Clever Ways to Use this Everyday Household Item

Whether you drink coffee or not, after reading this, you’ll want to keep a package or two of coffee filters on hand. I wrote about this a few years ago, but I’d like to do so again because some more ideas have shown up. Let’s thank Jillee from for sharing these very clever ways to use this everyday household item:

Use them to soothe puffy or itchy eyes. Just soak a couple in brewed tea (chamomile works well) or plain water, then chill them in the fridge. Once well-chilled, fold the filters and place them over your eyes as a soothing cold compress. (This is an especially helpful tip since allergy season is almost at our doorstep.)

They’re perfect for greasing bakeware. This is because they don’t leave behind any fibers or residue. I cut them in thirds so for this chore. I’ve found it’s not necessary to use an entire filter for one grease job.

They do an outstanding job of protecting dishes from scratches and nicks. This is really smart when storing your fine china. Just layer coffee filters between each dish as you stack them. They’re strong enough to stand up to the movement of the dishes, but soft enough to prevent additional damage.

Use them to control odors. Create odor-controlling sachets by dropping a few tablespoons of baking soda into a filter, twist it closed, and secure it with a rubber band. Place this powerful odor-eater inside shoes, gym bags, closets, your fridge, or anywhere else that needs a little deodorizing. You might consider adding a few drops of essential oils to the sachet to leave behind a favorite scent!

Also, use them when cleaning. Coffee filters make great cleaning “cloths” for de-smudging computer monitors, televisions, and windows. Even the most reflective surfaces will turn out squeaky clean and free of streaks!

They make affordable and effective dryer sheets! Simply dampen a coffee filter with a bit of white vinegar and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. (Lavender or lemon are good choices.) Toss the “dryer sheet” into the dryer with your clothes, and they’ll come out free of static and smelling fresh and clean! And I’ve found they can be used more than once. Jillee says this is one of her favorite uses for coffee filters, and it’s become one of mine as well.

I’ll add my own little dryer sheet tip: A dryer sheet (homemade or storebought) adds a nice fragrance to bathrooms. You fold the sheet and tuck it into the toilet paper roll. Clever, yes?

Use it as a quick and easy bouquet garni. So that you don’t have to fish certain flavoring ingredients out of soup before serving, a bouquet garni (a small pouch made of cheese cloth) is used to hold the ingredients. Then you just remove the pouch—easy work! But if you don’t have any cheese cloth on hand, a coffee filter is a great substitute. Just place bay leaves, herbs with tough stems, or whole spices in the filter’s center, twist and tie with a string.

Lastly, keep a stack in your car. This is a smart habit. While paper napkins from the fast food drive-through are OK, coffee filters are much better for dusting your console and dashboard, sopping up spills, and wiping off the dipstick the next time you check your oil.

    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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