Can You Compost Coconut Oil? A Simple Guide

Coconut oil, with its delightful tropical aroma and numerous culinary uses, has become a kitchen staple for many. But what happens when you’re done cooking with it or have an expired jar? Can you toss it in your compost pile? Let’s dive into this coconutty conundrum and find out!

The Straight Answer: Can You Compost Coconut Oil?

Yes, you can compost coconut oil, but it comes with some important caveats. Coconut oil is a type of fat, and composting fats can be a bit tricky. Here’s the lowdown on how to do it right.

How to Compost Coconut Oil

To successfully compost coconut oil, follow these steps:

  1. Solidify it: Coconut oil tends to be liquid at room temperature. Before composting, allow it to solidify by placing it in the refrigerator or a cool area. This makes it easier to handle.
  2. Mix with absorbent materials: Coconut oil is high in fat, and composting too much fat can lead to a smelly, greasy mess. To avoid this, mix the solidified coconut oil with absorbent materials like sawdust, shredded newspaper, or dried leaves.
  3. Small quantities: Only compost small amounts of coconut oil at a time. A teaspoon here and there is fine, but avoid dumping an entire jar into your compost pile.
  4. Bury it: When adding coconut oil to your compost, bury it well beneath the other compostable materials. This helps prevent pests from being attracted to the oil.
  5. Regularly turn your compost: This aerates the pile and helps distribute the coconut oil evenly, aiding in decomposition.

Things to Avoid When Composting Coconut Oil

To keep your compost healthy and odor-free, here are some things to avoid when composting coconut oil:

  • Large quantities: Don’t overload your compost with coconut oil. Excessive fat can lead to foul odors and slow decomposition.
  • Pouring liquid oil: Never pour liquid coconut oil directly onto your compost pile. It will create a greasy mess and deter beneficial microorganisms.
  • Mixing with animal fats: Combining coconut oil with animal fats in your compost can be problematic. Stick to one type of fat to avoid issues.

Benefits of Composting Coconut Oil

Composting coconut oil has its advantages:

  • Reduced waste: It’s an eco-friendly way to dispose of leftover coconut oil, reducing waste in landfills.
  • Nutrient-rich compost: When done correctly, coconut oil can contribute to nutrient-rich compost that can benefit your garden.

Other Things You Can Compost

Composting isn’t limited to coconut oil alone. In fact, there’s a wide array of organic materials you can toss into your compost pile to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Here’s a handy list of other things you can compost:

  • Fruit and Vegetable Scraps: Those leftover apple cores, potato peels, and carrot tops can find a new purpose in your compost pile. They’re rich in nutrients that plants love.
  • Coffee Grounds: Don’t toss those coffee grounds in the trash; add them to your compost. They’re an excellent source of nitrogen and help balance the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.
  • Eggshells: Crushed eggshells are a fantastic source of calcium, which can benefit your compost and your plants.
  • Grass Clippings: After mowing your lawn, instead of bagging the grass clippings, add them to your compost. They provide nitrogen and help aerate the pile.
  • Leaves: Fallen leaves in the autumn are like nature’s gift to your compost pile. They’re carbon-rich and balance out the green materials.
  • Tea Bags: Most tea bags are compostable, but make sure to remove any staples or tags. The tea leaves add valuable organic matter.
  • Paper Towels and Napkins: If they’re not heavily soiled with chemicals or oils, paper towels and napkins can go in the compost bin.

Remember, successful composting is all about balance. Aim for a mix of “green” materials (like kitchen scraps and fresh yard waste) and “brown” materials (such as dried leaves and cardboard). This balance ensures that your compost pile decomposes efficiently and results in nutrient-rich compost that will supercharge your garden.


So, can you compost coconut oil? Absolutely! Just remember to solidify it, mix it with absorbent materials, use small quantities, bury it in your compost pile, and regularly turn the compost. With these guidelines, you can turn your leftover coconut oil into garden gold and contribute to a more sustainable world. Happy composting!