20 Genius Ways to Recycle Coffee Cans

Before throwing away your empty coffee cans, try these genius hacks around your house to save money and make your life a little easier.

Separate hamburgers

Before you put those hamburger patties in the freezer, stack them with a coffee-can lid between each and put them in a plastic bag. Now, when the patties are frozen you’ll be able to easily peel off as many as you need. Before using your empty coffee cans, make sure to avoid these mistakes when brewing coffee.

Hold kitchen scraps

Line a coffee can with a small plastic bag and keep it near the sink to hold kitchen scraps and peelings. Instead of walking back and forth to the garbage can, you’ll make one trip to dump all the scraps at the same time.

Bake bread

Dough with flour, rolling pin and wheat ears for pizzaJulia_Sudnitskaya/Getty Images

If you want an individual serving of bread, using a coffee can as your pan is the perfect solution. Plop in your dough and throw it in the oven. If you want to give the bread as a gift, decorate the outside of the can and put a nice bow on top. For some laughs, while you recycle your coffee cans, read these coffee puns.

Make a bank

To make a bank for the kids or a collection can for a favorite charity, use a utility knife to cut a 1/8-inch (3-millimeter) slit in the center of the plastic lid of a coffee can. Tape decorative paper or adhesive plastic to the sides of the kids’ bank; for a collection can use the sides of the can to highlight the charity you are helping.

Keep the laundry room neat

Have an empty coffee can nearby as you’re going through the kids’ pockets before putting up a load of wash. Use it to deposit gum and candy wrappers, paper scraps, and other assorted items that kids like to stuff into their pockets. Keep another can handy for coins and bills. Learn how to remove coffee stains.

Make a dehumidifier

saltRiou/Getty Images

If your basement is too damp, try this easy-to-make dehumidifier. Fill an empty coffee can with salt and leave it in a corner where it will be undisturbed. Replace the salt at monthly intervals or as needed.

Create luminaries

Once you’ve cleaned out the coffee can, use a nail or screwdriver to create holes in a creative design. Add a candle at night and the light will shine through the holes.

Keep carpets dry

Place plastic coffee-can lids under houseplants as saucers. They will protect carpets or wood floors and catch any excess water. Try these genius uses for your spare coffee filters as well.

Create a canister for pet treats

Close-Up Of Dog Food And Wheat On TableKateryna Kyslyak / EyeEm/Getty Images

Decorate an old coffee can with paw prints and your pet’s name and store their favorite treats in there.

Keep toilet paper dry when camping

Bring a few empty coffee cans with you on your next camping trip. Use them to keep toilet paper dry in rainy weather or when you’re carrying supplies in a canoe or boat. Brought a banana along for the trip? It has these convenient uses you’ve never thought of.

Create a plunger holder

If you’re tired of seeing your gross plunger sitting on the ground next to your toilet, hide it in an old coffee can. Cut a hole in the lid for the plungers handle to go through and paint the outside of the can with a cute design to match your bathroom decor.

Organize kitchen utensils

Wooden Kitchen Utensils on Wood Table MirageC/Getty Images

If your drawer is overflowing with wooden spoons and spatulas, use an old coffee can to organize them on your counter. Now when you’re cooking you’ll be able to easily grab whatever you need.

Gauge rainfall or sprinkler coverage

Find out if your garden is getting enough water from the rain. Next time it starts to rain, place empty coffee cans in several places around the garden. When the rain stops, measure the depth of the water in the cans. If they measure at least an inch, there’s no need for additional watering. This is also a good way to test if your sprinkler is getting sufficient water to the areas it is supposed to cover. Here are some other household items you had no idea were reusable.

Make a spot lawn seeder

When it’s time to reseed bare spots on your lawn, don’t use a regular spreader. It wastes seed by throwing it everywhere. For precision seeding, fashion a spot seeder from an empty coffee can and a pair of plastic lids. Drill small holes in the bottom of the can, just big enough to let grass seeds pass through. Put one lid over the bottom of the can, fill the can with seeds, and cap it with the other lid. When you’re ready to spread the seeds, take off the bottom lid. When you’re finished, replace it to seal in any unused seed for safe storage.

Belt storage

If your belts are always laying on the floor in your closet, roll them up and store them in an old coffee can. Use a clear lid or no lid so you can easily see which belts are inside when you need to wear one.

Make home decor

Turn your old coffee cans into a flower vase by decorating the outside with ribbon or scraps of recycled paper.

Eliminate workshop clutter

You want small items like screws, nuts, and nails to be handy, but you don’t want them to take up workbench space. Here’s a way to get the small stuff up out of the way. Drill a hole near the top of empty coffee cans so you can hang them on nails in your workshop wall. Label the cans with masking tape so you will know what’s inside.

Snacks on the go

Salty crackers, sticks, pretzels, and goldfishes, shot from the top on a dark wooden background with copy space. Party snacks mix with a place for textPlateresca/Getty Images

Pour some crackers or goldfish into an old (cleaned out) coffee can when you’re running out the door with hungry kids. When they’re done you can pop the lid back on the keep the snacks from spilling everywhere.

Soak a paintbrush

An empty coffee can is perfect for briefly soaking a paintbrush in thinner before continuing a job the next day. Cut an X into the lid and insert the brush handles so the bristles clear the bottom of the can by about 1/2 inch (12 millimeters). If the can has no lid, attach a stick to the brush handle with a rubber band to keep the bristles off the bottom of the can.

Catch paint drips

Turn the plastic lids from old coffee cans into drip catchers under paint cans and under furniture legs when you’re painting. Protect cupboard shelves by putting them under jars of cooking oil and syrup too. Now try these brilliant uses for cardboard tubes.

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