The Trick To Cleaning Your Cheese Grater With A Lemon

Grated cheese is the go-to for so many dishes thanks to the way it melts. But apart from the elbow grease that grating cheese (or other foods like potatoes or butter) takes, the work doesn't end there. Some cheeses and starchy vegetables tend to leave behind fatty stuck-on pieces or residue, making it difficult to scrub your grater clean. But there are a few easier ways to wash your cheese grater than with a sponge.

According to Food52, you can use brushes with longer bristles or your handy vegetable brush to clean the tiny holes and hard-to-reach places on the grater. (An added benefit of this method is the length the handle places between your hand and the grater's blades, meaning can avoid the bloody knuckles sometimes associated with cleaning the kitchen tool.) There is, however, another easy way to clean your cheese grater that doesn't involve quite as much scrubbing. Instead, try reaching for a lemon.

How to use lemon to clean your grater

Instead of lathering up a brush and rinsing your grater with hot water to release any leftover food or dried-on residue as Food52 suggests, you can also use a lemon. According to The Kitchn, lemons are the perfect way to cut through the fat that could be causing food to still cling to the grater. Thanks to the acidity of lemon juice, it's the easiest and fastest way to release anything that might still be stuck to your grater before rinsing.

To make the most of your lemon, just slice the citrus fruit in half and grate the lemon's flesh against the side of the grater you need to clean. The juice and flesh should help to wipe away any leftover fat or starch from the grater. The best part is, you can simply run it under hot water to rinse off the lemon juice, making clean up a whole lot easier. If you grater still isn't clean, use the other half of the lemon and repeat the hot water rinse. For particularly stuck on food (like, if you decided to let your dirty grater sit for an hour while you continue on to the next step in your recipe), simply dip your lemon half in salt and grate away.

And don't forget to wipe away any water before storing the grater! While this lemon trick is great for stuck on food, it doesn't work so well on rust.