The deposition of material at the edge of evaporating droplets, known as the ‘coffee ring effect’, is caused by a radially outward capillary ﬂow. This phenomenon is common to a wide array of systems including colloidal and bacterial systems. The role of surfactants in counteracting these coffee ring depositions is related to the occurrence of local vortices known as Marangoni eddies. Here we show that these swirling ﬂows are universal, and not only lead to a uniform deposition of colloids but also occur in living bacterial systems. Experiments on Pseudomonas aeruginosa suggest that the auto-production of biosurfactants has an essential role in creating a homogeneous deposition of the bacteria upon drying. Moreover, at biologically relevant conditions, intricate time-dependent ﬂows are observed in addition to the
vortex regime, which are also effective in reversing the coffee ring effect at even lower surfactant concentrations.