Cheesecloth, the stuff you've probably seen used for decorations of some sort, but originated as a strainer for cheesemaking. Hence the name, cheesecloth.
The material is thin and not very sturdy, but it's great for making homemade stuff. The homemade stuff I make using my cheesecloth is yogurt and most frequently, almond milk. When I make ketchup, I also put the celery seed in a small cheesecloth "pouch" and tie it off.
Now, cheesecloth isn't cheap. You can get a pretty good size for $5-8. If you're frugal like I am, you'll want to reuse that cheesecloth you paid $8 for! Am I right?
Making Your Cheesecloth Last
I'm making Almond Milk about every 4-5 days over here, so my cheesecloth is getting a workout! Between most uses, I simply run the cheesecloth under hot water, making sure to remove all (or most) almond pieces. Then I hang it to dry.
By hang I mean over my oven door handle, but sometimes when we're having guests I'll hang it over our shower curtain! Just hang the cheesecloth in a place where it can dry and not get dirty!
About every 4-5 uses, I really give it a good washin'.
You'll want to wash the cloth so it lasts longer. It will start to get a smell about it and maybe even a stain, we want to keep this cheesecloth going for awhile.
Simply add a squirt of dish soap to a bowl with hot water. Add your cheesecloth and swish it around a bit, gently rubbing the cloth back and forth over itself without tearing or ripping it. Allow to soak for 30+ minutes (I've left it overnight before!).
Rinse out and hang to dry. And you're done. This easy step will leave your cheesecloth fresher longer.
What do you use cheesecloth for in your house?