21 Genius Uses for Your Spare Coffee Filters

Meet your new best friend for effortless cleaning, cooking, organizing, and more.

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Clean your glasses


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Next time you clean your glasses, try using a coffee filter instead of a tissue. Good-quality coffee filters are made from 100 percent virgin paper, so you can use them to clean your glasses without leaving lint. You can also use them safely to polish mirrors and TV and monitor screens. Here are surprising household items you can reuse.

Cover food in the microwave


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Coffee filters are microwave-safe. Use them to cover bowls or dishes to prevent splatter when cooking or baking in your microwave oven. On the other hand, you should never put these items in the microwave.

Filter cork crumbs from wine

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Don’t let cork droppings ruin your enjoyment of a good glass of wine. If your attempt at opening the bottle results in floating cork crumbs, just decant the wine through a coffee filter.

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Catch ice-cream drips

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Next time the kids scream for ice-cream bars or ice pops, serve it to them with a drip catcher made from basket-style coffee filters. Just poke the stick through the center of two filters and the drips will fall into the paper, not on the child or your carpet.

Prevent soil leakage


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When you’re repotting a plant, line the pot with a coffee filter to keep the soil from leaking out through the drain hole. Here are more tips for growing healthy houseplants.

Make an instant funnel

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Cut the end off a cone-style coffee filter to make an instant funnel. Keep a few in your car and use them to avoid spillage when you add a quart of oil or two.

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Make an air freshener

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Fill a coffee filter with baking soda, twist-tie it shut, and you have just made an air freshener. Make several and tuck them into shoes, closets, the fridge, or wherever else they may be needed. These are other genius uses for baking soda.

Treat a fever

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Soak a few filters in brewed tea or cold water and chill in your freezer. Fold the filter up to make a cold compress to tame a headache or puffy eyes.

Spread oil or butter

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Sturdy coffee filters won’t leave fibers behind on your baking pan; use one to evenly spread oil or butter over a flat surface when cooking.

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Corral small objects

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Building an IKEA cabinet or complicated Lego set? Set out a few coffee filters to hold all the small, easily lost pieces in one place.

Protect stacked plates

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Whether storing your fine china on the shelf or packing your everyday dishes for transport, layer some coffee filters between each plate to prevent nicks and scrapes.

Line a cookie tin or tupperware

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A coffee filter laid on the bottom of a food container will absorb excess oils and catch crumbs, leaving you an easy cleanup.

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Make your own tea

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Sprinkle your favorite mix of herbs into a coffee filter and tie up the top with a string. Steep in hot water and you’ve got some custom-made tea.

Carry messy food

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A cone filter is the perfect size for holding a pita, quesadilla, or other hot pocket on the go. Here are other hacks for eating messy foods.

Serve snacks, dish-free

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A basket filter becomes a perfect makeshift bowl for popcorn, candy, chips, and other movie night favorites.

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Take the perfect low-light photo

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Soften the flash on your camera by holding a coffee filter over it when you shoot.

Make a colorful goodie bag

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Use some washable markers to draw a pattern on a coffee filter, then lightly mist it with water from a spray bottle. Fill the filter with candy or coins, fold into a pouch and tie up the top with a ribbon.

Rest a dirty spoon

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Leave a basket filter open on your counter and rest your dirty spoon or spatula on it while cooking your favorite meal. Here are more tips for keeping your kitchen clean while you cook.

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Polish without a mess

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Absorbent and durable, coffee filters are perfect for removing nail polish from your fingernails, or spreading shoe polish on your boots

Keep skillets rust-free

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Prolong the life of your good cast-iron cookware. Put a coffee filter in the skillet when it’s not in use. The filter will absorb moisture and prevent rusting.

Line a sieve


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If you save your cooking oil for reuse after deep-fat frying, line your sieve with a basket-style coffee filter to remove smaller food remnants and impurities.


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