Kitchen Resources

How to Clean a Burnt or Stained Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

How to Clean Le Creuset Dutch Oven

When it comes to premium cookware, Le Creuset is one of the brands that come at the top of the list. More specifically, a Le Creuset Enameled French oven is very expensive, and extending its lifespan can save your budget in the future. Before you use it, we recommend reading its Care and Use Guide first. Ensure that you clean the Dutch oven as soon as possible when you see stains or spots; ignoring even the smallest spots will give you a hard time cleaning it after.

Tip: Fill up your Dutch oven with water after you use it and make it simmer. The simmering process helps you clean it with much more ease.

If you have a stained or burnt Le Creuset, we present you with three cleaning options that definitely come in handy. Please note that we started with the safest procedure to the most aggressive one, so clean at your own risk. Be careful in executing the list’s third option because it can cause permanent damage if done wrong.


Option 1: Water and Baking Soda, Then Vinegar

Mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Use 1 tablespoon of the paste to clean mild stains; if you’re dealing with more stubborn stains and spots, we recommend you to use 3-5 tablespoons. Spread the paste in the interior and let it soaked for several hours or overnight. You can use a cloth or wooden spatula to scrape off the food residues after the soak. An even better option is to use a toothbrush, or preferably an electric toothbrush to clean the spots. For more challenging spots that weren’t completely removed, use your household vinegar and spray on the stains and spots. Leave it for a while and clean it using a brush, cloth, or spatula. When you’re done, rinse the Dutch oven with water until it’s free from baking soda and vinegar residues.

You can repeat this process until you’re pleased with the result.


Option 2: Le Creuset Cookware Cleaner

If the above option doesn’t work, it’s time to introduce some cleaning agents. The most recommended cleaning solution is the Le Creuset enameled cast iron cleaner. It is not as harsh as other cleaning solutions while keeping your LC interior shiny and new. Being not as harsh also means it might not work for tough burnt on stains on the first try. Read the fine points and instructions before using it.

There are 3 other cleaning solutions that are stronger, but you should be careful to use: Bon Ami, Bar Keepers Friend, and Efferdent. These are much more abrasive than the Le Creuset cleaner. Be careful not to use it too aggressively as it will dull the shine and might scratch the enamel. When using Bon Ami or Bar Keepers, avoid using brush or pad. Sponge or cloth is the best way to go.

Tip: Cooking (browning or searing) proteins on a Dutch oven with an enameled interior can cause the most challenging spots to remove. Instead of using the oven for the whole cooking process, utilize a stainless steel pan or a cast iron for searing. Transfer the meat, together with its de-glazing liquid, to the Dutch oven and resume the cooking.


Option 3: Water and Bleach

While this procedure is highly effective in taking out stains and spots, it’s the most damaging choice on the list. Only execute this method if the other options above didn’t work, and do it with caution. Additionally, you should only use water and bleach on your cookware only once or twice per year.

Soak the interior with 1 teaspoon of bleach per 1 pint of water for several hours or overnight. Use sponge or cloth to wipe. Do not use a straight or 50/50 mix of bleach and do not heat the bleach and water solution.

About the author

Jennifer Baron

My name is Jennifer Baron and I have a love and passion for cooking fresh, home-style, clean, healthy and nutritious recipes for 30 years. I’ve worked in the food industry since I was 16 years old


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  • Thank you so much from Argentina. I was a bit skeptical that Water + Baking Soda + Vinegar would work. It was magic! 🙂

  • How do you clean the exterior of a round Le Creuset, specifically the bottom up and around the curve? Mine has developed a black coating.

    • I get the black stains all the time. I use a paste of Bar Keeper’sFriend and a lot if elbow grease on a sponge. It might be a little rough on the enamel but so far I have not seen any damage on my Le Cruset ovens or frying pans. It is your call.
      Inside, only the bleach solution takes out the discoloration, takes a long time but it comes back quickly so I have settled for clean and stained

  • How do I clean the outside of the Le Creuset Dutch oven? My mother ran it through the dishwasher and now it has black stains.

    • Hey Jacqueline, did you have any luck with this? Your story made me think back to a time when I was trying to clean an old white porcelain cast iron bathtub and whatever I used made all these horrible brown stains appear. It looked like I had killed somebody in the bathtub and the blood stains wouldn’t wash off! Anyway I called the company and they were very calm and said go get some Clorox 2. apply that everywhere, let it sit for a little while, then wash it off — and presto! It worked like a charm. I don’t know if they make Clorox 2 anymore but whatever the active ingredients were can’t be hard to find. I know this is a strange and potentially not helpful answer, but sometimes that is what works.

  • Hello, I found a white enameled Le Creuset skillet for $5 at a yard sale in Corinth, Texas! I brought it home, cleaned it and am thinking of making french toast. Recommend any recipes?