10 Substitutes for Cheesecloth – What to Use Instead

Cheesecloth is a versatile tool in the kitchen. But what do you do when you can’t find it or it’s not available?

We’ve got you covered with a list of the most suitable cheesecloth substitutes to use instead!

These substitutes are all readily available and can be used in many of the same ways as cheesecloth.

So don’t let not having cheesecloth stop you from making your favorite recipes – use one of these substitutes instead!

Substitutes for Cheesecloth

  1. Medical Gauze
  2. Straining Cloths
  3. Cotton Handkerchiefs
  4. Muslin Fabric
  5. Coffee Filter
  6. Socks
  7. Fine Wire Sieve
  8. Fine Mesh Bag
  9. Cotton Fabric
  10. Kitchen Towel

Medical Gauze

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have cheesecloth on hand, you can use medical gauze as a substitute.

This thin, lightweight fabric is perfect for strained soups and broths, as well as for making homemade cheese.

Just be sure to sterile the gauze before use by boiling it for several minutes.

Benefits of using medical gauze include its availability (it’s easy to find at any drug store) and its affordability.

Additionally, this substitute doesn’t alter the flavor of your dish like some other substitutes might.

So if you’re looking for a cheesecloth alternative that won’t change the taste of your favorite recipe, medical gauze is a great option.

Straining Cloths

Strain cloths are an excellent substitute for those who do not have cheesecloth on hand.

Straining cloths are typically made of cotton or linen, and they can be used to strain liquids or remove solids from liquids.

There are a variety of cases in which strain cloths can be used as a replacement for cheesecloth.

The benefits of using a straining cloth instead of cheesecloth include the fact that they are cheaper and easier to find.

Most grocery stores sell strain cloths in the kitchen aisle.

Cotton Handkerchiefs

Cotton handkerchiefs are an excellent substitute for cheesecloth.

They’re absorbent, durable, and easy to find.

Plus, you can use them over and over again.

Cotton handkerchiefs are great for straining stocks and sauces, making tofu, and even wrapping cheese.

When choosing a cotton handkerchief as a substitute for cheesecloth, be sure to choose one that is 100% cotton.

You’ll also want to make sure it is finely woven so that it doesn’t leave any lint behind.

To use a cotton handkerchief as a substitute for cheesecloth, fold it into a square and tie it off with string or a rubber band.

Once you’ve done that, you can use it just like you would cheesecloth.

Muslin Fabric

Muslin Fabric is made from tightly woven cotton fabric, which makes it durable and absorbent.

Plus, it’s very affordable.

Muslin fabric is a versatile cheesecloth substitute that can be used in a variety of recipes.

When using muslin fabric as a cheesecloth substitute, be sure to use a double layer for best results.

What’s great about muslin fabric is that it doesn’t add any flavor to the food you’re cooking.

Additionally, it’s easy to clean and reusable. If you take care of it, muslin fabric can last for years.

So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive and durable cheesecloth substitute, muslin fabric is a great option.

It’s versatile and easy to use, and it won’t alter the taste of your food.

Coffee Filter

If you’re looking for a cheesecloth substitute, coffee filters are a great option.

They can be used in a variety of recipes, including as a replacement for cheesecloth when making cheese or strained yogurt.

Coffee filters are also beneficial because they’re disposable and relatively inexpensive.

When using coffee filters as a cheesecloth substitute, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re not as absorbent as cheesecloth.

As a result, you’ll need to use more coffee filters than you would cheesecloth.

Additionally, coffee filters may alter the flavor of your recipe slightly due to their absorbency.

Overall, coffee filters are a good cheesecloth substitute but keep in mind that they may change the flavor and consistency of your dish slightly.


Socks. What can’t they do? They keep your feet warm, they add a splash of color to an outfit, and now they can be used as a cheesecloth substitute.

That’s right, in a pinch, socks can be used in place of cheesecloth.

When opting for this substitution, it is important to use a clean pair of socks that are free of holes.

Depending on the recipe you are using, you may need to use more than one sock.

For example, if you are making a large batch of soup, you may need to use two or three socks.

Benefits of using socks as a cheesecloth substitute include the fact that they are easy to find (most people have at least one pair of socks in their home) and they are very inexpensive.

When it comes to recipes, socks can be used in any recipe that calls for cheesecloth.

One thing to keep in mind is that because socks are not as finely woven as cheesecloth, there may be some small pieces of food that end up in your final dish.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of.

Just remember, when it comes to substitutes, sometimes you have to think outside the box.

And in this case, outside the cheesecloth.

Fine Wire Sieve

There are a few cases where you can use a fine wire sieve as a cheesecloth substitute.

One benefit of using the wire sieve is that it’s less likely to rip.

Fine wire sieves are also suitable to be used in various recipes like cheese sauce, pumpkin puree, and quark.

It compares similarly to other substitutes like coffee filters and nut milk bags.

The main difference is that the wire sieve is less durable than cheesecloth and coffee filters.

Another change the wire sieve may make is that it will allow more solids to pass through than cheesecloth.

Fine Mesh Bag

A fine mesh bag can be used as a cheesecloth substitute in many cases.

It’s especially well-suited for straining liquids and holding solids.

The main benefit of using a fine mesh bag is that it’s much easier to clean than cheesecloth.

Cheesecloth can be difficult to clean properly, and it often starts to smell bad after just a few uses.

A fine mesh bag, on the other hand, can be easily cleaned in the washing machine.

When choosing a cheesecloth substitute, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for.

If you need to strain liquids, a fine mesh bag or coffee filter should work well.

Cotton Fabric

You can use cotton fabric for a variety of recipes, including cheese making, steaming vegetables, and straining stocks and sauces.

Cotton is a natural material that is absorbent and breathable, making it ideal for use in cooking.

It’s also durable and reusable, so you can get plenty of use out of it.

Cotton fabric is available in a variety of weights and grades, so you can choose the right option for your needs.

When choosing a substitute for cheesecloth, be sure to select a fabric that is unbleached and undyed.

Kitchen Towel

A kitchen towel is a suitable substitute for cheesecloth in many cases.

It is absorbent, so it can be used to line a strainer or to wrap and press tofu.

It is also lint-free, so it won’t contaminate your food.

When using a kitchen towel as a cheesecloth substitute, you’ll need to use several layers to get the same level of absorbency.


There are a variety of cheesecloth substitutes that you can use depending on what you need them for.

So bring out your resourcefulness and get cooking!