Stoneware is the word used for certain types of baking pans and cookware used in our homes. Roasts, casseroles, cookies, brownies, soups, stews, and even soufflés can be made in them. Some of the pieces are perfect as a serving dish. In fact, so attractive they go straight from the oven or stove to the table at meal time.
Cleaning these beloved kitchen treasures is a little bit different from cleaning other pieces of cookware or baking pans. Since they are primarily made of clay, pieces of stoneware retain the taste of anything that seeps or soaks into its pores. You don’t ever use soap or any kind of cleaning solution when performing this housecleaning task, or you may forever taste it in whatever else you choose to cook. Don’t ever run your stoneware through the dishwasher either. The taste of soap is a most unwelcome guest in most kitchens and at most dinner tables.
Items Needed When Cleaning Stoneware
Cleaning stoneware cookery is a very simple housecleaning chore. In fact, you likely have everything you need to clean it somewhere in your collection of housecleaning items.
- Kitchen sink or basin
- Nylon scraper or sturdy nylon spatula
- Baking soda
- Dish cloth or sponge
- Dish towel or dish drying rack
Cleaning the Inside of Your Stoneware
Start by filling your kitchen sink or a basin large enough to accommodate your baking or cooking pieces into it. Do not add any dish soap. Allow the items to soak for a few minutes. Working with a nylon scraper or a sturdy nylon spatula, begin at one end of your pan and gently lift any food or grease from the bottom of the piece. You may need to try more than once or use some elbow grease if food has been baked on.
Once most of the food has been removed, wash the inside and outside of the piece with a sponge or a dish cloth. Rinse it thoroughly in hot water. If the inside of the piece still feels sticky or greasy, take the following steps to remedy the situation. Mix a half cup full of baking soda together with three tablespoons of water in the palm of your hand or in a small bowl until it forms a thick, gritty paste. Spread the paste on the interior of your stoneware. Allow it to remain there for about a half hour. Rinse the paste away using very hot water, making sure to feel the interior with your fingers before determining it is thoroughly rinsed. If the inside of the pan feels gritty or sandy, continue rinsing until it no longer feels that way.
Clean the Outside of Your Stoneware
The outside of these cooking and baking pieces tend to become soiled after several uses. Grease splatters, cheese bubbles over, and sticky sweet pie filling runs down the sides. Treat the outside of your stoneware the way you treat the inside. Use the baking soda method and scrub the mess away—if not every time you wash a pan, then at least every two or three times.
Place each piece in a dish drying rack or on a clean, dry dish towel. You may allow it to air dry or dry it completely with a dish towel. Don’t store your stoneware until it is thoroughly dry. Proper care of these pieces will result in many years of use. Many cooks believe that once you’ve grown accustomed to cooking with stoneware, metal and glass baking or cooking pans serve no purpose in their homes.
Stoneware Pottery Cleaning
In addition to stoneware in our kitchens, collectors often have several pieces of stoneware pottery in their homes as well. Cleaning these pieces isn’t all that different than cleaning the cookware, except they likely won’t become nearly as soiled.
You’ll need the following items when cleaning your pottery. Yes, you likely already have these things, too.
- Sink or basin
- Mild liquid dish soap
- Sponge or dish cloth
- Baking soda
- Dish cloth or dish drying rack
Start by dusting off your piece or pieces of pottery. Submerge them in a kitchen sink or basin filled with warm-to-hot water, mixed with a few drops of liquid dish soap. Since you won’t be eating out of these pieces, the soap won’t cause any problems.
Wash the pieces carefully with a sponge or dish cloth and rinse thoroughly. If you see any stains that didn’t come off during the washing process, take the following steps.
Rub the juicy side of a lemon cut in half over the stain to moisten. Sprinkle some baking soda on the moistened area and allow both to remain there for about a half hour. Rinse and repeat the process until the stain goes away or lightens significantly. If your stoneware pottery is really old, you may have trouble getting the stains completely out. Make sure to completely dry the pottery before putting it away.
You’ll no doubt enjoy your stoneware—whether for cooking or decoration—even more when now that you know how to properly clean and maintain it. Some pieces may even last long enough to be handed down from generation to generation.