Tips For Cleaning Your Crock-Pot


Tips For Cleaning Your Crock-Pot

Tips For Cleaning Your Crock-Pot

It happens to the best of us. We over cook something in our crock-pot and we are left with a burnt or stuck on mess to deal with. But have no fear they can be cleaned up with a little time and perhaps some elbow grease.

These instructions are for cleaning the stoneware crock part of your crock-pot. Never submerge the base of your crock-pot (the part you plug-in) in water. To clean that part just use a squirt of household cleaner and a damp rag or sponge.

I think you should always start with the easiest and more natural methods first and then if the burnt on part is still there, move on to the next step.

Throw it in the dishwasher

If your crock-pot is dishwasher safe and the mess inside is only a little stuck on you might be just fine by tossing the crock in the dishwasher. The detergents used in modern automatic dishwasher detergent is designed to cut through grease, and stuck on food. I find that with my large family however, that I don’t always have room in my dishwasher for the crock. So I usually hand wash it.

Soak it in hot soapy water

I find that 99% of crock-pot messes can be cleaned up by soaking in hot soapy water. Put your crock-pot in the sink, squirt in some dish-soap and fill with the hottest tap water you can. Let it soak for 1 to 2 hours and wash as usual.

Baking soda works wonders

If soaking your crock-pot for a couple of hours did not seem to do the trick completely. Pour out all the water from the crock and sprinkle liberally with baking soda and scrub. The baking soda acts as an all-natural scouring powder that is safe to use on almost all surfaces. I usually find this tip does the trick. However if scrubbing with baking soda does not work then my next suggestion is to dump about 1/4 cup of baking soda into the crock, fill it will water to cover all the burnt areas, squirt a tad of dish soap and put the crock into the heating base of your crock-pot. Cover and “cook” on high for 2-4 hours. The combination of heat, baking soda and detergent should do the trick.

Use oven cleaner as the last resort

Oven cleaner….it is toxic and I really hate using it. The fumes are horrible to breathe in and it’s just some really nasty stuff. But as the last resort dry your crock off as much as possible with a paper towel or something and spray some oven cleaner on the burnt stuff and let it sit a few hours to over night. If you have REALLY burnt stuff on you may need to keep applying the stuff and waiting and washing and scrubbing till you get it all off. I usually purchase oven cleaner at the dollar store (Dollar Tree) because it is the cheapest place I can find it and it hardly ever goes on sale.


There is a saying that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (or manure if you ever watched Steel Magnolias) and there is truth to that saying. I find that preventing a burnt on mess is always easier than cleaning up one. Here a three tips for preventing a mess.

  1. Use a crock-pot liner. These a heat safe plastic liners that you can cook in. Much like an oven bag. Especially when cooking anything that has a sugary sauce base like BBQ sauce, as sugar burns more readily. Cheese is also a notorious item that burns in the crock-pot.
  2. Spray your crock with non-stick cooking spray. This will not help you from burning your dish but it usually helps release anything from the sides and bottom of your crock should you burn it.
  3. Follow the recipe and cook for the listed length of time. If a recipe has a time range, such as 4-6 hours. Cook for 4 hours and then check it to see if it is done yet. If not cook longer. Time ranges are given in many recipes because different crock-pots cook slower or faster than others. If your dish is done at the lowest time range turn it off or if your crock-pot has a “warm” setting put it on warm to keep it till time to serve.
Do you have any great tips and tricks for cleaning your crock-pot? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Get delicious recipes & news in your inbox!

♥ Advertise with us


  1. Shawn says

    This is a sure-fire way to clean any pan or bowl that has stuck-on food. Take a laundry dryer sheet (used or unused) and put it in the pan or crock pot with soapy water; let it soak. The stuck-on gunk comes right off!!

    • Lady Tara says

      That is awesome. I’m going to try that one! I am a horrible procrastinator so I’m always leaving the crock-pot dirty and then struggling to get it clean the next day.

  2. Cathy says

    I keep a bottle of sudsy ammonia for this purpose. Tear a piece of plastic wrap and cover the top of the crockpot completely. lift one corner of the wrap and pour in about 1 cup of ammonia. tightly cover and set in garage or someplace out the way for a day. everything should just wipe out. This is how people used to clean ovens in the past – the ammonia fumes. Works great.

  3. Debra Thomson says

    For stubborn burnt-on foods on my crock pot or in regular pots, I sprinkle in some baking soda and pour about 1/2 C white vinegar over it, then set it to boil. You can add some water too if you need to be able to cover the bottom of the pan. Boil for just a few minutes and the scorched part will lift right off.

  4. Elaine says

    What I do is so easy, fill with hot water and drop in a dish washer tab for the machine. Let sit and everything comes off no scrubbing required! I also do this with frying and roast pans.

  5. Rosa says

    Sometime I poured hot water in my last crock pot and inmediately …….got scratch and started to leak (sorry for my english)

  6. Florentino says

    Heidi, I’ve never tried using baking soda! I’ve only used my crock pot for three times and it’s really frustrating me as my soup is a bit burnt and bitter. Thanks a lot for this.

  7. Joan says

    I have a black crock pot that no matter how hard I scrubbed, soaked, clean would develop a white ring around it. I used a pumice stone and it looked brand new it about 10 minutes!

    • says

      Thanx Joan , I have a black crock pot also with the same problem , I just found a pumice stone , So I’m going to try this , cause it’s getting scratched from those green scrubbies and looks like crap even after I scrub the Hell out of it

    • Jeanne says

      I used my black crock pot and it had white stains that simply wouldn’t come out (even with detergent and then some white vinegar. I really don’t care so much what it looks like but need to know if this will affect what I make in the slow cooker.

      • says

        It probably won’t affect what you cook Jeanne. I would maybe try some oven cleaner as a last resort to see if that will take the white stains off.

  8. says

    Thanks for the wonderful tips! Trying them now, because I fell asleep with the crockpot on, making little smokies, and oh what a mess!

    Just a guy, who stumbled across this website looking for a fix,

      • Gavin Anderson says

        Thank you so much! Before I stumbled across your site, I was ready to give it up as a loss. But two trips through the dishwasher, and it’s as good as new! The first trip through loosened everything, so I was able to easily dislodge big chunks of the burned on food. Big chunks were also in the bottom of the dishwasher, and I fished those out pretty easily. The second was pretty much took care of the rest, leaving just an easy final clean with a the rough green side of a wet, warm double sided sponge.

        P.S. The little smokies were delish!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge