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There is a much ballyhooed preconception that Dutch ovens, and other enamel cookware used heavily in your kitchen, are difficult to clean.

They can sometimes look completely wrecked after being used for a long cooking roast, stew, or casserole, especially the light-colored enamel interiors that become discolored and stained with use. Rest easy thoug, your Dutch oven is a lot easier to clean than you might think.

The following article will showcase a few popular methods of cleaning your Dutch oven – there are also a few tips and tricks for cast iron – so that you can adopt the process that suits you.

With these techniques you can have your Dutch oven looking fresh and clean every time you want to use it.

1. Comparing Baking Soda and Baking Powder

La Crueset Burned
Image Source: Rochelle Hartman via Flickr CC BY 2.0

The clip below compares soap and water, baking powder, and baking soda methods of cleaning Martha Stewart brand enamel dutch oven.

For most occasions, hot soapy water will adequately clean your Dutch oven, but it won’t get rid of brunt on food, serious stains, and age discoloration.

2. Bleach and Water Solution

Cuisinart Dutch Oven
Image Source: Tony Alter via Flickr CC BY 2.0

For Dutch popular ovens like a Le Creuset or Cuisinart, a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach per 1 pint of water is a recommended solution to get rid of stains and burnt food.

A 1 part bleach to 3 parts water solution works more effectively, and when soaking the utensil for a night or two, is a much better option of returning your dutch oven to its original coloring.

While many folks don’t like using bleach to clean their cookware, provided you do a thorough job of rinsing and cleaning off your cookware and make sure it’s sorted prior to use, then it’s not a risky cleaning method.

3. Kosher Salt

Image Source: Didriks via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Kosher salt is a great option for cleaning enamel dutch ovens, as it cleans your pot but won’t scratch or scar your cookware.

You will need to put a bit of elbow grease into the scrubbing, but it looks great when done and won’t cause any issues if you forget to rinse it after washing (whereas bleach can create health problems).

4. Barkeeper’s Friend

Barkeepers Friend
Image Source: Cheryl via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Barkeeper’s Friend is a popular multipurpose cleaner. The product’s primary active ingredient is oxalic acid, which is great for removing stains and crusted on food.

Using the foundational product to scrub your enamel cookware can be perilous as it can be quite abrasive, yet some feel it’s the best way to clean a crockpot.

The company recommends you apply their Barkeeper’s Friend soft cleanser instead – you just need plenty of hot water and a good scourer for it to be effective without damaging the enamel.

5. Cleaning Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Image by Vinzenz Lorenz M from Pixabay

Cast iron is seasoned with oil to create a nonstick surface and make sure food cooks evenly.

It’s important to ensure your seasoning isn’t compromised during the cleaning of a cast iron Dutch oven.

Proper cleaning makes the Dutch oven easier to maintain over a long period without worrying about burnt food flakes or stains.

A method that I like is utilizing kosher salt to free everything up while the pot is on the heat and then wipe out with paper towels, just like in the clip below.