Le Creuset is famous for its gorgeous, long-lasting, immensely Instagrammable cookware. Enameled cast-iron makes their pots and pans extremely durable, great for all kinds of cooking, and relatively easy to clean.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a Le Creuset pan, you’ve probably asked yourself: How do I make this thing last forever?
The bottom line?
How you clean it.
In this article, we’ll explain how to clean Le Creuset pans properly. We’ll also explore what products will help maintain their color and shine, what to do with incredibly stubborn residue, and whether or not to use a dishwasher.
Follow the steps below for truly long-lasting cookware.
Time needed: 25 minutes.
How to Clean Your Le Creuset Pan in 5 Easy Steps
- Allow Pan to Cool
Before you start cleaning your cookware, let it cool for a few minutes. The wait time protects you from accidental burns and also protects your pan. Putting your hot pan in water can cause sudden temperature changes that damage the cookware over time.
Be particularly careful to never put a hot pan directly into cold water! Thermal shock can cause cracks and weaken the enamel.
- Soak if Needed
If your pan has stubborn food residue, you may want to let it soak in warm soapy water for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing. Don’t soak overnight.
- Gently Scrub
You shouldn’t use any abrasive scourers or cleaning products on your Le Creuset. A simple cast iron brush works well, or a gentle sponge.
We recommend using gentle dishwashing soap as well. Abrasive soaps and brushes can cause minor cracks and scratches on the surface of your pan that eventually break it down.
If you have stubborn stains that don’t seem to be coming out, it’s time to get out the big guns. Instead of soap, use a cleaning solution like Le Creuset’s cleaner.
Using warm or cold water, rinse out all the remaining food residue and soap. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, especially if you plan to let it air dry. If any soap is left inside, it can dry to the surface, leaving a sticky residue.
To dry your dish, you can use a dish towel or simply leave it out to air dry. WebMD recommends air drying since dish towels can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
How to Clean a Burnt Le Creuset Pan
So those are the basics. But what if you have stubborn food residue? And by stubborn, I mean “burnt.”
Burning something on the stove or in the oven happens to the best of us. Don’t panic – you can save your Le Creuset from even a nasty burn.
Some people’s first guess is to let it soak overnight. We strongly advise against this! Soaking for hours can break down the enamel on the surface.
Instead, follow these simple steps:
- Step 1: Fill your pan with water (about two cups).
- Step 2: Bring the water to a boil over low heat.
- Step 3: Add baking soda (two tablespoons if you have two cups of water).
- Step 4: Stir as it continues to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Step 5: With a wooden spoon, scrape the burnt food until it all comes loose.
- Step 6: Turn off the heat and let it cool a little bit.
- Step 7: Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
- Step 8: Wipe it down or let it air dry.
Can I Clean My Le Creuset Pan in the Dishwasher?
The short answer is yes. Most Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware is dishwasher safe. However, cleaning Le Creuset in the dishwasher is not recommended if you are concerned about making sure your pan lasts a long time.
Dishwasher detergents are typically very harsh. Over time, they will weaken and break down the enamel coating in your pots and pans.
If you choose to wash your Le Creuset in the dishwasher, follow these tips:
- Use the gentlest liquid soap you can find.
- Let the pan cool before running a wash cycle.
- Scrub off any stubborn food residue first.
- Put the pan on the bottom rack of your dishwasher.
- Run the dishwasher on a gentle cycle.
You also may need to re-oil your pan after running through the dishwasher. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.
Learning how to clean Le Creuset pans does not have to be overwhelming. All it takes is a few simple steps and gentle soaps and brushes. If you’re in a pinch and need to throw everything in the dishwasher, remember to use a gentle cycle and opt-out of harsh detergents.
Correctly cleaning your Le Creuset is the best way to ensure it will stand the test of time.