Clean Clay Pots Like A Pro! Get Ready To Transform Your Cooking Game!

Clay pots have been used for centuries due to their durability, heat retention, and ability to enhance the flavor of dishes.

However, over time, these pots can accumulate residue, stains, and odors that may affect the quality of your cooking.

Properly cleaning and maintaining clay pots is essential to ensure they continue to serve you well.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to effectively clean your clay pots and keep them in excellent condition.

How To Clean Clay Pots For Cooking?

How To Clean Clay Pots?

To clean clay pots, start by letting them cool down after use. Gently scrub the interior and exterior with warm water and a soft brush or sponge. Avoid harsh detergents or abrasive materials, and air dry the pots upside down or pat them dry with a clean towel before storing them in a dry place.

Also Read – Benefits Of Clay Pot Cooking

Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Clay Pots For Cooking

1. Gathering Your Supplies

Before you begin the cleaning process, make sure you have the following supplies ready:

  • Soft-bristle brush or sponge
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Mild dish soap
  • Water
  • Towel or drying rack

2. Initial Cleaning Steps

When it comes to cleaning your cherished clay pot, starting with the right foundation is key. The initial cleaning steps lay the groundwork for a thorough and effective cleaning process, ensuring that your pot not only looks clean but also retains its natural qualities.

Also Read – How To Use Clay Cooking Pans?

Removing Excess Debris

  • Begin the cleaning process by gently but diligently removing any loose dirt, residue, or food particles from the pot’s surface.
  • A soft-bristle brush or a sponge specifically designed for delicate surfaces works wonders here. 
  • Be patient and don’t rush this step. Take the time to gently scrub away any debris, paying attention to every curve and crevice. 
  • This step not only sets the stage for a cleaner pot but also prevents the buildup of grime in subsequent uses.

Pre-Soaking the Pot

You know, how you soak your dishes in the sink to make them easier to clean? Well, your clay pot deserves the same treatment.

  • Fill it up with water, enough to cover the insides.
  • Then let it chill out for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While it’s soaking, the water is working its magic, loosening up any stubborn leftovers from your previous cooking adventures.
  • This soaking trick makes the next steps way easier. It’s like letting a tough nut soften before cracking it open.
  • So, show your pot some love and patience by giving it this little bath.

These two steps might sound simple, but they’re like the foundation of a strong building. By cleaning off the debris and giving your pot a good soak, you’re getting it ready for a deeper clean later on.

Think of it as a way to show your pot some TLC (Tender Loving Care) – it’ll reward you with delicious meals for years to come!

Also Read – Glazed Vs Unglazed Clay Pots

3. Using Gentle Cleaning Agents

Now that we’ve cleared away the initial dirt and given our clay pot a refreshing soak, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty of cleaning. But don’t worry, we’re still keeping things gentle and kind to our precious pot.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

Let’s make a pact to steer clear of harsh chemicals.

  • Your clay pot has a sensitive side, and we want to keep its natural charm intact.
  • Skip the heavy-duty cleaners and abrasive scrubbers – they can be too rough and might cause more harm than good.
  • Instead, we’ll opt for gentler solutions that won’t upset the pot’s balance.

Using Baking Soda Paste

  • Grab some baking soda from your kitchen stash.
  • Mix a bit of it with water to create a paste. Spread this paste on any stubborn stains or spots on your pot’s surface.
  • Gently rub the paste with a soft brush or sponge. It’s like giving your pot a mini spa treatment.
  • This method is great for saying goodbye to those pesky stains without being too aggressive.

Utilizing Vinegar Solution

Vinegar isn’t just for salads – it’s also a cleaning superhero!

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Let your pot have a soak in this solution for a few hours.
  • The vinegar will work its magic, loosening up mineral deposits and stains.
  • After the soak, give your pot a gentle scrub and rinse it well. You’ll be amazed at how shiny it becomes!

Remember, we’re going for the gold without going overboard. These gentle methods help your pot regain its glory without stripping away its natural character. So, let’s put on our cleaning capes and show that clay pot some TLC!

Also Read – Can Clay Pots Be Used On The Gas Stove?

4. Dealing With Stubborn Stains

Alright, sometimes stains can be a bit stubborn, like those last puzzle pieces that just won’t fit. But fear not – we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves to handle even the trickiest of spots on your clay pot.

Removing Mineral Deposits

If your pot has those white, chalky marks from mineral buildup, don’t fret.

  • Fill up your pot with a mix of equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • Give it a gentle simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. It’s like a little spa day for your pot. 
  • After that, give it a good rinse. 
  • Those mineral deposits will loosen up and disappear, leaving your pot looking fresh and clean.

Tackling Grease Buildup

Grease buildup can be a real pain, but we’ve got a solution for that too.

  • Use some mild dish soap and warm water.
  • Fill your pot with this soapy mixture and let it sit for a short while. Then, give it a gentle scrub – nothing too aggressive. 
  • The soap will help break down the grease, making it easier to wash away. Remember, we’re not in a hurry, so take your time.

Dealing with tough stains might require a bit more patience, but with these methods, you’ll see those stains gradually fading away. Your pot will thank you for the extra effort, and you’ll have a clean canvas for your culinary creations once again.

Also Read – Disadvantages Of Cooking In Clay Pots

5. Drying And Storing

So, you’ve conquered the cleaning challenge and your clay pot is looking spick and span. Now, it’s time to give it the royal treatment during the drying and storage phase. Let’s ensure it stays in top-notch condition for your next cooking adventure.

Choosing How To Dry

Once your pot is squeaky clean, it’s time to dry it off. You’ve got a couple of options here. The first is to let it air dry – simply leave it out on a clean and dry surface.

  • Make sure it’s in a well-ventilated spot, so moisture doesn’t get trapped.
  • If you’re a bit impatient or worried about water spots, you can also grab a clean towel and gently pat your pot dry.
  • Avoid putting the pot away while it’s still damp.

Storing in a Dry Place

Now that your pot is all dry and ready, it’s time to find a cozy home for it.

  • Choose a cool and dry place for storage.
  • You want to avoid any moisture or humidity, as that can lead to unwelcome guests like mold. 
  • Think of it as giving your pot a comfy bed – it deserves a place where it can relax and be itself.

Taking care during the drying and storing phase is like the icing on the cake. It ensures that your hard work in cleaning your pot doesn’t go to waste.

So, whether you’re letting it air dry or giving it a gentle pat-down, and whether it’s resting on a shelf or in a cabinet, your pot will be safe, sound, and ready for its next culinary adventure.

6. Maintaining The Seasoning

Now that your clay pot is all cleaned up and looking fabulous, let’s talk about maintaining its seasoning.

Just like a well-seasoned cast iron pan, your clay pot benefits from a little extra attention to keep its cooking magic alive. Seasoning not only adds flavor to your dishes but also keeps your pot in tip-top shape.

The Importance of Seasoning

Think of seasoning as the special sauce that makes your pot unique. It’s a thin layer of oil that’s soaked into the clay over time, creating a natural non-stick surface and enhancing the flavors of your food.

This seasoning also acts as a protective shield, preventing the pot from absorbing too much moisture and odors.

Seasoning After Cleaning

After each cleaning session, it’s a good idea to show your pot some seasoning love.

  • Grab a little bit of vegetable oil – just a tiny amount – and rub it gently all over the inside of the pot. It’s like giving your pot a cozy oil massage.
  • Then, pop your pot in the oven at a low temperature, around 250°F (120°C), for about an hour. This helps the oil soak in and create that lovely seasoned layer.

Maintaining the seasoning is like nourishing your pot’s soul. With each seasoning touch, you keep your pot’s unique qualities alive and kicking. So, don’t forget this step – your future culinary masterpieces will thank you for it!

Also Read – Can Induction Pans Be Used On Gas Stoves?

How To Clean Clay Pots After Cooking?

After whipping up a delicious meal in your trusty clay pot, it’s time to give it a little TLC to ensure it stays in top-notch condition.

Cleaning clay pots after cooking is a simple yet essential process that helps preserve their unique qualities. Let’s dive into the steps to keep your clay pot looking and performing its best.

What You’ll Need

  • Clay pot
  • Warm water
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Mild dish soap
  • Towel or drying rack

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Let It Cool Down: Before you begin cleaning, allow the clay pot to cool down to room temperature. Cleaning a hot pot can lead to temperature shock and potential cracking.
  2. Remove Excess Food: Using a wooden or plastic utensil, gently remove any remaining food from the pot. Avoid using metal utensils that could scratch the pot’s surface.
  3. Rinse With Warm Water: Give your clay pot a quick rinse with warm water to remove loose food particles. You don’t need to use soap at this stage.
  4. Create A Soapy Solution: In a bowl, mix warm water with a small amount of mild dish soap. Avoid using harsh detergents that could strip away the pot’s seasoning.
  5. Gently Scrub With Soft Brush Or Sponge: Dip a soft brush or sponge into the soapy solution. Gently scrub the interior and exterior of the pot, focusing on areas with food residue or stains. Use circular motions to lift dirt without being too aggressive.
  6. Avoid Harsh Scrubbing: Remember, clay pots are porous and delicate. Avoid harsh scrubbing or using abrasive materials that could damage the pot’s surface.
  7. Rinse Thoroughly: Once you’ve scrubbed the pot, thoroughly rinse it with warm water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that no soap remains on the pot’s surface.
  8. Air Dry Or Towel Dry: You have two drying options. You can let the pot air dry by placing it upside down on a clean towel or drying rack. Alternatively, gently pat the pot dry with a clean towel.
  9. Re-Season If Necessary: If your clay pot is seasoned and the cleaning process has affected the seasoning, you can re-season the pot. Rub a thin layer of vegetable oil on the inside and heat it in a low-temperature oven for an hour.
  10. Store In A Dry Place: After your clay pot is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place with proper ventilation. Avoid stacking pots without proper seasoning to prevent flavors from transferring.

Cleaning clay pots after cooking is a mindful practice that maintains the pot’s integrity and enhances its longevity. By following these steps, you’re ensuring that your clay pot continues to be a reliable companion in your culinary endeavors.

Also Read – How To Use A Baguette Pan?

Cleaning Terracotta Pots With Baking Soda

Terracotta pots have a rustic charm that adds character to any kitchen. However, over time, these pots can accumulate stains and mineral deposits. Let’s dive into how you can use baking soda to restore the natural beauty of your pots.

What You’ll Need

  • Terracotta pots
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Towel

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Gather Your Supplies: Before you begin, gather all your supplies. Having everything ready makes the process smoother.
  2. Remove Excess Dirt: Give your pots a quick brush or rinse to remove loose dirt and debris. This helps ensure that the baking soda can work its magic on the tougher stains.
  3. Create A Baking Soda Paste: Mix a tablespoon or two of baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste. The consistency should be thick enough to spread easily but not runny.
  4. Apply The Paste: Dip your soft brush or sponge into the baking soda paste. Gently apply the paste to the stained areas on the terracotta pot. Make sure to cover the stains thoroughly.
  5. Scrub Gently: Using your brush or sponge, gently scrub the stained areas in a circular motion. Baking soda’s mild abrasive properties will help lift the stains without scratching the terracotta surface.
  6. Let It Sit: Once you’ve scrubbed the stains, let the baking soda paste sit on the pot for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the baking soda to penetrate and break down the stains further.
  7. Rinse And Wipe: After the waiting time, rinse the pot thoroughly with water. Use a clean sponge or cloth to wipe away the baking soda residue. You’ll start to see the difference in the pot’s appearance.
  8. Dry The Pot: Pat the pot dry with a clean towel or let it air dry. Avoid putting the pot away while it’s still damp to prevent mold growth.
  9. Optional: Repeat If Needed: For particularly stubborn stains, you can repeat the process. Just remember not to scrub too aggressively to avoid damaging the terracotta.
  10. Enjoy Your Clean Pot: Once your terracotta pot is dry, it’s ready to take its place in your kitchen. Admire the refreshed appearance and the simple power of baking soda.

Using baking soda to clean your terracotta pots is not only effective but also eco-friendly. It’s a natural way to restore their beauty without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Also Read – Baguette Pan Vs Baking Stone

Cleaning Terracotta Pots With Vinegar

Terracotta pots bring an earthy charm to your kitchen, but they can accumulate dirt and stains over time. When it comes to cleaning, vinegar is your secret weapon. Let’s delve into the steps of cleaning terracotta pots using vinegar.

What You’ll Need

  • Terracotta pots
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • A soft brush or scrubbing sponge
  • Towel or cloth
  • Optional: Baking soda

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare The Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a container. This solution will be your all-natural cleaning agent that tackles dirt and stains effectively.
  2. Remove Loose Debris: Before you begin, give your pots a quick once-over to remove any loose dirt, leaves, or debris. This helps prevent scratching the surface during the cleaning process.
  3. Apply The Vinegar Solution: Dip a soft brush or scrubbing sponge into the vinegar solution. Gently apply the solution to the stained or soiled areas of the terracotta pot. Allow the vinegar to work its magic.
  4. Scrub Gently: With the vinegar solution applied, use the brush or sponge to gently scrub the stained areas. The natural acidity of vinegar helps break down mineral deposits and dirt without harming the terracotta.
  5. Let It Sit: For particularly stubborn stains, let the vinegar solution sit on the pot’s surface for about 15-20 minutes. This gives the vinegar more time to dissolve the stains.
  6. Rinse Thoroughly: Using clean water, rinse the pot thoroughly to remove the vinegar solution. Make sure all traces of vinegar are washed away.
  7. Dry The Pot: Pat the pot dry with a clean towel or cloth. Ensuring that the pot is completely dry helps prevent water spots or mold growth.

Cleaning terracotta pots with vinegar is a simple and eco-friendly method that yields impressive results. The natural acidity of vinegar helps dissolve stains and dirt, leaving your pots looking fresh and vibrant.

Also Read – How To Clean White Mineral Deposits From Pans?

Dos And Don’ts of Clay Pot Cleaning

As you embark on your journey to clean and care for your cherished clay pot, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind. These dos and don’ts will ensure that your pot remains in top-notch condition while you give it the care it deserves.


  1. Do Use Gentle Cleaning Agents: Use mild solutions like baking soda paste or vinegar to clean your pot. Harsh chemicals can damage its delicate surface.
  2. Do Let The Pot Soak Before Scrubbing: Give your pot some time to soak after removing excess debris. This makes scrubbing easier and less abrasive.
  3. Do Maintain The Pot’s Seasoning: After cleaning, re-season your pot with a light layer of vegetable oil. This helps retain its non-stick properties and flavor-enhancing capabilities.
  4. Do Store In A Cool Dry Place: Choose a spot with good ventilation for storing your pot. Avoid damp or humid areas to prevent mold growth.
  5. Do Handle With Care: Treat your clay pot gently to prevent chipping or cracking. Avoid sudden temperature changes, like placing a hot pot in cold water.


  1. Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of strong chemicals or abrasive scrubbers. They can strip away the pot’s seasoning and damage its surface.
  2. Don’t Use Abrasive Scrubbers: Scrubbing too hard or using abrasive materials can scratch the pot’s surface. Stick to soft brushes or sponges.
  3. Don’t Rush The Drying Process: Whether air drying or towel drying, avoid rushing the process. Patience ensures your pot dries thoroughly.
  4. Don’t Put A Hot Pot In Cold Water: Rapid temperature changes can cause the pot to crack. Allow it to cool down before cleaning or immersing it in water.
  5. Don’t Stack Unseasoned Pots: If you have multiple clay pots, avoid stacking them without proper seasoning. The pots can absorb flavors from each other.

Also Read – Tube Pan Vs Bundt Pan

Final Verdict

Cleaning clay pots is more than just a routine task; it’s a way of preserving their natural beauty and culinary magic.

By following the proper steps, from gentle scrubbing to mindful drying, you’re not only keeping your pots clean but also honoring their history and potential.

Remember, a well-cleaned clay pot is a canvas for countless future culinary masterpieces, and the care you invest in today will reward you with delicious meals for years to come.

So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the process, and let your clay pots shine in all their rustic glory.

Also Read – Copper Vs Titanium Cookware

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can You Use Dish Soap On Terracotta?

    Yes, you can use mild dish soap to clean terracotta, but avoid harsh detergents that could damage its surface.

  2. Does Bleach Damage Terracotta?

    Yes, bleach can damage terracotta as it’s too harsh; opt for gentler cleaning methods to preserve its natural beauty.

  3. How Do You Remove Stains From Terracotta?

    To remove stains from terracotta, create a paste with baking soda and water, then gently scrub the stained area using a soft brush or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with water to remove the paste.
    For tougher stains, you can apply a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off.

  4. Can I Use A Dishwasher To Clean My Clay Pot?

    It’s best to avoid dishwashers, as the harsh detergents and high temperatures can damage the pot’s surface.

  5. Why Is My Clay Pot Still Stained After Cleaning?

    Some stains might be deeply embedded. You can try using baking soda or vinegar solutions to remove them.

  6. How Often Should I Reseason My Clay Pot?

    It’s recommended to reseason your clay pot every few months or if you notice food sticking to the surface.

  7. Can I Cook Acidic Foods In A Clay Pot?

    Acidic foods can react with the clay, affecting the flavor of your dish. It’s better to stick to neutral or alkaline recipes.

  8. What Should I Do If My Clay Pot Develops A Crack?

    Unfortunately, cracks can’t be repaired. It’s best to replace the pot to ensure safe cooking.

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