How to Dispose Of French Press Coffee Grounds: 7 Easy Steps with Recycling Used Grounds

When you use a regular coffee maker, the Coffee grounds are filtered, and people don’t like to do that because it diminishes the flavor and separates some of the essential oils. There are issues like preparation time and temperatures with the French press, and you can’t rush the process. Once you are done brewing the coffee, it is now time to dispose of the coffee grounds.

Brewing coffee with a French press is quick and convenient and one of the best ways to make coffee. However, you have to learn how to dispose of the coffee grounds. The article below is going to discuss the proper steps in disposing of the coffee grounds.

Proper Steps to Disposing of Coffee Grounds

Below are the proper steps to follow if you want to dispose of your coffee ground after using them.

 Step 1: Push Down The Plunder

Push down the plunger found on top of the press so that all the grounds are at the bottom. Ensuring that they are at the bottom of the carafe will make it easier for you. 

Step 2: Pour Out Left Over Coffee

Pour out any coffee that has been left into a sealable container, and you can drink it or opt to store it in a fridge.

Step 3: Pull up The Plunger

Pull up the plunger and take out the mesh filter. It shouldn’t have much coffee on it, and you can go ahead to clean it with soap and warm water.

Step 4: Pull Slowly From Metal Base

Gently grab the top of the carafe and pull it slowly from the metal base.

Step 5: Scoop the Grounds from the Carafe

Scoop the grounds from the glass carafe with a wooden spoon as metal can crack the carafe glass. You should also avoid using a plastic one because it may bend due to the tight pack of the coffee grounds.

Step 6: Dispose the Grounds

After you have finished removing the coffee grounds from the carafe, dispose of them off to the garbage or add them to your compost.

Step 7: Wash The Carafe

This step is where you now wash the carafe with warm water and soap so that it can get rid of any leftover coffee and grinds. You have to ensure that you remove as many grounds as possible before you start washing the carafe. That way, you will avoid clogging the sink drain as coffee grounds stick together when they come into contact with water.

How to clean a French Press

Ways to Recycle the Coffee Grounds

You don’t have to dispose of the coffee grounds when you are done, and there are many essential things that the coffee grounds can be used for. Below are some of them:

Recycle Coffee Grounds for the Garden

This is one of the most popular ways to dispose of your coffee grounds. If you have a compost heap, you can add them to it as they are rich in nitrogen. Many gardeners swear by their benefits; hence you should not throw them away after use if you have a garden. The nitrogen in the grounds gives the decomposing bacteria the energy it needs.

You can also dig the ground and then place the grounds to encourage the growth of microbes. It will help give the soil more nutrients and ensure that the soil is dumped before you do anything. Placing the grounds on top of the soil is the best water-wise approach. It will help prevent the ground from drying off too quickly.

If you love roses, you can add the coffee grounds because they love it so much; pour them at the base. If you have a pest problem, sprinkle some coffee grounds, and they will stay away. If you don’t have a garden, you can give a friend who does and appreciate it.

Use Grounds to Scrub Your Body

Coffee grounds are one of the best ways to eliminate dead skin and improve your blood circulation. If you have cellulite that you don’t want to see, the coffee ground will soothe them down, making them less visible. Apart from scrubbing your body, coffee grounds can be used to scrub kitchen items like pots, racks, and even the sink. However, please don’t use it on porous surfaces as they will have brown stains.

Use of Coffee Grounds

Use Coffee Ground as a Natural Dye 

You can also use coffee grounds to make a natural dye. Just place them in a bowl and add some water; leave them to soak. The water will become brown, and then you can use it to dye fabrics. You can also use them on craft paper for an old-fashioned look or on your hair. It can hide the grey hairs and even make the hairs grow more. 

Use As a Meat Tenderizer 

If you have tough meat cuts that you want to be a bit softer, you can rub some coffee grounds on them. The acid in the grounds will help tenderize the meat and also add to the meat flavor. For effective results, you have to leave the coffee rub on the meat for some hours. 

The grounds will soften the meat, and they will settle for a dark crust on top. You can also add it to your marinade and let the meat sit for 24 hours. The result will be soft, tender meat that is very tasty.

Use for Growing Mushrooms 

If you love mushrooms in your meals, then you can grow them and never run out. Mushrooms do very well in damp, sterile, and porous places, which is known as substrate. You can achieve substrate by using used coffee grounds and sawdust. You will also need cellophane, mushroom, and some spawn.

Mix the used coffee grounds, sawdust, and some spawn, put it in a bucket and then poke some holes above the substrate level. Cover the top of the bucket with cellophane and spray some light mist of water every few days. After a few weeks, you will start to see some signs of growth.

Using a Knock box to dispose of coffee grounds

If you don’t have a compost pit to put your used coffee grounds, you can get a knock box. We have already discussed that you cannot pour them down the sink because your drains and pipes will get clogged. As we are all humans, no one wants to keep going to the trash now and then, especially if you make a lot of coffee. It is easier to empty them into a knock box and then dispose of them at the end of the day.

Why do you need a knock box?

A knock box is a container used for storing used coffee grounds or espresso. You use it to empty your filter after using it or coffee grounds from a French press. So why do you need a knock box? There are three main reasons that anyone may need a knock box:

  • Convenience

If you have a coffee shop, it will be tiresome to go back and forth to dispose of the coffee grounds. Since you can’t just pour them into the sink, you need a knock box. It will be easier to empty the knock box near you and then throw them all out at the end of the day.

  • Cleanliness

Pouring out the liquid in the trash is not very ideal as it can drip everywhere when you are taking out the trash. That will leave you with a mess that will make your house or establishment dirty. When you dispose of grounds in the garbage, they will have some coffee left in them, creating a big mess. Using a knock box will help prevent all these problems.

Everything, including ay liquid, will remain intact inside the container, and you will make just one stop to dispose of them at the end of the day.

  • Damage Control

If you are used to banging the portafilter against the trash, you should stop as gross and damaging. You should also not go to the sink as that also means worse damage that will cost you a lot. Your portafilter will be damaged, and your sink will end up being clogged.

What to consider when buying a knock box

Other people can tell you that you don’t need a knock box because you can use any container. However, there is one problem with that solution: you have to keep replacing the containers, especially if you make coffee for many people. The containers will also be tough to clean, and they will end up staining. That is why you need to find the best knock box; below are some of the things to look at when getting a knock box.

  • Size

Size and capacity are not the same things, and the size is less important than how much the Knock box will hold. If you want to empty the knock box once a day, you should go for a larger size. The size of your kitchen should also determine the size of the knock box; get something that will fit well in the area you prepare coffee. That way it will be easier for you and your kitchen will look neat. Ask for dimensions from the seller before you buy it so that you can ensure that it will perfectly fit.

  • Capacity

After knowing the right size, you have to figure out how much coffee grounds the box can hold. Buy a box that can accommodate all used coffee grounds so that you only make one trip at the end of the day. If you only make one or two cups of coffee a day, then you need a small knock box as it will be enough for you if you make a lot of coffee, like if you own a coffee shop, get one with a big capacity to hold all the coffee grounds for the day.

  • Material

The material of the knock box is also essential. That is because you will keep banging the portafilter on it, and you need a strong knock box. That is why you should go for a metal knock box; if that is not an option for you, you can go for solid plastic as it will also sustain the banging without getting destroyed. People also go for rubber boxes because they are durable and unlikely to crack; however, they will get dented with time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What plants dislike coffee grounds?

According to a study done in 2016, plants like viola, sunflower, leek, and broccoli do very poorly when you add coffee grounds to them. However, there was some good news because the coffee ground helped the soil retain more water. The grounds also decreased the growth of weeds which was also a plus.
The scientist realized that the plants did poorly because some plant toxic compounds are naturally found in coffee grounds. Before you use them on your plants, you have to make sure that your plants don’t have any problems with the compounds found in the coffee grounds.

How Should you clean your French Press?

The first step in washing a French press is by swirling some water inside. Remove the plunger, remove the coffee grounds that have remained after making the coffee and place them in your compost heap. Swirl with water again to make sure all the grounds are gone. You can now gently wash it with warm water and soap, and it will be ready for subsequent use.

Can you dispose of coffee grounds into the sink?

The short answer to this question is no. that is because coffee grounds bond together with water instead of dissolving. If you keep pouring them down the sink, they will form a big ball eventually and block your sink. To avoid all that, use a filter so that you can get all the coffee grounds, and they won’t go down your sink.

Is French press coffee bad for you?

No. As long as you use any filter, French press coffee is excellent for you. There is no medical evidence to indicate that French press coffee is bad for anyone. You ensure that you don’t overdo the coffee; too much of it or any other coffee can affect your health.


If you want a lighter cup of coffee, you don’t have to throw away the coffee grounds immediately. You can use them to make another cup of coffee that is not too concentrated. Now that you know how to dispose of the coffee grounds and clean a French press, you can go ahead and make yourself a nice cup of coffee.

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