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How to Clean Microplane Zester

Any suggestions???

I have a new one, that I absolutely love using. It makes the very best "zest." But the problem is, I have THE hardest time cleaning it. I always seem to resort to having to pick out the dried zest with my fingernails. It is sooo tedious and annoying. Is there a trick to make this task easier?

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  1. "Dried zest"? How long do you wait before cleaning? I rinse mine immediately after use and have never had any problems.

    1. Hmm, they are partially difficult to clean because they are so sharp. If the zest has already been dried, then I would try to soak the microplaner in water for a few minute to soften it. Do you have a sink/kitchen sprayer?


      Also a kitchen brush works better than a sponge for a microplane.

      1. Rinse well, and then put into the dishwasher. I'd be sure to do the rinse if it won't be dishwashed quickly.

        1. Just after we're done using it we tap the end in the sink & then hold it under running water. Hey presto, the zest is gone from the Microplane. If you wait too long then yes, it'll dry & not be easy to clean.


          1. I run it under water, being careful not to touch the blades in the wrong direction. Then it shakes itself dry, like a wet cat.

              1. re: cutipie721

                I also use a toothbrush. Works great.

              2. I just always wash right after I'm done with it. Rinse right away, and then wipe away from the sharp bits on the one side so my towel doesn't get caught and get fuzz all over it, then wipe the back and rinse, and voila, clean.

                I don't put mine in the dishwasher, i know certainly in the industry it makes them more dull, I'm sure in a home dishwasher the effect is less exaggerated, but nonetheless I know firsthand they do get to be less sharp and the teeth get bent in a little so I always just wash by hand.

                1. Rinse immediately after using. A toothbrush or small kitchen brush will help get out any little bits that stay behind.
                  Microplanes are pretty hard on sponges.

                  1. I always wash immediately and do so by running a soapy sponge over it in the direction of the blades. I really don't have problems with zest getting stuck. You can use a bristle brush to of that though.

                    1. good gosh, I'm amazed at the variety of responses.

                      I just stick mine in the dishwasher - sharp side up, and with the hole in the handle pegged over one of the rack tines so it doesn't bounce around or fall to the bottom.

                      If yours doesn't have a hole in the handle, drill one. I've done that to spatulas etc so they don't fall.

                      1. I rinse it right after use, and also use a kitchen brush when I'm actually washing the dishes. No problem with any bits remaining.

                        1. I don't have a dishwasher. :-( (Blasphemous, I know.....) When I try to clean it right away, the wet zest sticks to the zester and when I try to use a sponge to get it out, the sponge gets grated too and pieces of it get stuck in the zester. Plus, it's one of those zesters where each hole has 4 little teeny blades sticking out....... So there is no "wrong direction" for me to wipe the spone in.

                          That's why I just run water through it to get out as much as I can and then I let it dry. It's earier to pick the zest out when it is dry and not sticking to the metal.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LaShanta

                            use a brush to remove the zest bits - either a dish brush or an old (or new) toothbrush. Run the brush not against the teeth but up towards the cutting edge, on both sides of the zester. that should do the trick.

                            1. re: LaShanta

                              I also do not have a dishwasher. I use a brush like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Double-S... to clean out stubborn stuff. It's like a two-sided toothbrush with stiff nylon bristles on one side and wire bristles on the other. I originally got this to clean my golf clubs, but I switched to a real toothbrush for the clubs and moved this to the kitchen for scrubbing the microplane and other stubborn cleaning tasks.

                            2. I also just rinse after use and have no issues. It is not only amazing for zest but is the very best cheese grater ever. Fluffy grated goodness that melts on the tongue ... magic! It's also good for shaving chocolate for crepes. One of the very best tools ever

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jkling17

                                also grates garlic...and ginger...and hard spices like cinnamon sticks & nutmeg. LOVE my microplanes.

                              2. Do not put it in the dishwasher. Just rinse it immediately, and wipe from the top to the bottom (so's not to ruin your rag) and you should be golden.

                                Chem's got it right on the nose with the sprayer. Makes your job even easier.

                                On a side note, I don't think dried zest ever hurt anyone.