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How to Clean a Fine Mesh Strainer

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Have you started spring cleaning yet? Last week, Amanda reminded us that even minor cleaning projects can have a major impact. So we're giving you permission to start small—very, very small—with those peskily teensy holes of your fine mesh strainer.

Cone Strainer & Wooden Pestle
Cone Strainer & Wooden Pestle

Those hard-to-reach particles that linger in sieves challenge the cooking community at large. So we've culled the best advice the Internet has to offer (in particular, this Reddit thread, The Kitchn, and our very own Hotline) to jumpstart your spring cleaning:

Soak it immediately.

Don't let your strainer dry dirty. Either clean it right after use, or set it in a pot of warm water (some people like to add vinegar or baking soda) to soak until you can come back to it.

Use waterworks.

Use the water pressure from your sink to work out particles from the opposite side of the sieve. Even better if you have a spray nozzle.

The Quickest Way to Dry Strainers and Whisks
The Quickest Way to Dry Strainers and Whisks

That's a rap (against the sink).

A sturdy rap against the side of the sink is especially effective after the sieve has been soaked, saving you the effort of poking through every last particle. But when you do need to do some detail work...

Round up some pointy tools.

Pipe cleaners, toothbrushes, nail brushes, vegetable brushes, toothpicks—anything that can target specific areas and poke through the fine holes—are the tools of choice for this task.

Play with...fire?

It seems extreme, but placing the strainer directly over a burner flame can singe off any lingering particles. Three commenters with stubborn sieves declared this to be the method that finally worked for them—though be forewarned that if your sieve isn't hardy enough, doing so can warp the metal. If you're up for trying, hold the sieve at a distance from the flame, moving it closer slowly and carefully. Watch closely, and make sure you've got some ventilation going.

No time like the present:

Dish Brush

Dish Brush

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Kit

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Kit

All Natural Surface Cleaner, Dish Detergent, Brush and Cloths

All Natural Surface Cleaner, Dish Detergent, Brush and Cl...

From $24
Woven Copper Dishcloths and Beechwood Dish Brush

Woven Copper Dishcloths and Beechwood Dish Brush


Have any pro tips for cleaning sieves or strainers? Share with us in the comments!

Tags: Cleaning, Home Hacks, Spring, Tips & Techniques