How to Clean Porcelain Enamel Cookware

Porcelain enamel cookware is one of the most popular and long-lasting varieties of kitchen products on the market. This type of cookware is beautiful, durable and heats evenly for the optimal result every time.

Top view of red enameled iron stockpot on wooden background
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Porcelain enamel cookware is one of the most popular and long-lasting varieties of kitchen products on the market.

Although porcelain and enamel cookware are strong and built to last, they do require a lot of care. Caring for your porcelain enamel cookware ensures that it will last a long time.

Cleaning Porcelain Pans

Cleaning porcelain pans and other enamel cookware is a fairly simple endeavor. It's about using sufficient water, sufficient elbow grease and exactly the right cleaning products. Soap and water are great for general maintenance, especially when you're trying to clean food or oil off of your porcelain pans. Otherwise, you will likely need to bring in the aid of an abrasive cleanser.

Baking soda is a alkalizing abrasive cleanser that is also nontoxic and will do no damage to the surface of your ceramic cookware. Put several tablespoons of baking soda into your porcelain pan and add enough water to make a paste. Using a soft cloth, scrub the surface of the porcelain plan in a circular motion. Rinse with cool, clear water. Repeat if all burn marks, scorch marks or crusted-on food have not been removed.

If baking soda does not do the trick, try Barkeeper's Friend, a similarly abrasive and equally nontoxic cleansing powder that is stronger than baking soda and very adept at removing stains, debris and baked-on foods. Using hot water and a vigorous stroke, scrub the abrasive cleanser into the surface of the pan. Rinse with cold, clear water.

How to Restore Enamel Cast Iron Cookware

To restore enamel cast iron cookware, you may need to use a blend of cleansers and different techniques to get it free of debris, grease, baked-on food or rust. Enamel cast iron cookware is extremely durable, highly versatile and lasts for a long time. Even if it's rusted or has scorch marks on it, a cast iron pan can still cook perfectly well. However, it's natural to want your cast iron pots to look and feel clean.

Begin by scrubbing the surface of your enamel cast iron cookware with a paste made from baking soda and warm water. Scrub vigorously to dislodge rust, burn marks or dried food products from the surface. Rinse and repeat. If the baking soda doesn't have sufficient strength to clean the surface of the cookware, proceed to Barkeeper's Friend and use it with several spoonfuls of hot water and a cloth.

If Barkeeper's Friend fails to remove all of the marks, consider using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution instead. Hydrogen peroxide is potent and antibacterial. Pour half an inch of the hydrogen peroxide into the inside of the pan and add 1 cup of baking soda. Bring the solution to a boil. When you begin to see foam at the surface, turn the heat off and allow the pot to sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean.

Using a Magic Eraser

When using a magic eraser, porcelain sink or enamel cookware can shine like new. But unlike peroxide and baking soda, magic erasers are not nontoxic, and could possibly introduce chemicals into the cooking environment outside of what you would want to ingest when cooking.

If using a magic eraser, it's critical to make sure that you clean the put or pan with soap and water, and rinse it well to make sure no residue from the cleaning agents within the magic eraser remain on the surface of the cookware.


Ashley Friedman

Ashley Friedman

Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience working in the home, design and interiors space.