How to Clean a Cheese Grater

cheese graterIf you like to cook a lot or do the family’s grocery shopping, [MM1] you’re probably well aware of the fact that cheese sold by the block is less expensive than shredded cheeses in bags. And if you’re using the good stuff — like gruyere or smoked gouda — you might not even be able to find a shredded option, meaning you’re going to have to grate it yourself. While grating cheese isn’t a difficult task, cleaning the cheese grater can be a nightmare. The same goes for lemon zesters or microplanes.

But cleaning these items doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Check out the following tips on how to clean a cheese grater without going crazy or shredding your knuckles.

Top Tip: Make Life Easier by Cleaning Immediately

The longer you wait to clean your grater or zester, the more time the cheese or lemon zest has to harden and adhere to the surface of the tool. And nobody wants to deal with that disgusting mess. However, you can easily cut your cleaning time in half if you take a minute to quickly wash your cheese grater as soon as you’re done using it.

Cleaning a Grater in the Dishwasher

If you have a dishwasher, it might be your best bet. Just make sure your zester or grater is dishwasher safe before you toss it in for a cycle. Also, it’s a good idea to skip the dry cycle when it comes to cheese graters, as it could bake on any residue that’s left behind. Instead, remove those leftover bits as you wipe your grater dry with a microfiber cloth.

How to Clean a Cheese Grater with Lemon

Just when you thought there wasn’t anything else you could clean with lemon this tip comes along.

You’ll need:

  • A lemon, halved
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt
  • A small bowl
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A microfiber cloth

  1. Pour the salt into the bowl.
  2. Dip the cut end of the lemon into the salt.
  3. Scrub the grater with the salted lemon.
  4. Let this sit for three to five minutes.
  5. Rinse the cheese grater under very hot water to wash away any remaining lemon juice or residue.
  6. Wash the grater using dishwashing liquid, water and a microfiber cloth, just as you would clean dishes. However, keep in mind that you want to wipe the grater in the direction of the blades (the opposite of grating), so that you don’t destroy your fingertips.
  7. Don’t have lemons handy? No worries, just substitute a potato for the above steps.

How to Clean a Cheese Grater with a Pastry Brush

When your pastry brush isn’t spreading butter on the tops of your yeast rolls, it can double as a means of cleaning your cheese grater.

You’ll need:

  • A dry pastry brush or clean toothbrush
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A microfiber cloth

  1. Run the pastry brush along the grater or zester in the direction of the blades (the opposite of grating) to remove any leftover bits of cheese or lemon peel.
  2. Use the dishwashing liquid and microfiber cloth to clean the grater just as you would your breakfast dishes. Here again, you’ll want to make sure you’re wiping in the direction of the blades so you don’t shred your hands.

Now you know you don’t have to cut the cheese out of your meals because you’re put off by the thought of cleaning your grater. Looking for other useful kitchen tips? Learn how to clean a cutting board, and then take a look at these instructions for making microwave cleaning painless.

Next > 5 Cleaning Uses for an Old Toothbrush