How to Clean Your Dutch Oven

Keep your Dutch Oven looking brand new with these simple cleaning tips.

Izzy Johnson|Jan 27, 2022

Cooking is inherently messy – spills, burns and accidents happen.

Cleaning up

may not be the most enjoyable part of the cooking process but it is one of the most important.

Enameled Dutch Ovens

are one of the most versatile pieces of cookware in the kitchen.

They are an investment, sure, but they can also withstand almost anything you put them through, and if you care for yours well, it can last for years, or even decades.

Here, we break down several cleaning methods from basic washing to what to do when things get seriously stuck

Be Gentle

The most important part of cleaning your Dutch Oven is making sure not to scratch the enamel interior. Never use an abrasive sponge like steel wool, or you will damage the beautiful finish, which gives the Dutch oven a quality similar to a non-stick pan. Instead, opt for a soft sponge or a plastic scrubber.

Also, when you finish your cleaning, remember to thoroughly dry your pot with a dish towel to prevent water-spotting.

Work From the Outside In

Especially when


or cooking pasta, sauce will spatter or leak out onto the exterior of your Dutch oven. Obviously, the first step to cleaning is to allow your Dutch oven to cool thoroughly before placing it in the sink.

Next, start by cleaning the outside first with hot, soapy water and your sponge of choice—remember, no steel wool here either! For basic clean up, inside and out, simply wash with dish soap, scrubbing as necessary.

For more stubborn spots, allow the Dutch oven to soak in hot water with a couple drops of soap. Leave it for 15-20 minutes, allowing for the food to soften, then resume scrubbing.

A Little Help From Your Friends

For burns that won’t budge, defer to the professionals.

Bar Keeper’s Friend

is a handy all-purpose product that can be used for a variety of tasks in and out of the kitchen (we like it for cleaning

Stainless Clad

, too) The bleach-free formula is great for difficult stains on all types of cookware and it provides the scrubbing power you need without the aggressive abrasiveness that will damage your Dutch oven.

You can use Bar Keeper’s Friend in two ways: for all over cleaning, simply sprinkle it over the bottom of the Dutch oven and scrub with a damp sponge. If the stains are very tough, mix in a small amount of water to form a paste and let that sit on the affected area for up to 30 minutes, then continue to scrub as usual. You may need to repeat this several times.

The Baking Soda Method

If you do not have Bar Keeper’s Friend, you can use baking soda in a similar fashion – making it into a paste and scrubbing to get rid of any burnt bits.

Additionally, you can loosen things up by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in your Dutch Oven. When the water is boiling, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and let that fizz away for a few minutes, stirring gently with a

Wooden Spoon.

The ensuing reaction should cause caked on food to rise up from the bottom and then you can scrape more up with the spoon it begins to soften.

Continue this process for about 5 minutes before removing the pan from heat and dumping out the water. If any stains still remain, use the paste method.

Remember, the baking soda will leave some residue behind, so make sure you rise out your Dutch Oven one more time before you dry it.