Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Creative Uses for Coffee Filters

I’ve been seeing information around the Internet about the multiple uses of coffee filters – those round ones that don’t fit my coffee pot. But I’ve been buying them to use in various ways.

I use them to drain herbs after washing: 

And to blot vegetables before tossing into salads: 

Below are some of the other uses of coffee filters around the house. Some I've tried; some not, but all seem to be great uses for the filters. They are cheaper than paper towels and come in handy in oh so many ways.

  • Clean mirrors; much better than paper towels because they are lint free.

  • Holders for dry snacks; saves messing up bowls.

  • Nail polish remover. If you run out of cotton balls, the filters are softer than a paper towel and will allow you to rub your nail without leaving the residue of a paper towel behind.

  • Cover food in microwave to prevent splatters.

  • In the bottom of flower pots to prevent soil from leaking through the drainage holes.

  • For the kids. Poke a hole into a coffee filter and slide it up the length of a Popsicle stick. It’ll help prevent the Popsicle from dripping and making a mess.
  • Cut up a stack of filters, place them in a small tin and you’ve got a set of face blotters perfect for your purse and last-minute shine control.

  • Good-quality coffee filters are made from 100 percent virgin paper, so you can use them to clean your glasses without leaving lint.

  • Clean computer monitors, television screens, and windows. They clean without leaving residue.

  • Line the bottom of cookie tins.

  • Strain bacon drippings by pouring them through a coffee filter into a ceramic bowl or mug. The brown bits, grains, etc will stay in the filter. Also works well for recycling frying oil.

  • Dampen a coffee filter with white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil and place in the dryer. Your clothes will come out smelling fresh and the coffee filter reduces static.

  • Food holders for tacos, hot dogs, pita sandwiches, etc

  • Make homemade tea bags by filling coffee filters with a selection of loose tea leaves and dried fruit peels. Tie together with string and use just like normal tea bags.

  • Wrap jumbo dill pickles in coffee filters to prevent dripping when eating.
  • Use as a sandwich wrap (inside the baggy or plastic container) so your sandwich doesn’t get soggy in your lunchbox.

  • To hold small parts when working on a project.

  • Place herbs in a coffee filter, tie with string, and stick in the soup pot while cooking. Makes for quick and easy removal later.

  • Polishing leather shoes. Apply a dab of polish and use the filter as an applicator.

  • To remove the silk from an ear of corn. Dampen a filter and wipe it in one stroke from the top to the bottom of the shucked ear of corn.

  • Place in the bottom of a cast-iron pan to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

  • Put a couple of coffee filters in your pocket when you are working outdoors or going on a hike. They work great to wipe sweat, dirt and oils off your face.

  • Use filters to bake jumbo muffins or mini cakes in the oven. Fill the filter 1/3 full with batter and place in a shallow circular pan to bake

  • Wrap cut celery stalks (or any other vegetable or herb) in a coffee filter before putting them in a plastic bag to store in the refrigerator. The coffee filter will help absorb any moisture, and keeps the celery crisp longer.

  • If you have a small cut or even a razor nick, grab a piece off of a coffee filter and put it on with pressure to stop the bleeding. Your coffee filter will work similar to a styptic pencil but without the stinging.

  • Place a few tablespoons of baking powder in a filter and twist the top together with a rubber band. Place in shoes, gym bag, closet, refrigerator, or anywhere else that may have developed some less-than-pleasant odors.

  • To sprout seeds, dampen a coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag.
  • Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

  • Keep in your car glove box for window cleaning, to use as napkins and for quick cleanups.

  • Since you have a package in the glove box anyway…..the next time you need to check the oil level in the car, use a filter to wipe the dipstick.

  • In the bottom of the kitchen compost pot. It keeps messiness from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and goes right into the compost pile outside along with the pot of compost when emptied.

  • Make hats for dolls.

  • Line a colander or strainer with a coffee filter, place the strainer in a bowl, fill with regular yogurt, and let sit in the fridge overnight. Fresh Greek yogurt for breakfast!

  • Use a coffee filter to spot clean your clothing. Use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and the spot will be greatly reduced if not disappear completely.
  • Separate tortillas for freezing.

  • To prevent holes in your clothes when wearing a pin, try putting a piece of coffee filter inside your clothing as a “stabilizer”. It makes the cloth sturdier and the pin is less likely to snag.

  • Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

  • Make a flavor packet to add to your sun tea. Take a filter and center the contents in the middle. Gather the edges, twist and tie with string. Drop into your jar along with tea bags and let it brew as usual.

  • Get spills out of carpets, before they stain. While the spill is still wet, cover it with a coffee filter. They will wick up the spill.

  • For perfectly heated tortillas, spritz a coffee filter with water and lay a tortilla on top of it. Spritz a second coffee filter and put it on top. Heat the stack in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, and your tortilla will be warm and still pliable. You can use the same ones over and over.

  • Wrap Christmas ornaments for storage. 
  • Coffee filters make great blotting paper for pressed flowers. Simply place the flower between two filters and put them inside of a phone book or any other object with weight.

  • Diffuse the flash on a camera.

  • Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.

  • Use as a “pre-filter” for your water purification system to help extend the life of you water filter.

  • Put a filter in the bottom of a metal fruit bowl to prevent brown spots on your fruits or vegetables.

Have your used coffee filters as a paper towel substitute in any of these ways? Do you use them in other ways? If so, please share.


  1. My goodness...the list is endless. I have never used coffee filters for anything but coffee but now I have a few uses in mind...such as to dry washed veggies and herbs, to place in pot...Thank you Sanda. Hope you have a great week. : )

    1. They are cheap and very handy around the house. Hope you find a few good uses for them! Sorry I'm so long to getting around to responding to comments!

  2. This is amazing. I don't use filters for coffee (we have a cafetiere) but I had always got the impression they were expensive. But I'll take another look. They have so many uses and maybe you can buy them in bulk somewhere. I specially like the idea of lining cake tins and putting round the stems of flowers (or celery) that you want to keep fresh.

    1. We are able to purchases them here at big box type stores; 200 to a pack for $2; this type is much cheaper than the cone-type filters. So many uses for them. Thanks for stopping by and your comment!

  3. I use mine for coffee and then rinse the grounds out and use the "dyed" filter paper in mixed media art. I now see that I have been missing all sorts of opportunities to use them though.


    1. You make good use for the used filters and now you can try the unused ones in many more ways!

  4. Hello Sanda

    What wonderful uses for such a simple item. Thank you for sharing. I do have a stash and now know how to use them.

    Have a great week

    Helen xx

    1. You are right; so many uses and they are much less expensive than paper towels. thank you, Helen.

  5. My oh my - what an impressive list for the uses of coffee filters! Are you sure you got them all ; )?
    The filters we use are the Melitta ones, shaped differently. Have not noticed, that the big ones
    are used in cafes and likes. Over here, coffee filters are expensive.
    Thank you for sharing all this information

    1. Actually, there are more uses that I didn't include! People seem to be finding more and more uses for them.

      The cone-shaped filterls, esp. Melitta, are expensive here as well, but these round ones, which fit the Mr. Coffee and other coffeemakers, are not expensive at all!

  6. Sanda,you sure are a mine of information,and am sure there are some useful tips for filter users.

    The last coffee filters I used were the Melitta cone shaped ones.I use a cafetiere so no filters needed.

    1. I like the taste of the coffee made in a cafetiere, for for convenience sake, I use the electric drip coffee maker in the mornings. Can you buy the round ones there? and are they inexpensive as they are here?

  7. I've tried some of these but to be honest, had forgotten I had bought the filters! Thanks for jogging my memory and I will use these for more things than covering food in microwave.

    1. Get those filters out and start using them. It takes a long time to use up 200! Covering food in the microwave is a great use of them.


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