Friday, February 4, 2011

Hints on Cleaning your Crock Pot

This is the time of year when my crock pot gets a real workout!  I probably use it at least 3-4 times a week.  Here are a few handy tips on how to keep your crock pot in tip top shape.
    1. My crock pot has a removable stoneware insert.  This makes clean up so much easier than the old style pot I had 20 yrs ago!  Be sure to cool the insert before you rinse or clean it to avoid cracking.  Clean with a damp sponge.

    2. Wash the insert in your dishwasher or in warm, soapy water.  Avoid using abrasive cleansers.  They will scratch the finish on the stoneware.

    3. If your crock pot has mineral stains on the insert, fill with hot water and 1 cup of white vinegar; cover.  "Cook" on high for a couple of hours.  Throw out the water and wash with warm soapy water.  Rinse well and dry.

    4. If your insert has water marks rub the surface with vegetable oil and allow it to stand for 2 hours before washing with hot, soapy water. You can also fill your crock pot with water and put 3-4 denture tablets.  Set on low and let soak overnight.

    5. To remove crusty residue; fill with water and a couple of squirts of dish washing liquid.

    6. To clean stains on the metal shell of the crock pot; make a past of baking soda and water and carefully rub with a soft sponge or cloth. 

     7. Here's a "two fer"; Warm some white vinegar in the microwave to boiling.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from microwave and wipe down the interior of your microwave.  Use the (very) warm vinegar water to wash the outside of your crock pot.  Do NOT immerse in water.  Pour the vinegar into a large bowl and add a little dish-washing liquid. Using a soft rag or sponge use the vinegar/soap solution to wash down the outside of the crock pot.  Do NOT use abrasive cleaners, scrubbers etc.  This will ruin the finish on your crock pot.  You can use a baking soda paste to remove stubborn stains and cooked on grease.  Wipe down with clean hot water and dry.  Now you not only have a nice clean crock pot but your microwave is cleaned as well!
          In case you haven't seen them, Reynolds now makes a "liner" for your crock pot.  I've tried them and they work REALLY well.  I love them!  They make clean up a snap!

    After you've got your crock pot all nice and clean... why not dirty it up again and try some of the crock pot recipes in my files?!


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