The Humble Coffee Filter Is Perfect For Sopping Up Greasy Spills

Brown coffee filters on white background
Brown coffee filters on white background - JIANG HONGYAN/Shutterstock

Nobody likes cleaning up greasy spills -- it seems like no matter how many times you wipe the grease off of your stove, it just won't come off. Instead, it smears all over the ceramic/glass and creates an even bigger mess. Next time you're carrying out the tedious task of eliminating grease, reach for a coffee filter instead of a paper towel. Coffee filters are ideal for cleaning a greasy kitchen and are also perfect for preventing grease from spilling all over your clothes/car from, let's say, a greasy burger or pizza slice you're holding. After all, paper coffee filters absorb a lot of the oil (and grounds) from coffee, so why wouldn't they work to absorb grease from food? In addition to doing a great job of wiping up and absorbing grease, they have the added benefit of being super affordable, generally cheaper than paper towels.

When choosing which paper coffee filter to use for your greasy spills, any shape or color should do. Disposable coffee filters typically come in a cone or basket shape, bleached or unbleached, and are made of lightweight, tightly woven paper. Although they have undergone a chemical process to give them their bright, white color, bleached coffee filters are generally considered safe to use. Both unbleached and bleached coffee filters are technically biodegradable (if they are 100% paper), although the bleached ones can leave behind traces of chemicals, so keep this in mind if you compost.

Read more: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Should Be Doing With Bacon

The Best Ways To Use Coffee Filters For Absorbing Grease

Slices of bacon on cutting board over coffee filter
Slices of bacon on cutting board over coffee filter - New Africa/Shutterstock

You might wonder, why not just use a paper towel to sop up grease? While everyone has varying opinions, some find they work better than paper towels to absorb grease. Case in point: one Redditor posted in the Life Pro Tips subreddit, "Coffee filters make excellent grease catchers/absorbers," pointing out that their "husband is a chef and always orders extra to use in his kitchen." This Redditor also finds that coffee filters "work even better than paper towels when draining bacon and other greasy things." While the jury is still out on whether they work better than paper towels, coffee filters are extremely effective for sopping up grease -- such as covering your food and preventing greasy splatter in the microwave, as another user pointed out (as well as a whole mixed bag of other uses from cleaning electronics to repairing a broken fingernail).

Besides using them as perfectly shaped food wrappers for your greasy burgers or tacos and as splatter-catchers for the microwave, another great use for paper coffee filters is as liners for bowls and plates of greasy foods, like bacon or french fries. Simply stick one in a bowl or cut it to make it lie flat on a plate and pile your greasy food on top. The paper filter works wonders for soaking up the extra, unwanted grease. They are also perfect for lining your air fryer to absorb the grease, making clean-up faster.

Other Clever Ways To Use Coffee Filters For Messy Foods

Melted popsicle on counter
Melted popsicle on counter - Happy cake Happy cafe/Shutterstock

Coffee filters are ideal for wiping up and preventing greasy spills, but they also have loads of other unexpected uses. For instance, nothing says tasty, nostalgic summer treat more than a popsicle. But, they're also notorious for dripping down the sides of kids' hands, creating a sticky mess that no parent wants to deal with. Whether you're enjoying one for yourself on a hot day or handing one off to a kid, try using a coffee filter to prevent an unwanted mess. Simply cut a slit in the middle of the paper filter, stick the popsicle through it, and voilà -- the coffee filter will catch the drips instead of your hands or floor.

Another great thing about coffee filters is that, unlike paper towels, they don't leave lint behind, making them perfect for greasing a cake pan with butter or shortening. You can also enjoy snacks on the go with an easy coffee filter hack -- instead of using paper bowls or sealable plastic snack bags, use coffee filters as a cheaper alternative to hold your trail mix, popcorn, carrot sticks, grapes, and more. A coffee filter hack for avoiding a gross clogged kitchen sink involves placing the filter on top of your drain to catch any debris from your food prep (peeling potatoes or carrots, for instance). You can even consider using them as a parchment paper substitute in a pinch.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.