HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Cleaning Outside of Le Creuset Dutch Oven?

  • a

I used my le creuset dutch oven in the oven and it now has black spots, etc all over - soap and water and the dishwasher haven't helped. Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I just cleaned all of mine with oven cleaner for the new year. I use Easy Off. Allow to syand a couple of hours and then wash thoroughly. I do insides and out. Mine are looking pretty much like new, especially on the ooutside. This is something i do about once a year. Don't forget to spray the knob on top. You will amazed at the crap that comes sheeting off of that.

      1. re: IndyGirl

        But the oven cleaner r4eally cleans off the burned on grease. Mine look new.

        1. re: Candy

          I'd be very careful using oven cleaner - most are highly toxic, so be sure to use rubber gloves and avoid inhaling fumes. I'm also not so sure that it's meant for the INSIDE of pots - it might leave a harmful residue.

          Personally, I'd go with IndyGirl's baking soda suggestion. If a harmless household product works, why use harmful chemicals?

          1. re: FlavoursGal

            I've been doing it for years. I'm not worried. The chemical actionm of oven cleaner with the fat residue changes it to soap. very much akin to lye soap. I am not a phobe about this stuff and wash thoroughly and end up with a nice shiny surface.

            Baking soda will not take all of the old burned on grease and also can subtly scratch the surface with the mild abrasion

            1. re: Candy

              Fair enough, but are there any "natural" oven cleaners out there that might do the trick? I'm phobic about all household (and other) chemicals.

              1. re: FlavoursGal

                Not that i know of. You might try your co-op, that is generally furry shinned enough to have something like that. I keep Dawn Power Dissolver and Easy Off low fume on hand at all times. I do not want to scratch the daylights out of my expensive bits and pieces.
                Dawn Power Dissolver is a milder oven spray in a pump bottle
                it cleans burned on crud off of pyrex and other surfaces, it like oven cleaner, should never be used on annodized or plain aluminum but it does just melt old burned on grease and crud without abrading the surface. Like wise I would never use the cut lemon and salt solution on my copper. The metal is too soft and the salt too harsh, so Haggerty's or Twinkle copper cleaner for me. I know there are lots of home remedies for cleaning and polishing silver too, but as a silver junkie I have too much respect for my collection and buy the mildest, least abrasive silver polishes and cleaners. Chemicals? Yes. Worth it? Yes. The condition of all of the silver I own is A1 and will keep it's value. Too many of the home remedies are too harsh on many of our valuable pieces and there is a reason some of those cleaners were developed.

              2. re: Candy

                This sounds a little like, "But I smoked for years, and I'm okay...".

                Easy Off certainly isn't the most toxic thing in the house, but it is pretty corrosive. I wouldn't ever use it on something that's going to touch my food for fear that I wouldn't remove every last residue of it.

                It's really not that far off from cleaning your dishes with toilet cleaner. It's not *super* toxic, and if you rinse it off you'll probably live, but do you really want corrosive materials to carry over to your food?

              3. re: FlavoursGal

                You are right about the fumes from oven cleaner, FlavoursGal. I always use it outside when I clean stuff like a really dirty pot, and I wear gloves too.
                But you shouldn't worry about the chemical residues from oven cleaner. The active ingredient is the same one used to cure olives, make hair relaxer and some soaps and in a lot of other foods and cosmetic products.

                Baking soda is a mild abrasive and constant use will dull the finish of the enamel leaving it open to pitting. My enameled cast iron sink is going to have to be replaced after only 20 years because of cleaning with baking soda. It has no protective finish left.

          2. I will have to try that--I don't have any major stains, but some light discoloration on the bottom inside of the pot.

            I just used my big one tonight. I love those things.

            1. Great question - my Le Creuset is also stained and brown on the outside. I don't like harsh chemicals but I've tried everything and nothing gets it clean. I will get some Easy Off. I wonder if it will take off the remnants of the label, which never came off from the get-go.

              1 Reply
              1. re: greenstate

                Ya know, once a year it is not a bad thing. I just do my new year's clean up. I keep the oven cleaner on hand anyway, there is just some stuff the self cleaning cycle will not clean off. Dawn Power Dissolver is milder but not much and drop pans and other things subject to cooked on almost impossible to clean benefit from it

              2. Barkeeper's Friend, or Swiss Cleaner. Barkeeper's friend is what I use everyday to keep my Le Creuset clean.

                When things get really nasty, I leave some Swiss Cleaner on for a while to dissolve everything off.


                2 Replies
                1. re: tomishungry

                  I second using Barkeeper's Friend. It works miracles. I brought a can of the stuff recently and went wild on all my pots and pans. It got pretty much all the old stains and caked on bit off.

                  1. re: tomishungry

                    I agree about Barkeeper's Friend! I use it to keep my LC dutch oven looking nice.

                  2. I make a paste out of baking soda and water, and it's worked every time. Just rub it in gently and then rinse clean.

                    1. Barkeeper's Friend is your friend.

                      1. The same cleaning product that will do ceramic stovetops will take care of the Creuset just fine. Works for me. available anywhere.

                        1. SLT sells a specific cleaner for enameled cast iron. Has anyone tried it? If so, does it do anything that any of the above suggestions don't?


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sam Harmon

                            Although some reviewers have not had good results, I have been cleaning my LC pots and pans with LC's own cleaner (see link below) with excellent results. I have only owned my LC pots for about six months, but even using this cleaner after only every third use of the pot, I have gotten great results.

                            Some reviewers have mentioned that the price is expensive, but I disagree. Sure, it costs more than Barkeeper's Friend, but you also only need to use very little of it to remove most stains. For me, it has worked like magic, and removed all brown or dark spots, both inside and outside the pots. Just remember to use when the pot is DRY, not wet.



                          2. I'm so happy I saw this post. I have a Le Creuset Dutch oven that's 35 years old and very well used. But the bottom is quite stained. I kinda regard those stains as the pot's "patina", but I wouldn't mind giving it a face lift. I've tried Bon Ami and Barkeeper's Friend, but neither helps very much. I'm going to try the oven cleaner suggestion. Thanks.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: CindyJ

                              I think you will be surprised at how well it cleans up. Depending on build up it may take more than 1 application and again, it is not abrasive and will not scratch the enamel which baking soda and some of those other cleansers will do with repeated use. I just clean all of mine up once a year and they keep their shine beautifully.

                            2. has anyone successfully used the self cleaning cycle of your oven to clean your creuset? w/ or w/out knobs?

                              1. Never put it in the dishwasher ever.

                                Use Barkeeper's Friend. Won't scratch, and will make them good as new.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: greglor

                                  "Never put it in the dishwasher ever."

                                  Why not? I've got a variety of different LC pots and they've all been going through the dishwasher regularly, in some cases for over 30 years. They're all fine - no rust, no flaking enamel, no unsightly grunge.

                                2. I use oven cleaner on the outside as needed. When the white enamel on the inside gets stained, I've found that Clorox gel or Soft Scrub with bleach do a super job of removing any residual crud, as well as bleaching the enamel back to white.

                                  Then I wash them thoroughly with plenty of changes of water. The nice thing about bleach is that time will take care of any residue.

                                  1. Just scorched mine (or shall I say wife's)..left it on the electric stove by accident..left nasty burn marks on the inside and out. I went to Walmart and bought some A&H (Arm and Hammer) Baking Sode. I made a paste (not to thick or watery..right inbetween) and let it sit in the bottom for about 30 minutes.

                                    After I took a rubber spatula and started brushing it out..and voila..it works!! Looks brand new.

                                    The outside was nasty also, with these black tarry burns marks..I applied the same baking soda paste and just worked it in with my fingertips and nails..and voila..brand new..

                                    Forget all those nasty, caustic, chemicals and invest in baking soda and some elbow grease..the baking soda has a slight grit to it which also seems to be perfect.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: easy2putt

                                      Thanks to CH, I discovered this recently for cleaning the glass door inside the oven. Worked like a dream. I did use the green scrubby thing since it had several years of crud on it. I'm generally pretty cynical about things like this but it really worked. Now I'll try on the outside of my Staub DO.

                                    2. Bar Keeper's Friend and a copper scrubby worked like a charm on my fennel Le Creuset frying pan. It looks like new!

                                      1. I use Earth Brite cleanser. It's a solid natural clay in a tub that you use with a damp sponge. Takes off all grime on the inside and outside of the LC without scratching. No harmful chemicals. You can get it at HSN and Amazon has it too I think. The BarKeepers Friend powder will dull the finish if used too agressively. You might also try the Magic Eraser product, although they advise not to use on polished surfaces. Many do use it on LC with good results.

                                        Someone on Amazon mentioned they used a copper scrubber with good results. I would think it would scratch but they said it didn't as it's softer than the enamel. Still, I would try the Earth Brite first. The original one smells so nice too!