Table of Contents
Cheesecloth is a lightweight material usually made out of cotton and has tiny holes. You can use it to drain and separate curds (lumps of milkfat) from whey (yellow-ish liquid) in the process of making cheese. Curds are what eventually turn into cheese after you continuously press and drain them of whey.
Cheesecloths are normally reusable, so you’d need to wash them before every use to remove germs and bacteria. The versatile nature of the cloths allow you to drain other solid foods from liquids besides cheeses. If you plan to add cheesecloths to your grocery shopping list, we will show you where to buy cheesecloth of the best grade and aisles to find it.
Where do you find cheesecloth in a grocery store?
The best section of the grocery store to find cheesecloth is the Baking aisle as you can bake cheeses, and also add them to pastries. You will find the clothes next to other baking materials like strainers, baking soda, and flour, among others.
Another section you should check is the Kitchen supplies aisle. It carries all the materials you need in your kitchen like pots, pans, dish sponges, and others. Since grocery stores change their layouts frequently, you may find both Kitchen and baking sections combined. When in doubt, just ask any of the employees to direct you.
If your local grocery store or supermarket doesn’t have cheesecloth, then any fabric, hardware store, or bed and linen depot near you should have it. They sell it by the yard, so you can cut as much as needed instead of buying an entire roll or pre-cut yards that aren’t enough like grocery stores do.
Overall, it’s easier to order online and have your cheesecloth delivered to you. Online marketplaces like Amazon offer you the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home at low costs.
How do you choose a cheesecloth?
Use the tricks below to choose quality cheesecloth that is worth your money:
1. Look and feel
You can tell a good cheesecloth just by looking, and feeling the fabric with your hands. You may think a loosely spun cheesecloth will allow liquids to pass through faster. But that also means curds can pass through as well.
A tightly woven cheesecloth filters curds from whey in the smoothest way possible. If you have no option than to buy a loose cheesecloth, then you can always double it. This way, the threads overlap and become tight, making it possible to strain liquids from solids better.
2. Check for grade labels
Cheesecloths come in different grades ranging from 10 to 90. The higher the number, the better the cheesecloth. Grade 10 cheesecloths have the thinnest threads and widest holes with a weave count of 12×20. With every use, the threads become weaker and the holes stretch. It’s not the best option if you want your curds to separate finely from the whey. Preferably, you should only use grade 10 cheesecloths only for aging cheese.
Mid-grade cheesecloths from Grade 40 to 60 have holes just right. They’re not too open or tight, and have better durability than Grade 10 cheesecloths. Grade 40 cheesecloths have a 12×24 weave count, while Grade 50 cheesecloths have 28×24. Grade 60 has 32×28.
Grade 90 cheesecloths are the best option because the threads are heavier and more durable than other grades. You can reuse them as many times as you need without worrying about tearing. Their weave count is around 44×36.
3. Buy unbleached cheesecloths
Fabric producers usually soak cheesecloths in bleach to rid them of soil and cotton seed particles that can contaminate food. While bleached cheesecloths are medical-grade and the more advised option, they have traces of bleach.
Bleach is a harmful chemical, and can affect flavors, odors, and textures of foods, depending on the level of bleaching the fabric has undergone. That said, you should always wash any fabric you’re going to bring near your food. You never really know how honest the producers are, anyway.
Where to buy cheesecloth online & in-store
The stores in this section sell Grade 90 cheesecloths, which are the best grades for filtering cheese. Store layouts are rearranged constantly, and some retailers may have online locators to help you find the right aisle in your region. Whole Foods Market is among the few that don’t offer delivery options on their website. You may need to use a food delivery app.
Amazon has everything you need in one website. You can buy cheesecloth online and receive them at your doorstep. You can get them in different grades up to 90.
Fabric stores & Home depots
Fabric stores sell most materials you need to sew clothing or home decor items. Joann Fabrics sells 100% cotton cheesecloths you can use for filtering foods, and other purposes.
Home Depot doesn’t have many brands to choose from, but they have up to four yards of cheesecloths. Like Amazon, the website shows you items frequently bought together to save you money.
Walmart has cheesecloths in the Kitchen essentials aisle. Look near cooking supplies like tea towels and strainers. You will also find cheesecloths in the Paper goods aisle near paper towels. Use the online locator to find a Walmart store near you and the appropriate aisles.
Target keeps cheesecloths in the Baking section. Also check the Kitchen supplies section. They sell unbleached and reusable cheesecloths from one to three yards.
Whole Foods Market
They sell natural cheesecloths, but the website doesn’t offer delivery or pickup options. Amazon owns Whole Foods Market, so you can order the product from Amazon.com.
Safeway & Albertsons
The same company owns both stores, and you may notice similarities. For example, website design and store arrangements. They sell 100% cotton cheesecloths up to four yards. You will find them in the Kitchen utensils aisle.
Kroger sells unbleached cheesecloths from two to nine yards. Brands like Goodcook come in packs of six, so pricing may be higher compared to other stores on this list.
Meijer keeps cheesecloths in the Produce and DIY sections of some stores. They have brands like Frost King, Dritz, and Farberware.
Now you know where to buy cheesecloth near you. Cheesecloths are great for pressing out liquids from solids when filtering cheeses, and other foods. When you can’t find cheesecloths in stores near you, there are alternatives you should consider. Muslin fabric is just as effective. As unusual as it may sound, bedding materials made out of cotton will also do. For example, unused towels, pillowcases, and bedsheets.
Moses Dzarmah is the founder of Grocerycorridor. Having worked in the grocery store for almost all his life. His colleagues called him the grocery hermit for his knowledge around the field that’s encompassing. Almost disturbing that he’d know every nitty gritty part associated to grocery stores. I decided to pen down as my colleagues will endearingly say with a slight mockery “wealth of experience”.