Coffee filters have more uses than you probably realized. They are super-affordable, readily available, and so practical to keep on hand.
Of course, you know that you need these to brew a pot of your favorite java. However, we found 25 ways that you can put them to use all around the house in ways you might never have considered. We’re not talking about the more expensive cone-shaped filters for making pour-over coffee. Nope. We’re talking about the cheap basket-style filters that you can find at your local big box or dollar store for a few bucks for an enormous pack.
25 Wonderful Uses for Coffee Filters
Bet you didn’t know they could do all these things…
1 – Fashion snowflake window decorations from snowflakes
Remember your school days when you cut paper snowflakes out of construction paper to decorate the classroom? You can fold these round filters into quarters, then eights, and cut them. It is just like you remember, and you will craft beautiful, perfectly round snowflakes for the wintertime.
2 – Store your Christmas ornaments with some TLC
Since we are talking wintertime, it’s worth mentioning that wrapping up your treasured Christmas ornaments stops them from smashing into each other as you pack them up. Even if you put them back into their original boxes, this will give them a snugger fit.
2 – End microwave splatters with coffee filters
No more mess inside your microwave. Keep a small stack handy and cover your plate or bowls. It doesn’t stick to the food, and you can dispose of it quickly. No more mess!
3 – Protect your cookware from scratches
When you open up a new cookware box, you usually find little foam inserts between each item. But those wear out fast, and who knows if they are even food-safe. You can use these beauties between your pots, pans, and lids, giving them similar protection.
4 – Cushion your fragile dishes
If you have a set of “good dishes,” you might keep them in zipped cases. Put a coffee filter between each dish as you stow them away to prevent unnecessary (and unwanted!) scratches.
5 – Coffee filters can give you sparkling clean windows
Because they are lint-free, you can use these to clean your windows without leaving the messy ink of newspapers on your fingers.
6 – Ditto for cleaning mirrors
Streak-free mirrors in your bathroom. No muss, no fuss.
7 – Shine up your sink and bathroom faucets
You will leave stainless steel and chrome surfaces free of streaks when you use coffee filters to give them a final polish.
8 – Drain infused oils and vinegar
If you love to make infused vinegar or oil from your garden-fresh herbs, you know the struggle of fishing out the solids when it’s time to bottle them up. Instead, line a funnel with a coffee filter and run it through it. Your infusion will also have a more transparent appearance.
I have step by step photos here, an excerpt from my Jalapeno-Infused Vinegar article:
9 – Drain fried foods
Instead of draining your favorite fried foods on messy paper towels that sometimes stick, put them on two or three coffee filters. It will absorb the grease quickly and clean up easily.
10 – Decorate for summer with coffee filter flowers
Just as you can make winter crafts, you can also make coffee filter flowers. Pinterest brims with project ideas and how-to guides. Some available flower patterns include peonies, sunflowers, roses, and hydrangeas.
This is gorgeous crafting on a dime–and the results are so realistic.
10 – Save your wine after the cork breaks
It’s a bummer when you pop open a bottle of wine and the cork breaks into a hundred pieces. No faster way to ruin a party! Use the same method to tuck a filter into a funnel, pouring the wine into your glass–minus the cork bits.
11 – Serve hotdogs in a coffee filters
Serving a simple meal of hotdogs off the grill? Instead of the extra waste of paper plates, put one bun on a coffee filter, add the meat, and top it off with your favorite fixings. If you drip anything, the coffee filter will absorb it. And, it is less bulky in the trash than disposable dinnerware (and costs less, too!). This idea is perfect for outdoor, casual entertaining.
12 – Ditto for tacos
Use the same method to serve dinner for your next family Taco Tuesday! It’s fun and saves you the rinsing and washing after dinner.
13 – Shine your shoes
Shoe polish is so messy and leaves a residue on your microfiber rags. But paper towels leave lint on your leather. The solution? Basket-filters, of course! Dip into that polish and bring back a high shine finish. Then, toss the filter without worrying about wasting an otherwise-good rag.
14 – Serve chips or pretzels in this disposable bowl.
The shape is a perfect bowl, so why not use it for dry snacks for that very purpose? When you have a snack attack and don’t feel like loading another dish into the dishwasher, portion your snack into this “disposa-bowl” instead.
15 – Dry your glassware with coffee filters for a spotless finish
Use this workhorse to dry your glassware for a spot-free, streak-free, clean look.
16 – Absorb liquid drips from upholstery
The next time your soda fizzes onto the sofa, reach for a coffee filter instead of paper towels. Blot, don’t rub! They will quickly absorb the liquid without leaving those annoying paper towel pills behind.
17 – No more ice cream bar drips
If you love frozen treats on sticks but hate the drippiness, fold a coffee filter in half and poke the stick through the hole to catch those inevitable drips.
18 – Make an ice pack in a pinch
If you need to treat a wound or a migraine with ice, grab a few ice cubes and wrap them up! A cold compress on the go.
19 – Keep your lunchtime salad crisp
Excess moisture weeping from sliced veggies can leave your healthy, homemade salad looking a little wilted by lunchtime. Line the bottom of your food container with a coffee filter to wick away any drips. Then layer one on top of your lettuce and lay the cut cucumbers, peppers, or other veggies on top of that filter. Your salad will remain crispy until you are ready to eat.
20 – Make a lavender sachet (your closets will smell so good!)
Dry your freshly harvested lavender in the oven or food dehydrator. Break it up into small bits. Put a heaping tablespoon of lavender onto the middle of a filter. Then, bring up the sides and tie it off with a bit of baking twine for a no-fuss sachet. You can tuck the string over a wire hanger and put one in every closet.
21 – Manage your manicure with coffee filters
Avoid getting nail polish drips onto your furniture or bathroom counter. Put a coffee filter (folded in two) under your fingers or toes to instantly absorb any drips.
22 – Spread shortening in your bakeware
Are you making a favorite recipe that calls for shortening instead of liquid oil or non-stick spray? Paper towels can leave tiny paper fibers behind. Besides that, they get too greasy! So grab a basket filter instead to ensure you don’t eat paper.
23 – Coffee filters can help retain the potting soil in your houseplants
Houseplants sometimes leak dirt out when you water them. Before you pot them, line the bottom of the planter with a basket-style filter. The plant receives the water. But the soil won’t seep out.
24 – Start seeds in coffee filters
If you pre-soak your seeds to sprout before planting, consider trying a coffee filter, as it holds up very well for this purpose! Dampen the filter, lay the seeds down on one half, then fold over the other side. Carefully slip it into a zip-top plastic bag, dating and labeling it with a permanent marker. Check it daily to ensure its health (watch for rot), and then pop the seed into potting soil when it’s ready.
25 – Use unbleached coffee filters for weed control in the garden
If you use unbleached basket filters, you can recycle them after making coffee or tea in the garden. Carefully pull back the mulch, spread a layer of filters, then carefully re-mulch. This is way more manageable than storing a large roll of weed control fabric, especially if you grow your plants in a container garden.
The Takeaway: You Can Use Coffee Filters for Many Practical Purposes
Everyone, it seems, wants to save as much money as possible these days. So turn to super-affordable basket-style coffee filters to fulfill many purposes throughout your entire house. So feel free to stock up on a stack of them; they are worth the spend.
Do you have any ideas that we did not cover? Please connect with us online on Mewe or Facebook and share. Until the next time we meet, have a happy DIY day.