Practical Uses for Coffee Filters

Practical Uses for Coffee Filters


Coffee filters can be used for a lot of things aside from making coffee.  Their versatility makes them an essential item to have on hand in any stockpile or bug out bag, even though loading up on coffee filters is often the last thing on our minds.  Here are a few examples of how you can put coffee filters to good use in a survival situation or on the homestead.

Bowls and Plates


A flat-bottom coffee filter can be used as a makeshift bowl that can hold a wide-range of light or dried foods.  This is a great option if you don’t have enough dishes to go around at your bug out location.  Filters can also be placed on top of plates for certain heavier foods as a way to keep them clean so you can re-use them in the future.

First-Stage Filtration


Use a coffee filter as the first stage of your water filtration system.  While they will not take out microorganisms, bacteria and other tiny impurities, they can remove larger items and pieces of debris in the water.  Passing water through the coffee filters can place less stress and extend the useful life of your water filtration system by reducing clogs or the accumulation of gunk.

Cleaning Glasses


Coffee filters are not usually coarse enough to scratch the surface of lenses or touch screens.  You can use them to gently clean your glasses or electronic devices, and they can be just as effective as wipes or cloth that are specifically-designed for this purpose.  Not only that, but coffee filters are a lot cheaper as well.

Keep Items Together

If you have a lot of screws, nails, tacks or other small items, consider using a coffee filter as a way to keep them together instead of having to hunt for cans, containers or baggies.  This is a perfect way to prevent losing items when you’re making repairs or taking on projects.  Just place the items in the filter and they can all stay in one place.

Toilet Paper

Coffee filters can be used as a back-up to toilet paper.  Not only are they strong enough to handle the job, but they are also more gentle than using some other emergency options such as leaves or sheets of newspaper.  You can also use them as a way to easily collect and dispose of dog or cat droppings.

Air Freshener


Coffee filters are permeable, and you can add some basic ingredients, tie them off and create an improvised air freshener.  Just add some baking soda or fragrant plants to the filter and then place them in areas where foul odors are present.  You can also stick them in shoes, boots or backpacks to keep them fresh as well.

Grease Filter


Try using a coffee filter the next time you make bacon or cook other greasy foods.  They can be used to blot out the grease before serving.  You can also pour grease through filters in order to remove larger particles and leave you with a fresh supply of used cooking oil.

Teas and Juices


Coffee filters can be used to make hot or sun tea simply by placing the tea inside and tying the filter off.  They are also a good thing to use for removing pulp or chunks of fruit that are often present in fresh-squeezed juices.  Just pour the juice over the filter and let the liquid pass through while the other items get trapped.


You can use coffee filters as a way to sprout and store seeds.  For sprouting, place the seed inside the filter, fold it over a couple of times, moisten and then place inside a plastic baggie.  Keep the filter moist and the seed should start to sprout in no time.  You can also use filters to store seeds between planting.  Simply add the seeds and fold the filter until you have a nice little packet that can be tucked away.

Fire Starter

Take a coffee filter, soak it in cooking grease, and you now have a fire starter.  You can also douse it with alcohol, petroleum jelly or any other type of fuel to accomplish the same thing.  This something to consider if you don’t have any cotton, steel wool or enough flammable paper to get a fire started.

These are just a few examples of an endless list of ways that coffee filters can make life a lot easier during difficult times.  Best of all, they are cheap and easy to transport or store.  They take minimal space and can be included in everything from stockpiles to backpacks or Altoid tin survival kits.  Think of other ways that you can use filters and pass on some of your ideas to others so we can all benefit from incorporating them into our planning. 

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