How Do I Reuse My K-Cups?

How Do I Reuse My K-Cups?

You love opening those plastic K-Cups that store your favorite cappuccino or tea in them and enjoying them first thing in the morning.

But what happens when you’ve emptied a K-Cup – do you just throw it in the trash like all the others you’ve used?

Why shouldn’t you throw out your K-Cups?

Most coffee pods that are used end up in landfills, and the amount of these that are in landfills is so high that a string of these K-Cups would be long enough to go around the planet over 10 times, as Story of Stuff reports.

That’s really scary, so stop throwing out your K-Cups. Here’s what you should do with them instead – and yes, there are many uses for used K-Cups!

Can You Recycle K-Cups?

Recycling K Cups

The first thing you might wonder is if you can just go ahead and recycle your K-Cups.

It’s a little tricky to do so. This is because in order to make those little cups you love so much, manufacturers have to source materials such as plastic, paper, and aluminum.

Coffee is put into these pods and then put into large boxes, where they’re packaged and then distributed. 

One pod will make one cup of coffee, and then it’s seen as useless because not all of its elements can be recycled. In fact, only five percent of the K-cup is recyclable plastic, as Home Grounds reports.

It’s an issue many people don’t want to think about especially before they’ve had their morning cup of coffee, so they just turn a blind eye and throw the empty pod in the bin.

Millions of other people are doing the same thing, which is putting pressure on our landfills.

Seeing as though recycling K-Cups is tricky because you have to try to strip its materials, separating its foil top with the plastic and then cleaning them, it might be a better option to find another use for your K-Cups.

What To Do With Used K-Cups

On the Keurig website, it states that by the end of 2020all of their K-Cups will be recyclable.

This is good news for coffee lovers around the world, but what should you do with your K-Cups now?

For starters, stop throwing them into the garbage.

There are ways in which you can use them, so let’s check out some upcycling ideas.

Organize Your Untidy Drawers

If you have drawers in the house in which you throw all those tiny items, such as stray buttons, safety pins, and the like, you could use K-Cups to organize them.

And, if you love doing crafts, you could really make use of several K-Cups to group together different items that you need to be able to find easily, such as sewing needles.

Let Your Kids Get In On The Fun

Playing With K Cups

You might just see an empty coffee pod when you look at a K-Cup, but by thinking a bit more creatively you could use these cups to make various toys for your kids -and they’ll love these DIY projects.

You could turn K-Cups into building blocks, hats for stuffed animals, wheels for DIY toy cars, and much more.

Plant Seeds

If you want to start a little garden indoors, you can plant seeds in your K-Cups.

They’re the perfect size and all you need is a bit of potting soil. When the plants start to grow, you can transfer them into pots and use the K-Cups for new seedlings.

Get Into The Holiday Spirit

You can use K-Cups for a variety of Christmas décor DIY. They can be spray-painted gold and turned into bells to decorate the Christmas tree, for example, and they can even form part of an advent calendar.

Here’s a tutorial to help you achieve that this year. If that seems like too much work, you can choose an easier, and just as awesome, alternative: cut slits in the bottom of your K-Cups so that they can be used as name-card holders for your guests at the dinner table.

Decorate Your Nursery

What’s prettier than a mobile for your child’s nursery?

You can easily make your own just by stringing together several K-Cups and then decorating them with various things. This is a great way to save money on nursery décor.

Refrigerate Your (Small) Leftovers

You might think that your empty K-Cups are too small to properly store any foods, but think again!

They’re perfect for storing things like chopped herbs, gravy, and other sauces.

You could even use them to make portions of herb butter so that they’re handy in small portions when you need them during your next cooking session.

Make Candlestick Molds

K Cup Candlestick Mold

K-Cups are the perfect size to use as molds for when you need candlestick holders. You can find a tutorial on how to do that here.

Enjoy Popsicles!

Popsicles are great to have handy in the freezer when the weather’s hot and the kids want a refreshing treat.

You can make your own popsicles in K-Cups – they’re the perfect size! To find the step-by-step guide on making K-cup popsicles, visit this website.

Make A Second Cup Of Coffee

Did you know you can also reuse your K-Cups to make more cups of coffee?

It might sound strange, but it’s totally doable. Here’s what you need:

  • Your used K-Cup
  • Aluminium foil
  • Ground coffee
  • Scissors


  • Use scissors to remove the foil on the top of the K-Cup.
  • Wash your K-Cup and its plastic filter.
  • Put coffee grounds in your K-Cup – you should fill it about halfway.
  • Cut a square of aluminum foil that’s about two or three inches in size.
  • Press it down on your K-Cup and fasten it around the edges so it’s nice and snug.
  • Now you can go ahead and put your K-Cup in your Kiering machine as you would normally.

Easy, hey? By doing this, you can use your K-Cup many times, preventing them from going to waste.

Where To Find Reusable K-Cups

K Cups In Store

If you love the idea of reusing K-Cups, you might like the idea of buying a reusable K-Cup.

The best one to try is the Keurig K-Cup Universal Reusable K-Cup Pod Coffee Filter. It has a removable lid so you can refill and empty it easily. It can be used in all Keurig coffee machines.

This is actually the only reusable filter that’s been designed by Keurig, so you want to be careful that you don’t buy a fake online!

Can You Use Old K-Cups In New Keurig Coffee Machines?

The sad truth is that old K-Cups and pods that aren’t branded can’t always work in your Keurig machine if you have one of the company’s 2.0 models.

This is a result of the company’s Digital Rights Management (DRM).

When these machines arrived on the market, they could only work with K-cups that had interactive technology imprints or that stated they’d been supplied by Keurig itself.

If you want to use pods that are more affordable in these machines, they won’t work, which is very disappointing.

The good news is that after tons of people complained about their DRM, the company removed it. Every current model offered by Keurig is now compatible with all K-cup pods.

The problem? What if you have one of the 2.0 machines?

You can bypass the DRM in various ways. One of them is to purchase a Freedom Clip (you can get one on Amazon and it costs $10.99).

How it works is that you install them and then leave them in the machine. It won’t damage the machine or void your warranty.

Related Questions

Making K Cup Coffee

How do K-cups actually work in Keurig coffee machines?

The coffee machine pulls water from its reservoir and warms it up, then passes it into the K-cup’s chamber that has two needles.

One makes a hole in the foil top of the cup and fills it with hot water. The other makes a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup so that brewed coffee can enter your cup.

How long does a Keurig machine last?

You’re looking at an average of five years if you use the machine every day. You do get a one-year guarantee for any defects in how the machine operates as well as defects in its materials.


If you love your K-Cups, you probably won’t love learning that they’re really bad for the planet because they contain plastic and can’t be recycled easily.

But, after reading this article on how to reuse K-cups, you can enjoy your coffee pods with less guilt because you’ll have some ways to use them around the house – or even make another cup of coffee with them!

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