Your Dutch Oven should last you a lifetime if you take proper care of it and clean it carefully and thoroughly. Here’s how to clean a Le Creuset Dutch Oven.
Whether you’ve just gotten your first Le Creuset, or whether you’ve had one for years, there comes a point where everyone says to themselves “Wait, am I cleaning this thing properly?” One of the great things about enamelled Dutch Ovens is that they’re perfect for cooking at high temperatures, so they do an amazing job of searing and browning just about anything. Of course this kind of cooking can lead to sticking, staining, and baked-on messes. How you go about cleaning your Le Creuset will determine whether it truly does last for a lifetime or not. While they are hardworking and can handle just about anything cooking-wise, you do need to make sure you clean enamelled Dutch Ovens gently. Mine is still fairly new, so I’ve been doing lots of reading and testing with it. I thought I’d share what I’ve found for anyone else who has found themselves wondering how to clean a Le Creuset.
The Best Tools for Cleaning Your Le Creuset
Here are some of the simple things I use to clean my Dutch Oven, as well as some of the most-recommended cleaning tools.
- a soft dish brush (I use this one)
- regular dish soap
- baking soda
- scotch brite pads
- Bar Keeper’s friend
- The official Le Creuset Cleaner
Honestly, most of the time you’ll be fine with just a dish brush, some dish soap, and a good overnight soak. There will be times when you get some staining though, and while the official Le Creuset Cleaner is definitely not necessary, it does have amazing reviews, with a lot of people saying it can’t be beat for removing stubborn stains and keeping your old Le Creuset looking brand new.
Cleaning the Exterior
When it’s time to clean your Dutch Oven, start out by inspecting the exterior of the pot. Were there any baked on spill-overs? Any splatters that browned up in the oven? If you clean these little exterior marks off each time you clean your Le Creuset, you’ll stay on top of them and keep every part of your Dutch Oven looking brand new. If you leave them, they’ll bake in further and become more permanent stains.
The best thing to do is to always start with the gentlest cleaning method and work your way up to more intense methods as needed. Fill your sink with soapy water and place your Le Creuset inside. Take a soft dish brush and gentle work away at the baked-on messes. One of the reasons people have loved Le Creuset cookware for so many decades is that it’s actually surprisingly non-stick and quite easy to clean. You’ll be surprised at how much will come off with just a little gentle scrubbing. If necessary, make a paste of baking soda and use that to softly scrub any stains. If you’re really having a hard time, go over any stains very gently with a scotch brite pad and that should pick them right up. Just remember to never use any type of steel wool product on your Le Creuset because it will scratch it immediately.
How to Clean the Enamelled Interior of a Le Creuset Dutch Oven
No matter how baked-on or burnt of a mess you’re dealing with, if your Dutch Oven was in good shape before you started cooking, you’re probably going to be able to clean it away without much trouble. Fill your Le Creuset with hot soapy water and gently start working away at the mess with a soft dish brush. Dump it out and see what’s left to deal with. If you’re still left with a considerable amount of baked-on bits, you can either soak it overnight with water and a little bit of dish soap, or try a couple of teaspoons of baking soda in your soaking liquid.
If you’re in a bit of a hurry, try making a paste of baking soda and water and using that as a soft scrub with your brush. A scotch brite pad will also remove just about anything, just make sure that whatever you do, you stay away from steel wool for the interior of your Le Creuset as well as the exterior.
If you have some deeper staining, the official Le Creuset cleaner is supposed to work wonders and has great reviews. Apparently it even does an amazing job of making scratches less visible so your Le Creuset is fully restored and looks like new. It’s a bit pricier than a regular bottle of dish soap, but worth it to protect your investment.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.