How to Clean Burnt Enamel on a Dutch Oven

Cynthia Measom

Once the enamel coating of your Dutch oven becomes tainted with stains from burned-on food, it's not necessarily a permanent change. Some discolorations will disappear from the cookware with the right cleaning method. Others may cling in the form of a patina. For stubborn stains you can't remove, accept them.

Scrub gently with steel wool for tougher stains.

They serve as a testament to your Dutch oven as a well-used implement in your kitchen.

Scrubbing Away Stains

  1. Fill the Dutch oven with water. Pour out the water and leave the inside of the cookware wet.

  2. Wet a scrubbing sponge and squeeze to remove excess water. Sprinkle a liberal amount of a gentle powdered cleanser onto the surface of the sponge.

  3. Scrub the burned areas of the enamel with the powdered sponge to remove the stains. Rinse the sponge as you remove the burned food.

  4. Rinse the inside of the Dutch oven with warm water to remove the cleanser. Examine the cookware.

Removing Surface Stains

  1. Place the Dutch oven in the sink and fill it with warm water.

  2. Drop one effervescent tablet into the water. If the Dutch oven is large, use two tablets. The tablets will begin fizzing.

  3. Allow the tablets to fizz. Pour the water down the drain once the tablets stop fizzing. The surface stains should be gone.

  4. Tip

    Don't worry about stains that won't budge from the surface of the cookware. It's safe to continue using your Dutch oven. Some brands of Dutch oven enamel cookware may recommend their brand-name cleanser. Check the item's care instructions before cleaning.


    Avoid cleansers with chlorine bleach or gritty ingredients.

    If you use steel wool, scrub gently.