What cloth is used to drain juice?

Juicing fruits and vegetables is a great way to get important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into your diet. Freshly squeezed juice often has a thicker, pulpier texture than store-bought juices. While some people enjoy the texture, others prefer a smoother, pulp-free juice. Using a cloth to drain freshly squeezed juice is an easy way to remove excess pulp and create a clearer final product.

Why Use a Cloth for Draining Juice?

There are a few benefits to using a cloth to drain freshly squeezed juice:

  • Removes pulp – A cloth will catch and trap most of the pulp, resulting in a smoother, less pulpy juice.
  • Strains small seeds – Many fruits and veggies like berries, tomatoes, and kiwi have tiny edible seeds. A cloth can help strain out these small seeds.
  • Catches foam – When juicing, it’s common for some foam to form at the top. Letting juice drain through a cloth helps remove the foam.
  • Avoids messes – Draining juice through a cloth into a pitcher or jar helps keep things tidy and prevent messes.
  • Infuses flavor – Allowing juice to drain slowly through a cloth allows time for the cloth to infuse more flavor into the juice.

What Type of Cloth Should Be Used?

You can use any thin, porous cloth that will allow liquid to pass through while trapping pulp and seeds. Here are some common options:



Cheesecloth is a lightweight, gauzy cotton cloth traditionally used for straining cheeses. It has a loose, open weave that allows small particles and liquid to pass through easily. Cheesecloth is inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. It’s a popular choice for juicing.

Nut Milk Bag

Nut milk bag

Nut milk bags are made from very fine, high-quality fabric like nylon or polyester. They are designed specifically for straining nut milks and work exceptionally well for juicing. Nut milk bags trap more pulp than cheesecloth and produce a smoother juice.

Cotton Muslin

Cotton muslin

Unbleached cotton muslin is made from loosely woven cotton. It has small holes that allow juice to pass through while catching pulp. Muslin comes in different weights – a lightweight muslin works best for juicing.

Coffee Filter

Coffee filter

A standard cone-shaped paper coffee filter can also be used to strain juice. The filter traps most pulp and foam. However, juice drains very slowly through the dense paper. Coffee filters are best for juices with very little pulp.

Fine Mesh Strainer

Fine mesh strainer

A fine mesh strainer or sieve can be lined with a thin cloth like cheesecloth or muslin to drain juice. This allows you to strain into a bowl or container rather than needing a funnel.

How to Drain Juice Through a Cloth

Draining freshly squeezed juice through a cloth only takes a few simple steps:

  1. Place a large bowl or jar underneath the juicer’s spout to collect the juice.
  2. Cut a piece of cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or other thin cloth about 12 inches square.
  3. Place the cloth over the top of the bowl or jar.
  4. Secure it in place with a rubber band or piece of kitchen string.
  5. Juice your fruits and vegetables as normal so that the juice filters through the cloth into the bowl.
  6. Once juicing is complete, gather up the corners of the cloth and gently squeeze out any remaining juice.
  7. Twist the top of the cloth and secure with a long piece of string or rubber band to create a pouch.
  8. Refrigerate the juice immediately. Discard the pulp or save for other uses like baking.

Make sure to rinse the cloth promptly after juicing so any residual pulp doesn’t dry on the fabric. Always use a clean cloth each time you juice.

Choosing the Best Cloth for Different Juices

Certain types of cloths work better for draining specific juices:

Type of Juice Best Cloth
Fruit and berry juices with lots of small seeds (e.g. blackberry, raspberry, kiwi) Nut milk bag or fine cheesecloth
Vegetable juices with pulpy produce (e.g. tomato, carrot, beet) Muslin or medium-weave cheesecloth
Citrus juices with little pulp (e.g. orange, grapefruit, lemon) Coffee filter or very lightweight cheesecloth
Green juices with fibrous produce (e.g. kale, spinach, wheatgrass) Nut milk bag or multiple layers of cheesecloth

Testing different types of cloths with various combinations of produce will help you determine the best fit for your juicing needs.

Alternative Methods for Draining Juice

While straining through a cloth is the most popular DIY method, there are a couple other options for draining freshly squeezed juice:

Use a Slotted Spoon

A large slotted spoon can be used to manually scoop pulp out of freshly squeezed juice before pouring into your cup or jar. This takes a bit more time and effort but works if you don’t have a cloth on hand.

Use a Juice Sieve

Some juicer machines come with a stainless steel sieve attachment that fits onto the juice spout. The fine holes in the sieve help catch excess pulp as juice pours through. Sieves are very convenient but aren’t quite as effective at pulp removal as a cloth.

Skip Draining Entirely

You can also choose not to drain the juice at all. Drinking it with all the pulp provides maximum fiber intake. This is a good option if you enjoy the thick, pulpy texture.

Storing Juice After Draining

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining juice quality after draining. Follow these tips:

  • Store juice in an airtight container like a mason jar or sealed bottle.
  • Fill the container to the very top with minimal air space.
  • Refrigerate immediately.
  • Drink within 24-48 hours for peak flavor and nutrition.
  • Don’t store at room temperature – juice will oxidize and lose nutrients quickly.
  • Consider freezing small portions to retain maximum freshness.

Safety Considerations

When draining juice through a cloth, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Inspect produce and discard any that is moldy or damaged.
  • Wash produce thoroughly under cold running water.
  • Use a clean juicer and cloth each time.
  • Don’t let juice or used cloths sit at room temperature – refrigerate promptly.
  • Drink juice within 2 days for food safety.
  • Throw away cloth after use – don’t reuse.
  • If juicing for children or anyone with a compromised immune system, boil juice for a minute before drinking.

The Bottom Line

Draining freshly squeezed juice through a porous cloth is an easy way to remove excess pulp and foam. Cheesecloth, nut milk bags and muslin all work well. Make sure to drink the juice soon after juicing for the best nutrition and flavor. With a little experimentation, you can find the perfect cloth setup for draining your favorite juices.

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