Disclaimer: I earn from qualifying purchases on my website as an Amazon Associate. If you purchase through links from this website, I may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.
What is Enameled Cast Iron?
How to Clean an Enamel Dutch Oven Without Losing the Shine
What You’ll Need
What You’ll Need
What You’ll Need
What You’ll Need
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Baking Soda
- Nylon Pot Scrubber
When you are happy with the removal of the food you can then go on and determine which process you need to finish the job. All are listed below.
1. How to clean an enamel Dutch oven – everyday cleaning. or:
2. How to clean an enamel Dutch oven the maintenance process, then the everyday cleaning process.
How to Clean Outside of Enameled Cast Iron
When you clean a Dutch oven it’s not only the inside your Dutch oven that needs attention. You could have an exterior that might have burnt on stew, looks brown, and sometimes it’s extremely stained. In dire cases, it may cause the rim to become rusty.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you remove stubborn stains without abrasive cleaning:
What You’ll Need
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap
- Soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge
- Baking soda
- White vinegar (optional)
- A soft nylon brush or old toothbrush
- Soft towel for drying
Steps to Clean the Exterior
- Fill your sink or basin with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap.
- Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring out excess water.
- Gently wipe down the exterior of the Dutch oven.
- Rinse with clean water to remove any soap residue.
- Dry thoroughly with a soft towel.
Baking Soda Scrub (for stubborn stains or burnt on bits)
If basic cleaning doesn’t remove the stain, make a paste with equal parts soda and water.
- Apply the paste to the stained areas.
- Use a soft nylon brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub the stain. Be sure to scrub in a circular motion, applying even pressure.
- Rinse well with water and dry thoroughly.
Vinegar Soak (for extremely stubborn stains)
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a basin or large bowl.
- Place the stained portion of the Dutch oven with water and vinegar solution, ensuring the stain is submerged.
- Let it soak for 1-2 hours. Remove the Dutch oven from the solution and scrub gently using a soft brush, focusing on the stained areas.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely.
Always make sure to dry your Dutch oven thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any rusting.
- Avoid letting your Dutch oven boil over or spilling food and liquid down the sides.
- Don’t use steel wool or abrasive pads on your enamel Dutch oven. These can scratch and damage the enamel finish.
- Never use bleach or harsh cleaning agents as they can dull or damage the enamel coating.
How Do I Clean the Interior of My Le Creuset Enamel?
Cleaning Le Creuset enamel is the same as cleaning any enamel cookware. Most are just wary because this luxury cookware has such a large price tag that they are afraid of ruining it.
My article about cleaning and caring for Le Creuset cookware deep dives into taking care of your gorgeous cookware.
Bar Keeper’s Friend on Enamel Cast Iron
If all else fails I would use the cleaning product bar keeper’s friend bar as a last resort. It is a fact that harsh chemicals will affect the performance of your enameled Dutch oven. The caveat is that raw cast iron will stand up to Barkeepers’ friend powder because you can strip and re-season bare cast iron to its former glory.
Deep dive with me into the various Bar Keepers Friend products and their affect on enamel cast iron cookware.
How to Clean Enamel Cast Iron Pot (Everyday Cleaning)
Although dishwasher safe, unfortunately, the dishwasher is just not going to care for the enamel the way you can. I believe that the dishwasher will also dull the outside of your pot’s enameled finish as the cleaners are harsh.
If you carry out the following after each use you hopefully won’t have to carry out the heavy-duty cleaning so often.
Firstly make sure your cookware is cool before you start cleaning. Handwashing with warm soapy water is recommended.
Using a dishwashing cleaner void of citrus juices is the best. The citrus will over time dull the exterior glossiness of your enamel cast iron Dutch oven.
Stuck or crusty food residue can be removed using nylon pads or scrapers. No metal utensils or metal cleaning pads as they will scratch your porcelain enamel coating.
Top Tip – My favorite way of avoiding burnt-on food is to use parchment paper liners. Especially when cooking any dish which involves fruit like applesauce or desserts they really do stop the food from sticking to the inside of the Dutch oven. Check out the one I use the most at Amazon Lodge cast iron cleaner.
How Do You Clean Discolored Enamel Cookware?
You need to clean your Dutch oven and carry out the steps for everyday cleaning.
You may have only slight stains or a little discoloration that can build up over time or for many uses. In these cases you can use a ceramic cleaner, always following the instructions on the bottle.
Use these cleaners on a damp cloth then use a gentle rubbing motion over the bottom of your pot. Then wash out with warm non-citrus dishwashing soap and a nylon scourer. Dry thoroughly and store.
The ceramic cleaner I use is by the Lodge Company and all my enameled cast iron cookware gets a treat sometimes. Lodge ceramic cleaner is the cleaner I like the most.
If your stains are a little worse than described above you can use a mix of 3 tablespoons of household bleach per quart of water.
On the interior of the cookware only, soak for 2-3 hours. Do not immerse the entire oven into this mixture as you will damage the exterior of the oven.
If you want to attempt to make the inside of your cast iron enamel a little shinier you can wipe the inside of your oven over with a little white vinegar with a soft cloth.
Remove Rust From Rims of Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
If the rim of your enamel cast iron Dutch oven has become rusty, it’s because the rim doesn’t have the enamel coating that the rest of the Dutch oven does. Follow the steps below so you can remove rust from that uncoated rim:
What You’ll Need
- White vinegar
- Steel wool or a scrubbing pad
- Vegetable oil or mineral oil
- Clean cloth or paper towel
Steps to Remove Rust
White Vinegar Soak
- Dampen a cloth or paper towel with white vinegar and wrap it around the rusty rim, ensuring it’s making contact with all the rusty parts.
- Let sit for 1-3 hours depending on the extent of the rust.
- Remove the cloth or take the Dutch oven out of the dish.
- Use the steel wool or scrubbing pad to gently scrub the rim. The vinegar should have loosened the rust, making it easier to remove.
- Wipe away the rust residue with a clean cloth.
- After all the rust is removed, rinse the rim with water and dry it thoroughly.
- To prevent future rusting, lightly coat the rim with vegetable oil or mineral oil using a cloth or paper towel. This creates a barrier that helps to keep moisture away from the exposed iron.
- Avoid soaking the entire Dutch oven in vinegar, especially for prolonged periods, as this can affect the enamel coating.
- Keep it looking good by rubbing vegetable oil over the entire enamel surface then giving it a good buff.
- Always store your Dutch oven in a dry place to avoid rust in the future. If possible, store it with the lid off or slightly ajar to allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.
- Remember to periodically check the rim for rust, especially if the pot has been exposed to moisture.
Storing Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Your cookware must always be very dry before storing. If you thought the handy rubber pot holders were supplied to move your cookware around the room you will be glad to know they have another use.
They should also be placed between the rim of the pot and the lid, this assists in protecting your enamel pot and its lid from scratches and chipping.
You should also avoid stacking any other cookware on your enamel cast iron. This also protects cookware from damage.
Related read I have a fantastic article all about storing cast iron great ideas that are bound to elongate the life of your Dutch oven.
Quick answers to some common questions about how to clean Dutch ovens.
Can you soak enameled cast iron?
Soaking a good quality piece of enameled cast iron cookware is fine. Water and soapy water overnight, then a good scrub with a nylon or similar scourer the next day. Repeat if necessary or employ some of the more stringent cleaning measures outlined above. Learn more about soaking cast iron cookware.
How to clean Le Creuset Dutch ovens
Using the gentle cleaning methods above will clean your Le Creuset or you can check out the Le Creuset cleaning and care guidelines.
How to clean a Staub Dutch oven
The same goes for Staub and Le Creuset – you can check out Staub’s cleaning and care guides.
To Finish – How To Clean An Enamel Dutch Oven
Over the years the enamel coating of your Dutch oven will become a little worse for wear, not unlike any other workhorse. You could also think of your cookware as gaining a personality when a new burn mark appears. The first thing to do is find effective ways to clean your Le Creuset pot, Staub cocotte, or much-loved Dutch oven.
With regular cleaning, proper care, storage, and a little maintenance in between. Your enameled cast iron cookware should last a lifetime. It should even be handed down to the next generation as an heirloom piece of cookware.
One-Pot Cooking Rocks