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Reusing coffee filters is a great way to save money and the environment. But how safe is it?
There are advantages and disadvantages to reusing coffee filters.
Some people feel that it’s too high of a risk because of all the chemicals that seep into the filter when you make coffee.
They believe that by using a clean coffee filter, you’re filtering out everything and guaranteeing yourself a nice, clean cup of Joe every single time.
But is that exactly the case?
I will try my best to enlighten the readers of this article on what to expect by using a coffee filter more than once.
I will give you my personal opinion on this, and what you can expect if you choose to reuse your coffee filter.
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to using a reusable filter is the fact that because it’s reusable, it’s more economical.
However, many people are against this kind of thinking because it disregards the environment, which in turn disregards them by not putting their health first.
Well, let me bring to the table what I know about reusing coffee filters.
Can You Reuse Coffee Filters More Than Once?
As a new coffee drinker, I may feel you if you’re afraid to reuse your coffee filter more than once.
It might seem counter-productive, but it really is safe if you remember to take the simple precautions outlined in this article.
If you’re worried about how many times you can reuse your coffee filters before they become toxic, don’t be.
Believe it or not, your coffee filter is probably cleaner after making just one cup of coffee with it than an unused filter that has been exposed to the air for a long time.
That being said, using coffee filters more than once has become extremely common these days.
Because of this, coffee manufacturers have started investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into making their products more eco-friendly by introducing the reusable coffee filter.
Reusing your coffee filters come with certain cleaning and maintenance responsibilities.
If you don’t, and instead use the same coffee filter over and over again, you might be doing yourself a huge disservice.
Coffee filters are usually made of plastic material.
Although it’s safe to reuse a plastic coffee filter more than a few times, this material can allow coffee oils to leach into the filter and leave a foul taste if not cleaned properly.
With that being said, to be able to reuse your coffee filters without compromising on your coffee taste, make sure to clean them properly after each brew.
If you’re using a french press with a paper filter, you’ll have to use a paper filter each time.
Not very economical but the paper filters are not expensive at all.
But I also understand there are reusable paper filters for some Keurig brewers. But as long as paper is involved, I’d recommend using a new one after 2-3 brews (on the same day).
Paper filters are generally made from wood pulp, which will rot in the compost over time.
If you want to make sure that they are completely safe for composting, make sure that the paper is 100% plant-based.
I recommend these reusable coffee filters below:
- Hario V60 Paper Coffee Filters
- Rupert & Jeffrey’s Natural Unbleached Cone Coffee Filters (pack of 500)
- Pro Mael Cone Coffee Filters Paper
Reusing Coffee Filters – Reusable Types
If you’re using a reusable coffee filter, try to remember to take out the filter after each use and clean it thoroughly.
If you forget to take out the filter, the residue collected in the carafe will seep through and leave your coffee tasting bad.
Also, it’s recommended that you wash your coffee filter by hand to prevent any hard water spots from building up inside.
If you don’t, your coffee will taste like soap.
When washing your reusable coffee filters, there’s no need to soak the filter in water before rinsing it off.
You can use a washcloth to wipe it clean right away and avoid any chance of coffee stains.
How To Reuse Coffee Filters Safely?
Again, this is all up to you when it comes to what your personal choices are regarding what you’re putting into your body and the rest of the environment.
While there are people who do not mind reusing their coffee filters, there are also those who prefer a good quality cup of coffee every time they brew a pot.
Just remember that when you’re reusing a coffee filter, you’re exposing yourself to longer contact with sediments and oils from the coffee grinds.
As much as possible, try to do so by using the reusable filters only once or twice.
You can always buy bulk coffee filters if you know that you’ll be using them often.
Besides, think of all the money you’re saving when you’re reusing your coffee filters.
For cleaning, give your reusable filter a simple wipe down with a damp sponge or paper towel to get rid of any coffee residues. Dry after that.
First, check that the surface is free of residue and then place it next to a window or on a drying rack.
You can also use a paper towel to help speed up the drying process.
If you want to make the cleaning process easier, you can soak the coffee filter in warm water with a few drops of dish soap for a couple of minutes before rinsing off any coffee residue.
Ensure that the filter is completely dry before storing it away for future use.
You can also use some dishwasher liquid instead of dish soap to give your coffee filter a deeper clean.
Best Reusable Coffee Filters
So far, none of them have shown any kind of toxicity in any test done to date.
So, there’s no need to worry about whether or not you can safely reuse your coffee filter.
If you’re concerned, refer to the steps above and remember that reusing coffee filters is perfectly safe for humans.
Below is a small list of the best reusable coffee filters you can use depending on your coffee brewing methods or the coffee machine you own.
1. Keurig My K-Cup Reusable K-Cup Pod Coffee Filter
Made of plastic and paper, the Keurig My K-Cup Reusable K-Cup Filter is a reusable coffee filter set compatible with the K-Elite, K-Select, K-Classic, K-Slim, K-Mini, K-Mini Plus, K-Duo, K-Duo Plus, K-Duo Essentials, K-Cafe, K-Latte, Keurig Plus / 2.0 models.
The Keurig My K-Cup reusable coffee filters are super easy to clean and are dishwasher safe.
What is also great if you’re concerned about your health is that the filters are made from high-quality materials which are BPA-Free.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about reusing coffee filters more than once if you buy the Keurig My K-Cup Reusable K-Cup Pod Coffee Filter.
2. Nespresso Capsules Refillable For Original Line
Made from high-quality plastic, these capsules are also dishwasher safe and completely reusable.
If you just bought your Nespresso Coffee Maker and didn’t know at all about reusing coffee filters, this is good news.
Check this article if you want a longer list for the best reusable Nespresso pods.
3. EZBASICS Reusable K Cups
Want to get reusable coffee filters that you can use up to a 100 times?
The EZBASICS Reusable K Cups have an excellent design for easy cleaning.
These reusable coffee filters are compatible with Keurig K-Cup Coffee Machines and you can use them up to 100 times before replacing them.
They are also dishwasher safe so you don’t have to worry about not being able to clean them thoroughly.
The mesh filters are BPA-Free and high-quality so you don’t have to worry about reusing them either.
How Long Can You Use A Coffee Filter?
This depends on the type of filter that you’re using and how often you use them.
For best results, it’s recommended to keep reusing filters for a maximum of 5 times before disposing them in some way.
They may be contaminated by residues and oils from espressos and brews.
This means that you can prolong the life of the coffee filter by throwing them into the compost and letting it rot.
However, if you prefer to do so, you can always use them more than 5 times before disposing them away.
If you’re not sure how well you clean and wash your coffee filters, I recommend that you stick to using them up to 5 times and then washing and rinsing them thoroughly before storing them away for future use.
If you want to preserve the good quality of your reusable coffee filters, I recommend that every time you use a reusable coffee filter, turn it upside-down so the oil doesn’t drip back into your brewed coffee.
You can do this whether or not it’s been washed before being reused.
While there’s still no scientific evidence to prove whether or not reusing coffee filters is harmful, it’s much better to play safe and avoid any possible health risks by using reusable filters a few times only.
Especially for people with allergies and/or sensitive stomachs.
Final Thoughts on Reusing Coffee Filters
Now that you’re aware that reusing coffee filters that are plastic-made is absolutely safe, you should decide if that’s the kind of reusable coffee filter you prefer.
Just in case you want to save money and use fewer materials when it comes to brewing your coffee, you can definitely consider to start reusing coffee filters.