If you're looking for a multi-purpose cloth that can be used not just for straining and sieving, but also for polishing, cleaning, and decorating around the house, consider cheesecloths. Whether you want to make your own cheese and nut milks or craft your own teabags or car waxing cloths, cheesecloths are your go-to tool.
Below, we've compiled a list of the 10 best cheesecloths taking into account a variety of needs. At the top of our list was Sceng's Ultra-Fine Cheesecloth for its high-grade unbleached cotton, customizable length, and incredible versatility in cooking, crafting, and cleaning. If you need help choosing which cloth suits your particular needs best, read our comprehensive buying guide reviewed by a professional chef.
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
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Table of Contents
A lot of people mistake gauze for a cheesecloth. But cheesecloths are often thicker and tend to have a tighter weave than gauze. Before buying a cheesecloth, make sure you're buying the right grade, weave, and quality for your specific needs.
Cheesecloths are graded to indicate the number of threads used in every square inch. A low-grade cheesecloth will have fewer threads per square inch than a higher grade cheesecloth. The grade of cheesecloth will affect its filtering and sieving capabilities.
Grade 10 cheesecloths have 20x12 threads per square inch and have larger holes than other grade cloths. Similarly, Grade 40 cheesecloths also have large holes with 24x20 threads per square inch.
Since these open weaves let fluids and air quickly pass through, they are suitable for straining juices, stocks, or soups. They can also be used for bundling herbs and spices, decorating, polishing, and cleaning.
For cheesemaking, you need a tighter weave. But if you prefer to use a looser weave regardless, you can still find success by folding it to create more layers and tighter weaves.
Cheesecloths of grades 40, 50, and 60 belong to the medium-weave and mid-weight category. Grade 40 cheesecloth will have 24x20, grade 50 will have 28x24, and grade 60 will have 32x28 threads per square inch. They are versatile, highly absorbent, and durable and work well for cheese, syrup, jelly, and more.
Grade 60 cheesecloth is the most popular of all due to its versatility in cooking. It can help make ricotta and cottage cheese, strain stocks, or drain and thicken yogurt. It's also great for squeezing fruit juice without seeds, basting poultry, or poaching fish. Or just use it to wrap baked goods and treats!
If you’re looking for extra-fine weave, you should go for grade 80 or 90 cheesecloth. Grade 80 cheesecloth will have 40x32 threads, and grade 90 will have 44x36 threads per square inch. Both types are great alternatives to butter muslin and are washable and reusable.
Grade 90 cheesecloths are regarded as having the highest quality and the finest weave. You need a grade 90 cheesecloth when the most refined filtering or straining is required. They sieve slowly yet can deliver fantastic results while making cheese, straining soups and stocks, and in winemaking.
Due to their ultra-fine weaves and durable construction, they are used to make teabags as well. These grades of cheesecloths also find use in making crafts, bandages, and curtains. A grade 90 cheesecloth can also hold enough moisture for basting poultry and other meats.
A good quality cheesecloth will be made using 100 percent cotton to make it highly absorbent. Cotton is also a highly resilient material, as it can withstand high heat and detergents without deforming. It’s also essential to choose an undyed cotton material so that it doesn’t transfer any unsafe dyes and unwanted material onto the food.
For organic cotton cheesecloths, look for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification that attests to its authenticity. The certification ensures that the fibers used are at least 70 percent organic. It’s also an assurance that the product was not manufactured using toxic dyes and bleaches.
That being said, note that just because it's organic doesn't mean it's 100 percent free from impurities. For example, natural and organic cheesecloths might contain impurities from cotton fibers such as oils, seed particles, and "pepper trash." These are not advised for cooking, but are totally fine for cleaning and decorating.
The idea of bleached cheesecloth might turn you off. But they are safer than most natural cheesecloths, as long as they are bleached with a non-chlorine bleach-like peroxide. The bleaching process is done to remove impurities like seed particles and oils from your cloth so it's safe for cooking.
Note that most cheesecloths come unbleached. While unbleached cheesecloths are tailored more for use outside of the kitchen, if you want to use them for cooking, you can always sanitize them yourself.
Before and after every use, use a natural food-grade disinfectant like vinegar, borax, or hydrogen peroxide to clean them. This process can also help get rid of any residual lint on your cloth.
Since cheesecloths are very multipurpose, it’s a good idea to always purchase a larger cloth. If you buy a bigger cheesecloth of between 20 and 30 square feet, you can cut it into multiple pieces and categorize them for various tasks. This will help you minimize waste and find more uses for the cut cheesecloths.
Most cheesecloths are made of high-quality cotton, and a higher grade cheesecloth can last longer even after cutting it into several pieces to serve multiple purposes. You need to store it in a cool and dry place.
However, if your needs are minimal, you can go with a smaller or medium-sized cheesecloth. One square yard, or nine square feet, of cheesecloth is just enough for most cooking tasks.
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Ultra Fine Cheesecloth for Cooking
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This highest-grade cheesecloth is made of 100 percent unbleached and pure cotton. Its tight, ultra-fine weave makes it versatile, ideal for making cheese, thickening yogurt, straining soups, basting turkey, and cleaning furniture. The cloth is also very long and wide, so you can easily cut and customize it into sizes suiting your needs.
A few reviewers said it smelled at first, and the manufacturer instructs boiling it before use. However, the majority of the customers loved how they could cut their cheesecloth into multiple cloths for various purposes. It washed well by hand and in the machine without fraying.
This double-layered cheesecloth is not only perfect for making cheese or yogurt, but also for filtering out impurities in raw honey or for extracting the smoothest nut milk. Its hemmed edges prevent fraying and the ultra-fine weave also keeps it free of lint.
Several customers noticed some black impurities in their cheesecloths, which required boiling to remove. However, many loved using it to prepare almond milk or soy milk. They also appreciated its double filtering and how it stood up to lots of wringing.
This reusable grade 100 Mediterranean cotton cheesecloth is made with 46x54 threads per inch for extra durability. It's great for straining and filtering and is both machine and hand washable.
Several customers noted that their items ripped prematurely. However, most were very impressed with the tightly woven material. Though it felt different than normal cheesecloth and a bit more like a muslin fabric, users loved how effectively it made vegan cheeses and nut milks and strained soups and broths.
This ultra-fine grade 90 cheesecloth is cut into a round shape for your convenience, and its edges are hemmed to prevent fraying. It has a 66x70 weave, which is tighter than cheesecloths of grade 90. It also comes with two yards of cooking twine to bundle herbs or make yogurt.
A couple of reviewers were concerned that they could still see lots of residue after washing. However, many users appreciated its round shape and its ability to make cheese, tofu, yogurt, and nut milk. They also noted the ultra-fine weave removed all the unwanted particles and that cleaning it after use was fairly easy.
This cheesecloth is GOTS-certified organic. It comes with a grade 60 weave, which makes it highly versatile and fit for many uses. The fine weave is easy to wash, dry, and reuse when you're ready for your next culinary experiment. Use it for basting a turkey, making cheese and jellies, straining stocks, or thickening yogurt.
Some complained that the edges seemed unfinished. On the other hand, the majority of users attested to its good quality and ease of use. Many loved that it's long enough to cut into several pieces. It washed well and didn't fray as long as the edges remained uncut.
This cheesecloth is made of high-quality natural unbleached cotton. This cloth is heavier than a regular cheesecloth so you don't have to layer it for filtering and straining. Its ultra-fine weave works perfectly for basting turkeys without the strands sticking to the meat.
Some reviewers found the cloth fraying and shedding. But most others praised its quality and ease of cleaning. From making cheese to straining coffee and preparing nut milk, it worked well for many applications.
This grade 60 cheesecloth can stay flexible and soft even after multiple washes, regardless of what you used it for. This will be the perfect choice when you need cheesecloth for nut milk, because it allows enough milk to pass through but captures all the solids.
A few users reported it leaving threads and lint. But, overall, many users were happy about the quality of the cloth and its versatility. From making cheese to straining stocks, juices, broths and cold brew coffee, users found it worked well for a variety of needs.
If you're looking for a lightweight cheesecloth for decorations and crafting, this will fit the bill. Being a loose weave, it makes great cloth for Halloween costumes. It can also be used to polish furniture and silverware without scratching.
Some users reported that the cloth didn't last for a second use. But many loved using it for Halloween decorations and crafts. Some others use it as a screen around their gardens to keep pests away.
This unbleached cheesecloth is quite long and can be cut into several pieces to make maximum use of the cloth's versatility. You can use it for straining if you double it up, or for crafts and cleaning purposes. It's made to prevent lint and keep things clean.
Some users found the material too thin. They reported that the material sticks to food and felt like gauze coming apart. On the other hand, many reviewers approved of its quality and versatile uses.
This large two-square-yard cheesecloth can be used for many applications. Its fine weave is made with 100 percent cotton and suits cooking, cleaning or decorating purposes.
A couple of reviewers noted that the item was narrower in width than expected and that it thinned out after one wash. However, most reviewers liked this product for its reliability, particularly in straining fruits, vegetables, and oils from meats. They were also impressed by its lack of fraying.
Sometimes you just need the right tools for the job. If you're looking to add some specialty items to your kitchen gadget collection, check out these suggestions.
If you're still unsure where to begin, feel free to take a look at Amazon's options. This page features best-selling cheesecloths alongside other accessories that can be helpful for cheese making.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Sceng | Ultra Fine Cheesecloth for Cooking
No. 2: Olicity | Unbleached Pure Cotton Cheesecloth
No. 3: Cotton Farm | 100% Unbleached Cotton Cheesecloth
No. 4: Scengclos | Ultra Fine Cheesecloth
No. 5: Country Trading Co. | Organic Cotton Cheesecloth
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