Emergency Coffee Filter And Other Uses For Paper Towels

We've all been there: you're right in the middle of an odd job or household task when you stop and think to yourself, "Now, what am I going to do about that?" Whether you're reaching for something that you realize you've just run out of or are puzzled by an unusual household chore, the answer may be simpler than you realize. There are "hacks" or alternative uses for just about everything in your home, so it's no surprise that there are lots of creative ways to use that roll of paper towels in your kitchen.

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One of the things that is extremely useful about paper towels is their absorbency; in a test done by Consumer Reports, it was demonstrated that a sheet of some brands of paper towel can absorb as much as two and a half fluid ounces of water —a quarter cup. Obviously, absorbency comes in handy for cleaning up liquid spills, but it can also make paper towels useful for soaking up other hard-to-absorb substances or messes in hard-to-reach places around the house. Anyone with children will tell you that crayon marks on your cloth couch or area rug are no cause for concern; they can be removed using an iron and some absorbent paper towel.

Another useful feature of paper towels is their durability. In the same paper towel test by Consumer Reports, the most durable brands of paper towel survived one hundred seventy five scrubbing motions on a tile floor before they began to break apart. This makes paper towels a good choice for tough jobs like cleaning the blade on a hand-held can opener.

So, next time you're not sure how to tackle an odd job around the house, consider the paper towel.

Soften Brown Sugar

(Credit: Flickr/jacqueline)
If your brown sugar wasn't stored airtight and has hardened into a solid mass, place it in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel (at room temperature) over night. The moisture from the paper towel will reintroduce just enough moisture into the brown sugar, making it usable again.

Freeze Bread

(Credit: Flickr/mystuart)
Anyone who has ever tried to freeze bread knows that when it thaws out again, it can be a soggy, unusable mess. If you won't have time to warm the bread in the oven after it thaws, wrap it in a dry paper towel before placing it in a large resalable plastic bag or container in the freezer. When the bread thaws, the paper towel will absorb the moisture (instead of the bread) and you'll be able to eat the bread right away.

Click here to see more of the uses for paper towels

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.