What Can I Do With Burnt Coffee Beans? (11 Ideas)

If you burn your coffee (nightmare I know!), then don’t despair. There are lots of things you can do with burnt coffee beans.

You can use burnt coffee beans as plant fertilizer, compost them, use them to keep bugs away, or even exfoliate with. You can also use them to clean dirty pans, neutralize bad smells, or as a hair care product. They make great paint and dye too, or you can use them in craft projects.

Read on to discover in detail our 11 great uses for those burnt coffee beans (see – disaster averted!)…

What Can I Do With Burnt Coffee Beans?

Use Coffee Beans As Fertilizer

We all know how much plants love coffee, so you can use burnt beans in your garden. Coffee contains nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium, which will help your garden grow (although some acidic soil-loving plants may be less keen).

The easiest thing to do is to scatter the coffee beans around your flower beds and vegetable patch. However, if you want to help those nutrients sink into the soil, you can grind the beans first, or even make them into a brew and pour them on the beds.

Put Coffee Beans In Your Compost

Burnt a batch of coffee beans? Don’t worry, they don’t have to go to waste: just chuck them in the compost pile or bin.

Coffee is full of nutrients including nitrogen, which will break down in the compost pile and add to the lovely rich mix. Plus, worms seem to really like coffee, and you want to attract these helpful little wrigglers to your compost.

Do you have to grind the beans first? It’ll help them break down, certainly. However, if you’re short on time, you can simply pour in the burnt beans.

Keep Bugs Away With Coffee

Bugs clearly have no taste: unlike worms, many of them hate the smell of coffee. Burnt coffee is even more repulsive to bugs, so your overcooked batch makes a perfect natural insect repellent.

How do you make old coffee into bug repellent? Simply scatter bowls of coffee beans or grounds around, and the insects should stay away.

So, if you’re having drinks on the deck and want to keep the mozzies at bay, pop a bowl or two of coffee beans or coffee grounds on the table.

Exfoliate With Old Coffee

Did you know that caffeine is good for your skin? There are lots of topical beauty treatments on sale that use coffee as a main ingredient, as it’s a great antioxidant. 

How can you use burnt beans in your beauty regime? First, grind the beans roughly, then mix the ground coffee with brown sugar. Add a nice-smelling oil like coconut oil to create a scrub that’s easy to apply.

Take this natural blend into the shower and give your skin a treat.

Care For Your Hair With Coffee

Why stop with your skin? You can also use coffee as a treatment for your hair and scalp. You’ll also smell like Starbucks all day, so what’s not to like?

Grind the beans, then blend them with your usual shampoo. Wash your hair as usual, but when it comes to the shampooing bit, make sure you massage the shampoo-coffee blend into your scalp thoroughly.

This will make sure your skin gets the benefit of the natural antioxidants in coffee. 

There Are Lots of Good Uses For Burnt Coffee Beans
There Are Lots of Good Uses For Burnt Coffee Beans

Neutralize Bad Odors Using Coffee Beans

This is perhaps one of the best-known uses for coffee beans and grounds: helping to neutralize unpleasant smells. You can use coffee in much the same way as you do baking soda.

Pour the burnt beans into bowls, then leave them to stand in the fridge or microwave oven to help remove lingering odors. If you prefer, you can grind the burnt beans first. You can also sprinkle coffee among your garbage, to neutralize the smell of the trash. 

Grind Burnt Coffee Beans To Clean Your Pans

Having exfoliated our skin and scalp, we can turn our attention to a different kind of scrub: a pan-scouring solution. Freshly ground beans are a great way to clean pans, and you use them in the same way that you’d use salt.

Grind the beans, then using a cloth or sponge, rub the grounds into the pan. Rinse well, otherwise, everything you cook will have a strange, coffee-like flavor!

Paint With Ground Coffee

Rainy day, kids at home, and you’ve burnt the coffee beans? Here’s how you rescue this situation… 

First, get yourself a cup of nice, non-burnt coffee. Then, grind the undrinkable beans. Use these to make several little cups of coffee of different strengths.

You now have a lovely brown-and-sepia palette of natural, home-made paints! Keep a few grounds, as these can be rubbed on to add texture to the artworks (they’re good for painting trees or furry dogs).

Using Coffee As A Dye

As well as paint, you can use coffee for dyeing fabrics. Here’s how you turn those burnt beans into a lovely, natural dye:

  • Grind the beans and make a brew
  • Pour the coffee brew into a bowl
  • Add the fabric, making sure it’s fully submerged
  • Leave it for an hour then check it
  • Want it to be darker? Leave it longer
  • Rinse with cold water until it runs clear
  • Fix the dye by soaking the fabric in cold water and white vinegar

Use Burnt Coffee Beans For Decor

Coffee beans are so pretty, so try using them creatively in your home decor. If you make your own candles, add a few beans to the melted wax for an unusual look. Spray the beans gold and scatter them around the table for Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

When you make your coffee paintings, save a few of the beans before you grind them to glue onto the pictures (with older kids only). Lot of beans about to go to waste? Try something like this framed coffee bean picture.

Rescue Your Cup Of Burnt Coffee

Imagine this nightmare scenario: all you have left are burnt beans, and you really really need your coffee fix.

Well, heading out to your local coffee shop is probably the best option at this point. Otherwise, making a weaker coffee (with a greater ratio of water to coffee) might make it a bit better.

However, while a smoky brew (like a French roast) is a real pleasure, burnt coffee is another matter. If your beans are over-roasted, put them aside and start again. As you can see from our list, there are plenty of other uses for burnt beans, so don’t feel that you absolutely have to rescue them. 🙂