I bought a package of coffee filters at Sam’s Club. I think there are 1,000 of them in there, and I paid just a couple of dollars for it.
We color coffee filters. We paint them. We stick them to things. More on that next Tuesday, when I share 10 crafts to make with coffee filters.
I wanted to find some cool, quirky ways to use my gazillion coffee filters, and I came up with these.
You can really use a coffee filter as you’d use a paper towel, but since we don’t use paper towels any more (reducing waste and cost and all that), it would not make sense to use another disposable paper product in the same way.
10 Ways to Use Coffee Filters
- Strain liquids. Personally, I hate pulp in my orange juice. I buy it without pulp, but if my darling husband got the pulpy stuff by mistake, I would totally strain it with a coffee filter.
You can also strain oil from your deep fryer, vinegar you’ve used for soaking things, brown stock, or any other liquid in your kitchen.
- Absorb excess oil. When you fry foods, lay them on top of a coffee filter on a plate to soak up any excess oil and prevent it from forming a puddle on the plate.
- Make homemade tea bags. Have you ever seen loose tea? There are all sorts of aromatic and otherwise lovely loose teas, but if you don’t have a fancy tea strainer, you couldn’t use them.
Unless you put the tea in a coffee filter and tied a string around it, and then you’d have a homemade tea bag.
Oh, and? If your coffee pot breaks, you can do the exact same thing with your ground up coffee beans.
- Spice sachet. Along the same lines, some recipes tell you to put some spices into a pouch of cheesecloth and allow them to soak in some liquid. (This is especially true in canning. Ever make pickled beets or chili sauce?) If you don’t have any cheesecloth, a coffee filter will work.
- Protect nice plates or pans. If you stack dishes, pots and pans, or other items, placing a coffee filter in between them will prevent the surfaces from scratching one another.
- Wrap sandwiches. You know those fancy paper wrappers that some restaurants put around their sandwiches? You can make them inexpensively with coffee filters. Those would make sloppy joes and egg salad sandwiches a lot less messy, especially for children.
- Heat tortillas. Spritz the coffee filter with water and lay a tortilla on top of it. Spritz a second coffee filter and put it on top. Heat the stack in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, and your tortilla will be warm and still pliable. (Remember that all microwaves are different, so see how many seconds work best for you.)
Keep these coffee filters on top of or next to the microwave. Use the same ones over and over again.
I’ve never tried it, but I bet this would work for any kind of bread, even pitas.
- Cover foods in the microwave. It can be tricky to make the coffee filter stick to the container, but they are otherwise perfect for covering foods in the microwave. Splatters get caught by the filter instead of sticking to the inside of the microwave.
- Line potted plants to prevent the soil from leaking out. This is self explanatory, right? Just put the soil on top of the coffee filter; the filter will keep the soil from leaking out when you water the plant. The best part? These can be used for coffee before you put them under the dirt! We shake the used coffee grounds into the compost bowl before putting it in the dirt.
- Scented sachets. Must like the spice sachet above, you can make a pouch out of the coffee filter and stuff it with potpourri or dried lavender from your garden. Tie it with a piece of string or rubber band and tuck it inside dresser drawers or closets. They look a lot nicer when made from fabric, but you can’t beat the frugality of a coffee filter.
What do you use coffee filters for?
Please don’t say you make coffee with them. We can be more creative than that.
Have you seen the rest of the series?
© 2011, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.