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What Can I Use Instead Of A Coffee Filter?

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Oops. Someone used the last coffee filter. It wasn’t written on the board that you were getting low. You swore you had another pack. But you don’t, and now what are you supposed to do? There is no way you are getting through this day without coffee. So, what can I use instead of a coffee filter? A lot of things, apparently. We didn’t know there were so many options. Look around your house for some of these items.

Paper towel

The easiest. The most similar. The closest. A paper towel is basically a roll of coffee filters. They will do the same job in the same way. You probably don’t need to leave the house or ask a neighbor for one either.

You should have a roll on hand somewhere. You only need to line the filter part with paper towels. You can fold them to form a nice pocket for your coffee.

There is a catch though. You need to make sure you have those nice, fancy, organic paper towels without any patterns or characters on them. Otherwise, you’ll be brewing some lovely chemical-filled coffee.

Handkerchief or cloth

This is the same concept as the paper towel. If you have a small cloth or a handkerchief you don’t mind cutting up, then that’s perfect. You can also know that no grounds will get out into your coffee.

Also, make sure that the handkerchief is super clean, or else you will taste every bit of detergent or bleach, or whatever else you used to clean it, once you brew your coffee.

Tea bags

This one is probably our favorite. They are made to filter drinks, safe for you, and they are already doing the job. Whether you have a reusable tea filter or those special paper ones, you’ll be able to brew some coffee, too.

Put your grounds in the filter, pour in hot water, and there you go. The coffee might taste better since tea filters are made for steeping.


If you like to cook and bake at home, you probably have one of these in your kitchen somewhere. They are used for similar things, so they know how to do the job right. You can fold it to fit as needed, or cut if you have a few to spare.

You won’t have to worry about coffee grounds getting into your drink and you won’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals or anything else from the cloth. Using kitchen gadgets for other uses is about as easy and safe as you can get.

Other quick ideas

Honestly, getting a reusable filter would be the smartest idea if you drink a ton of coffee. The metal ones last forever, are easy to clean, and will save you a few bucks in the long run. You’ll never have to worry about not having a filter.

You could also keep a small container of instant around. That way you don’t even need a filter. You may not want that all of the time, but it’s good for emergencies.

Just please don’t use a sock, t-shirt, or another old clothing item. Who wants to drink swamp water anyway? Yuck. Promise us you won’t do that to the coffee.

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5 Effective Coffee Filter Substitutes Found in Your Home

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