You might rely on coffee filters to help give you the boost of caffeine you need from your daily pot of java, but you can get even more use out of them.
Prolong the life of celery.
Topped with peanut butter or dipped in hummus, celery is a go-to snack. The only problem? It often wilts before you get the chance to finish it all. The simple way to keep celery fresh: Wrap washed stalks in coffee filters, place in a sealed zip-top bag and store in the fridge. The filters will absorb any moisture inside the bag, keeping the crunchers crunchy!
Get beautifully smooth legs.
You already heated the wax from your at-home spa kit when you realize you’re out of strips. Reach for coffee filters instead! Cut each filter into a few strips and press over the warm wax. The filters’ fibers are woven together so tightly, they can withstand being yanked just as much as professional strips.
Rust-proof your cast-iron skillet.
You recently splurged on a new cast iron skillet, and you don’t want it to rust when it’s stashed away. To keep it in good condition, wipe the pan clean after each use and place a flattened fresh coffee filter on its inside surface. Then store in a cool, dry place with the lid off. The filter will soak up any rust-inducing moisture, guaranteeing the skillet stays in tip-top shape.
Leave windows crystal-clear.
The simple secret to getting spotless and streak-free windows: coffee filters! Simply spray the window with glass cleaner, then use a filter or two to wipe the glass clean and dry. The texture and close-knit fibers of coffee filters will lift grime and absorb the cleaning liquid to reduce streaking. Bonus: Unlike paper towels, sturdy coffee filters won’t leave lint behind.
Keep a kitty entertained.
Bust your sweetie’s boredom with a catnip-infused coffee filter. Crumple up coffee filters and shake them in a catnip-filled baggie. Remove and toss to her. The filter’s strong woven fibers retain the catnip scent for hours, so Mittens will have a blast batting her new “toy” around the house.
Banish shoe odors overnight.
All of those fun strolls outside have left your sneakers a bit stinky! The fix: Add 2 tsp. of baking soda to the center of two coffee filters. Secure closed with a rubber band and place one in each shoe. The porous filters will allow the baking soda to deodorize the shoes.
Prevent messy microwave splatters.
Ugh! Last time you reheated leftover pasta marinara in the microwave, red sauce splattered all over the place, leaving a mess to clean up. The secret to preventing spills: Loosely “tent” the bowl with a coffee filter when you pop it in the microwave. The filter will act as a lid to keep the sauce from splashing out, and its pores will allow steam to escape so your food won’t overheat.
Make lipstick last for hours.
The next time you add some pop to your smile with a gorgeous lip color, guarantee it looks fresh and flawless for hours with this pro secret: After applying lipstick, blot lips gently with a coffee filter, then lay it over lips and brush on a bit of face powder. The filter lets just enough powder through to set the color, and it won’t leave lips fuzzy like a tissue can.
Ensure drilling without dust.
You want to hang a few framed pictures around your house but don’t want tiny bits of drywall scattered all over your floor. To prevent a mess, poke the drill bit through the center of a coffee filter, with the paper forming a “cup” at the wall, then drill. Any scraps will be caught in the filter before they hit the floor. Problem solved!
Repot plants sans soil spillage.
To ensure soil doesn’t leak out of the bottom of any new houseplants you buy, try this: Place a coffee filter or two in the bottom of the flowerpot before adding the dirt and the plant. The porous paper will allow water to drain while keeping all of the soil—and its nutrients—inside of the pot where it belongs.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.