15 Coffee Filter Hacks for Camping and RV Lifestyle

Did you know a simple paper coffee filter can provide many other uses other than for brewing coffee? We’ve found quite a few coffee filter hacks that can be used not only in your household but also in RVs and camping.

There are countless creative ways to use paper coffee filters that can save you money, cleanup time and they’re earth friendly. But, since we’re all about RVing, let’s see how we can utilize them in our RVs and while camping.

Creative Coffee Filter Hacks for Camping

Creative Coffee Filter Camping Hacks

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Why coffee filters come in brown or white?

Paper Coffee Filters

 

You’ve probably noticed paper coffee filters come in two colors; white and natural brown. The coffee filters we’re going to share our tips about are round when flattened. They are pleated to create a bowl shape that fits inside the coffee filter holder in an automatic coffee maker to make cleanup easier.

Now, regarding the differences between the two colors, white filters are what most coffee drinkers use because they are cheaper and the most available. Though they are less expensive, they’re not as earth-friendly and can affect your health. White coffee filters undergo a manufacturing process using chlorine bleach to whiten them. 

According to Black Out Coffee, “Readers of an Oklahoma online news source were informed this week that the tea bags and coffee filters they use to brew their favorite hot beverages might contain a toxic and possibly carcinogenic chemical called epichlorohydrin. This unpronounceable chemical, in contact with water, forms a known cancer-causing agent.”

And Coffee Affection states, “Paper filters reduce the amount of cafestol, a coffee oil that’s been implicated in raising cholesterol levels, that makes it into your cup. On the other hand, bleached paper filters may leach dioxin, a hazardous chemical used in bleaching, into your coffee.”

However, if you do prefer the white, consider buying the unbleached oxygen-whitened coffee filters as they are better for the environment and your health.

Natural brown coffee filters are more durable because they’ve not gone through the bleaching process which makes them stronger for other uses. And because they’ve not been exposed to chemicals, the brown filters are much better for the environment. Of course, they do come with a bigger price tag.

So I guess, depending on what you’re going to use them for may dictate which paper coffee filters you’ll want to use.

But since we’re not using them to brew coffee with these coffee filter hacks, at least you won’t have to worry about those health concerns.

Okay, enough of the science of it all, let’s get right to our coffee filter hacks!

Prevent Food Splatters 

Coffee Filter Microwave Splatter Cover
Photo Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Amongst Kitchn’s brilliant coffee filter hacks, the’ve shown how you can place a single paper coffee filter to cover dishes or bowls in the microwave to prevent splatters; making cleanup much easier!

Cleaning the Microwave Oven

But, adding to the above filter hack, we have another helpful tip incorporating the use of coffee filters. Even if you do have to clean the inside of your microwave oven, you can actually use coffee filters to clean it. Mix a half water, half white vinegar into a spray bottle. Then, spray the vinegar mixture onto two or three coffee filters until they’re soaking wet. Place them on the plate in your microwave and zap it for minute. Open it up and use the wet filters to clean the inside! Be careful, they may be hot to touch. Use a dry filter to dry. VOILA!

Cleaning RV windows & mirrors

Coffee Filter Window Cleaning
Photo courtesy of First for Women

First for Women magazine recommends using coffee filters for cleaning your windows; including your own RV windows and mirrors.

“Using coffee filters to clean windows is simple: Spray a glass surface with cleaner and wipe away the liquid with a coffee filter. We recommend using multiple filters to increase absorption, as well as buying extra-large filters (which were intended for use in restaurants), as these will cover more surface area.”

Since coffee filters are lint free, you’ll be able to look into the mirror or out the window without a speck of dust or streaks.

Cast Iron Cookware Moisture Absorbers

Coffee Filter in Cast Iron

The home renovation guru’s from This Old House shares “place a coffee filter inside a cast-iron skillet to absorb excess moisture when it’s not in use.”

And LifeHacker shares in their coffee filter hacks article, “Lifestyle TV host Mar Jennings’ solution is lining cast iron pans with coffee filters to suck of the liquid and grease in storage. Lining the pans with coffee filters soaks up excess water and grease which keeps it from rusting out quickly.

Check out our article Why Cast Iron Cooking on Campfires is a GOOD thing!

Keep pots and pans from clanging together down the road

Coffee Filter in Pots and Pans
Photo courtesy of Instructables Living

In addition to helping to prevent your cast iron skillet and dutch oven from rusting, put a coffee filter between all of your RV pots and pans so they don’t slide and scratch the cooking surfaces while you’re driving your motorhome down the road. They also help with preventing noise from them clanging together on bumpy roads.

Protect your dinner plates

Coffee Filter Plate
Photo courtesy of One Good Thing from their 11 Awesome Things You Can Do With A Simple Coffee Filter

Just like placing a single paper coffee filter between each of your pots and pans, you can apply the same creative tactic to your RV’s bowls and dinnerware. It will help protect surfaces from being scratched as well as keep them from rattling together in your kitchen cabinets or drawers in your camper.

Sandwich Wrappers

Why spend money on expensive fancy napkins or bulky paper plates when you’re camping? Instead,  use a single coffee filter to hold a taco or wrap a filter around hot dogs and hamburgers in their buns. If your taco breaks or your hamburger leaks ketchup, it goes right into your makeshift food sleeve. They also are great to hold sticky S’mores or campfire piesAnd, they can clean up faces and fingers just the same as a paper napkin.

Coffee filters are cheaper than paper plates and napkins, lighter in weight for your RV (remember your RV’s GVWR). When you’re finished with them, like a napkin, they can be thrown into the campfire.

Disposable Paper Snack Bowl

Coffee Filter Paper Snack Bowl
Image by Naomi Imatome-Yun/Food Hacks

Paper bowls are pricy for one-time use for candy, chips, popcorn or nuts. But, paper coffee filters cost only pennies in comparison. And they soak up any oils or butter and those messy orange Cheetos dust  too! When they finish their chips or buttery popcorn, they can just wipe their hands and toss into the campfire or waste basket.

Disposable Fruit and Vegetable Bowl

After rinsing your berries and grape tomatoes, place your clean fruit and vegetables in a single paper coffee filter liner in a bowl. The filter will absorb the excess moisture from your produce. And, it will save you from having to wash bowls. After bagging or serving your fruit or veggies, wipe down your sink and toss the used coffee filter in the trash.

Ice Cream Drip Catcher

Dripping Ice Cream Cone

Don’t you hate it when your ice cream cone melts faster than you can eat it? Or, your child’s popsicle drips all over their fingers even before leaving your RV?

Just place your the bottom of your ice cream cone in the center of a single paper filter and draw up the rest of the filter up around the cone. And for those popsicles, simply poke a small hole into the center of a coffee filter and slide the popsicle stick through them to catch drips. After you’re finished enjoying your icy sweet treats, your filter is your napkin to dab your lips and their messy faces.

Soaking up excess oils

Greasy Bacon

Since coffee filters are incredibly absorbent, they make great oil blotters for fried foods such as french fries, bacon, burgers and sausage patties, chicken nuggets, etc. And since they are round and can be flattened, they fit right into pots and pans or onto plates perfectly.

And, if you love to fry bacon or other greasy foods, the large commercial size coffee filters are absolutely perfect for stacking between layers of food to absorb the oil.

Dehumidifier Sachets

Homemade Shoe Deodorizers
Image by Home Hacks

Place a single charcoal briquette in the middle of a coffee filter, gather around and tie with string. Make a bunch of them! Put one in your shoes or boots, toolbox, outside compartments, bathroom cabinet, kitchen drawers, and several in your clothes closet and drawers! They will help absorb moisture in humid areas.

Read more: How to Stop Condensation in Your RV

Deodorizing Sachets

Deodorizer sachets
Image by PopSugar
 If you’d like to make your shoes and boots, drawers, cabinets and closets smelling great, instead of using a charcoal briquette, put about two tablespoons of lightly scented fabric softener beads in the center and tie it  up like the previous deodorizers. If you’re more good health-minded, instead use baking soda with a few drops of therapeutic grade essential oils. I use Young Living Purification oil blend.

For you crafty types: Smell Amazing With Scented Coffee-Filter Sachets

Refrigerator Air Freshener

Speaking of absorbing odors, spoon a couple tablespoons of baking soda into a coffee filter, gather and tie with a wire twist tie or piece of string. Put one in the refrigerator, freezer, closet or drawers. Stick one under each of your car or truck seat. You can even stuff them into your shoes to absorb odors.

Disposable Spoon Rest

Why dirty a dish to rest your cooking utensils on after stirring your camper’s stew? Simply lay your dirty utensils on one or two. Easy peasy cleanup without dirty dishes or spoon-rest.

 

Basket Coffee Filters – Brown 100/Pack

Coffee Filter Pack - Brown

Basket Coffee Filters – White 100/Pack

Coffee Filter Pack - White

Final thoughts on these creative coffee filter hacks

As you can see, those paper coffee filters are an amazing multi-purpose option to use while camping or everyday RV lifestyle. Replace those expensive and bulky paper plates, napkins and paper towels with simple paper coffee filters.

They are super thrifty and totally lightweight. And, they take up room in your cabinets (which is crucial for RVing) or the trash can. And best of all, those paper filters are biodegradable and campfire friendly.

I’m sure once you start using these simple little camping hacks, you’ll find more uses for them inside and outside of your RV or camper!

Harold Coffee Filter Separator

Coffee Filter Separator

Coffee Filter Storage Container

Coffee Filter Storage Container

Coffee Filter Dispenser Rack with Cover

Coffee Filter Holder

Check out our other RV Tips and Camping Hacks

Top 20 Cheap RV and Camping Hacks on a Dime

20 Cheap RV Hacks that Keeps Your Camper Organized and Tidy

Minimalist Shopping Hacks for RV Living and Van Life

10 RV Kitchen Hacks Make Cooking and Cleanup More Fun!

Coffee Filter Camping Hacks

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