How can I reuse or recycle a rusty cheese grater?

(My! doesn’t that sound like a smutty euphemism? :) )

We’ve had an email from Alicia:

Because a leak caused damp, all the metal stuff in my kitchen cupboard went rusty while I was on holiday. Didn’t think that could happen but it has! There is a square grater, a colander and a seive. Can I do anything with them?

I’ve de-rusted a cast iron griddle pan and we regularly have to de-rust our less-than-perfectly-seasoned wok but I imagine it might be harder work to restore holey things like that – anyone got any advice on repairing them and protecting them so they don’t continue to rust?

I’ve seen all three used as fun light fittings (eg this Instructable uses a colander as a ceiling light shade). If you don’t want them rusty, you could sand them back to get rid of the flakiness and paint them to protect it from future rust and give it a new look.

Failing all that, they’re some sort of metal so can be recycled in the metal scrap bin at your local tip/waste collection site.

Any other suggestions?

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7 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a rusty cheese grater?”


  1. Dario says:

    To reuse for long time and avoid rusted you can warm it after each use

  2. Ernie says:

    Soak the rusty cheese grater in Coca-Cola — seriously!

  3. Melinda says:

    I just saw a picture of a cheese grater hanging on a bedroom wall to hold earrings in this month’s Readymade magazine. An old one not fit for food coould be sanded and pinted for this.

  4. Roger says:

    The colanders could be used as a hanging basket i think, we used cheese graters as light fixtures last year, good uplighter, but some people can’t face graters on the walls.

  5. Just seen a student exhibition on Friday that had flattened rusty chees graters set into plaster at the Williamson Art Gallery Birkenhead.

  6. Olia says:

    Use it to grade soap leftover pieces, thus reusing both items at once. Use soap shavings for a bath or laundry.

  7. Marsha says:

    I have, over the years, invested in stainless steel graters, whisks, mesh strainser, etc. Worth it.



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