Learn how to clean a slow cooker with hardly any scrubbing on your part (save that elbow grease for another project). This cleaning method also deodorizes and 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 (and make sure to scroll through and look at the drastic before and after photos).
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, so and I use my slow cooker almost every single day now.
- To see all of my slow cooker related articles, go here.
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.
*Keep in mind that I have been deep cleaning it this way ever since in 2012 when I first became the original source for this cleaning method*.
Now we’re going to just jump right into learning how you can do it too!
Here are some still images of the process, and there is even a free printable “how to” card down below as well…which is where the video tutorial is:
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How to clean Crock Pot (photo tutorial):
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.
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 food 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.
Cleaning Crock Pot (video found here):
Here is the original video that I made for this cleaning method (it’s within the “how-to” card. 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… so please excuse the um’s and but’s and general fear of being filmed…lol.
- 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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Dish Brush Set of 4 with Bottle Water Brush, Dish Scrub Brush, Scrubber Brush and Straw Brush - Kitchen Scrub Brushes Ergonomic Non Slip Long Handle for Cleaning Cleaner Wash Dish Sink Dishes Cup Pot
Lucy's Family Owned - Natural Distilled White Vinegar, 1 Gallon (128 oz) - 5% Acidity (White Vinegar, Gallon)
Crock-Pot 7 Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel (SCV700-S-BR)
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 13.5 Pound
Cleaning Slow Cooker FAQ’s
Whether or not you can put a crock pot (slow cooker) in the dishwasher depends on the specific model and manufacturer’s instructions. Many modern crock pots have removable stoneware inserts, lids, and sometimes even digital components that make them dishwasher-safe.
However, there are a few important points to consider:
Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always refer to the user manual or instructions that came with your particular slow cooker. The manufacturer will provide guidance on whether the different parts of the crock are dishwasher-safe.
Removable Parts: The stoneware insert and lid of most crock pots are often dishwasher-safe. However, some lids might have components like rubber seals that are not dishwasher-safe.
Heating Element and Base: The heating element and base of the crock pot should never be submerged in water or put in the dishwasher, as they contain electrical components.
Digital Components: If your crock pot has digital components or controls, check the manual to determine if these components can be safely exposed to water. Some models might have sensitive electronics that should not be submerged or exposed to excessive moisture.
Non-Stick Coating: If the stoneware insert has a non-stick coating, it’s generally recommended to hand wash it to avoid potentially damaging the coating.
Rinse Before Dishwashing: Even if your crock pot’s removable parts are dishwasher-safe, it’s a good practice to rinse off any food residue before placing them in the dishwasher (it will also prolong the life of your dishwasher if you get into this habit).
In summary, while many crock pot parts are designed to be dishwasher-safe, it’s essential to review the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model.
If the manual indicates that the removable parts can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher, make sure to follow the recommended guidelines to ensure the longevity and performance of your crock pot.
*I will add more crock pot clean up FAQ’s as the questions get sent to me.
In conclusion, maintaining a clean and hygienic kitchen environment is essential for both our health and the longevity of all of our cooking appliances.
When it comes to kitchen tools like slow cookers, knowing how to clean them properly can truly make a difference in the quality of our meals and the ease of cooking.
By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you’ve learned the effective and healthy way to clean a slow cooker.
From the simple yet impactful combination of baking soda and vinegar for tough stains to the power of steam for loosening stubborn residues, these methods ensure that your slow cooker remains spotless without the use of harsh chemicals.
Remember, a well-cleaned slow cooker isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; it’s a reflection of our commitment to cooking wholesome meals and maintaining a clean kitchen.
Regular cleaning not only prevents the buildup of grime and odors but also preserves the flavors of your dishes, ensuring that each meal you prepare is a delightful experience for your taste buds.
So, the next time you whip up a delicious, hearty stew or a savory casserole, rest assured that your slow cooker is ready to support your culinary creations.
Embrace the tips shared here, and let the joy of cooking extend to the care you invest in keeping your kitchen tools pristine. Happy cooking, and here’s to many more delightful meals made possible by knowing how to clean a slow cooker!
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Check out my other related articles
- To see all of my slow cooker related articles, go here.
Otherwise, here are direct links to several of my other related posts that you’re also going to love:
My most popular laundry & cleaning articles
Other slow cooker related articles
Other good resources for how to clean crockpot
Maybe you don’t wanna go the way that I showed you how to do this…if that’s the case, here are some other good reputable resources that you could try instead:
*Please note that this cleaning tip article was originally shared to this blog on December 8th of 2012. It is my very own original brain-child & it has since been stolen, without giving me credit, by literally hundreds of massive websites and even on YouTube (including Crockpot.com brand themselves 🙁 )..so, if you come upon this post, please make sure to share it from the original source. Thanks so much! I have since updated this post to be more user-friendly, add a “how-to” card, as well as updating video.
**Please note that I do try my hardest to provide factual, but easy to understand, information about each topic. If you notice a discrepancy in my methods, facts, or see something that you deem “misinformation/incorrect” please make sure to notify me about it. I would prefer that you send me an email with a link to a more reputable resource on that subject, so that I can correct it as soon as possible. Thanks so much for helping this site become the best that it can be!