Difference Between Nut Milk Bag vs Cheesecloth

Many people have made the switch from cow’s milk due to transitioning to a plant-based diet or because of lactose intolerance. Because of this, substitute milk such as oat milk and various nut milk (almond being the most popular) has become very popular.

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Since we’re now more conscious of where our food comes from many of us have made the leap towards making our own foods and beverages – including nut milk. The standard medium for making nut milk is a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, but what’s the difference? We’ve got you covered in this comparison of nut milk bags vs cheesecloth.

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What Does A Nut Milk Bag Do?

Quite simply, a nut milk bag is the filter that’s used to squeeze blended nut mixtures through. The purpose is to extract only the liquid milk and leave the nut fibers behind. The great thing about nut milk bags is that they are reusable.

Nut milk bags are typically made of a strong fibrous mesh such as nylon. They are pouches with a drawstring to keep everything secure. I’ve found that they look similar to little laundry bags. 

Other Nut Milk Bag Uses

It’s easy to pass off a nut milk bag as just a pouch to make nut milk but they can be used in other applications. Check out a couple below.

  • To Make Coffee

I’ll admit that I’m a coffee addict. I stumbled upon using my nut milk bag as a coffee filter substitute when I was out of regular filters. It worked perfectly! 

  • For Juicing

If you only have a blender (or have an inefficient juicer) you can use the nut milk bag to strain your blended mixture through. The nut milk bag will filter out any remaining pulp for a smoother juice blend.

What Cheesecloth Is Used For

As the name implies, cheesecloth’s original purpose was in cheesemaking. The cotton fabric was used to remove the whey from cheese curds. The curds are then eventually held together in the cheesecloth to form cheese.

Over time, cheesecloth has come to serve many other uses other than cheesemaking. For instance, I use it when preparing large cuts of meat like turkey breast to keep it moist. I soak the cheesecloth with my favorite basting liquids such as a olive oil and garlic mix. I then cover the turkey breast with the moist cheesecloth during the cooking process.

Cheesecloth can also be used to strain liquids such as stock, tea or coffee. If you look at cheesecloth you’ll see that it actually resembles medical gauze. In a pinch, you can use a piece of clean cheesecloth to wrap around an open wound.

Major  Differences: Nut Milk Bag vs Cheesecloth 

When we want to compare the nut milk bag vs cheesecloth, it means there are some differences between the two items. We examine those differences below: 

  • Strength – Cheesecloth is not as strong as nut milk bags. Nut milk bags have a higher thread count which makes them stronger and least susceptible to rips or blowouts.
  • Strainer abilityNut milk bags have a higher level of filtration when compared with cheesecloth. Therefore nutmilk bags work as a better strainer.
  • Price Cheesecloth is made from cotton which is less expensive than the nylon fabric of nut milk bags. Therefore, cheesecloth is the cheaper option.
  • Drawstring – Cheesecloth is in sheets and does not have a drawstring. Nut milk bags typically have a drawstring to allow you to seal off the bag as you use it. If you mistakenly drop it you won’t lose the contents. 
  • Sizing Options – The main benefit of nut milk bags is a secured pouch to effectively extract nut milk. Therefore, the size you get cannot be altered unless you want to destroy the bag’s integrity. Conversely, cheese cloths come in precut sheets that can be altered to a size as small as a little sachet.


Nut milk bags and cheesecloth both perform similar tasks. They can both strain liquids and provide filtration. 

If you are making cheese or straining a less pulpy item like yogurt then you’ll be fine going with cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is also cheaper and the size can be adjusted.

Final Recommendations

In terms of the ability to provide better straining and more filtration for high, finer pulp items such as nut milk and juicing; the nut milk bag is the best option.  Unless, you specifically needed the size adjustability of cheesecloth we recommend nut milk bags as the preferred option because of their strength and durability.