Cheesecloth is a lightly woven fabric whose primary use is in the production of cheese. Besides straining the water away from the cheese whey, cheesecloth comes to help to strain other food before processing. The cheesecloth has to be clean to make fresh cheese every time.
Disposal cheesecloth may be the answer to have fresh cheesecloth, but reusing will cut down the expenses. Today, we have for you the proven methods of cleaning cheesecloth. The cheesecloth fabrics are fragile, yet the proper method of cleaning and washing will allow them to run quite a while. Let us see the process of how to clean cheesecloth.
What is Cheesecloth?
Although made of fabrics, cheesecloth is available in the baking section of the supermarket. The fabric comes in seven grades ranging from open to fine weave. Cheesecloth is a loosely-woven cotton fabric similar to gauze whose primary use is in making cheese.
Cheesecloth applies in straining water and removing solid particles in recipes such as ketchup, fruit drinks, almond milk, making tofu. In sieving cheese and other foodstuffs, the cheesecloth help separates solid portions from the liquid or semi-solid suspension. The lightweight, soft material creates enough strength to strain heavy loads.
Why Does Cheesecloth Need Cleaning?
Clean cheesecloth is a basic requirement in preparing food, needing separation of solid and liquid ingredients. Cheesecloth needs cleaning before and after use. The fabric of the cheesecloth is in close contact with the item of food that is strained. The dairy products such as cheese, sour milk, and other items contain bacteria to assist the conversion process. If you allow it to stay for long, without cleaning, the bacteria undergo fermentation to produce poisonous materials. If they enter the stomach, there is the likelihood of catching intestinal diseases.
Cleaning the cheesecloth thoroughly after use and once every week with special methods prevents such risk of getting a bacterial infection. The method of cleaning should accord to the fabric, for cotton, there is a certain chemical method, for linen fabric, there is another.
Methods of Cleaning Cheesecloth
Let us now see some of the methods of cleaning cheesecloth.
1. Hand Washing
Despite the availability of various kinds of washing machines, hand washing of cheesecloth is in practice as it does perfects cleaning.
It is convenient to wash cheesecloth in the sink under the water tap. As the flows out of the sink, the residues move out immediately making washing easy. Next, add warm water to let the residues come out easily, which would otherwise linger in cold water. The temperature should not be too high as the fabric may shrink.
The best temperature of the water is 30-40° Celsius. A thermometer may help you measure the temperature, to begin with, and later use your hand once you can feel the warmness.
For hand washing of cheesecloth, do not use any washing machine suitable detergent, as such detergents are strong for the hands and create less foam. For washing cheesecloth, use one of the best detergents so no residue of the food remains in the cheesecloth.
With the detergent water, use lemon juice or baking soda to make it clean and fresh. Scrub the cheesecloth thoroughly a few times, until the water that runs off is clear. After the soap is gone, wash it clean with enough water. Let it dry in the sun.
2. Washing Cheesecloth in a Washing Machine
Before using the washing machine, rinse the cheesecloth with your hand under the flowing tap water. To get enough load for the machine, you may add some soft clothes with the cheesecloth. Do not overload the washing machine. Low laundry will also not wash effectively.
Use liquid detergent for machine-washing cheesecloth. Use the washing temperature and time as suggested in the manual. Perhaps your machine would have instructions for washing soft clothes. Anyway, after placing the load and the detergent in the box, close the lid, push the power button, select the right instruction buttons and start the machine. Wait until the machine comes to a halt; take out the cheesecloth from the machine.
3. Drying and Storing the Cheesecloth
It is best to dry the cheesecloth in a sunny and airy place. Sun-drying removes all the stuffy smell. It also kills off any persistent bacteria.
Close the washing machine, switch on the power button on the top, then, and choose the buttons that you want to order. Using a cloth dryer is fine if there is no sunshine or no fresh air.
After drying, fold the cheesecloth and store it in a clean airtight cabinet. The cheesecloth will remain fresh.
Quality cheesecloth is desirable for straining milk products for quality turnout. The quality remains good by washing, drying, and saving/storing in any of the methods described. Having food free of bacteria and other germs is a health requirement. You would not like poisonous bacteria to enter your body through dirty, ill-washed cheesecloth.
If you a frequent cook of dishes that need to separate, the liquid from the solid, using cheesecloth must one of your requirements. Getting used to the best and convenient technique will ensure maintenance of health throughout the year. The delicious, healthy food prepared by the method is a significant advantage.
Hope the guide provides you with helpful information on how to clean cheesecloth.