(734) 641-6550

Why coffee filters are unsung heroes

When my kids bought me a newfangled Keurig coffee machine for Mother’s Day a few years ago (alright, we all know it was my husband who really made the purchase, but I digress), I was ecstatic and over the moon. I ended up loving everything about owning one.
It was like I was now a member of the “Cool Kids Coffee Club,” and it opened up a whole new world. Suddenly, I had an excuse to ogle the seemingly endless coffee pods at the grocery store—if you have a Keurig and haven’t yet tried The Original Donut Shop, you’re missing out. And being an organizational enthusiast, I thoroughly appreciated how the pods stacked so neatly on the counter next to my machine.
Upon setting up my Keurig, the first thing I tossed out was my cheapie, antiquated drip coffee maker. The unsightly bag of paper coffee filters was the next to go.
But my affinity for new-age coffee technology wasn’t a forever-kind-of-love because guess what I discovered?
I wanted my old coffeemaker back.
That’s right: I discovered that new and improved isn’t always better, and, well…improved. Sometimes, it’s just new.
It turns out that the ability to make an entire pot of coffee is far more convenient than popping in a gazillion pods every 45 minutes when your kids are home with you due to virtual learning and caffeine is needed as much (if not more) than oxygen. Additionally, I think there’s something to be said for leaving behind the waste of a super-thin paper coffee filter versus a plastic pod—those tiny suckers add up in the trash bin.
And so, today, nearly five years after the arrival of my Keurig, I’m back to where I started: Making coffee the old-fashioned way with a cheapie, antiquated drip coffee maker. And paper coffee filters.
Subsequently, after recently reading a piece by Good Housekeeping magazine, I now view these filters in a whole new light: These things are, quite frankly, geniuses. Who knew?
Here are some unexpected uses for coffee filters:
In the kitchen…
* Protect your favorite dishes from chips and dings by slipping coffee filters between them.
* Use one as a snack bowl (which I’ve totally done for my kids before) if you’re not keen on dirtying another dish. Just sub a coffee filter for a bowl when eating popcorn, crackers, and other small bites.
* Use coffee filters to dry glasses that are still a bit damp after a run through the dishwasher. It’ll leave stemware spotless and sparkling.
*Boy, oh boy, do I need to remember this one: Pop a filter over leftovers when heating them up in the microwave. Doing so can prevent messes and splattering.
In the bedroom/bathroom…
* Coffee filters make excellent “razor nick fixers.”
* A balled-up coffee filter can also be used to apply shoe polish.
* Additionally, putting baking soda into a coffee filter and inserting it into shoes or a closet absorbs—and can even prevent—unwanted odors.
* Oh, here’s one I’ve personally done before: A coffee filter is a superb stand-in for a cotton ball when removing nail polish.
* Now, I’m skeptical about this but apparently it’s been done successfully before: In place of using expensive wax strips to shape eyebrows, use strips of coffee filters.
Everywhere else…
* Clean windows and mirrors: Coffee filters are lint-free, so you can swap them out for paper towels to give windows a no-streak shine.
* Place a coffee filter in the bottom of a flower pot before pouring potting soil into your container. This enables the water to escape while the dirt stays in its place.
* Keep tiny items/pieces in one place, which makes assembling furniture or something of the like a heck of a lot easier. Keep screws, nails, and other bits from rolling across the floor with a filter.
* Grab a coffee filter to dust your TV. (I swear, the biggest dust-catcher in any home is an electronic device—especially televisions.) A coffee filter is great for collecting debris from screens both big and small.
Sorry, no disrespect, coffee pods. You little guys may be cute, but you simply can’t do any of the above.

Courtney Conover is wife, mom, yoga instructor, and Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor who has called Wayne home since 1995.

About the Author