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Tips & Tricks

How to Remove Stains from Enameled Cast Iron

By: Lodge Cast Iron / January 28, 2021

Ask anyone who works at Lodge and we'll tell you, an enamel dutch oven is a must-have for your kitchen. You can use this original kitchen multitasker to deliver a wide array of meals with just one pan. But sometimes, scrumptious meals may result in a slight stain or a trail of discoloration on the bottom of your cookware. No need to fear—we’ve developed a handy guide on removing stains from your enameled cast iron.

How to clean an enamel cast iron Dutch Oven.

Why did food leave stains in my enameled cast iron?

You made a delicious meal in your enameled cast iron dutch oven. Now that it’s time for dish duty, you realize there’s a stain in the bottom of your cookware. Annoying, yes, but nothing to worry about. A small amount of staining is to be expected when cooking with enamel, especially if your dishes require long cook times, include dark or colorful spices and ingredients, or high heat is used. Luckily this doesn’t affect performance. Instead, we believe it shows that the cookware is well loved.

steak mac n cheese

Here’s how you can love your cookware well, and easily remove any of those pesky food stains.

To remove slight stains, begin by cleaning your enameled cast iron as usual.

1.    Let your enameled cast iron cool before you hand wash with warm soapy water and a nylon scrub brush to preserve the cookware’s original appearance.

(Note: Citrus juices and citrus-based cleaners, including some dishwasher detergents, should not be used, as they can dull the exterior gloss. It is not harmful and will not impair the cooking performance, however, the use of these products is not covered by our warranty.)

How to clean an enamel cast iron Dutch Oven.

2. Rub your cookware’s surface with a damp cloth and Lodge Enamel Cleaner or another ceramic cleaner according to directions on the bottle. And voila! Slight stains will be gone.

For persistent stains, first follow the steps above to clean your cookware and remove lighter stains.

3. Next, soak the interior of the cookware for 2-3 hours with a mixture of 3 tablespoons of household bleach per quart of water. 

Sometimes in this process, you may realize it isn’t a stain but baked-on food. To remove those stubborn bits, boil 2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda for a few minutes. Then use a pan scraper to loosen the food. Follow this process with a good cleaning with soap and a scrub brush.

How can I avoid stains when cooking?

While it isn’t completely possible to avoid stains, there are some tricks you can employ to reduce the likelihood of damage or discoloration to your cookware’s surface. 

We recommend you always use oil or cooking spray and never preheat the pan without oil or water in it. Preheating your enameled cast iron without oil or water can scorch your pan and damage its finish. When you use oil and cooking spray when cooking, you get a better cooking experience by reducing the risk of baked-on food and it also makes for easier cleanup. 

It’s also smart to use low-to-medium heat when cooking on the stove. Like traditional cast iron, enameled cast iron never requires high heat. While the vessel may take a few minutes to heat up, the heat is evenly distributed and retained as long as it remains on a heat source. Low and steady wins the race!

Now that your cookware is clean, give these tasty recipes a try: 

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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