Alternative uses for colanders

Not only does knowing how to properly use your kitchen utensils save you time, space, and money, but knowing additional uses for your utensils can have the same effect. Earlier this week, the DIY Life blog wrote about “10 Clever Uses for Colanders.” The post, written by Diane Rixon, includes some smart ideas for making multi-uses with this large piece of kitchen equipment.

These are my favorites from the article:

1. Grease splatter reducer. Carefully place a colander upside down over frying foods. The heat can get out, but the grease is largely contained.

5. Play accessory. Kids love to watch anything drain through a colander. I mean anything. Sifting water, small beads, bird seed, sand, or good old-fashioned dirt through a colander works well for keeping kids entertained.

7. Bug tent. Colanders can’t keep tiny bugs off picnic and barbecue spreads, but they will help discourage large flies. So if your platter has no lid and you’re in a pinch, grab a colander and pop it upside down over your food.

Check out the full list of 10 and then come back here and share more of your ideas for creative uses for colanders and other kitchen utensils.

23 Comments for “Alternative uses for colanders”

  1. posted by David Albee on

    C’mon, ya got ta get cha geek on:

  2. posted by A Conceited Jerk on

    And let us not forget the scene in Ghostbusters where Egon constructs a brainwave sensor helmet out of a colander!

  3. posted by Guen on

    Long ago, I bought a cheap mesh colander just to sort Legos. Small pieces are contained in the bowl shape and the fine mesh easily allows me to look on the bottom of the pile to find the piece I need. 🙂

  4. posted by Peter (a different one) on

    how about the police department that used a colander and a copy machine as a lie detector? Every time they thought the suspect was lying, the hit the copy button and the copier spit out a page that said LIE on it.

    not confirmed or totally disproven, but entertaining

  5. posted by Jim on

    Yeah, when I’m on a picnic and forget the lid, I always have a trusty colander on-hand…

  6. posted by WilliamB on

    The dreaded salad spinner is a great produce washer as well. Put your produce in the spinner (both pieces – the bowl and the insert), fill with water, swish. When you’re done washing, pull out the insert and let the water drain into the bowl.

    – If you want to spin the produce, dump out the water.
    – If you want to wash more produce, it’s easy to reuse the water, meaning less water waste.
    – When you’re done, the water is in a bowl ready for another use, like watering your plants.

    Alas, until someone markets a metal salad spinner, you can’t use one as a colander for hot water.

  7. posted by artgyrl on

    They didn’t mention a great one – as a steamer basket.

  8. posted by Lyn on

    Flour sifter?

  9. posted by [email protected] on

    I’m currently using an extra colander to hold my loofahs, scrubs, and spongie bath accessories. Perfect for storing while allowing excess water to drain away…

  10. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    I have an antique graniteware colander that was my grandmother’s. I use it inside a cabinet to store my onions. The holes allow for some air circulation, which helps the onions keep longer, and the handles make it easy to pull it out so I can find the right size onion for whatever I’m making.

  11. posted by cjmemay on

    We use ours as a fruit/vegetable basket. We keep it out on the counter displaying attractive fruit, until I need it, when I unceremoniously dump them out, rinse the colander, put it to use, then return it. Has worked out great so far.

  12. posted by Karen on

    I turn a colander upside down over a plate of pancakes to keep them warm. The holes allow the steam to escape, so they don’t get all soggy.

  13. posted by sue on

    Before we had the siding on our house replaced, we had a bat problem. About 4 times a year, we’d find a bat somewhere in the house–on the drapes, in the shower (big EEK!), in the kitchen sink, etc.

    My bat removal system consisted of a cheap cookie sheet and a plastic colander. You slap the colander over the bat, and slide the cookie sheet underneath, carry the whole thing outside and FLING the batman to freedom.

    (S’OK–the colander and pan were dedicated to Bat Removal.)

  14. posted by A.M.B.A. on

    Ok, Sue, you win the prize for most creative and practical alternative use for the lowly colander! Good work!


  15. posted by WilliamB on

    Lyn, you can definitely use a mesh colander as a sifter. The holes in a holy colander are too large.

    You can rig a shower from a holy colander and a hose.

  16. posted by Another Deb on

    I have a dedicated colander to wash aquarium gravel as I clean it at the end of a school year. I can rinse, swish it around, shake it,or swirl it partly submerged.

  17. posted by LI Girl at Heart on

    I, too, use my plastic colander to clean out the goldfish gravel.

    I have another plastic colander that holds clothes pins near my clothes line. I bought a small (mesh) table from Target to set the laundry basket on (back issues) and there is room for the colander along side a laundry basket.

  18. posted by timgray on

    They also make really great hanging lights. we used several found at a restaurant supply store added light wires and a socket and now 4 of them hang over the bar in the basement.

  19. posted by Greg on

    It seems that I’m the only one who doesn’t own a colander. Once I was preparing tortellini and the colander had been relocated for use in one of these endlessly creative ways that most of you seem to have found.

    All I could think to do was tip the pot towards the sink to drain off the water, while maintaining only a very small gap between the lid and the pots edge.

    Since then I have found that I can even accomplish this with long noodle pasta and even angel hair pasta, so the colander will never again find it’s place in my kitchen.
    To strain the water from salad, I simply wrap it all in a clean cloth of appropriate size and shake it gently for about 15 seconds.

    Thus, my goal has been to thin out as many utensils and tools throughout my home, while finding clever ways to complete many tasks with the same end result.

    Buon appetito!

  20. posted by Fabulous Links: Home, Kids and You « Simple Life Chronicles on

    […] Unclutterer~~Alternative Uses for Colanders […]

  21. posted by Morgan on

    I store pot lids in mine – smallest at the bottom to largest at the top.

  22. posted by SimoneGallina on

    I used it as a WIFI usb antenna booster!

  23. posted by Karryn on

    For kids, turn a colander over, give them some raw spaghetti noodles and let them push the sticks through the holes. Makes weird installation art, too.

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