Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: How to clean and remove smells from a ceramic crock pot

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Even though I'm picky about which foods I like from a slow cooker, I really do love the crock pot I have and use it at least once a week (for beans).

I wash the crock pot with hot soapy water and a plastic brush. When I'm finished scrubbing and washing, it looks like this. All shiny and clean, right?

Clean crock pot?

Wrong. When it dries, it looks cloudy and doesn't feel smooth on the cloudy parts. (I find this especially after cooking beef stew or beans.)

Clean crock pot

I've tried re-washing with the hottest water possible, and scrubbing lots with my plastic brush. It still looks cloudy when it dries.

Not only that, but the cloudy parts have a smell, like herbs (from my roast beef) and beans. The smell is all right if I'm only going to cook beef or beans in it. I've told myself that it's basically clean despite looking cloudy!

But last week I wanted to cook apples in my crock pot, and I didn't want the apples to smell like beef or beans. My solution for getting the smell off of my crock pot?

Clean crock pot

With a wet washcloth, gently rub the spots with baking soda (I used about 1/4 cup). It washed away the smell and the "clouds"!

...and my apples didn't taste like beans. :)

See also: Heather's tip about removing stains from her white crock pot!

Because I never get around to doing a separate post about this stuff, here is some off-topic cuteness from my kitchen helpers:

Eliyahu and Moshe filling the pepper grinder

I asked Eliyahu (5) to fill the pepper grinder for me. Moshe (1) "helped" him and they were so cute together as they intently worked on the special task! And yes, Eliyahu does have more than 1 shirt; that one happens to be his favorite right now and he tries to wear it as often as possible! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

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1. Freezing homemade stock (Jenna at Blessed Roots)
2. Pressure cooker info (The Local Cook)
3. Stocking up on Thanksgiving specials (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
4. Recipe book tips (Christy at One Little Word She Knew)
5. Tip for using whole cloves (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
6. Making sweet potato puree (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
7.
8.

Comments

My kitchen tip this week is just in time for Thanksgiving - freezing homemade stock!

http://blessedrootsblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/kitchen-tip-tu…homemade-stock

And congratulations on your pregnancy! We're in the same boat! I have 5 and my oldest just turned 8 last month :). Crazy - in such a great way!!

Thanks, Jenna! :)

Thank you, I needed this! My crock pot has that issue as well.

Today I'm linking up a post where I feature four of my favorite pressure cooker blogs. In the winter I tend to rely on my pressure cooker a lot.

http://thelocalcook.com/2011/11/21/where-to-find-pressure-cooker-recipes-info-online/

Hi, Tammy. I love my crockpot for beans too thanks to you. It is so easy and yummy, I don't know why I wasn't doing it years ago!

The tip I would like to share today is about stocking up on the Thanksgiving specials at the grocery store.
http://www.feelgoodaboutdinner.com/2011/11/grocery-shopping-for-more-than.html

I noticed you mention being pregnant a few posts ago. You may have said something sooner that I missed, but that was the first I had heard. Congratulations!

Heather

Thanks, Heather! :)

Yay, another beans-in-the-crock-pot convert! ;)

Thanks for the tip! I just made pinto beans in my crock pot yesterday. Unfortunately, I bought a WHITE crock pot thinking it was so light and pretty. Well, it's been pink and splotchy for the past 6 months due to pinto bean "kisses".
I'm going to try the baking soda today.
Thank you!!!
Kate

Kate, if the baking soda isn't quite "enough" for your white crock pot (mine is black so I can't see darker colors!), here's a tip from Heather about cleaning her white crock pot (also stained from beans!). :)

http://onelittlewordsheknew.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-recipe-book.html

Thanks so much for this tip. I just discovered how great baking soda is to remove cloudiness from my drinking glasses (we have very hard water), and I might not have thought to extend this tip to my crock pot, which falls prey to the same cloudy bumpiness as yours does. Now I have a weapon- thanks again, and happy Thanksgiving!

Dude, I LOVE baking soda! It's my favorite cleaning item. :-) I, like you, need to wash mine....but I just try to overlook those stains. Ha!

Here is my tip this week - tip for using whole cloves (at the very end of the post). Thanks Tammy!
http://www.stacymakescents.com/cinnamon-pb-granola

~Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents

That is a great tip! Thanks so much for posting it! I have had the same problem, with several of my pots including my crockpot. Now I know how to solve it!

LOVE your tip, Tammy! I'll certainly try that one out.

My tip is for making sweet potato puree

http://joyinmykitchen.blogspot.com/2011/11/as-you-well-know-sweet-potatoes-make.html

I have to wonder if this stain issue has to do with the hardness of the water. I use my slow cookers all the time and I do not have this problem. Good tip in case I do have the problem.

I'm not sure, about the water hardness. Do you cook beans in yours? :) I didn't really notice much cloudiness until I got a black crock and cooked lots of beans in it. Our water here (in the Seattle area) is considered to be softer than water in a lot of areas, and I don't notice any calcium (etc.) in the bottom of my tea kettle, etc... not like in Ohio!! :) I did wonder if the cloudiness in the crock pot was calcium or lime deposits though... :)

Thank you for the baking soda tip! I figured between vinegar, salt and soda the answer would be there but hadn't taken the time to try. Im glad to finally get rid of the cloudiness.

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