How to Clean a Zester

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Remove stuck-on zest with steam.
Remove stuck-on zest with steam. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

You rely on your citrus zester when a recipe calls for orange, lemon or lime zest. The handy zester peels away the outer layer of citrus rind and leaves behind fine shreds of flavor-packed skin. As you use a zester, sticky fruit residue builds up on it, and shreds of zest get stuck to the blade. A dishwasher removes most of this residue, but some stubborn pieces remain. To remove zest that won't come off with water, place the zester in a hot or steamy area. The heat loosens zest, allowing you to quickly wipe it away.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Toothbrush

Fill a small pot with water and set it on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and then lower the temperature to medium-high.

Lay the zester across the top of the pot. Allow the heat and steam from the water to dry out the stuck-on zest.

Remove the zester from the pot. Hold the zester over the sink or garbage can. Scrape the zester with a toothbrush to remove the dried-out zest.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is safe to clean most zesters in the dishwasher. Do this if you notice sticky juice building up on the blade.

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