A genius trick that will save your knuckles and your sponges.

Graters are one of the handiest tools to have in a kitchen. The right grater can break down a hunk of Parmesan, take the yellow right off a grapefruit, and transform nutmeg into a coffee topping. As handy as they are, though, after you zest, grate, or grind, cleaning a grater can be, well, grating. Cleaning a grater can scrape your knuckles, destroy your manicure, and ruin your sponges, especially if the food has dried on there. Luckily, there's an easy solution and it all starts in your refrigerator's produce drawer.

Lemons are naturally astringent. The citrus fruit's ability to cut through oil makes them great in salad dressing and also a clever option for cleaning fatty cheese bits left in a grater. To put a lemon to work getting the gunk out, simply cut the fruit in half and run the pulp over the grater's holes, according to The Kitchn. After a few minutes of scrubbing the fruit over the grater, rinse under hot water, assess your cheese-removing progress, and scrub again as necessary.

A version of this hack has even gotten traction on TikTok, where a video posted by user Carolina McCauley shows a half lemon drizzled in a little dish soap being used to scrub a grater. A few moments with the soapy lemon and a good rinse with warm water and the grater is clean. It's quick, easy, and no fingers or knuckles were harmed in the process.

If you don't have a lemon—or don't feel like sacrificing a lemon to cleaning—over at Serious Eats they suggest simply soaking your grater in hot water for five to ten minutes. That's apparently enough time to soak off any caked-on food making it a breeze to clean.