Mesh strainers are essential kitchen tools that should be well taken care of. They feature small sieve holes that can trap lots of debris onto them. If not properly cleaned, they harbor bacteria that may cause diseases. The cleaning task can be such a pain, but you don't need to worry, for this article will guide you on how to clean a mesh strainer without breaking a sweat.
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Cleaning a Stained tea Strainer
Whether you are a tea lover or not, it's undeniable that you know that tea strainers are important in tea brewing. They serve as a filter by separating tea leaves from the liquid-tea. After frequent usage of this item, you may notice some stains on it, depending on how often you brew tea. Read on to understand how to get those stains off your strainer.
Why your tea strainer gets stained
Dried tea leaves contain electro-charged theanine and theophylline molecules that stick onto metal surfaces. Continued use of the strainer means that these molecules get stuck onto the strainer every time it is used. The chemical reaction between the two polyphenols is what causes staining on strainers.
Ways of getting stains off your tea strainer
There are several ways you can clean your tea strainer depending on the stains' intensity. Once there's 'enough' staining on your strainer, you will definitely make an effort to clean them off. Below are some of the ways: -
Baking soda is a base that's so effective in eliminating stains on the strainers. Just sprinkle some baking soda powder directly on the strainer, then leave it for a minute. Take a toothbrush and gently scrub the surface of the strainer. Ensure you rinse the strainer thoroughly to prevent any lingering tastes on it. If the baking soda doesn't do an excellent job in eliminating stains, then you can repeat the whole cleaning process, this time with some lemon juice.
Pour a quarter cup bleach solution and a cup of water and mix the solution well. Take your metal strainer and soak it in the solution for up to 20 minutes. Clean the strainer with a scrubber and ensure you rinse the toxic bleach off thoroughly. Use lots of water to rinse it off.
This cleaning method is so easy! You just have to wash the strainer with some warm water immediately after straining your tea. Tea stains usually form when the strainer is left to sit for long after use. This cleaning method will keep stains from forming and sticking on the strainer.
Alcohol has amazing cleaning properties. Mix a cup of alcohol with 3 cups water and soak the strainer in the solution for up to 14 hours. After that, you can remove it and wash it in warm soapy water.
If the stains on the strainer are not so stubborn, you can first wash the strainer with just plain water. Next, you will apply alcohol to the stains and leave it to sit for some time. Go ahead, wash, rinse and dry the strainer.
Hard brushing is suitable with metal and stainless steel strainers with heavy stains. Wear gloves on your hands and place your strainer over a flame to heat for up to 5 minutes. Extinguish the flame and scrub off the stains with a toothbrush. Lastly, rinse off the dirt and let the strainer dry.
Note: The method is not suitable for plastic strainers.
How to Clean a Tea Strainer
Tea strainers have small meshed bowls that need to be cleaned after use. Most of them get easily stained after continued use. Check out on chow to lean your strainer.
What you will need:
- Warm/hot water
- Baking soda
- Dish detergent
- Pour some warm water into a basin and add some dish detergent into it.
- Take your sieve and sprinkle some baking soda onto it and leave it for a minute.
- With your toothbrush, gently scrub the strainer's sieve, cleaning off all the dirt on it.
- Clean the strainer in warm soapy water, scrubbing off any dirt that may have been left.
- Rinse off the strainer under a faucet with running water. The strainer should be thoroughly rinsed, so it doesn't transfer smells to your tea.
- Allow the strainer to air dry.
- Store appropriately.
How to Clean a Tea Strainer With Vinegar
Vinegar works best in getting rid of the hard stains on your strainers, but sadly, the strainer may absorb the vinegar. Do not be surprised if your tea has some vinegar taste on it. This, however, happens if the strainer is not properly rinsed.
So, to begin the cleaning process, have some gloves and pour some vinegar in a bowl or a basin. Then toss the strainer inside the bowl with vinegar for 5 minutes. Use a toothbrush or a cloth to scrub off the mesh. Clean the strainer's surface gently till all stains are gone.
Rinse off the vinegar from the strainer. You will notice that the strainer will have this new shiny look after cleaning.
Tip: wash the strainer with baking soda and water to eliminate vinegar taste.
How to Clean a Fine Mesh Strainer
Cleaning a fine-mesh strainer is no easy task. Those tiny mesh holes can be so unforgiving. Let us understand how to ease the cleaning headache associated with fine mesh strainers.
The first thing you should do immediately after using these sieves is banging them against the sink. This will remove the smaller debris that hasn't stuck up on the holes. You can then soak the strainer in some hot soapy water for half an hour. The water should not be too hot as the strainers' metal handles can overheat and plastics melt away.
After a good soak, place the strainer upside down under the faucet and let the running water pass over it. You can even toss the strainer in the dishwasher at this point, but It's not very recommended. Food particles from other dishes can get stuck on the strainer's holes, making it more difficult to clean.
With a sponge, toothbrush, or a scrubbing brush, clean the strainer thoroughly and have a sprayer at hand to help you dislodge any stuck particles on the meshes. If you are using the toothbrush, make sure you sterilize it in sodium hydroxide-water(hot) solution before you start using it on the strainer. Scrub both sides of the strainer and rinse off with clean water.
Dry your strainer effectively before storing it. The towel-drying method is effective but may leave some moisture accumulating between meshes. Leaving the strainer to air-dry is the best drying solution.
See on Video: How to Clean Strainer
Do not let your strainer look unappealing with stains stuck on it. Not only will it look unattractive but also unhygienic. With the above cleaning methods, I hope the process will be much easier. Now it is time to act and eliminate those stains before they stick hard. Remember, the harder the stains, the harder the cleaning becomes.
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Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore