7 Ways to Use Cheesecloth (That Aren’t Cheesemaking!)

Updated: Jan. 31, 2024

You may have seen cheesecloth mentioned in recipes for cheese, soups, and poultry but this handy kitchen tool has many other uses.

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Cooking homemade cottage cheese on a wooden background.
Shutterstock / KucherAV

We all know cheesecloth—that gauzy fabric you see in kitchen shops and even at the fabric store. But for as many times as we pass it, we often wonder what this fabric is good for. As the name suggests, it’s great for making cheese, but this unusual kitchen staple has other practical uses, too! You can stock up on 100% cotton cheesecloth here ($4).

Did you know your dryer sheets have more than one use, too? Check out 20 genius ideas for this everyday product.

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Taste of Home

Basting poultry

Nothing is more delicious than having a nice slice of moist chicken or turkey breast. It really is quite versatile as it makes for great lunches or dinners. A good trick to keep the breast moist is to wrap it in cheesecloth that has been drenched in a mix of white wine, olive oil, and butter.

For those without a cheesecloth, Martha Stewart shares this easy cheesecloth substitute for turkey.

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Straining beef broth through cheesecloth
Taste of Home


When it comes to straining, we typically rely on our regular colanders, but sometimes recipes call for a bit finer of a sieve. That’s where cheesecloth comes in.

Before you use it, be sure to rinse it to remove any lint. Then layer it over your normal strainer and filter your ingredients through. Cheesecloth is a must for making homemade stock—find out how to make it from scratch here—but it’s great for filtering coffee, removing curds from yogurt and removing seeds from jams and jellies, too.

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Trraditional Linzer Christmas cookies filled with marmalade and dusted with sugar
Shutterstock / Madeleine Steinbach


Adding dusted sugar or cocoa to finish off your cake or cookies can make your dessert look like a masterpiece. Place a piece of cheesecloth over a canning jar. Pull it as tight as possible and screw on the ring without the cap and dust. Try it when making these awesome cookie recipes.

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Fresh dried herb bundles of different herbs hanging on the wall
Shutterstock / Shawn Hempel

Bundling Herbs

When using herbs and seasonings in your meal prep get the flavor without the stems floating in your soups or stews. Place your herbs into a cut piece of cheesecloth and tie the top with twine. Drop it into your pot and remove before serving. Do the same with loose tea leaves.

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Clay pot with ghee under cheesecloth on light wooden table.
Shutterstock / Strannik_fox


Cheesecloth can function much in the same way as medical gauze. If you happen to hurt yourself slicing and dicing your fruits and veggies. Wash the wound with soap and cool water add some antibacterial cream and cover loosely with a clean unused piece of cheesecloth.

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Homemade apricot and figs galette made with fresh organic apricotes and fig jam on wooden table.
Shutterstock / Goskova Tatiana

Covering food

As we head into barbecue season bugs and insects may want to visit our food as it lies on our picnic tables. To keep your ribs and burgers safe from contamination drape them with cheesecloth. To add a little flavor to your food try one of these barbecue sauce recipes.

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Vintage silverware on a plate over dark grey slate,stone or concrete background.
Liliya Kandrashevich/Shutterstock

Clean up

The weave of cheesecloth adds just enough friction to remove water stains and other gunk from our silverware and pots. You can use it by itself or dampen the material and add a little baking soda and polish away. It just may return your pots and pans to their original shine.

While you’re at it, use these tricks to clean your whole house with a little baking soda.