Did you know that coffee filters can be used for more than just, well, filtering coffee? They’re actually a versatile tool that can be useful in all sorts of situations, including some unexpected ones.
There are few things in life more essential than coffee. From getting us out of bed in the morning to providing a much-needed pick-me-up in the afternoon, coffee is there for us when we need it most.
But did you know that coffee filters can be used for more than just brewing a pot of joe?
That’s right—coffee filters can actually be quite handy in a survival situation. Here are just a few of the many uses for coffee filters.
Insulate Your Home
In a pinch, coffee filters can be used to insulate your home.
If you have a drafty window or door, cut a coffee filter to size and tape it over the opening. This will help keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Coffee filters soaked in wax make great fire starters.
They’ll light easily and burn for a long time.
Simply soak the coffee filter in wax, let it dry, and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.
Spills happen—but that doesn’t mean they have to ruin your clothes or belongings.
If you accidentally spill something, simply place a coffee filter over the spill and blot it up with a paper towel.
The absorbent nature of the coffee filter will soak up the vast majority of the liquid, sparing your clothes or furniture from being ruined.
Sore Throat Relief
Soak a coffee filter in warm water, then lay it over your throat like a compress. The warmth and moisture from the compress will help to soothe a sore throat.
If you don’t have any bug spray on hand, coffee filters can be used as a makeshift mosquito net.
Simply poke holes in the center of the filter and slip it over your head like a hood. The tiny holes will keep bugs out while still allowing you to breathe comfortably.
Got ashes on your clothing or in your hair? No problem! Just rub them away with a dry coffee filter.
Coffee filters can also be used to remove unwanted odors—simply place one inside shoes or to absorb unpleasant smells. For a better result, you can also add baking soda inside the coffee filters.
Use It To Apply Calamine Lotion
Hate getting calamine lotion all over your hands? Place a generous dollop on a coffee filter and use that to apply the lotion instead. The filter will absorb any excess lotion so it doesn’t end up on your skin, clothes, or towels.
Cloth Diaper Liner
New to cloth diapering? Coffee filters make great liners because they’re cheap, disposable, and biodegradable.
Just place one inside the diaper before putting it on your baby to catch any solid waste. When you’re done, simply remove the liner (and its contents) and wash as usual.
Coffee filters can be used as bandages or dressings for wounds.
The absorbent nature of the filter will help to soak up blood and other fluids, while the paper material will keep the wound clean and protected from infection.
Pre-Filter Water You’ve Collected
Use them as a pre-filter when collecting water.
Coffee filters can be used to remove large particles from water before running it through your main water filter.
Use It To Write Notes
Ever run out of paper and need something to write on in a hurry? Just grab a coffee filter.
The thin paper is perfect for jotting down notes or lists, and you can even fold it up and take it with you in your pocket or purse.
Keep Produce Fresh
Line your fruit bowl or vegetable crisper with coffee filters to help keep your produce fresh longer. The filters will absorb excess moisture, preventing mold and rot from setting in.
Pet Food Dish
Don’t have a pet bowl on hand but need to feed Fido in a hurry? No problem.
Related: DIY Dog Treats That Last A Long Time
Just grab a coffee filter and set it on the floor with some food in the center. Your pup will be able to chow down without making too much of a mess.
Dry Wet Clothing
Place wet items inside of a coffee filter and then set them in the sun or close to a fire to dry out. The coffee filter will help absorb some of the moisture so your clothes dry faster.
Keep Soil In The Pot
Coffee filters make great transient liners for pots full of soil.
Simply line the pot with the filter before adding your soil and plants.
When it’s time to transplant them into a larger pot or into the ground, the filter will prevent the soil from falling out.
Make A Portable Food Wrapper
Going camping? Pack up some sandwiches wrapped in coffee filters for convenient transportation.
The paper is strong enough to prevent leaks and tears, but lightweight enough that it won’t add too much bulk or weight to your bag.
Make A Survival Straw
Make a survival straw out of them. This is a great way to filter water on the go. Simply cut the top and bottom off of a coffee filter and then roll it into a cone shape.
Cut a small slit in the bottom and then insert one end of a drinking straw. Sucking the water up through the straw and enjoying filtered water wherever you are.
Make A Cold Compress
Soak a coffee filter in cold water and then apply it to a bruise or insect bite to help reduce swelling.
Make A Funnel
Cut the bottom off of a coffee filter to make a funnel for easily pouring liquids into small containers.
Trap Cooking Grease
Place a coffee filter over the top of your pan while cooking to trap grease splatters.
Sprout Garden Seeds
Want to start a medicinal herb garden? Just soak the seeds overnight, then place them on a filter moistened with water. Fold up the filter and place it in a resealable baggie.
If you don’t know where to start, here’s a kit that has the 10 medicinal herbs you need to have in a crisis.
Store Garden Seeds
Once your gardening season is over, save some seeds from your best-performing plants so you can replant them next year.
Place the seeds on a dry coffee filter, then fold up the filter and store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until spring arrives.
Use To Make Tea
If you don’t have any tea bags on hand but still want to enjoy a cup of hot tea, improvise by using a coffee filter instead.
Place your favorite loose tea leaves inside the filter, then secure it closed with string or a rubber band before steeping in hot water as usual.
Keep Insects Out Of Food
Place a coffee filter over the top of your food to keep insects out while in storage.
Protect Skillets From Rust
Place a coffee filter in the bottom of your skillet before storing it away to protect it from rusting.
Make An Oil Lamp
If you need light but don’t have any candles, you can easily make an oil lamp.
Just take a coffee filter and roll it up. Fill a glass jar with some vegetable oil and soak the coffee filter all the way inside.
This will provide light for a few hours.
Use As A Disposable Bowl or Plate
When you’re short on dishes, coffee filters make great disposable bowls or plates. Just be careful not to put too much weight on them or they will collapse.
Use In Place Of Rags Or Towels
Coffee filters can be used in place of rags or towels when cleaning up spills. They’re also great for dusting furniture or cleaning the windows.
Use As Emergency Toilet Paper
And most importantly, if you run out of toilet paper, coffee filters make excellent emergency toilet paper. Just be sure to dispose of them properly afterward.
Make A Pair Of Gloves
If you find yourself without gloves and need to do something that would normally require them, like changing a tire or cleaning something dirty, cut two holes near the top of two separate coffee filters large enough for your hands to fit through. Wear these “gloves” while performing your task and then dispose of them when you’re done.
As you can see, there are all sorts of ways to use coffee filters beyond just making coffee.
So next time you’re stuck in a bind, reach for a coffee filter and put it to good use. You may just be surprised at how handy they can be.
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