Got A Grater Or A Microplane? This Is The Easier Way To Clean It

Cleaning between those little grooves is hard!

IMAGE Bianca Laxamana

Did you celebrate and do a little dance when you got your first Microplane? This grater upgrade was a sensation years ago, and it is still getting love from anyone who uses it. Its revolutionary grates that are similar yet different from your normal grater is what made the difference. It's more efficient than its sister kitchen tool. 

However, both tools are a hassle to clean! Those grooves are a bane to the sponge, no matter how soft, and just like when you're using it, it can shave off a few strands if you're not careful. While it's easy to use, cleaning it is a whole other issue. Have you ever grated ginger? Those fibrous strands are a nightmare to remove from graters!  

Our best tip for cleaning is the grater is all about timing. Clean it immediately after you use it. The food particles haven't had a chance to stick to the grater yet and is basically just hanging on to the grates. By running it under running water immediately, you make it easier for you to properly clean it with a soapy sponge.

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If you didn't, that's when cleaning it can get tricky. The food can harden and truly get stuck enough that scrubbing it off is definitely going to be needed. It's a hassle but it needs to be done so you can use it again for another recipe. 

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If you didn't run it under running water immediately after using it, we have a few tips and tricks that may make these handy kitchen tools easier to clean. It all starts with this: 

Use a glass of water. 

Have a tall glass of water when you're using a grater. Whenever you need to use it, grab it from the glass. It will not only make grating the food easier since it's slick with water, but it will also make sure that the food doesn't have a chance to harden as you work your way through the ingredients you're grating. Place it in the glass of water after every use, and you'll see how easy it is to use with every ingredient grated. When it's time to clean, it'll be easier, too.

If you didn't store your grater in the water while you worked, the next best way to get rid of those strands that hardened on the tool is soapy water. This however needs a little time. You need to loosen the food particles and water can loosen almost anything with time. With soap, it can clean it even easier. For those really stubborn stuck-on pieces, use hot water to not only loosen up the pieces, but also help soften the food, too. Here's what you do: 

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  1. 1. Find a glass or any container that the grater or Microplane head can fit into. The head should be submerged. (You can lay it down on a plate, too, if you're using a box grater.)       
  2. 2. Pour enough water, hot or room temperature, to cover the grater head. Add a little dishwashing soap and stir using the grater.  
  3. 3. Let it soak at least 1 minute. 
  4. 4. Once soaked, mix the water using the grater as if it were a whisk. This agitation should loosen any stubborn food particles. 
  5. 5. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Use a soapy sponge and wipe in the direction of the grates to finish the cleaning. 

Even stubborn ginger strands fly loose from the grates with the soap-mix trick! Do you still have some really stubborn food pieces? When even the water trick doesn't work, use a pastry brush or a toothbrush to brush that stuff off and out of the grates! 

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However, don't use hard scrubbing tools on your grater. The grates are like little knives. It can and will dull in time, but if you use a cleaning scrub that damages the sharp edges of the little grates, it will dull your grater faster than normal. This is one of the reasons why when it comes to graters and the Microplane, you will need to replace these, too, since it's next to almost impossible to sharpen all those little grates.   

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