Legend holds that the coffee filter was dreamt up over a century ago by a German housewife who wanted to get rid of the bitter taste generated by boiling loose grounds. Little did she know, her invention would go on to become so much more than just a coffee-brewing utensil.
When the coffee maker became a common household object, coffee filters found more clever uses around the house. Over the last century, creative minds, DIY-ers, and crafters alike have discovered many more inspired uses for the common coffee filter. We’ve listed 14 uses for coffee filters way beyond coffee below.
1. Remove sediment from wine.
Older bottles of wine may collect sediment, including dead yeast cells, bits of grape, and phenolic molecules. You can remove sediment and rid the wine of any grittiness by filtering it out through an unbleached coffee filter.
2. Serve up snack cups.
Coffee filters can make practical and disposable snack cups. Fill them with perfect portions of popcorn, pretzels, and other munchies.
Additionally, keep a small stack in the glovebox of your car to portion out large orders of fast food French fries for your very own portable snack bowl.
3. Whip up yummy yogurt dip.
With any regular jar, place a coffee filter on-top and use a rubber band to secure it. Slow pour eight ounces of yogurt onto the filter and let drain for about an hour. Meanwhile, prepare one small minced garlic clove and one tablespoon of fresh parsley. In a bowl, mix the thickened yogurt with the garlic and parsley, and add salt and pepper to taste. Grab your favorite crackers and enjoy!
4. Prevent microwave food splatter.
To prevent splatter, cover bowls and plates with coffee filters before popping them into the microwave. Don’t worry—coffee filters are totally microwave safe.
5. Steep loose leaf tea.
Coffee filters are the perfect makeshift tea bag for your loose leaf tea collections. This trick works even better than normal tea bags, especially if you use good-quality coffee filters. Regardless of kind, though, simply add two teaspoons of your favorite loose tea to the middle of a coffee filter.
Create a pouch by securing the sides together and closing with a rubber band. That’s a win for household items branching out into the kitchen!
6. Get crafty.
Hook your kids up with a stack of coffee filters and watch their imaginations run wild. These versatile white papers are the perfect base for crafts like coffee filter snowflakes, wreaths, painted roses, and more. It’s so much better than looking at television screens for days.
7. Polish glass.
Crafted from virgin paper, coffee filters will polish glasses, mirrors, and computer screens without leaving behind lint. They’re more effective than paper towels, and are a necessity for clean windows.
8. Protect china plates, bowls, and cups.
Worried about your fine china getting scuffs and scratches? Take a couple filters, flattened them out, and use them when stacking the dishes. They’re often the perfect size to cover full dinner plates.
This also works well when packing for a move or transporting breakable items, like flower pots.
9. Diffuse your camera flash.
You can soften the brightness of a photo by placing a coffee filter over your camera’s flash.
10. Maintain a dewy complexion.
Coffee filters make excellent face blotters and absorb excess oils wonderfully without leaving residue on your face. Without tricky ingredients like essential oils or the like, it’s a great alternative to those with sensitive skin that can be easily agitated, even by simple items like cotton balls.
11. Prevent sticky fingers from popsicles.
Next time you dig a popsicle or ice pop out of the freezer, grab a coffee filter. By poking the popsicle stick through the hole, you can catch drips and keep your fingers from getting sticky.
This same trick works for extra-large ice cream cones with more scoops than you can reasonably eat before the dripping begins.
12. Protect fragile items during shipping.
Coffee filters can double as shipping material for fragile items. Fold a stack of filters accordion-style, cut the paper into strips, and pack up your box. They also work well when stacked between cast iron pots and pans to prevent scraping.
13. Freshen your clothes.
Because they’re so absorbent and filtering, coffee filters can be turned into homemade dryer sheets. Simply grab your favorite liquid fabric softener and rub about 1 to 2 teaspoons all over the filter. Smooth it out, and toss it in for fresh, soft fabrics.
14. Catch soil.
When repotting a plant, use a coffee filter to cover the drainage hole in the pot, and then add soil. This will prevent soil from falling through, while still allowing the water to drain.