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What Can I Use Instead Of a Jelly Bag?

A jelly bag is used in the kitchen to strain fruits meant for jelly. It separates the fruit juice from seeds and other solid, fibrous materials. The result is a clear juice that can be used in jelly.

What is a Jelly Bag Strainer?

A jelly bag, or jelly bag strainer, is used to separate clear juice from fruit solids and seeds.

Jelly bags are some sort of mesh filter that is suspended above a container to hold the juice that makes it through the filter.

Often the bag is supported by a tripod or on four legs above the container – see the photo above.

Related: Cheesecloth vs Nut Bag Strainer

What Can I Use Instead Of a Jelly Bag?

If you don’t have a jelly bag strainer on hand, but you need to make jelly, what can you use as an alternative?

We have Four Jelly Bag Strainer Alternatives

If you are looking for an alternative to a jelly bag strainer, you can use a cheesecloth, unbleached muslin, a pillowcase, or a mesh cloth-like stockings. 


Cheesecloth is an excellent jelly bag substitute, and can be used in the same manner as you would a jelly bag.

What is a jelly bag?  Cheesecloth substitute.
Cheesecloth Works Well as a Jelly Bag Strainer Substitute

Unbleached Muslin

Similar to Cheesecloth, Unbleached Muslin is a great alternative to a jelly bag strainer. You can use it in the same way as a jelly bag.


Older, thinned out pillow cases work best. Newer pillow cases may be too thick and won’t allow all of the juice to pass through into your juice container.

Mesh Cloth / Stockings

Make sure to use unworn stockings to avoid any tears in the material. The fine mesh material will work very well as a jelly bag substitute.

Related: What can I use Instead of Cheesecloth?


Cheesecloth, unbleached muslin, a pillow case, and stockings all can work well as jelly bag alternatives.

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