Making your own toilet paper from used coffee filters is an innovative way to reduce waste and save money. With just a few simple steps and materials, you can create a functional, environmentally friendly toilet paper alternative right at home.
Why Make Toilet Paper From Coffee Filters?
There are several benefits to recycling used coffee filters into toilet paper:
Sustainability: Reusing coffee filters keeps them out of landfills and reduces your environmental impact. On average, a single person in the U.S. uses around 100 rolls of toilet paper per year. That adds up to a lot of waste. Making your own reduces this waste.
Cost savings: Purchasing toilet paper adds up over time. Making your own from a material you already have (used coffee filters) is an effective way to save money.
Customization: You can control the thickness, softness, and size of your homemade toilet paper. Tailor it to your exact preferences.
No chemicals: Most conventional toilet paper contains chemicals for bleaching and processing. When you make it yourself, you avoid these chemicals.
What You’ll Need
Making DIY toilet paper requires just a few simple materials:
- Used coffee filters
- Screens/mesh (like reusable fruit/vegetable bag material)
- Cookie sheet or tray
- Parchment paper
You’ll also need patience as it takes time for the paper to dry after blending. But otherwise, the process is straightforward.
How to Make the Toilet Paper
Follow these steps to turn used coffee filters into toilet paper:
Step 1: Collect and Soak the Used Coffee Filters
Accumulate used coffee filters over time. Most standard coffee filters work well. You’ll need a lot, likely hundreds of filters for each batch you make.
Place the used filters in a bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes to soften. The longer they soak, the better.
Step 2: Blend the Filters With Additional Water
Drain the soaked coffee filters and place them in a blender.
Add enough water to allow the blender blades to move and blend thoroughly. About 2 cups of water per 1 cup of soaked coffee filters usually works well. But add gradually.
Blend on high speed until the coffee filter pulp forms a slurry consistency.
Step 3: Spread the Pulp Onto Screens
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place a screen/mesh on top. This provides drainage and airflow.
Evenly spread the blended coffee filter pulp/slurry in a thin layer onto the screen. The thinner you can spread it, the faster it will dry.
Repeat to fill more cookie sheets if needed. Make sure each layer is thin.
Step 4: Allow the Pulp to Dry
Allow the blended pulp to dry completely. This can take 1-2 days.
To speed drying, you can place the trays in a sunny spot or gently blow air over them. Turn the pulp over halfway through drying.
The pulp is ready when it peels cleanly off the screen in a thin, papery sheet.
Step 5: Cut into Toilet Paper Sheets
Once dry, you can peel the pulp off the screens in whole pieces.
Use scissors or a craft blade to cut the dried pulp into rectangular toilet paper sized sheets.
Stack and store the finished toilet paper sheets until needed.
And that’s it! With just these steps, you can make your own functional toilet paper at home using an item – coffee filters – that you’d normally throw away. This saves money while reducing waste.
Tips for the Best DIY Toilet Paper
Here are some tips for success when making your own toilet paper:
Add aloe vera gel when blending for a softer feel.
Try blending in a small amount of essential oils for scent. Lavender is a nice option.
The longer you soak the filters beforehand, the better they will blend up.
Allowing the pulp to dry thoroughly before use is key to durability.
If the paper rips easily, the pulp may need more blending. Or try less water next time.
Store finished sheets in an airtight container to help maintain softness.
Is it safe to flush this homemade toilet paper?
Yes, as long as you don’t add anything to the pulp that could clog pipes, it is generally safe to flush. The pulp should break down like regular toilet paper. Still, you may want to be cautious with older plumbing.
How many coffee filters does it take to make one roll?
This varies, but roughly 500-600 used coffee filters makes one toilet paper roll. You’ll get about a half-roll’s worth from a full 12 cup package of filters.
Is the toilet paper soft?
It won’t be as soft as commercial toilet paper. But adding aloe vera gel helps make it softer and more comfortable. The paper is still functional and effective.
Can I add additional fibers or materials?
Yes! You can experiment by blending in other soft paper products – tissue paper, paper towel scraps, shredded newspaper, etc. This can help increase thickness and softness.
With a little creativity and some reused materials, it’s simple and satisfying to make your own eco-friendly toilet paper rather than buying roll after roll. Give it a try! The process takes some time but costs very little and cuts down on waste.