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.