Le Creuset enameled finish ruined!
I was attempting to use washing detergent, as I saw on a similar site, to clean my Le Creuset dutch oven, and I left it on the burner too long and cracked the enamel...is there anyone out there that knows if there is a way to reenamel the finish? Im doubtful, especially since it would have to be safe to use for cooking... :(
Sorry to hear about your Dutch Oven. Alas these things do happen and Creuset is expensive!
A tip for next time .. I use the LC branded cleaner - it goes so far and a bit of elbow grease keeps all my Creuset like new.
There are some cheaper cleaner brands which I am told work but I have never tried these. I soak my DO in hot water over night (or a badly burnt LC frying pan for 2 days) and then use the cleaner. They have never been dishwashed and look brand new.
This is exactly what I did to my first enameled cast iron dutch oven. All I can say is that reenamel will probably cost you more than buying a new one.
Same thing happened to me last year - they said it was misuse so they wouldn't replace it - gave me a new one at a discounted price, but it was still pretty expensive - probably could have bought a new one cheaper at the LC outlet store. I think the days of replacing the pots with no questions asked are long gone unless it's something that is actually defective with the pot. They did replace a 10 year old plus DO that suddenly started getting opaque spots on the enamel on the lid a few years back, but they are getting more strict when the damage is heat related.
There policy is definitely more strict than it used to be. They even admitted it. People were taking advantage of it in buying old beat up LC at estate sales for nothing and then sending it back to LC and requesting brand new ovens. I think there also might be a quota as if you've sent back pieces before they might let you do it again for a free pot.
I sent back a piece that was my mothers and was given a hard time with them saying it was burnt when there were no burnt areas on it at all. They did offer a new one at the 75% discount. I felt that if it was my first return it would have been replaced. Oh well! Everything else has changed so why not that, but their CS is still excellent.
When you get your new DO, you can keep it looking new for years. I've had 3 Le Creuset pots for at least 4 years that I use regularly, and they still look brand new.
First of all, I never cook over more than medium heat with my LC. Cast iron retains heat so well, that there is no need to, and high heat can damage cast iron and enameled cast iron. When I'm done cooking and the pan is still warm, I fill the cookware with water and a couple drops of dish soap, heat it till the water is hot, and then clean the big stuff out with a soft kitchen sponge, (don't use the scrubber side). If there is any discoloration or stains, they wipe out easily with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The magic eraser also easily removes scorch marks from the outside of the cookware if you cook over gas heat.
I never use a scrubber on my Le Creuset because it can scratch the clear coating over the enamel, and once that is gone the cookware looks all dull and stains easily. Because I don't want to scratch the clear coat, I also make sure to only use silcone utensils.
Another factor in keeping LC looking new is properly preparing the surface before you cook, it makes cleanup a lot easier. Before adding any food to my LC cookware, I heat the cookware over no more than medium heat until the pan is hot (if a drop of water dances on the surface, it is ready), then I put some oil on a paper towel and wipe down the interior of the pan with it. I've never had a problem with food sticking to the cookware, and like I said, my cookware looks shiny and brand new even though it gets used regularly.