I'd imagine the "slimy" feeling is due to all the starch passing over and through it. But how come it's so hard to clean? Even with repeated scrubbing the slickness can stubbornly remain.

  • As an aside to your question, tipping out the pasta along with water straight into the colander is the wrong way to go about things. You have just spent 10 minutes getting rid of the starch, then you go and pour it back all over the pasta. Instead, use a pasta server or tongs to remove the pasta from the water, then place it in the colander to strain. Voilà: no slimy colander, no starchy pasta, and you have the added benefit of having pasta water which you can use to thicken your sauce. Commented May 6, 2015 at 15:02
  • @ElendilTheTall, usually you want a layer of gelatinized starch on the pasta to help the sauce adhere. This is what happens to your pasta regardless of how you treat it due to pasta being mostly starch. Adding pasta water to the sauce simply is an aid to this process. If starch was not desirable, you'd see people telling you to wash your pasta with clean water when you're done cooking it. Commented May 6, 2015 at 18:42
  • With some asian noodles, the associated instructions and recipes suggest doing exactly that... depends on usage I assume. Commented May 6, 2015 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


I'm Italian, we use colanders to drain pasta every day. It's the starch. You are supposed to drain pasta in the kitchen sink, right? As soon as you drain the pasta, pour the pasta on the sauce, or serve it and run cold water immediately over the empty but still hot colander. It will remove the starch without effort.

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