Coffee Filters?

We have a whole section of our website dedicated to Coffee Filters, what gives? Well it turns out coffee filters are very inexpensive and underutilized. Check out some of the facts and tips below to see if you can lower your impact with this easy,  cheap, and efficient paper towel substitute.


Go figure you can buy 1,000 for about a $1.00,  even the large ones.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave.  Coffee filters make excellent covers.  This avoids cleaning a mess in your microwave.

2. Clean windows,  mirrors,  and chrome…   Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine.  If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet.   Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish.  Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil.  After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods.  Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos.  Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot.   Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Moms, Prevent a Popsicle from dripping.   Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Using expensive strips to wax eyebrows?  Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put bacon,  French Fries,  chicken fingers, etc on them…  It soaks out the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom.   They make great “razor nick fixers.”  Most filming days coffee filter on my face before we shoot!!!

15. As a sewing backing.   Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use them to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies…  Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds.   Simply dampen the coffee filter,  place seeds inside,  fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers.  Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book..

25. Use as a disposable “snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc.



If you use coffee filters in the ways described above (also remembering not to use harsh products when cleaning) than coffee filters are great in compost. So it also reduces waste in landfills.

I got this tip from parts of an e-mail I received from Robin Yam about Coffee Filters and I found it very useful, thanks Robin.

Bottom Line:    Better Than Paper Towels And A Lot Less Expensive…
The production and disposal of paper products places several burdens on the environment. Deforestation, air and water pollution from pulp mills, high energy and water use in production and recycling, and consumption of landfill space are notable environmental issues that arise from paper use.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims that 34 percent of solid waste is made up of paper. Half of that paper is then recycled or composted; the rest ends up in landfills, where it decomposes very slowly.

One Time Only
Paper towels are used only once and then discarded. They’re then thrown in the trash and, ultimately, a landfill.

Effects of Bleaching
Many brands of paper towels are bleached. Dioxin is a byproduct of the bleaching process, and it can cause birth defects and cancer.

Towels From Recycled Paper
As an option to bleached paper towels, some brands are made from recycled materials. They cut down on the waste and take less energy to produce. Paper towels cannot be recycled after use.

Plain as paper facts…
The paper industry is the 3rd largest contributor to climate change.
-The average American discards of 700 pounds or more of paper each year.
If every household in the U.S. used just one less 70-sheet roll of virgin fiber paper towels, that would save 544,000 trees each year. Change that to using three less rolls per U.S. household per year, and that would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees.
-Your typical paper towel is manufactured using chlorine, which releases carcinogenic dioxins and furans.

Thanks for learning about the issue, here’s a bonus tip:
If you use 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water it can be used as a cleaning solution for most surfaces in your home. If you add lemon to that cocktail you’ve got a fresh smelling laundry detergent and a good base for salad dressing.
This helpful tip comes from Lisa Cunningham of Olive Branch Green Building Supply in Episode 3: De-Constructing Construction

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