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Uses for Coffee Filters

Uses for Coffee Filters, Coffee filter on a brown background.

There are so many uses for coffee filters besides making coffee. They are great for cleaning, crafts, and organizing items just to name a few. This is a guide about uses for coffee filters.



Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Other Uses for Coffee Filters

Use for coffee filters, other than making coffee.

Party Bowls

I used coffee filters at my daughters sleepover birthday party. I made the girls popcorn and wrote each girls name on the filter and filled it with popcorn and they didn't get mixed up and I knew exactly who hadn't picked up their trash!

By Tawnda

Splatter Shield

Use coffee filters as a splatter shield over dishes in the microwave.

By imaqt1962

For Cleaning

I ran out of paper towels and needed to finish the task I was doing. I had large coffee filters I bought by mistake (needed small for coffee pot.) They did the job very well, didn't come apart like paper towels.


More Ideas

If you've ever purchased the wrong size coffee filters and wondered what on earth you could do with them, try this: Use a coffee filter or two to wash windows. Because they are lint-free and absorbent, they work better than paper towels. Another idea, before placing soil in a clay or plastic flowerpot, place a paper coffee filter on the bottom of the pot to prevent the soil from escaping through the drain hole.

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

Tip: Uses for Coffee Filters

Coffee filters are a very thrifty product to have in your kitchen. Not only for filtering the grounds on coffee, but try opening a few on your plate to drain fries and other fried foods. Also excellent to use to clean windows and mirrors. Good to use to dust. I also use to cover food in the microwave. I bet you can now think of other ways to use these cheap circles.

By notwrong

Tip: Coffee Filters for Taco Holders

Put cheap coffee filters (often 200 for a $1 here) to use as taco holders. Hold the taco in it to your mouth as you would without it and it catches the"fall out"! Quite a lot less expensive than napkins!

By melody_yesterday from Sedalia, Missouri

Tip: Use Coffee Filters To Dry Seeds

Line dinner plates with coffee filters to dry flower and garden seeds. When the seeds are dry, discard the coffee filters and store the seeds in a container lined with coffee filters.

By Monica from Cortez, CO

Tip: Use Cone Coffee Filters For Serving Toast and Treats

A while back, I ran out of clean plates, paper towels, napkins, and paper plates. The only other option that I had, was a cone coffee filter. The one I use the most is size 4, I toast English muffins for my husband's breakfast. I tried placing the already toasted and buttered (jam) inside the pocket of the cone. It worked great, and it kept any mess inside the cone. I think it is such a good idea, and also great for serving children. I think even a cupcake would work, because the extra crumbs could fall inside the cone. You may want to purchase the cone size smaller, depending on the size of the treat. I think it saves many possible messy treats. The cone shape is easy for a child to hold on to. I am not able to send a picture this time. If it disqualifies me, it's OK. I just want to help people.



Tip: Coffee Filter For Missing Lid

Coffee Filter For Missing Popcorn Popper LidThe silicon cap ended up missing but I'm not going to let that stop me. A rubberband and a coffee filter later and I was enjoying my treat!

By melody_yesterday from Sedalia, MO

Tip: Coffee Filters Instead Of Paper Towels

Save on paper towels by using round coffee filters instead. They are the size of your hand which is the area you generally use on a paper towel. You can buy filters unbleached too, if you prefer. You get plenty per pack for a dollar and they have a million uses.

  • Wiping out and dry my cats dishes, picking up hairballs etc. They don't fall apart like paper does.

  • Cleaning my TV screen and mirrors, they don't leave dust.

  • Instead of buying disinfectant wipes, you can make your own solution and use the filter to clean any surface pretty much. Great on faucets and stainless sinks.

  • You can also cover your water bottles with one before you refill it. Not a complete filter but better than none.

  • You can wet and put a dab of fabric softener on them and toss them in the dryer to freshen sweaters, etc.

  • Great for messy spoons during cooking.

As I use them I just set out a new s "section" (they are sort of packaged in layers), on the counter so they are right where I need them.

Source: I changed coffee pots and had plenty left over that I just started to grab

By darli1115 from Chicago, IL

Tip: Cutting Down Larger Coffee Filters

For health reasons we like to use natural brown filters in our 4 cup coffee maker. But often only bleached white filters are available at the store. So we buy the larger brown 8-12 cup size and cut them down.

First the filters are folded in halves or quarters, then with scissors about 1/2 inch is trimmed off the top. We cut 3 filters at a time and they work perfectly in our small basket. Of course the trimmings go into the compost pile along with the spent filters and grounds.

By don from NC

Tip: Eating BBQ With a Coffee Filter

Who would have ever thought you needed a coffee filter to eat BBQ? Well, the last time I was eating BBQ I got so fed up with my paper napkin sticking to my fingers I decided to go to war with the sticky BBQ sauce and found that using a paper coffee filter worked great to use as a BBQ Rib/Bone HOLDER while I ate. I didn't use it like a napkin but as a holder.

By Julie from Trout Valley, IL

Tip: Coffee Filter for Loose Tea

If you run out of bags for using loose tea, use a coffee filter. Place the amount of tea you need for a pot or a cup, into the center of the filter. Gather the filter up over the tea and tie it closed with a piece of string. Leave the ends of the string long enough to be able to pull the bag out of the pot or cup when the tea is finished steeping.

By Marie E. from West Dundee, IL

Tip: Clean Windows With Coffee Filters

When cleaning windows, use automatic coffee filters instead of paper towels. They work excellently, and they do not leave lint or smears behind. They also stay together

By Thelma mae from Lebanon, TN

Tip: Coffee Filter As Sandwich Holder

Our church has concessions at various auctions. When we sell a sandwich, we have found it very easy to give to a customer wrapped in a cofee filter. Just fold in half and place sandwich inside. It is easy for children to hold, it contains any mess, and it's easy to throw away. It is cheaper than using paper towls. You can also use it to hold cookies or other small snacks.


Tip: Coffee Filters to Protect Non-Stick Pans

Putting a coffee filter in each pot or pan before stacking will keep them from scratching each other while in storage.

By Robyn F. from TN

Tip: Creative Uses for Coffee Filters

I found after buying a new coffee pot having 2 different size filters. The cone size filters are great as a popsicle holder to prevent drips on hands and clothes. Also, cutting off bottom of cone filter makes a great funnel for dry ingredients, or soil onto a pot.

The basket style filters makes great "bowls" for popcorn, cookies, chips and crackers. Travel bowls in the car for kids or dogs. I also use them, cutting off sides and use the filter bottom in planter pots to prevent soil from falling out.

Coffee filters make great "plates" for cheese and diced onions when making enchiladas. I line up cheese, diced onions and olives for rolling them in the pan.

Coffee filters just to be sturdier than paper towels. They don't fall apart. I also set them under a vase of flowers to catch the little leaves that want to fall.

I don't decorate round layer cakes like I used to, but when putting bottom layer on platter, I will put down cut in half coffee filters all the way around. When done, pull the filters out and cake plate is beautiful!

I save used coffee grounds and egg shells (much to my husband's dismay). To add to the garden. I will lay out the grounds to dry on a filter. Once dried I mix into the soil. Egg shells I crush in the filter and mix into the soil as well.

Lastly, when we have tacos for dinner, whether soft tacos or hard-shell the filters make great "holders" to keep it from becoming a "salad" all over you and the plate.

BEST of all, you can toss them out!


Tip: Coffee Filter as Emergency Dust Mask

As odd as it sounds, I keep a package of the round coffee filters in my quake kit. If you've ever been in a quake of some size, and seen the debris floating around in the air after, it's not something you want to breathe. Cracked walls could have lead paint particles, etc. Fold the filter in half, and hold over your nose and mouth. It also works for straining drinking water.

You never know how many aftershocks there might be. The filters will hold you over until supplies can be upgraded, but they are not more than an emergency substitute.

Source: numerous emergency preparedness sites.


Tip: Coffee Filter for Freezing Chopped Bell Peppers

Where I live, bell peppers can be rather expensive. I buy them only when they are on sale. I wash them, chop them, then spread them on a cookie sheet. I let a little fan blow on them for about half an hour. This reduces the surface moisture a bit, thereby reducing the formation of ice crystals when I freeze them. I still get enough ice crystals to cause the peppers to stick together.

I found that if after doing the above, I place a coffee filter in the freezer bag and squeeze all air out before sealing, the peppers will have very little ice crystals on them, and all the little pieces will remain separate and even pourable.

Free Flowing Frozen Peppers


Coffee Filter Doily

When you are ready to give your jams, jellies, and bath salts away, here is an easy doily for the top you can make when you don't have a scrap of material. Coffee Filter Doily

Approximate Time: Less than 10 minutes


  • coffee filter
  • eyelet lace punch
  • rubber band
  • ribbon
Coffee Filter Doily


Using your Martha Stewart eyelet lace punch (I got mine at Michael's craft store), punch around the edge of the coffee filter and place on top of the jar. I use a rubber band to hold it in place while I tie the ribbon. Cover with your choice of ribbon, if desired. Coffee Filter Doily

By Tedebear from San Jose, CA

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Here are questions related to Uses for Coffee Filters.

Question: Alternative Uses for Coffee Filters

What are various uses of coffee filters?

By nfeeney from Bergen County, NJ

Most Recent Answer

By Alyie06/12/2011

Perfect fix to stop bleeding from razor nicks when shaving.
Clean windows, mirrors, television screens and glasses.
Apply shoe polish.
Diffuse the flash on a camera.
Use flattened coffee filters as spacers when you stack your dishes.
Spoon holders while cooking.
Last but not least: Coffee Filters can be used in place of TP! Cheap, takes way less space than TP and biodegradable!

Question: Reusing Coffee Filters in the Garden

After reading numerous posting here I've been saving coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie peels, etc. My question is how can I reuse the coffee filters? Thanks in advance.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Keeper from Blue Ridge Mts., NC

Most Recent Answer

By Keeper06/05/2010

Thank you all for these wonderful suggestions.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Uses for Coffee Filters

Ideas and tips for coffee filters.

When preparing foods that might tend to be a bit greasy and you might not have any paper towels to use between your layers of food for absorbing dripping grease, use a couple of new coffee filters. They work the same as paper towels and better than paper napkins, that can tend to stick to foods.

By Terri H. from NV

Read more ideas below...

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Sometimes when I run out of filters for the cone shape coffee maker I use a regular one and just put a little hole in it and it works fine!

By Sandra (05/28/2004)

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

I use coffee filters as little serving dishes for my grandchildren. I can put their cookies, popcorn, chips in them and there are no bowls to wash. You can use them as a quick doily under desserts or fruit. A lot cheaper too. By L. Chlds (05/28/2004)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

In the Brownies handbook they show you how to make a tie-dye butterfly with coffee filters. It looks so cute. You dip the filter in various colored water and you take a pipe cleaner and wrap around the center after it is dried and the ends stick up to look like antannae. (06/01/2004)

By Tawnda

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Craft ideas: the round ones can be decorated by children as snowflakes, or 3 can be made into a snowman. The cone shaped filters can be used to make angels.

Can also used to absorb grease from bacon instead of paper towel. (06/06/2004)

By Lee-Ann

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Coffee filters can be used to clean mirrors (07/11/2004)

By Karen.

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

use them when serving tacos to catch the fallout ! Spray some air freshener on a coffee fiter to dust off the TV screen - no lint ! (10/06/2004)

By melody_yesterday

Other Uses for Coffee Filters

Use coffee filters for many things other than making coffee. When my grandkids come to visit and have snacks little cut up apples or pretzels or whatever I place them in the coffee filter. Also if I am mixing a small amount of something like cinnamon and sugar I shake it gently in the coffee filter. I'm sure you can think of many other uses. I only buy them when they are on sale. This sure saves me from washing dishes for little things.

By joesgirl (10/17/2004)

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Use one as a liner in the new pot when re-potting your plants -- it keeps the finer dirt particles from running out the drain holes in the bottom of the pot. (10/18/2004)

By Sharon

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Use filters between plates to prevent scratching. This is especially good for fine china. (10/18/2004)

By jeangnome46

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

You can use it as a filter for wine if you accidentally break the cork when opening the bottle up. You can line the base of a potted plant to keep the soil from leaking out when you water the plant. And as said before the filters are lint free! Perfect for anything that requires a good once over for dust or dirt. (05/19/2005)

By AlexR

Use a Coffee Filter For Dry Ingredients

Use coffee filters to hold dry ingredients when you are baking. You can get everything ready and it doesn't take your entire countertop. There aren't extra bowls to wash!(you just throw the filters away.) By Angela (06/04/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Catching Popsicle Drips

Push the stick of a popsicle thru a coffee filter to catch the drips. By Linda (06/16/2005)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

At church this year we made coffee filter flowers for mom. Just dip your coffee filter in colored water ( a few drops of water and a couple drops of food coloring). Let them dry. After they dry, cut them out into flowery shapes. I used 2 filters per flower -- smaller coffee filter for the middle. Stick a green pipe cleaner through the center of your two filters and wrap them with scotch tape. Super easy for pre-schoolers to do too. (06/16/2005)

By luv2craft

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

My nine year old is addicted... to dill pickles, that is. The real big ones, that have lots of juice that runs down his arm, to his elbow. So, coffee filters stay in a drawer under where we keep the humongous jar of pickles we buy. He simply puts a filter around his pickle when he takes it from the jar.... no mess. (06/16/2005)

By Sherry

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

I use a coffee filter when I make homemade ice tea with mint. I put dried mint into a coffee filter and then tie with string. I put the mint in with the tea bags while it is brewing. You can also use a coffee filter for holding herbs and spices while making soups, stews, etc. (06/17/2005)

By mkymlp

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

We all are on the same page! I too, use coffee filters for almost anything you can use a paper towel for and more. Working with families, I promote this as " A Thing You Need At Home". (06/17/2005)

By just4family

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Use one to line the potty chair "cup" when potty training toddlers. No messy cleanups! (06/17/2005)

By Katie A.

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Use for backing for embroidering soft fabrics, easy to tear away afterwards. machine embroidering also. (06/18/2005)

By Diamondee

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

A coffee filter is just the right size for little hands to use to hold a sandwich. Easier than a napkin! By Linda (06/24/2005)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

At Christmas time or anytime I am entertaining buffet style, I put each slice of cake or pie, a muffin or brownie etc on a coffee filter and arrange on trays. It is easy for someone to just pick up the dessert they want and put it on a plate or just eat it without any fuss. I also use them when we are having french fries as a snack, After I drain off any excess grease, i make a cone out of the coffee filter and give each person a cone of fries. It is fun! And no dishes to wash! (06/26/2005)

By maggiemay

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

I use coffee filters to drain my bacon drippings through. I save the drippings to flavor other foods. With the coffee filters all the brown bits are strained out. Stanlie (07/30/2005)

By Steamer

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

They can be used as make-shift teabags for loose tea. Secure with a thread or piece of string. (03/30/2006)

By Ree 127

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

We drink a lot of coffee. I save everything that can be composted. I also save the used coffee filters. I use "used" coffee filters in my potted plants.I just let them dry out. shake the excess coffee off into the compost and store the used filter in an old kleenex box. (12/30/2006)

By Erica

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

They are great to use for kids can let them use watercolors and as they paint on them the colors bleed together and make some interesting patterns...after they are dried...they can be cut and framed in small frams for a child's room to show their handicraft. (01/02/2007)

By rikki

RE: Uses for Coffee Filters

Coffee filters work great as disposable popcorn bowls (or for other snacks as well). Works great in the classroom or Sunday school.

Also works great to remove makeup, cleanup for a cut. I have dipped it in tea and laid several down on my daughter's leg when sunburned. They go right where you want when wet. Great temporary bandaid or over your eyes with your favorite eye treatment. (07/06/2008)

By Debbie