11 Best Substitutes for Cheesecloth


Material made cloths and towels are usually used in our kitchen and they have a lot of purposes. Cheesecloth is one of those which as its name suggests its typical use is to rinse cheese through it. 

Cheesecloth is a cotton cloth whose original purpose was to wrap homemade cheese. But, it found more purposes in our kitchen than we thought we could use it for. It has become a very useful tool in our kitchen for many recipes.

It is reusable and you can wash it before using it for other reasons. Since it is loosely woven that has air holes, it allows the liquid products to durian through. It can be used as a strainer, cover for roast and it can be used as little pouches for herbs or seasonings.

It may be possible that you don’t own a cheesecloth and you need the assistance of this cloth in your kitchen, is there something else that can help you?

Yes, you can use items like socks, coffee filters, muslin fabric, cotton handkerchiefs, straining cloths, medical gauze, and basically anything cotton. Take a look at the list below and find what you already have and you can use. 

Substitute for Cheesecloth

If you don’t have any cheesecloth in your kitchen and you need some material to rinse through, then you’ve come to the right place. Here we have the best replacements which are typically found in our homes and will do a good job. All you have to do is just go through the list and find what it is that you have within your reach and you can use.

1. Kitchen towel

Kitchen towel

One of the first things that come to mind when you need to replace cheesecloth is to use a kitchen towel. This is something that we all have at home that can help us in different ways.

It is very similar to cheesecloth but make sure that it is clean before use. The only downside of the towel is considered the fact that it is more prone to collecting moisture, therefore you always have to make sure to rinse and get rid of the moisture.

2. Cotton fabric

Cotton fabric

Another useful substitute for cheesecloth will be the cotton fabric. Since this is also made from cotton, it makes it very similar to cheesecloth.

Through the cotton fabric, you’ll have pretty much a similar effect, meaning the liquid will go through it easily. You can use rubber for more secure reasons and hold it over the bowl. You can always wash it after use. 

3. Fine mesh bag

Cheesecloth can be substituted by a fine mesh bag. This is something that is typical in our households, so you can use it whenever.

One of the benefits of a mesh bag is that it is so easy to clean and it can last longer, even longer than cheesecloths. You can strain nut milk or whole grains easily. But you can also use it for laundry.

4. Fine wire sieve

Another great substitute for cheesecloth is the fine wire sieve. Thus, if you need something to train through and you have no cheesecloth, then a wire sieve is what you need. However, you always have to keep in mind that it’s not for all purposes.

Meaning if you need a seed-free juice then you’ll need something else since the seeds might go through it and you won’t get the same effect. Otherwise, it can be easily found and used. 

5. Socks

Stockings were often used in fashion, but they can have other purposes as well. One of which is to serve as a replacement for cheesecloth in your kitchen.

They can serve as a great strainer and you probably have a pair in your wardrobe that you don’t use, so you are all set. You can reuse them all over again. Just wash them regularly.

6. Coffee filter

Coffee Filter

Coffee filters are also something that we have at home that can replace cheesecloths. So, if you have a coffee machine, coffee filters are very important.

The material they are made of is tight and the liquid can easily go through it. Make sure to clean it after use, so you won’t use a dirty one in your coffee maker.

7. Muslin fabric

A cotton-like material that is similar to cheesecloth is muslin fabric. It is made of fabric that will allow the liquids to go through it while it will hold the unnecessary pieces held.

It has a natural color. Meaning, it won’t transfer any dyes into your food. The only downside of this fabric is that it may be harder to find. 

8. Cotton handkerchiefs

Another similar material that you can use instead of cheesecloth is cotton handkerchiefs. They are usually made out of linen and are free of dyes. The liquid will go through it and it is ideal for softer cheese. They are easy to wash and reusable for a longer time. 

9. Straining cloths

An alternative to cheesecloths is the straining cloth which is thick and strong enough to let the liquid go through. It will also keep unnecessary things from falling over.

But there is a difference in the strength and cotton thread used to make both cloths. They are easily found in all sizes and you can adapt based on how much you need. 

10. Medical gauze

An obvious and typical replacement will be the medial or also known as sterile gauze. This is found in the medicine box and it can help in your time of need.

It may turn looser and thinner when compared to cheesecloth. But you can place more layers to get the same effect. You need to adjust the cut based on how much you need and allow enough liquid amount to go through it.  

11. Anything cotton

Cheesecloth can be replaced by anything that is made of cotton. All of the options above are easily found and can serve you in different ways. You can also find a towel, pillowcase, or anything that is made from cotton that you think can be a good replacement.

Before you pick anything, remember that it needs to be loose enough to let the liquid through and keep the other things you won’t need. Also, use something that is easily washable. 

Related Questions

Can you use paper towels instead of cheesecloth?

Yes, you can easily replace cheesecloth with paper towels. They are easier to find and you can always use a fresh one.

Can I use gauze instead of cheesecloth?

Gauze makes a great substitute for cheesecloth. What makes it useful and similar is that it is thin. And you’ll need a few layers to get the same effect as if you have used cheesecloth.

Is cheesecloth the same as muslin?

Actually, they are similar but now quite the same. The cheesecloth is a loose, woven gauze and muslin is a cotton fabric of plain weave.

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