Originally Posted by sattie
I noticed that my dutch oven is getting stains in the bottom, in the enamel. Is this normal? Am I not cleaning it well enough or am I doing something wrong? I got the Batali line of dutch oven cookware in the creme color, so you know anything will show up on that.
Stains come primarily from food dyes, natural or added, bonding to the enamel I believe. High heat is the main accelerator of this and if not cleaned initially, will build up easier over time.
Cream color interiors are very good for allowing the cook to judge the correct browning of foods without burning. Dark interiors don't show the stains as much but they are there.
So here is what I have found:
Whitish- gray stains from hard water and minerals seem to be removed by using white vinegar.
Dyes and darker stains usually come off with a baking soda paste allowed to rest for a while on the surface and then scrubbed with a nylon pad.
If this doesn't work, some dish detergent mixed with water up to the highest level of the stains and boiled for a few minutes may help. Also you can add baking soda to that.
As a last resort, 1 tsp bleach per pint of H20 may also do the trick.
This is all dependent on how heavy the staining is and over what period.
Of course, you can just forget it, keep the lid on the pot, and spend this cleaning time doing something you enjoy