Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 15, 2007 10:04 PM

Cleaning Outside of Le Creuset Dutch Oven?

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.