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Can't get my Le Creuset interior clean

Hey there,
Hoping that one of you lovely people can help me out! I have a 7.25 quart enameled Le Creuset Dutch oven. I've been using it for almost 5 years, it's pretty much the first pot I ever purchased when my husband and I moved out on our own. It's the kiwi color, which is discontinued, and it goes so nice in our kitchen (I leave it out on the stove) that I'd hate to replace it.

I've attached an image of this white stain - no matter what I do, I can't get it out. It feels kind of scratchy when you touch it not smooth like the rest of the pan. I had burnt the bottom a few weeks ago, and used baking soda/water solution - my thinking was that it's baking soda, but wouldn't that come off with repeated washings? I also tried the whole boiling-vinegar thing (my sinuses didn't love it, and it didn't work). I also tried Magic Eraser, no dice. It also isn't as non-stick as it used to be, not just in that spot but in general. Could it be I damaged or eroded the enamel somehow? And, after all is said and done, is this pot still OK to use? I can deal with it not being a beauty queen, the food'll cover up the bottom, but I use it 2-3x/week, it's my favorite.

Would appreciate any and all thoughts- I'm driving my husband nuts obsessing on this pan but I love it and don't want to let it go! Thank you SO much!

 
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  1. Enameled interiors do discolor. It doesn't mean you can't use it. Looks like it was stained by the food you burnt. Try a plastic-net scrubby (or wad up a plastic mesh onion bag) and Bar Keeper's Friend or a cleaner made for glass/ceramic stovetops. Make a paste, use the scrubby, and leave the paste there for an hour or so. Scrub again and rinse. This should help. Use the pot repeatedly to boil things or make thin soups - each time, a little more of the stain will go away, but it will probably never look like new. You can certainly still use it for searing and thicker contents but those won't help lift the stain.

    6 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Reply to anyone: From Le Creuset many years ago:

      Let stand with a 50% bleach solution until stains lighten to original color. Rinse.

      TO GET THE SHINE BACK, rub with a little vinegar.

      Rita

        1. re: Rita1

          The shine may come back briefly, but I discovered too late that bleaching causes damage to the finish.

          I finally bought a Staub with a black interior instead.

          1. re: mcf

            I have been using diluted bleach intermittently for years and my LeC looks like new!

            1. re: josephnl

              my husband always bleaches our Le Creuset when we have a burn on or other persistent stain. Im talking 30 years. It works fine.

              1. re: jen kalb

                I wasn't that fortunate, maybe becuase I used the harsh and also useless LC cleaner first.

      1. I think the answer is you can't get it out. And I'd take a sizable bet that anyone here who has LC has stained interiors.

        Elsewhere on Chow is a review of Staub that presents its black interior as a disadvantage. I disagree.

        Happily, your LC will still be pretty sitting out and it will function just as well as ever.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainey

          Thank you both so much! Honestly I was worried because it has a different texture over that spot than the rest of the pan... Was worried we somehow took the damn enamel off. I know people have LC for years and years, and it is supposed to be more on the side of indestructible vs. not, but I'm good at testing claims like that. Thanks again!

        2. I've had some success with a paste of peroxide and baking soda, depends on the severity of the stain. In essence, I have always expected staining on enameled pots after a time.however I've also had LC pots where the enamel has sort of eroded (for lack of a better word) and find I have to be more heat careful because stuff tends to stick in those spots.
          Now if LC could come up with a lighter pot with the same gr8 cooking ability. Sometimes I need a bodybuilder just to get that pot on the stove!!!

          1. well, I always put in water with a bit of bleach and let it sit. Always goes away and I haven't seen in harm to the interior at all, and I've been doing it for years with my five LC pots.

            There may be a good reason *not* to do this, but I haven't discovered one yet.

            1. There's a terrific thread on this exact topic over on Food52. See http://food52.com/hotline/4466-what-s...

              I will also note that, in my efforts to clean the polymerized brown spatters and drips on the exteriors and interiors of my two LC pots (Dutch oven and buffet pan), I bought a copper mesh cloth from Amazon made by German company Burstenhaus Redecker, solely on the strength of a commenter who recommended it for cleaning LC. I was loathe to try it, fearing it would scratch, but it absolutely doesn't, copper is softer than ceramic. It required elbow grease (and water, but nothing else) but got the pans sparkling like new (though interior bottom is still discolored, and I'm going to try the hydrogen peroxide-baking soda trick or enzyme dishwasher tablets for that).

              Copper cloth: http://www.amazon.com/B├╝rstenhaus-Red...

              1 Reply
              1. re: adean

                Thank you for the link! My concern is more the white spot vs. the rest of the pan - I was worried the white spot meant that I'd somehow went through the protective coating when I (and my husband, who isn't afraid of elbow grease) did try cleaning it, and had gotten at the enamel. I'll get that cloth for future scrubbing though!