Learn how to easily deep clean your slow cooker with hardly any scrubbing from you (save that elbow grease for another project). This method also deodorizes & removes any lingering tastes or smells, which means it is possible for your slow cooker insert to look like it is practically brand new again. I know, it sounds too good to be true….but stick with me here.
You know how sometimes when you cook a meal in your slow cooker and even if you greased it prior to adding your ingredients, no amount of scrubbing, soaking, or praying is going to get that thick ring of crud off of the sides? (especially if you thought your dishwasher was going to do a better job than it did and it ended up baking the mess on even more)
Mine was so bad earlier this week, that I just had to use it as it was…as clean as I could get it, with a nasty baked on ring from the previous days meal.
Gross, I know, total over share, but I honestly didn’t even know what else to do. This was even with having googled “how to clean a crockpot” or “how to remove the ring of crud from a slow cooker” and trying several suggestions that I had found online. I had literally tried to clean that thing for hours this week, to no avail.
But…I had an epiphany! The kind that is going to save both me and you a considerable amount of time and headache in the future. Especially since a while ago, I started Crockpot freezer cooking and use my slow cooker almost every single day now.
The idea actually came to me after I had been cruising Pinterest (this was back when Pinterest was first starting out) and I saw that people were using baking soda and vinegar to get the toilet rings cleaned off in their bathrooms…so I knew I had to give it a try for my slow cooker *update, keep in mind that I have been deep cleaning it this way ever since in 2012 when I first wrote about this cleaning method*.
Here is the original video that I made for this cleaning method. I actually made it at the request of the Dr. Oz show, but they ended up changing their segment altogether so my cleaning tip didn’t get to make its debut on daytime television…which is probably best because I was so dang terrified of being on camera that I was talking way too quiet… I will redo the audio on that video soon.
The video gave you the gist, but here are some still images of the process too, and there is even a free printable “how to” card down below as well.:
How to clean a Crock Pot:
1.Fill your slow cooker with water until the water level is just above the “ring of crud” as I so fondly refer to it.
2. Add about One Cup of distilled white vinegar for a 6 Quart Cooker, or ½ Cup for a 3 Quart.
Then, slowly, a spoonful or so at a time, add approximately a cup of baking soda for a 6 quart, or ½ cup for a 3 quart. It is key during this step to add it a little at a time, let the bubbles die down, and then add a bit more. Repeat until the whole amount has been added.
3.Turn your slow cooker on the low setting, cover and set a timer for four hours (or just leave it overnight).
4. When you’ve finished letting it cook for four hours (or overnight), turn off the slow cooker. Remove the lid and let it cool enough so that you won’t burn yourself, for about an hour or so.
Then empty it in the sink and clean it out with hot soapy water and some light scrubbing, the way you would normally clean it out. Then let it dry and enjoy your now ACTUALLY CLEAN slow cooker.
How to clean slow cooker insert:
- Slow Cooker
- Baking Soda
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Dish Soap
- Dish Brush/Scrubber
How to deodorize and clean a slow cooker/crockpot:
- Fill your slow cooker with water until the water level is just above the ring of crud.
- Add about One Cup of distilled white vinegar for a 6 Quart Cooker, or ½ Cup for a 3 Quart.
- Then, slowly, add about a cup of baking soda for a 6 quart, or ½ cup for a 3 quart. It is key during this step to add it a little at a time, let the bubbles die down, and then add a bit more. Repeat until the whole amount has been added.
- Turn your slow cooker on the low setting, cover and set a timer for four hours (or just leave it overnight).
- When you’ve finished letting it cook for four hours (or overnight), turn off the slow cooker. Remove the lid and let it cool enough so that you won’t burn yourself, for about an hour or so.
- Then, when it has cooled, empty it in the sink and clean it out with hot soapy water and some light scrubbing, the way you would normally clean it out.
- Let it dry and enjoy your now ACTUALLY CLEAN and deodorized slow cooker.
Every trace of the “ring of crud” is gone!!! I couldn’t believe it the first time I tried this! But now, I’ve done it for many years with the same AWESOME results every time!
Yep, it went from this:
Can you believe that it got that clean and I only had to scrub for less than thirty seconds?
Are you excited to try it yet? It’s going to change your life, for the better, if you frequently need the convenience of a slow cooker, but don’t want the hassle of scrubbing it for an hour.
For me, this removed the ring of crud that had been baked on there three times (between the initial cooking, reheating, and the dishwasher baking it on instead of cleaning it off).
For someone that often uses their slow cooker nearly every day, like I do, this may be a life changer for you too.
No freaky chemicals, and you get a clean slow cooker that isn’t embarrassing to take to a party!
Plus, who wants their Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider to taste like last weeks Taco Soup??? Yuck! The best bonus of cleaning it this way is that in addition to doing such a great job cleaning it, this method removes any funky smells or tastes as well!!!
I personally think this is the best way to clean a slow cooker, but I will let you be the judge.
Can you put a slow cooker/crock pot in the dishwasher?
Many people don’t know the answer to this very common question…and the answer, in my opinion, is it just depends. Obviously the cooking part of the slow cooker should never be submerged in water, so don’t even think about putting that part in the dishwasher.
The insert and the lid, however are typically dishwasher safe so long as you have already scraped anything chunky out of the insert that would clog the pipes/filters in your dishwasher. Though sometimes the dishwasher just doesn’t do a good enough job, so I definitely recommend using my deep cleaning method if the dishwasher does not give you satisfactory results.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! As always, please make sure to share this post via social media if you found it helpful…you could even send my link to them via email…just sayin’ ;). Thanks again~Sarah
P.S. Make sure to check out my entire cleaning section.
Here are links to several of my other cleaning posts that you’re not going to want to miss:
For those of you that would also like another option for a “pinnable” image on Pinterest, here you go…thanks again so much for the support!
*Please note that this cleaning tip was originally shared to this blog on December 8th of 2012. It is my very own original brain-child and has since been stolen, without giving me credit, by hundreds of massive websites (including Crockpot.com themselves)..so, if you come upon this post, please make sure that you share it via social media. Thanks so much! I have since updated this post to be more user-friendly, add a “how-to” card, as well as updating video.