Strain Without Pain
Coffee filters make great strainers. Use one over a bowl to catch the seeds when squeezing lemons, limes, or oranges. Similarly, you can strain out bits of broken cork from a bottle of wine by placing a coffee filter over the top of the wine bottle and securing it with a rubber band. Similarly, consider using coffee filters as a substitute for cheesecloth when straining stocks or broths.
Place a layer of coffee filters in the bottom of a cast-iron pan to absorb excess moisture and prevent rust. Similarly, the super-absorbent paper cones can be used in the workshop to help sort stray screws, nails, nuts, and bolts. You can keep these small parts organized and rust-free by wrapping them in the filters and storing in a box or plastic container.
Who knew that coffee filters could safeguard your heirlooms? Place coffee filters in between stacked china plates and bowls to add a protective layer and to avoid scratches or nicks. You also can use crumpled coffee filters as a packing material when boxing up dishes for storage or shipment.
Related: 11 Big Ideas for a Small Dining Room
Enjoy Sweet Treats
The (Shoe) Shining
Use coffee filters as a disposable applicator to shine leather shoes, pocketbooks, or even furniture. Simply dab a bit of the correct color of polish on the filter, and polish with a circular motion until all of the material is absorbed.You also can ward off unpleasant foot odor by placing a few tablespoons of baking soda in the center of a filter, tying with a string or rubber band, and leaving the sachet in your shoes overnight.
Even tea drinkers can make good use of coffee filters as DIY tea bags. Put loose leaf tea, herbs, or dried fruit into a coffee filter, fold and staple it closed, then steep in hot water. Or, place the wrapped items in a large jar, cover, and let it sit in the sun for a few hours to brew homemade sun tea.
Add Some Bam!
Create your own powerful punch of flavor for soups, stews or sauces by using a coffee filter to construct a “bouquet garni” of aromatic herbs. Combine whatever spices you like in a coffee filter, secure with some baker’s twine, and let the mixture simmer along with the dish. When it comes time to serve, simply throw the whole thing away—no fuss, no muss.
Use coffee filters to preserve and press special flowers or lovely leaves. Place the cut foliage in between two layers of filters and put inside the pages of a dictionary or similarly weighty tome for a week or until completely dry. The filters will absorb the moisture from the flowers, leaving you with a perfectly pressed memento.
Most plant pots have a drainage hole or two in the bottom to prevent root rot—but this also lets soil escape, often making a mess of your patio or windowsill. Place a coffee filter or two in the bottom of the pot to keep the soil in, and still let the water out. You also can use a coffee filter in the bottom of your kitchen compost pail to prevent a gooey mess. When you’re ready to dump the pot, the filter can go right into the compost pile with the rest of the kitchen scraps.
Coffee filters are constructed of lint-free paper, which makes them a great cleaning cloth for windows, mirrors, eyeglasses, and car windows. Simply use them in place of paper towels and you'll leave behind nothing but the shine.
Coffee filters attract grease and oil, so they are great for preventing grimy kitchen messes. Use coffee filters on a plate or baking sheet to soak up oil from fried foods. Similarly, cover food in the microwave with a coffee filter to prevent splattering.
Corn on the cob is tasty—but not if you wind up with a mouthful of silk. Use a clean coffee filter to de-silk the ear of corn before cooking. First dampen the filter and then wipe the shucked ear of corn in one long stroke from top to bottom.
It's All Greek
Make your own Greek-style yogurt by lining a colander with a coffee filter, placing the colander over a bowl and filling it with regular yogurt. Let stand in the fridge overnight, and in the morning, all the excess liquid will have drained into the bowl.
Each week from now through New Year's Eve, receive around-the-house tips, DIY project inspiration, and clever gift ideas to help make this your best-ever holiday season—subscribe now!