Stoneware cooking dishes are designed to be used for long periods of time, making them perfect for everything from casseroles to your favourite baked desserts. However, with so many different uses, pans can quickly appear unsightly when dark stains and burnt residue take over. Harsh scrubbing is often the best solution for removing stubborn stains, and a cleaning expert has shared a few remedies that can make the process even easier.
Seeing the occasional stain on stoneware isn’t uncommon when you consider all of the foods and ingredients they’re exposed to, though some can be a bit harder to remove than others.
Thoroughly cleaning them after use and treating stains before they set is key, but unlike dishes made of more modern materials, stoneware can’t stand up to most cleaning solutions and chemicals.
The exact ingredients needed to remove stains depend on the type of cookware you have, but in all cases, baking soda, white vinegar, soap, and vegetable oil are essential according to Christine Trefethen, the resident household specialist at Therapy Clean.
She explained that a combination of these simple items can be used to treat both unfinished and glazed stoneware, though you should stay away from cleansing lemon juice at all costs.
READ MORE: ‘A miracle worker’ Simple method ‘works wonders’ when cleaning toilet
For pans with a shiny glaze over the natural stone, more aggressive cleaning is fine to remove unsightly food residue and stains.
According to Christine, unlike other stoneware, the glazing can withstand the use of soap for a deep clean.
Simply lather on some soapy water and scrub well with a nylon brush until the surface residue is loose. Rinse the suds off the clear the dish.
The cleaning expert added: “For really stubborn stains, use a teaspoon or so of vinegar and baking soda – scrub with elbow grease! Rinse with warm water and repeat as necessary.”
READ MORE: Best methods to keep pillows clean – ‘simple fix’ for yellow stains
While you have options when it comes to choosing your cleaning tools, lemon juice and other citrus fruits should always be left off the list.
Christine explained that you should “never” use these acidic fruits on stoneware, despite their known cleaning powers.
She suggested checking commercial products for citrus ingredients too, or else you may risk ruining your stone cookware.
Instead, stick to baking soda and vinegar, followed by a quick re-season using vegetable oil.
How to restore your stoneware’s seasoning
If you’ve stripped away some of your pan’s seasoning while scrubbing it, Christine recommended re-seasoning the base. This is done to coat the surface in a protective layer which makes both cooking and cleaning easier.
The cleaning expert said: “Always start by applying a thin layer of vegetable oil to your stoneware and putting it into a preheated oven of 200C.
“Then bake the piece for about 25 to 30 minutes for best results. Another great way to achieve a fine layer of seasoning on your pans is to put them to use immediately. Baking biscuits, cookies, or even dinner rolls will help add to the natural non-stick baking surface we all long for.”