffee Beans Are Stale?

coffee beans

Usually, coffee beans do not stay fresh for so long especially if you don’t take care of your beans. When coffee is not well stored and left exposed to the air, it starts oxidation that directly affects the taste of coffee by reducing the concentration of the coffee beans oils and adding a bitter taste and aroma.

To check if your coffee beans are getting stale, start by verifying the roast date. If 30 days have passed since the roast date, be sure the taste of your coffee will not be the same as in the first weeks after roasting.

Next, if your coffee has been left in the open for so long, it will be exposed to much air and lose its freshness quickly.

Finally, check if your coffee has been exposed to heat for so long. For example, if your coffee was left under sunlight or near the stove or the oven it will start getting stale quickly losing all its flavor and aroma. 

How Do I Keep My Coffee Beans Fresh for As Long as Possible?

jar of old coffee beans

Coffee beans that have gone stale will lose the essence of what makes a delicious cup of joe; therefore, you should always try to take precautions to keep them fresh for as long as possible. Here are some tips to take care of your beans and store them properly.

First, make sure you always buy the right amount of coffee beans. for instance, small coffee packs are the best option if you live alone or in a small family. if you prefer whole beans, make sure you grind just the amount you need every time. However, if you prefer pre-ground coffee, it is better to use an air-tight container to store your coffee.

Next, before buying your coffee beans, check if the beans are recently roasted and make sure you consume them within a week to one month after roasting. Plus, it is better to get coffee beans that are packed in a bag with a valve to ensure the beans are not breathing out gasses until they become stale.

Finally, as soon as you get your coffee beans home, make sure you store them properly. The biggest enemies of coffee beans are moisture, air, heat, and light; therefore, you should always store your beans in opaque, air-tight containers at room temperature and avoid placing them in the fridge.  In addition, keep your beans in a dark and cool location and avoid clear canisters to ensure your coffee is not exposed to light.  

What to Do with Old Coffee Beans?

Since you can’t use stale coffee beans to brew coffee anymore, here are some smart ways you can use your old coffee beans instead of throwing them out.


 Coffee can be surprisingly used for beauty purposes for either your hair, face, and body.

Instead of wasting your money on expensive face and body scrubs, coffee can be used easily instead.

Coffee grounds work by act exfoliating your skin and removing dead skin cells off your face and promote the growth of new skin cells as well for fresh and youthful skin. Just add some coconut oil, brown sugar, or vanilla extract to your stale coffee ground, and start taking care of your skin easily!

Moreover, coffee can be used for your hair as well. Ground coffee has proven efficacy in hair growth and preventing hair loss. The caffeine found in coffee help stimulating hair follicles which results in healthier and better-looking hair.   


coffee beans as home decor

Another way to use old coffee beans is to make some beautiful décor in your home. For example, if you like candle making, you can decorate your boring white candles using coffee beans easily. These candles will look just perfect on your tables or even at your desc, plus, as the candles burn down, the coffee will start releasing its authentic smell right away.

Additionally, you can also use coffee beans to decorate your canvas, picture frames, tissue box, or your wooden tables.


What can be better than a sweet treat for you and your children? What about homemade chocolate-covered coffee beans?

And who said you can’t consume old coffee beans anymore! Instead of getting these pricey chocolate-covered espresso beans from the store, try making yours at home with stale coffee beans. start by simply melting your dark or white chocolate over low heat then add your beans and mix them. Finally, spoon them onto parchment paper, let them cool down and enjoy!


After you get your new coffee machine you now need to try it out and learn how to use it but wasting that much coffee is not a good idea.

So, instead of wasting fresh coffee beans or ground coffee, try using some stale coffee and leftovers. And even though the most important factor is the coffee taste, you can still explore and learn more tricks and tips about your new coffee maker. 



Being rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and magnesium, old coffee beans can also be used as a soil fertilizer which is great to use in your garden to help fertilize your favorite plants such as roses, hydrangeas, and camellias in addition to fruiting plants like cranberries and blueberries.

You just need to mix your old coffee grounds with your potting soil, or you can also turn some of the soil around the plant roots while mixing in some of the coffee grounds.



Coffee can be also used to clean and scrub your dirty dishes. Since they are mildly abrasive and acidic, coffee grounds will help to remove burnt or dried food that is on your pans and pots easily. Just put some wet used grounds directly onto the dirty dish, and use a soft cloth to scrub it gently.

So, next time instead of using chemical cleaning products and abrasive sponges that can harm your dishes, try using ground coffee and save some money.


We all struggle with cellulite and hope we can find a way to get rid of it without wasting hundreds of dollars on expensive products. Well, what if I told you that old coffee beans can also work to smooth out cellulite as well!

You may not believe that but if you check the ingredients in most commercial cellulite creams, you will notice that they all contain caffeine. It is true that coffee grounds will not make cellulite disappear completely, but at least they can help reduce its appearance.

Just mix some coffee grounds with some coconut oil and start rubbing the grounds gently on the areas where you have cellulite to stimulate circulation. The antioxidants found in coffee grounds will help to increase the production of collagen in your body to fresh out your skin and reduce your cellulite.


ant and dog

Old coffee beans can also work as a natural insect repellent. Save your kitchen and garden now by sprinkling some stale coffee grounds around your yard and it will work surprisingly to repel insects of different types, ants, snails, and even cats.

Moreover, if your pet is having some fleas issue you can also use coffee to solve that problem as well! Just scrub their fur with coffee grounds and you are done. Plus, you can also add some coffee grounds to your pet’s shampoo.


We all know that coffee has a strong and pleasing smell what makes it perfect for absorbing and reducing stank.

Since it contains some nitrogen, coffee is considered a powerful substance to clean the air and absorb bad odors such as garlic and onion smells.

Start by putting some dry coffee grounds into a container with an opening at the top, then place it where you have noticed a bad smell and leave it for some hours until it absorbs all the awful smells around your house.



Another practical use of old coffee beans is tenderizing your meat. It contains some natural acids enzymes that help to tender the meat and also improve its flavor.

Who doesn’t like to enjoy a tender steak or some wonderful juicy chicken for dinner? All you need to do is to brew a strong pot of coffee using your stale grounds and let it cool, then marinate your meat in it for 24 hours before use. Or, you can also add old coffee grounds to your preferred dry-rub recipe and apply the rub to the meat two hours before you start cooking.

Final Thoughts

In brief, coffee has many beneficial uses even when it has gone stale. It can be used to care about your skin and hair, decorate your house, repel insects, in cooking, and even for gardening.

So, instead of throwing your coffee out, start using it for some DIY remedies and save some money as well.


Selena started writing about Coffee to document her own journey. She fell into some very bad habits and knew things had to change. That’s why she began this site!