How to make an exfoliating soap bar using coffee grounds

If you’ve ever bought a shampoo bar that doesn’t suit your hair type, we could have the perfect zero-waste idea for you. By using bars that would otherwise go to waste, you can create an exfoliating bar that is natural, smells delicious and uses up coffee grounds too!

Coffee grounds soap bars laying on some hessian material with whole coffee beans in front of them

3 minutes to read

The benefits of coffee on the skin

The biggest benefit of making your own exfoliating hand wash bar is how easy it is to make. We think it’s easier than going to a shop and buying one.

But there are some health benefits too. Using coffee grounds in an exfoliating bar can help:

  • Reduce inflammation 
  • Remove dead skin cells  
  • Reduce the appearance of sun damaged skin (but always use sunscreen to prevent damage in the first place)
  • Give your skin a caffeine hit, which can help improve circulation
  • Calm any red or inflamed areas. Coffee might be a stimulant when ingested, but it can help decrease redness and have a soothing effect when applied to the skin.



DIY exfoliating coffee grounds bar – ingredients and equipment

Now you’ve learnt about some of the potential benefits of using an exfoliating coffee grounds bar, here’s what you’ll need to make yours:

  1. One (or more) shampoo bars: ideally one that would otherwise go to waste
  2. Used (or fresh) coffee grounds: used will need to be dried before use to avoid any excess water getting into your soap.  If you don’t drink coffee, you could use another combination, such as lemon and sugar, or salt.
  3. A saucepan
  4. A container/mould: to cool your soap in. 


DIY exfoliating coffee grounds bar – step-by-step instructions 

  1.  Open your windows – good ventilation is key
  2. Place your shampoo bar/s into your saucepan and melt over a low heat 
  3. Once melted, add your coffee grounds and mix well 
  4. Pour into your chosen mould and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours (overnight works best) 
  5. If required, cut your bars down to size 
  6. Store excess bars in a cool, dry place 
  7. Pop one by your sink and enjoy that freshly scrubbed feeling with each hand wash 


exfoliating coffee grounds bar by the sink, with someone washing their hands


More tips and ideas 

With the right soap chosen initially, these would be great as body or face exfoliating bars as well as for the hands. But make sure you’re using something that suits your skin.

One of the best times to use a coffee scrub is in the shower in the morning. The smell of coffee can have almost the same effect as drinking a cup, so it’s great for a morning caffeine hit without having to boil the kettle!

If you’ve made your bar, but you still have some coffee grounds you want to use up, here are a few more ideas:

  1. Face. Take some coffee grounds and mix with a few drops of olive oil (or your preferred carrier oil) and dry exfoliate your face, gently. Rinse off in the shower and pat dry. There’s no need to use a moisturiser afterwards unless you have very dry skin.  Coffee grounds can be very coarse, so make sure you’re only doing gentle circles for no more than 30 seconds so as not to irritate the delicate skin on your face. 
  2. Body. Mix 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil (I like olive because I always have it in the house) and exfoliate the body. Start with the areas of drier skin (arms and legs), then move onto the rest of your body. Rinse in the shower with warm water. 


 Prefer video? You can watch our DIY exfoliating coffee grounds bar tutorial video here:

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