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How to Clean a Cheese Grater Properly

Kitchen

What's in the article?

Your pasta dishes, homemade pizzas, and mac 'n cheese bakes aren't complete without freshly grated cheese to top it all off! Cheese graters perfectly slice slivers of cheese to go in your favorite dishes. From the convenient flat grater to the versatile box grater, these kitchen tools are staples in homes, kitchens, and restaurants, grating cheese and even vegetables for garnish!

However, cheese is a greasy food item, and all those oils accumulated on the blades of your grater immediately attract bacteria and germs. Cheese can be difficult to wash off as well, particularly soft cheeses like mozzarella and gorgonzola. In this article, we'll show you the proper ways of cleaning different kinds of cheese graters.

How to Clean a Cheese Grater: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cooking, food and home concept - close up of male hands grating cheese

Cleaning a Box Cheese Grater

What You'll Need

  • Lemon
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Dry microfiber cloth

Step 1: Clean a Cheese Grater with Lemon and Baking Soda

Lemon juice makes for an effective degreaser. Cut out a lemon wedge to use as a scrubber. Sprinkle baking soda over the grater, and scrub it with lemon zest. The mixture should bubble, and remove stains, oils, and residue from the grater. Be careful when scrubbing the grater, and don't forget to clean the inside as well.

Step 2: Wash and Dry

Wash the grater with some soapy water, and use a scrub brush instead of a sponge to avoid shredding the sponge. Dry the grater with a kitchen towel, then store it in a cool, dry location to prevent rust and mold.

Woman grating parmesan cheese on a grater at domestic kitchen

Cleaning a Flat Cheese Grater

What You'll Need

  • Very hot water
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Scrub brush
  • Dry microfiber cloth

Step 1: Rinse the Grater, Apply Vinegar

Rinse the grater with hot water to remove any remaining cheese bits. Use a scrub brush instead of a sponge, as a sponge can shred when used on the blades of a cheese grater. Apply vinegar to the grater afterwards as vinegar acts as a degreaser and stain remover.

Step 2: Let it Sit, Then Wash and Dry

Let the vinegar sit for 5 minutes, then wash the grater as you normally would. Pat the grater dry with a towel. You should notice your grater looks cleaner and shinier as the vinegar removed the film of oil from the blades.

Woman washing a cheese grater under running water in the kitchen sink after grating cheddar cheese for the recipe she is preparing

Cleaning a Rotary Cheese Grater

What You'll Need

  • Raw potato
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Pastry brush
  • Scrub brush
  • Dry microfiber cloth

Step 1: Brush Out the Remaining Cheese

If your rotary grater has cheese left inside, remove the block of cheese, and store it in cling film to keep it fresh. Take your pastry brush, and brush out any remaining cheese bits from your grater. Tap out the grater to remove the excess cheese.

Step 2: Grate a Raw Potato

Place a potato in the chamber. You may need to cut the potato to fit. Using a potato to clean your grater may be an unconventional method, but the slippery crop helps dislodge any cheese bits from the blades of your grater, and is soft enough to grate without damaging or dulling the blades. Grate the potato.

Step 3: Remove Potato, Wash and Dry the grater

Remove the potato bits, and rinse out the grater. The shredded potato should fall off the blades easily. Wash the grater with some soapy water, and pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel. Store the grater in a cool, dry location.

How to Keep Your Cheese Grater Clean

  • Use a dry pastry brush dipped in oil to brush your grater before grating soft cheeses. Doing so will create a non-stick layer on your grater, preventing cheese from clumping on the blades.
  • Wash your cheese grater frequently to prevent dried cheese clumps from forming, and to prevent bacterial growth on the blades.
  • Store your grater dry as most graters are made from stainless steel or aluminum, which can rust with prolonged exposure to moisture.
  • Avoid grating hard foods as they may dull the blades, and end up damaging your grater. Food items like raw sweet potatoes, rock sugar, or katsuobushi (bonito) may end up breaking your grater. For these items, use specialized kitchen tools meant to slice, crush or grate hard food.
  • Clean your cheese grater in the dishwasher if labeled dishwasher safe. Dishwashers use high heat and pressure to clean dishes, which can remove the muck and grease, as well as the dried cheese bits from your grater.

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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