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How to Clean Cookware and Servingware

Cleaning Clay and Enamel

  • Soak new clay cookware in water for about 1/2 hour before using it for the first time. Be sure to soak both the top and the bottom, then scrub them well with a stiff brush to remove any clay dust.

  • Line the cooker with parchment paper to prevent the porous surface from absorbing food stains and strong flavors.

  • If your clay pot becomes stained or takes on pungent odors, fill the cooker with water, add 1 to 4 tablespoons baking soda, and let it stand.

  • Never put hot clay cookware on a cold surface -- it might crack.

  • Never wash clay cookware in the dishwasher or scrub it with a steel-wool soap pad.

  • Carefully dry the cooker before storing it to prevent mold. Store clay cookware with its lid off.

  • If mold spots appear on a clay cooker, brush the surface with a paste made of equal parts baking soda and water. Let stand 30 minutes, preferably in strong sunlight; brush the paste away, rinse well in clear water, and dry.

  • Always let enamel cookware cool before washing. Rapid changes in temperature can crack the enamel coating.

  • If necessary, soak a dirty pot to loosen cooked-on foods.

  • Use a synthetic scouring pad -- never abrasive cleansers or steel wool -- to scrub stubborn soil.

  • Enamelware can be washed safely in the dishwasher.

Like aluminum, copper cookware changes color without proper cleaning and polishing. Take a look at the tips on the next page for cleaning copper.