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Jan 5, 2011 12:28 PM

HOW do I clean this?

I have a Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet. It has this odd black, almost sticky film on it. I'm not going to say who was cooking with it when this happened, but it wasn't me. ;)

I have tried everything I can think of - magic eraser, baking soda, heating and scrubbing, TONS of soap, green scratchy pads, copper scratchy pads, tulle.

It won't budge. :( Is that it for it then, or does anybody have any other ideas? Thanks!!!

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    1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

      No. Is it OK for the inside? I thought it was a cosmetic product. I'll check it out, thanks!

    2. Have you tried boiling water in it and then using a wooden spatula to try to scrape the gunk while the water is at a simmer?

      1 Reply
      1. re: tzurriz

        Yes. That didn't seem to budge it at all. I was kind of surprised, I thought for sure if it were heated up with boiling water the metal would expand enough to release whatever was wedged into the microscopic pores. Sadly, that theory didn't work out.

      2. If you have already tried the baking soda solution, then I will white vinegar. Put in some white vinegar and bring it to a low boil, then turn the heat off, and just let it cool down, then scrub it with a soft brush or sponge. See if the discoloration comes off. Best wishes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Vinegar diluted with water used as described above is good. You can also try Bar Keepers Friend but be careful, a little "schmutz" is preferable to a ruined glazed. You might also try cooking a tomato sauce several times.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            OK, tried this, no budging. Thanks though!

            1. re: justlearning


              If you have already tried the baking soda solution and the white vinegar solution, but the stain remains untouched, then you can move toward more aggressive method. BlePlateSpec is correct. Bar Keeper's Friend is a tad more aggressive and it has very little side effects. Eventually, many people move toward more and more aggressive cleaners like using white bleach solution. Just be careful if you overdo it.

              "The bleach over time will take away the gloss on the pot, and pave the way to future staining. Make sure the bleach is well diluted if you use it!"


              I have heated up strong bleach solution in my old enameled cast iron Dutch Oven. It definitely clean the stain out which my other methods did not, but it also etched the surface. So just be careful as you slowly move toward stronger and stronger solution.

          2. Sounds like burned on vegetable oil, just the thing we are often told to use to season raw cast iron. And that Lodge uses on purpose.

            I recently removed a scary amount of this stuff off of a white Le Creuset omelet pan by boiling the affected parts in water with a lot of baking soda in it. I mean a LOT. And it took a fair amount of boiling and then rubbing with a non-scratch sponge lifted the stuff off in sheets and flakes.

            I myself create this very kind of film residue during periods when I take to making popcorn on the stovetop in a small stockpot with some frequency. Clearly I am not cleaning off the pot or the burner sufficiently between times. «shame»

            1 Reply
            1. re: pericolosa

              Yes, veggie oil is the cause!

              There's plenty of shame to share, don't take it all! haha ;)

            2. I think I did the same thing to mine last night! I made ATK's "(Almost) No-Knead Bread," and I must have spattered oil on both the inside AND the outside, and that stuff is now ON THERE!!!

              It's like I seasoned the sucker and now it won't come off! I tried vinegar, because that sure took off the seasoning on my wok (by mistake!!). I've tried BK Friend, etc... and I have scrubbed harder on this than I've EVER scrubbed... no result.

              I'll follow this thread with interest.