Everyday household items have long been known to serve other purposes, and no object exemplifies this versatility better than the coffee filter. Not only do coffee filters do an excellent job at catching wet coffee grinds while letting the brewed liquid coffee pass through, but their distinct texture, made of coarse, long fiber crepe paper, lends itself nicely for other uses. For example, Networx's editor has avoided a clogged drain and a subsequent call to an NYC plumber by covering her kitchen sink drain with a coffee filter when she didn't have a kitchen sink strainer. Here is a list of six other uses for coffee filters:
1. Cleaning tool
Coffee filters make an excellent cleaning tool for glass and screens. Spray a cleaning agent on a coffee filter to clean computer monitors, television screens, windows and glasses. They clean perfectly without leaving residue.
2. Shoe polisher
Coffee filters are great for polishing shoes, and work with or without shoe polish.
3. Air freshener
Coffee filters are built to hold debris inside them, so instead of wet coffee grinds, put baking soda or potpourri inside them. Tie it together with a tie twist and place in a dresser drawer, bathroom, or anywhere else you want to smell nice.
4. Grease absorber
Next time you order a pizza and you want to mop up some of that grease before indulging, don’t waste your time with napkin after napkin. Instead, try using a coffee filter — they are made to absorb liquid. Go ahead and mop away! Now you can eat your greasy foods with (a little) less guilt.
5. Fake flowers and other party decorations
Coffee filters make excellent fodder for art projects. They tend to work like tissue paper but hold together better. One way of coloring a basic white coffee filter is to submerge it in a dish with food coloring and let it dry. Once you have your desired color, stack the filters and staple together, then pouf out the layers. Create flowers that can be used in a bowl as a centerpiece or strung together to make a garland.
6. In between dishes when packing
Instead of newspaper, which can get cumbersome and bulky, use coffee filters in between dishes when packing them in a box. They are more or less the same size as a salad plate and are equally as thick as a page of newspaper.
Leah Batkin originally wrote this for Networx.com. It is reprinted with permission.