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Enamel Dutch ovens are both beautiful and durable, not to mention they're great for making a variety of meals. However, these popular pots are typically more expensive than your traditional cast iron pot, so it's best to know how to clean and maintain them for longevity. But how do you do that? We have looked into the best ways to clean enamel-based dutch ovens, and in this post, we will go over it.
Here are the steps to clean an enamel Dutch oven:
- Let the pot cool down.
- Soak the pot.
- Use a scrubber to remove any stuck-on food.
- Apply baking soda.
- Rinse the pot.
- Dry the pot with a soft cloth.
A good enamel Dutch oven can run you anywhere from $40 to upwards of $500 or more. It's best to understand the proper cleaning products to use to maintain them and which ones to avoid. Continue reading to learn the best way to take care of your enamel Dutch oven so that it looks its best and lasts a long time.
Steps To Clean An Enamel Dutch Oven
Enamel Dutch ovens may naturally become discolored with normal use over a period of time. However, you can minimize the damage done to their appearance by proper maintenance and cleaning them right after you use them. Storing them properly can also go a long way.
Things you'll need:
- Scrubber sponge
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Nylon scrubber brush
1. Let the pot cool down
First, let the Dutch oven cool down before attempting to clean it. This can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. Also, do not place the pot in hot or cold water at this time, as it can severely damage the enamel and cause it to crack.
2. Soak the pot
Once the pot has cooled, place it in warm soapy water. Allow the pot to soak anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to soften any hardened stains or stuck-on food.
3. Use a scrubber to remove any stuck-on food
After soaking the pot, use a nylon scrubber to remove any stubborn grime or stains. Do not use steel wool or metal sponges on the pot, as they will easily scratch the surface and ruin the finishing coat on the exterior.
4. Apply baking soda
If you have any stubborn stains that you can't seem to scrub away, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of water. Stir the mixture with a spoon until it forms a thick paste.
Next, apply it to the pot using a soft sponge, rubbing it in a circular motion. Allow the solution to sit for a minute or two to penetrate the stains.
5. Rinse the pot
After removing any stains and spots, rinse the pot with cool water. Use a nylon scrubber if needed to remove any hardened baking soda paste.
6. Dry the pot with a soft cloth
Next, dry the pot using a lint-free dry cloth or paper towel. Then, place the pot in the cabinet for storage.
Can I use a Magic Eraser on enamel cast iron?
Yes, you can use a Magic Eraser on enamel cast iron. However, caution should be taken when doing so. When using the Magic Eraser, be sure not to scrub too long or too aggressively, as the sponge can eventually wear down the enamel surface of the pot.
It's also best to first soak the pot to remove any hardened stains. If you're going to use a Magic Eraser on your enamel cast iron, it's also best to do so sparingly.
Can I use Bar Keepers Friend on my Le Creuset Dutch oven?
Yes, you can use Bar Keepers Friend on your Le Creuset Dutch oven to remove any stains. Here's how to do it:
- Rinse the pot with cool water and don't dry it off.
- Next, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of Bar Keepers Friend on the bottom of the pot.
- Take a damp sponge or a soft cleaning cloth and scrub the pod in a circular motion. Don't scrub too aggressively—just hard enough to work the powder onto the surface.
- Next, rinse the pot off with cold water and then dry it with a paper towel or soft cloth.
- Repeat the previous steps as needed until the stains are gone.
What not to use on your enamel dutch oven
Although enamel Dutch ovens can be pretty resilient, there are a few materials and products that you should avoid using on them if you want them to last a long time and look their best.
Steel Wool scrubbing pads
You should never use steel wool scrubbers on these ovens, as they will easily scratch the surface. Once the surface is scratched, there's no way to get rid of it. They can also degrade the overall quality of the pot over time.
Instead, use nylon or plastic scrubbers to get rid of stubborn stains. You can also soak the pot in soapy water and apply baking soda as well.
Also, try not to use metal utensils in your Dutch oven, as they can also degrade the finish of the pot over time. This means that you should stay away from metal spatulas, spoons, and forks when using the pot. Instead, use rubber or plastic utensils.
Citrus cleaning solutions
Though citrus cleaning solutions can do a great job of removing grease and tough stains, they can gradually take the shine out of your enamel pot. If you want to avoid having your pot appear dull and dingy, opt for non-citrus-based cleaners such as regular dish soap or other degreasers.
How do I make my Le Creuset look new?
Keeping your Le Creuset pot looking its best means using the best materials and methods to maintain it. Let's look at a few ways to maintain these pots.
Clean the pot immediately
After letting your pot cool, always clean it immediately with a degreaser such as regular dish soap. Never let stains or hardened food remain on the pot for an extended period of time. This will make the stains harder to remove, causing you to use more extensive methods to clean the pot.
You'll want to scrub the pot as little as possible to help maintain the finish. Be sure to only use more abrasive products on an as-needed basis.
Always let the pot cool before moving it
Moving the pot from a hot stovetop to a cool area such as cooled dishwater or the fridge can cause the pot to crack or damage the finish. Give it a few minutes to reach room temperature before moving it.
Always dry the pot completely
After cleaning and rinsing the pot, always dry it with paper towels or a dry cloth right away. This will prevent the edges and top rims from rusting and corroding over time.
How do you fix discolored enamel?
The best way to fix discolored enamel is to either use a baking soda paste solution or a combination of salt and lemon.
Baking soda solution
Baking soda is well known for its ability to remove stains and spots from various surfaces and materials. Make a baking soda paste by mixing one tablespoon with a 1/4 cup of water and then apply it to the discolored areas of the pot.
Next, let the solution sit on the pot for 40 to 60 minutes. Afterward, scrub the pot with a nylon scrubbing brush to remove the stain. Repeat as needed.
Lemon and salt solution
For this method, pour coarse salt over the discolored area and then squeeze one to two tablespoons of lemon juice directly on top of it (you can also mix the two in a bowl). Use a cleaning cloth to rub the paste-like mixture into the stained area.
Then let it sit for 7 to 10 minutes. Then clean the pot as usual, and then rinse and dry it.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope this post has helped you better understand the best products and methods to use when cleaning your enamel Dutch oven. Remember, never use abrasive chemicals or metal scrappers on an enamel Dutch oven, as they will likely damage the surface of the pot.
Instead, try soaking the pot in soapy water, applying Bar Keepers Friend, baking soda, or using a Magic Eraser to get rid of tough stains.
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