17 Best Cheesecloth Substitutes for Straining and Other Applications

Everyone is crazy about cheese! We sprinkled it on top and let it melt to enhance the taste of the meal. Did you know that you can produce cheese at home using a material known as cheesecloth?

Cheesecloths are primarily used to squeeze out excess moisture while producing cheese. Aside from that, some individuals use it to separate liquid from solid. It’s a must-have while cooking, particularly if your recipe asks for a certain texture. Nobody likes crumby soup or fruit beverages laced with remaining seeds!

If you like using cheesecloth in your cooking, you may find it difficult to utilize alternative filtering equipment. We’ll tell you what the finest replacements are for your favorite cheesecloth!

17 Best Substitute For Cheesecloth 

Cotton Fabric

Basically, anything composed of cotton cloth may serve as a good substitute for the lost item. Cotton, like cheesecloth, is woven loosely, much like gauze.

Because of the similarities, many people consider cheesecloth to be a kind of cotton fabric.

As long as the cotton fabric is not tightly knitted, it will undoubtedly work well as a replacement for cheesecloth.

Cotton goods like scarves and handkerchiefs are some of the better options you’ll discover around the home.

Fine Mesh Bag

A fine mesh bag is a multipurpose household tool that may be used for a variety of tasks, including cooking. If you dislike using cheesecloth because you have to compress it, a fine mesh bag might be ideal since the solids will be filtered out by seeping through the bag.

Furthermore, it differs from cheesecloth in that it does not discolor and may retain its quality.

Pantyhose or Stockings


Pantyhose is similar to cheesecloth in that both have delicate textures that allow for straining. Its knitted nylon quality ensures that your meal has the nicest texture possible, since it leaves no solids behind.

Cut off the foot section of the stocking to use as an alternate. You may strain it by stretching it over the bowl you’re using. Aside from that, many people utilize this alternative to make spice herb pouches. As a bonus, you may wash and reuse the pantyhose for another cooking session, making it an environmentally responsible alternative.

Unbleached Coffee Filters

Coffee filters are named filters for a reason: they filter out coffee grounds. They may also be used to filter other culinary materials. These filters are particularly common in houses who like drinking coffee or tea, so you won’t have to work too hard to locate them!

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You have the option of using disposable or reusable coffee filters. You may even use the filter that came with your coffeemaker if you have one. Just be sure to fully clean it so that no coffee fragrance remains!

Muslin Fabric


Muslin fabric, which has a comparable weave to cotton, will work well as a cheesecloth alternative. The material enables liquid to flow through while blocking large particles from passing past.

Like cheesecloth, its neutral tint ensures that no coloring stains the substance being strained.

What is the only reason it is lower on the list? Because finding muslin fabric is more difficult than finding cheesecloth. However, if you happen to have this at home, it works well as a substitute!


Socks, like pantyhose, are a novel proposal that works well in the absence of cheesecloth. However, it is only recommended if it has not previously been used, or as a last resort, a freshly laundered sock.

Socks are a terrific strainer that will filter out all the lumps from your liquid without making you assume you’re putting something for your feet on your meal.

After use, either return it to the wash or toss it away.

Medical Gauze


If you have a first-aid kit at home, search for sterile gauze and use that instead of cheesecloth. Because sterile gauzes are so thin, they must be stacked in layers to function similarly to cheesecloth.

It also has a loose weave, as opposed to cheesecloth, which is woven tight enough to strain. What’s nice about it is that it won’t break apart, so you won’t have random threads in your meal.

Use three to four layers of gauze, depending on how much food you’re straining, for a decent alternative.

If you need an inexpensive substitute for cheesecloth, consider using medical gauze.

Flour Sack

Flour sacks are often composed of cotton, so they are another alternative to consider if you are presently lacking cheesecloth.

Those who like shopping at independent stores will have at least one of them in their houses. You must properly clean the bag before using it, since it may contain residual flour.

The thread used in flour sack is extremely similar to that used in cheesecloth, which makes it an excellent substitute. If you use cheesecloth for draining or straining, it will be the greatest alternative.

Mesh Strainer


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A mesh strainer, as opposed to a fine mesh bag, has larger pores and hence ranks lower on this ranking. Because it is not composed of cotton, there are wider gaps.

Although it is a common instrument, it is not the best item to use as a replacement since it cannot accomplish a fine strain in one go. You’d probably have to put the liquid through the filter many times before every solid was sieved.

Overall, filtering using a mesh strainer would take longer, but it would also work.

Linen Cloth

Linen is an absorbent substance since it is manufactured from flax plant fibers. Linen is often braided thin, making it excellent for soft cheese applications.

Aside from cotton, linen may also be used to make handkerchiefs, and it is reasonably simple to find.

Linen may be used again as long as it is not colored and is the closest alternative for cheesecloth.

Thick Paper Towels


After deep frying, paper towels have traditionally been used to absorb any extra liquid from the meal, such as oil. For the same reason, it is good in separating liquid from solid.

However, if you have to strain off the crumbs while leaving the liquid behind, you will lose some of it since it will be absorbed by the paper towel.


A pillowcase is another alternative that you may practically pick up anywhere in your home. It has a similar weave pattern to cheesecloth. The sole difference is that the missing piece is made of a tighter knit fabric than the pillowcases.

If you choose this option, you must use at least two layers of pillowcases to make it act as a cheesecloth. After that, you may squeeze it to remove extra moisture from the dish you’re working on.

Remember not to forget! The pillowcase must be clean and not something you just removed off your pillow!

Sheer Curtains


This option is self-explanatory. The sheer material will enable the liquid to flow through, but since it is fabric, larger solids will be separated from the liquids.

Nut Milk Bag

Another eco-friendly alternative to cheesecloth is nut milk bags. You may rewash and reuse it indefinitely.

Aside from being an environmentally friendly option, the original function of a nut milk bag is to drain liquid from nuts in order to make nut milk. It is used in the same way as cheesecloth is used for producing cheese.

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However, nut milk bags are rare to locate in the market, and you are more likely to come across a regular cheesecloth than a nut milk bag. Unless, of course, you already have one!

Kitchen Towel


Kitchen towels are often woven in the style of cheesecloth. The most major drawback of a kitchen towel is that it is often coloured since it is used for kitchen decoration.

You may use a kitchen towel that does not transfer colours and is safe to use around food. Kitchen towels also absorb more moisture than cheesecloth. Make care to fully clean it before and after use.

New Cloth Diaper

Like socks, you’re undoubtedly perplexed to find a diaper on this list of food processing options. Cloth diapers are really rather durable and might serve as a last option if you’ve run out of cheesecloth. Of course, make sure you’re using a fresh one!

Keep in mind that not all brands will work well as a substitute. To ensure that it works, look for anything made of cotton or fabric. In this instance, Gerber cloth diapers are one of the greatest solutions.

The capacity of cloth diapers to filter out every particle of solid from the liquid is what makes them an excellent alternative. We all know how effectively it contains a baby’s discharge, so that alone attests to its capacity to filter cheese or yogurt.

Butchers Twine


Many folks tie their bouquet garnishes with cheesecloth. Butchers twine (or other clean yarn) is a simple alternative thread that may keep little branches of herbs and spices together if this is the case for you.

Cheesecloth Substitute Related FAQs

I don’t have clean socks or towels on hand. What should I use?

Given that the cheesecloth is used for squeezing out excess moisture, any cotton, linen, or muslin fabric can suffice as a substitute.

These three have almost the same texture and weave as the cheesecloth, making them an excellent substitute for the missing material.

How do I choose the best substitute among these options?

First and first, examine your recipe. Do you need anything that can filter even the smallest bits? Is it OK to leave a few crumbs? Choose the best choice once you’ve determined what your recipe requires.

Mesh strainers, for example, have larger pores and are thus inappropriate for recipes that emphasize texture.





What can I use instead of cheesecloth for straining?

Because cheesecloth is made of cotton, other kinds of cotton fabric may be used as a replacement. To filter meals or confine small bundles of herbs, use a flour sack towel, pillowcase, bandana, scrap of fabric, clean cloth diaper, cloth napkin, or jelly bag.

Is there a better filter than cheesecloth?

Using a coffee filter, strain the mixture. The solids are all filtered out, leaving just clear liquid. Throw the filter aside to clean up.Simply line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth instead.

What is the best cloth for straining liquids?

Cheesecloth is a porous textile, similar to gauze or cotton, that is used to filter proteins from milk in order to create cheese. Cheesecloth is an excellent filter since it is loosely knitted. Cheesecloth works excellent for straining recipes, such as homemade ricotta.

Can you use paper towel instead of cheesecloth?

If you ever run out of cheesecloth in the kitchen, a coffee filter, linen dish towel, or even a paper towel would suffice.

What is better than cheesecloth?

10 Best Substitutes For Cheesecloth Coffee Filters (Shutterstock). Pantyhose or thin tights, courtesy of Shutterstock. Fine Wire Sieve, courtesy of Shutterstock. Fine Mesh Bag, courtesy of Shutterstock. Clean Pillowcase, courtesy of Shutterstock. Paper towels from Shutterstock. Shutterstock. Socks. Cotton Kitchen Towels (Shutterstock). Africa’s New Beginnings

Is there reusable cheesecloth?

Reusable Cheese Cloths – Grade 100, 20×20 inch Hemmed, Unbleached, 100% Cotton, Ultra Fine Reusable Muslin Cheesecloth for Straining, Cooking, Baking- tela de queso.

What is the closest thing to cheesecloth?

Because they are all made of cotton, pillowcases, kitchen towels, and hankies function nicely as cheesecloth. Simply said, any cotton fabric, whether scraps, bedsheets, or bandanas, may be substituted for the cheesecloth.

What is the best cloth filter material?

Polypropylene cloth is without a doubt the most frequently used and most prevalent filter fabric for industrial filtering. This material is well-known for its high corrosion resistance.

What is the difference between 90 grade and 100 grade cheesecloth?

Cheesecloth comes in a variety of grades. The greater the thread count, the more durable and thicker the fabric.

Are there different types of cheesecloth?

Cheesecloth is available in a variety of weaves, ranging from open to extra-fine. The number of threads per inch in each direction distinguishes grades.

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