The Many Second Lives of Coffee Grounds Filters
- Most coffee filters can be reused at least four or five times before they stop working effectively. So don’t be afraid to dump the old coffee grounds out and stick the used filter back into your coffee machine. For best results, rinse off the filter and let it dry before reuse.
- Used coffee filters have a natural aged patina that make them ideal for all kinds of craft and art projects. Kids and adults alike will enjoy making projects like garlands of coffee filter flowers, collaged eco art or even high-end decorator lampshades.
- Keep soil from leaking out of pots and planters by lining them with used coffee filters. You may need to cut the filter to make it fit, but it’s okay if the material folds up the sides of the container. This is a great way to contain the mess but still allow proper aeration of the plant roots. Works indoors or out.
- Germinate seeds – Fold a clean, used coffee filter and put your seeds inside. Moisten the filter and put it in a plastic bag or container until the seeds sprout. Transfer the seeds to soil as soon as the roots start to show.
- Strain kitchen grease – Preserve your cooking grease by filtering it between uses. Just secure a clean, used coffee filter around the mouth of a jar and carefully pour cooled grease through it. This works best if the filter is loose in the middle, so it doesn’t pool over the sides.
- Splatter guard – Protect the inside of your microwave from splatters by covering food with an old coffee filter. Keep a stack by the microwave so they’ll be read whenever you need them.
- Stack things – Use clean, used coffee filters between dishes when you stack your fine china, to protect it from excess wear and chipping. This works great to protect cast iron skillets from rust, too.
- Un-stink shoes – Pour baking soda into a used coffee filter and tie it into a bundle. Put your homemade sachet into the toe of a shoe to get rid of unpleasant odours.
- Spoon rest – Keep your counters clean while you cook.
- Sewing backing – If you embroider or do other sewing that requires a paper backing, a used coffee filter is a great tear-away backing material. Just be sure it’s well-rinsed and dried first so you don’t accidentally stain your fabric.
- Store ornaments – If you’ve got Christmas ornaments or other delicate decorations to store away, wrap them in used coffee filters to protect them from rattling around in the box.
- Table décor – Clean coffee filters and dry them flat before using them as shabby-chic table décor. Lay the filter over the plate like a doily for a warm, vintage look.