The First Thing You Should Do with a New Stack of Coffee Filters

updated Aug 27, 2021
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New bag of coffee filters on the kitchen counter
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Raise your hand if you’ve been going through more coffee filters than usual lately? Yes, there are some people who swear by reusable filters (usually a mesh, stainless steel basket with fine holes to allow the water — but not the grinds— to pass through), but we know that lots of people swear by the convenience of paper filters. And we almost always have a stack of filters on hand, too, either for the coffee machine or an off-label use (see: 3 Brilliant Uses for Coffee Filters That’ll Actually Save You Time and Money).

Because we figure many of you are likely buying a new sleeve or box right about now, we thought it’d be a good time to share this one super-smart tip. The next time you buy a new pack of coffee filters, pull a few out before you put them away … and turn them into room deodorizers.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Use a Coffee Filter to Make a Room Deodorizer

Simply separate out a filter (you can use the basket shape pictured above or the cone-shaped ones), add a few tablespoons of baking soda, and then use a twist tie or rubber band to close it up. Then, strategically place the pouches around the house. Maybe put one in the coat closet, one behind the sofa, and one in the bathroom behind the trash can. The idea is that you’ve created a few inexpensive odor absorbers to, well, absorb bad smells where they tend to linger.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why does this work? Baking soda is both an odor absorber and an odor neutralizer. “When odors are around baking soda, they turn into a salt, which is not able to volatilize in the air where it would come in contact with our noses, making any odors undetectable,” Dr. Steven A. Bolkan, the director of research and development at Church & Dwight (Arm & Hammer Baking Soda’s parent company) once told us. It’s the same reason many of you keep an opened box of baking soda in your fridge. And it’s like this old tip we have about stashing baking soda-filled lemon halves around your house, only a lot more manageable.

Your coffee filter sachets will help keep the area fresh for a week or so and you can always open them up to empty and reload the baking soda.

Do you have any other smart uses for coffee filters? Share them in the comments below.