What to Do with Expired Instant Coffee?

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When the last date of using the coffee ground reaches, we throw it out to the bin. Doing this adds some food waste to the environment, nothing else.

A few people around the world know that expired coffee, both instant and regular, can be reused. Coffee ground is usable for years, even after the expiration.

Old coffee is also edible, though drinking expired coffee will make most people uncomfortable. Apart from drinking old instant coffee, you can reuse them in numerous ways. So, what to do with expired instant coffee?

Read the entire post to learn more.

What Can You Do with Expired Instant Coffee?

So, you have some expired instant coffee but don’t know what to do with it? No worries because there are many creative ways to reuse old coffee. Here are some smart uses of expired instant coffee:

  1. Add to the chocolate cake: Though expired coffee loses its flavor, it is still edible. You can add old instant coffee to chocolate cakes to make them more delicious.
  2. Add to compost: Expired coffee is great as compost. It will make your garden’s soil rich in nutrients. Mix old instant coffee with compost and let them break down. 
  3. Use as pet and insect repellent: The pungent smell of coffee works excellently as a natural pet repellent. You can sprinkle expired instant coffee to keep cats, dogs, and insects from your home, garden, and yard. 
  4. Apply as odor remover: If you hate the bad odor in your refrigerator, keep some old instant coffee in it. It will create a wonderful coffee scent in the freezer. 
  5. Make skin scrub: Expired coffee can be used as natural skin scrub to clear away dead skin cells. The simplest way to make a coffee skin scrub is to mix ½ cup of coffee ground, ½ cup of brown sugar, two tablespoons of water, and ¼ cup of coconut oil.
  6. Use on hair: Coffee is also helpful for hair’s texture. Brew old instant coffee, make it cool and apply it for silky and healthier hair. 
  7. Use as a cleaner: One of the best ways to use expired instant coffee is to use it as a cleaner. You can polish your sink, cookware, and grills with old coffee to make their surfaces shiny. 
  8. Remove scratch marks from furniture: If your wooden furniture gets scratched, coffee can vanish. Make a paste of expired instant coffee and rub it on the scratched surface to darken and match the wooden color. 

These are the common ways to reuse old instant coffee. However, you do numerous things with it.

Difference between Instant and Ground Coffee 

Difference between instant and ground coffee

The difference between instant and regular ground coffee is nothing except its manufacturing process.

Regular ground coffee is the crushed particles of roasted coffee beans. You have to brew the coffee ground before drinking. In contrast, instant coffee is already brewed that needs to mix with water or milk for drinking.

It is a major difference between instant and ground coffee.

Both types of coffee are prepared following the same manufacturing process. For regular ground coffee, manufacturers roast coffee beans, crush them and pack them for selling.

On the other hand, making instant coffee needs an additional step. To make instant coffee, manufacturers brew the ground, thicken the liquid, dry it by applying spray or freezing, and crush it before packaging.

The process also turns instant coffee into a shelf-stable product.

What Happens When Instant Coffee Expires?

Both instant and regular ground coffee will lose its freshness when it expires. So, you will not find fresh coffee’s taste and caffeine effect. 

Expired instant coffee will start to break down slowly. Moreover, chemical compounds such as lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids will start to mix with the ground. It will decrease the taste and quality of instant coffee gradually.

However, it is surprising that instant coffee will go bad in rare cases. It is even edible after it gets expires. If you want to keep expired instant coffee in good condition for longer, put it in an airtight container and store it in a dry place. 

Can You Drink Expired Instant Coffee?

Yes, you can drink expired instant coffee if it is kept in an airtight container and remains dry. Drinking expired coffee is not bad, but you may not like its taste.

Expired coffee will not provide you strong flavor like fresh coffee. So, people who are fond of the outstanding flavor of brewed coffee will rarely enjoy expired coffee. 

But, it is safe to drink unless you see molds and moisture in the ground.

Can Old Instant Coffee Make You Sick?

It depends on whether old instant coffee can make you sick or not. If you store coffee beans or grounds appropriately, it should not harm you. The best way to reserve coffee is to keep it in an airtight container. Moreover, the keeping place should be dry.

Instant coffee should not make you sick unless you see any moisture or taste sour. Never brew coffee if it forms mold, smells bad, and becomes wet. 

How Long Is Instant Coffee Good after the Expiration Date? 

Instant coffee after the expiration date

Coffee drinkers often want to know about the shelf life of instant coffee. The answer is: that instant coffee remains edible for up to 20 years. It might sound unrealistic, but technically the answer is true.

Coffee is one of the foods with the highest shelf life. It has no self-spoiling characteristic similar to honey. The only culprit that ruins coffee is moisture. So, if you can prevent it, coffee will remain fine for years.

Though instant coffee manufacturers mention the expiration date, it is usable even after the ending date unless it becomes moist. But, you must drink instant coffee before expiration to enjoy its best flavor. 

Final Words

You should get sufficient ideas for the question: what to do with expired instant coffee. It is wondrous that you can use expired instant coffee for decades. 

Coffee is definitely a multipurpose ingredient, rich in many useful substances. Though most of us have chosen it as a drink, other uses of coffee are incredible. Since the environment is being polluted daily, we need to find a way to reuse everything like coffee.


I currently reside at Millburn, NJ, United States. I'm a skilled barista and roaster known for my passion for coffee and dedication to creating the perfect cup. I have a strong following of loyal customers who appreciate my expertise and friendly demeanor. In my free time, I enjoy trying new coffee recipes and experimenting with different brewing techniques.

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