Cooking Tips

The Best Way to Clean a Rasp Grater

You just grated cheese or zested a lemon. Now comes the not-so-fun part.

Published Mar. 3, 2022.

Is there anything better than fresh lemon zest in a zingy citrus cake, or a healthy sprinkling of grated cheese over steamy pasta? Our rasp-style graters deliver delicious results in the kitchen, but sometimes the daunting task of getting them clean can overshadow the joys of using them.

Whether you’re shredding your sponges (or your fingertips) every time you go to clean your Microplane or zester, the ATK Reviews team has the answer to safely get this kitchen tool clean.

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Senior editor Miye Bromberg’s advice is to act quickly to avoid dried-out bits clinging even more to the grater’s blades.

If you find your grater still has crusty bits after it dries, simply soak it for a few minutes in hot water. Wash it after the bits have softened and they should be easier to remove.

Miye also suggested, in order to spare your sponges the damage, “swipe them in the same direction as the blades, not against them,” as it will avoid shredding the soft material and ending up with even more specks to clean.

“Always clean as soon after use as possible. Dry grit is harder to remove.”
Miye Bromberg, ATK Reviews

Deputy Editor Kate Shannon also weighed in, advising against simply throwing your rasp grater in the dishwasher. “They rattle about in the dishwasher and dull, which makes them a pain to use,” she said. (To determine if your rasp grater is ready to be replaced, use this test.)

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Other tips to ensure a grit-free rasp grater is, when confronted by nearly impossible-to-remove bits, you can use the tip of a chopstick to push them out (we do not recommend using a knife), and to use the rougher side of your dish sponge, which is more abrasive and better at picking up materials (always swiping in the direction of the blades, of course).

Rounding out her advice, Miye added finally, “most importantly, do not use your fingers to clean any bladed tools unless you have extras to spare! Fingers are hard to replace, graters are not.”

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