Top 10 Survival Uses For Coffee Filters

A major survival skill to have is being able to take ordinary items around your house and re-applying those items into a number of different survival uses.



One such household item that you may have never thought could help you in a survival situation is a coffee filter. Due to the high popularity of coffee, coffee filters are very common items in homes, which makes knowing how to use them for survival only more important.

Here are the top ten survival uses for coffee filters:


1. Water Filter

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Who says you have to use a coffee filter as, well, a coffee filter? Why can’t you use it as a water filter instead?

While knowing how to find water is certainly a valuable survival situation, knowing how to purify and filter that water you collect is equally as important. Drinking contaminated water can potentially end up being more dangerous than not drinking any water whatsoever.

While running water through a coffee filter will not get rid of the harmful bacteria that you cannot see, it will get rid of much of the visible offending substances that you can see. In fact, running your water through a coffee filter to get rid of the visible particles and then placing a water purification tablet in it for thirty minutes to eliminate the bacteria should make it safe to drink.

2. Food Covering


Keeping your food covered, especially when you’re outdoors, is important so you don’t let mosquitoes, flies, or other insects get on it. Coffee filters are a very quick and inefficient way to keep your food covered both for storage and transportation.

3. Fire Starter


In addition to carrying fire starting devices with you such as a lighter or a box of matches, you also need to carry something that is highly flammable so you can easily get a fire going when it’s cold, wet, windy, and/or rainy outside.


Coffee filters are highly flammable and even more so when you soak them in cooking grease, hand sanitizer, Vaseline, or lip balm. Carry a coffee filter in a Ziploc bag to keep it protected, and then use it as fire tinder to get a fire going quickly.

4. Makeshift Bandage


Any kind of wound is serious in a survival situation, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. If you allow the smallest of cuts to become infected, your survival efforts will be inhibited significantly.

If you don’t have any bandages or gauze pads with you, you might believe that you’re out of luck, but fortunately a coffee filter will serve as an excellent alternative if you have one available. Use the coffee filter to cover the entire open wound. You can then secure it with vine, paracord, or tape.

5. Air Freshener

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Here’s a survival hack that few people are aware of: take a coffee filter and fill it up with baking soda. Tie the coffee filter shut with string, and then it will absorb literally any kind of foul odor in a room or contained space.

If you make several of these, you can then set them up strategically to keep any bad smells down both inside or outside. While it’s not a lifesaving survival skill any means, it certainly is an excellent makeshift alternative to actual air freshener.

6. Cooking Grease Absorber


You can use a coffee filter to absorb cooking great by resting it under any kind of meat that you are cooking (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, venison, etc.) You won’t want to waste this grease as you can then use it for a variety of survival purposes, but probably the most useful one will be to use it to get a fire going (cooking grease is highly flammable).

7. Cool Compress


Do you have a headache but no kind of medication for it? Simply take a coffee filter and soak it in water before laying down and resting it over your head. The coolness will help calm down your headache and give you a chance to get some rest.

Placing a cool compress over your head like this isn’t just something you want to do for headaches. It’s also something you want to do after you’ve sustained an injury of any kind. If you or anyone else in your survival group has suffered a broken limb or an open flesh wound, for example, after treating the wound itself have the victim lie down and apply a coffee filter soaked in water to their forehead. This will help prevent a headache from setting in and also help them to get some badly needed rest.

8. Gardening

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It’s perfectly possible to sprout some seeds with little more than a coffee filter, a Ziploc bag, a little water, and some sunlight. This is another fun DIY project, but it can also help you grow crops and herbs both indoors and outdoors as well. The best thing about this project is it does not require soil like most gardening methods do.

Simply take a seed or two and place it in a coffee filter that has been dampened with some water. Fold your coffee filter to cover the seeds, and then place the coffee filter in a Ziploc bag. Shut the Ziploc bag and place it under a relatively dim area that still receives sunlight.

At that point, just be patient and you’ll have a seed sprouting in a few days.

9. Paper Towel/Napkin Alternative

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This one is simple: if you’ve run out of paper towels or napkins or if any are not available, just use a coffee filter instead!

10. Toilet Paper Alternative


Finally, toilet paper is going to be a precious commodity in any survival or disaster scenario, but if you run out of it you’re going to need to turn to alternatives. Think about it, an ordinary coffee filter is going to be one of the best toilet paper alternatives out there.


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nick-oetken is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival