The first coffee filter was invented by German housewife Melitta Bentz back in 1908. Today, the company that bears her name produces millions of coffee filters every year. But coffee filters have a surprising number of uses that have nothing to do with coffee. And you can buy a big stack of filters at most discount stores for next to nothing. In many cases they're more convenient than paper towels, and can work out cheaper. Without further a do here are my top 24 uses for the lowly coffee filter.

  1. Bowl Covers
  2. Coffee filters make excellent covers when heating things in in the microwave. Keep a few handy and pop one on the next time you need a hot snack.

  3. Window Cleaning
  4. Since coffee filters are lint-free they leave your glass, mirrors and chrome fixtures sparkling.

  5. Dish Protection
  6. Place a coffee filter between each dish to prevent scratching and chips. Also works great to protect non-stick surfaces on cooking pans.

  7. Wine Filter
  8. There's nothing more frustrating than a broken cork in a wine bottle. Simply pass the wine through a coffee filter. Cork is removed, wine taste is preserved.

  9. Cast-iron Skillets
  10. Coffee filters absorb moisture and prevent rusting. Leave one in an iron skillet between uses.

  11. Shoe Polish Applicator
  12. Roll a coffee filter up into a ball for a quick and easy lint-free shine.

  13. Cooking Oil Recycling
  14. Use a sieve lined with a coffee filter to strain used cooking oil. Oil can be used again.

  15. Disposable Food Container
  16. During food preparation a quick and easy container for dry ingredients or when chopping vegetables and fruit. Saves time on clean up also.

  17. Food Wrapper
  18. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers to hold messy foods such as tacos. Keeps clothes from getting stained.

  19. House Plant Soil Leaks
  20. Line the plant pot with a coffee filter to stop soil from leaking out of the drainage holes.

  21. Popsicle Drips
  22. Poke a hole in the center of the filter and slide the popsicle stick through. Great on a hot summer's day.

  23. Eyebrow Waxing Strips
  24. Skip the expensive strips to wax your eyebrows. Can some from a coffee filter instead.

  25. Grease Filter
  26. Put French fries, fried bacon, chicken fingers, etc in a coffee filter to soak out the grease.

  27. Razor Nicks
  28. Leave a few in the bathroom. They're great for dealing with "razor nicks."

  29. Fabric Backing
  30. Coffee filters make excellent backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics that is easy to remove.

  31. Odor Eater
  32. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and place in a closet or fridge to absorb unwanted odors.

  33. Kitchen Strainer
  34. Coffee filters can be used to strain stock or as a holder for fresh herbs to put in soups and stews.

  35. Pouring Funnel
  36. Cone filters make great pouring funnels when you need to add fluids to your car.

  37. Spoon Rest
  38. A quick and clean spoon rest when cooking and can be used to mop up small counter spills.

  39. Christmas Ornaments
  40. Wrap Christmas ornaments in a coffee filter for safe, scratch free storage.

  41. Polish Remover
  42. Can be used to remove fingernail polish when you're out of cotton balls.

  43. Seed Nursery
  44. Dampen coffee filter and then place seeds inside. Fold and store in a plastic zip-lock until they sprout.

  45. Pressed Flowers
  46. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and press using a heavy phone book.

  47. Disposable Snack Bowl
  48. Great for popcorn, chips, etc.