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Uses for Coffee Filters

Category Reusing
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.


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By 20 found this helpful
March 9, 2010

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.

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

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By 16 found this helpful
June 9, 2009

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

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May 3, 2012

The 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

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August 19, 200811 found this helpful

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

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July 23, 20062 found this helpful

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

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By 4 found this helpful
August 19, 2013

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.


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By 4 found this helpful
August 18, 2011

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

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By 7 found this helpful
August 14, 2013

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 23, 2011

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 2, 2007

Instead of preparing a baking pan in the standard way, oil as usual and press a coffee filter into the bottom of the pan.

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April 9, 2007

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.

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By 3 found this helpful
July 9, 2016

I always put my spent coffee grinds around my flowers anyway, but started ripping the used filter halfway through then centering them around the base of my plants to keep down weeds and also keep roots moist. It's working great. The filters are safe and let water through, but keep out weed growth!

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April 15, 2008

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!

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By 1 found this helpful
December 10, 2011

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.

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By 1 found this helpful
November 13, 2008

We use coffee filters for individual snack holders. They are cheaper than paper plates and soak up any grease. They work well for a movie night with popcorn. You can write fun messages or jokes on the bottom of the liner and when the snack is gone, they'll have something fun to read.

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By 3 found this helpful
June 12, 2013

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.

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By 3 found this helpful
February 16, 2013

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.

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August 13, 20131 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a coffee filter doily. You can make a quick paper doily from a coffee filter.

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March 2, 20170 found this helpful

You can cut down on washing messy pet food dishes by lining them with inexpensive coffee filters. This is a guide about coffee filters as pet dish liners.

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July 27, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about clean windows with coffee filters. Paper coffee filters can be used to clean your windows, leaving them streak and lint free.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
May 27, 2010

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


May 28, 20100 found this helpful

I use new coffee filters at the bottom of pot where the drainage holes are. I place one or two over the holes and then the soil. I never thought of using a used one but will try it next time. It could work.

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May 29, 20100 found this helpful

I use mine in the bottom of pots when planting to keep the dirt from coming out the bottom of the pot. I put gravel in the pot first then the filters then the potting soil. Good for drainage.

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May 29, 20100 found this helpful

I have been putting the filters in my compost pile for years. Poke some holes in them or cut with scissors for faster decomposing if you wish. They don't breakdown as quickly as organic material like vegetable scraps. I also put undyed papertowels & napkins in the pile as long as they don't have grease on them. I turn the pile with a pitch fork & poke more holes which helps.

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May 30, 20100 found this helpful

I wash them with soapy water, rinse well, and reuse them for another pot of coffee. They work fine! After 2nd using I use them for the bottoms of garden pots, and the best is put one in the filter cone holder, fill with yoghurt, set the whole thing on a jar, or smaill coffee pot, cover with a wet paper towel, and let it sit in the fridge for 24-hours. You have the American version of Greek Yoghurt. Use it for slathering on English Muffins or toast, dollop in hot soup, or just eat it with some sliced fruit a top. Excellent! And you can use the whey for soups, mashed potatoes or when you need to thin batters, etc.

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June 5, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you all for these wonderful suggestions.

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Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
June 3, 2011

What are various uses of coffee filters?

By nfeeney from Bergen County, NJ


June 4, 20110 found this helpful

Use to strain yogurt to make cheese.
Use as a drip catcher under popsicles.
Use to hold snacks,chips etc.
Use to back appliques when sewing.
Put in a funnel, when filtering wine into a decanter.

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

My favorite way to use them is to cover a hole when planting a flower pot to keep the dirt from going through. I use it in every pot I plant.

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

I drain my bacon on it so it absorbs the grease.

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June 7, 20110 found this helpful

Use to make tea bags for my own homemade teas. Tie up with kite string which is very strong and drop in a teapot of boiling water.

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June 12, 20111 found this helpful

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!

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Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 9, 20091 found this helpful

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...


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)

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

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.


By Tawnda

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

Uses for Coffee Filters

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

By Karen.

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)

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

Uses for Coffee Filters

Use filters between plates to prevent scratching. This is especially good for fine china.


By jeangnome46

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

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

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.

By Sherry

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

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".

By just4family

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.

Uses for Coffee Filters

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

By Diamondee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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