Milk Straining Cloths

We have started using cloth to strain our milk instead of coffee filters. This is for two reasons. One, eventually, we will run out of coffee filters if the time comes that we cannot buy anymore. Two, there is a time in our goats lactation cycle where the milk will hardly go through the coffee filters. I don’t know if it has something to do with a change in the milk solids at certain points in the cycle or what. But it gets to where it will only go through the filter a drip at a time. The purpose of filtering is to remove any particulates that may be in the milk from the milking process. So, we are making a small change in our routine.

Part of this idea is from a recent post by Patrice Lewis over at Rural Revolution. She explained her milking routine and when she came to filtering the milk, she explained that she uses old sheeting material. With that information, we made the choice to use some scrap fabric I had in the sewing room. 

We compared the size needed to fit on the funnel we use and determined we needed to cut 8 by 8 inch squares. Well, I made up one of those, but it was too small. I didn’t take into account that I would be taking up some of the width on both sides of the fabric as I hemmed it. What I needed were 10 by 10 inch squares.

I did a simple hem all the way around. I folded under about 1/4″ the first time, then turned it under again to prevent raveling. 

This sewing machine was one of the things we invested in when we pondered things we would like to have if we no longer had access to electricity. The great thing about this machine is it can work on electricity or the treadle. And it is a commercial grade machine to boot. It can

sew through denim jeans or thin cotton fabric with ease. It is a dream to use. One thing we did discover though. If we had to depend on the treadle, we will need to be in better shape to continuously pump it up and down for long. If that is the case, maybe there will be someone with younger legs that can have that chore.

Fabric is also something we have extra of for a rainy day. There is nothing like buying things on sale at a fraction of the regular cost. You never know when it will come in handy, like for milk straining cloths.

So, now when we milk, we add the straining cloth to the boiling water when we pour it over the jar, funnel and clothes pins. Then it is ready for the milk. 

We feel good about this small change in our routine. It is something that will last a long time and can replace a disposable item that we were depending on. That is good. I just love learning new things!

Until next time – Fern

14 thoughts on “Milk Straining Cloths

  1. Thanks, Kathi. We didn't think of the clothes pins at first either, but the coffee filter would kind of sink down into the funnel sometimes and allow the milk to pass through around the edges unfiltered. We considered the standard wooden clothes pins, but didn't want to use them because they could harbor bacteria from the milk. We considered those fold over clips you use to hold a stack of papers together, but figured they would rust. Then we went and bought the plastic clothes pins. We didn't know how long they would hold up with daily submersion in boiling water, but that is all we use them for, so we hoped a couple of packages would last a while. That was five years ago and we are still using the original three. It has worked out well. I don't know why I never really considered cloth filters, though. Now I am finding out that lots of people use them. Learning from others experiences is such a great teacher. Thanks for sharing.Fern

  2. That is another good idea. Right now we are using a percolator so we don't use coffee filters for coffee. That sounds funny! We only used them for milk. Now I'm not using them for anything so I will have to come up with another use for them. Any ideas?Thank you for the comment. It's great to learn from other folks ideas.Fern

  3. Hoegger has some great supplies. We ordered one of our cheese presses from them. We are trying to use less disposable items in our everyday chores, thus, the cloth strainers.Thank you for the comment and thanks for reading.Fern

  4. I really like the paper milk filters I got from Hoegger supply. They last a really long time and filter well.

  5. You might try using a jelly cloth. It works great and will fit in your funnel. That is what I use. They are made of nylon. They are used to remove seeds from berries for making jelly.

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