How to Get Burnt Food Off of a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker, or crock pot, adds convenience to homemade meals.
Dishwashing detergent safely cleans and removes slow cooker stains.
You can begin cooking your meal in the morning and have it ready to eat later in the day. Moisture inside the slow cooker keeps the food from drying out or burning. However, if moisture dries out without you noticing, food can start burning, leaving burnt food stains inside your slow cooker. When these stains are left unattended, they can affect the flavor of subsequent meals prepared in your crock pot. You can clean the burnt food stains on your slow cooker with common household supplies. .

Step 1

Set your slow cooker in the freezer for two to three hours. Remove the slow cooker and scrape burnt-on food residue off with a rubber spatula. Wipe the removed stains out of the slow cooker with a damp paper towel.

Step 2

Pour a quarter-sized amount of liquid fabric softener on a clean cloth. Rub the fabric softener into the remaining burned-on food stains. Let the fabric softener soak into the remaining stains for three minutes to soften them.

Step 3

Dishwashing detergent safely cleans and removes slow cooker stains.

Fill your slow cooker with enough water to cover any remaining burnt food stains. Add five to 10 drops of dishwashing detergent. Place the lid on the slow cooker.

Step 4

Plug in the slow cooker and turn it on the "Low" setting. Heat the detergent solution in the slow cooker for one hour. Turn off the slow cooker and unplug it. Allow the solution to cool until it's warm.

Step 5

Empty the slow cooker of the detergent solution, except for an inch in the bottom. Ensure the electrical cord and outside of the slow cooker don't get wet while you empty the solution. Wipe the outside of the slow cooker with paper towels to remove moisture.

Step 6

Scrub the inside of the slow cooker with a nylon mesh scrubber to remove the last traces of burnt-on food. Rinse the inside with warm water until the detergent solution is gone.

Step 7

Remove moisture without leaving lint behind when you use a kitchen towel.

Dry your slow cooker thoroughly with a lint-free kitchen towel.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber spatula
  • Paper towels
  • Clean cloths
  • Liquid fabric softener
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Nylon mesh scrubber
  • Kitchen towel


  • Cover the burnt food stains with water. Drop two denture cleaning tablets into the water and allow them to loosen and remove the burnt food stains.


  • Avoid using abrasive cleansers or scrubbers to remove stains inside your slow cooker.
  • Never submerge a slow cooker in water. A removable inner cooking pot can be submerged if the directions recommend it but electrical components will be ruined by the moisture.

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.