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A Simple Way To Clean The Inside Of Your Slow Cooker

I love my slow cooker! I don’t know what I would do without it! The other day I was putting some pork chops in it for dinner and noticed the inside of my prized possession was looking a bit abused (OK, it doesn’t look that bad, but this crockpot is not that old.)  Anyway, I realized I don’t think I’ve EVER cleaned the inside of ANY of my slow cookers before. I figured it was high time to give it a try.

I decided to use some of my tried-and-true cleaning techniques (ie. Cleaning Those Nasty Stove Burners and My Kitchen Miracle Cleaner) and just like that my best friend in the kitchen looked good as new!

Cleaning Your Crockpot

How To Clean The Inside Of Your Slow Cooker

Start by filling a small bowl with ammonia and placing it in the bottom of your slow cooker (without the crock liner.) DON’T pour the ammonia directly into the bottom of the cooker because it will simply run out all over your countertop. Not that I would know. ;-)

Cleaning Your Crockpot

Place the lid on and walk away! (You were expecting more?)  :-)  It’s just that easy! The ammonia fumes will do all the work for you.

I let mine sit overnight and the next day I removed the bowl, poured out the ammonia, and almost all of the burnt on mess wiped right off!

I then used a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, “My Miracle Cleaner,” to scrub the last bits of gunk off (mostly around the top edge.)

Cleaning Your Crockpot

After these two simple steps my slow cooker really did look practically brand new, from the inside out. If it weren’t for a small dent in the front, I might not have recognized it. :-)

Cleaning Your Crockpot

If you think your trusty old slow cooker is just destined to look like the ugly stepchild of your cookware….think again! Try this two-step method to restore it to its well-earned glory!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • I tried that ammonia trick, to no avail. I scrubbed the inside of the crock pot with either Brillo or SOS pads, and the inside was soon clean as a whistle.

  • I can’t handle ammonia in any form or fashion…… I was so glad you had an alternative solution! I will try the peroxide and soda, they don’t have the harsh fumes and besides that I’ll get instant results…… or not!
    You do have excellent tips!

  • I have an electric teapot like is sold at costco, it has a small water leven window. We have hard water and the window has become clogged so that it is almost impossible to see thru. It is indented from the inside so I cannot get my hand or fingers in to clean it. Any ideas??

    • Hello Catherine, have you tried white vinegar in your electric teapot, or even the cleaner for the Keurig coffee makers? I’ve poured white vinegar in my teapot and have heated it a few times, and it worked. Good luck!

      • White Vinegar should work, it works to keep my Mr. Coffee, my drip coffee maker. I use it every month, so far very good results. You will want to drip plain water through after the vinegar solution, two or three times to remove the vinegar taste. When you can’t smell the vinegar, the pot is ready for you to brew yourself some coffee.

  • I will have to try this. I can never figure out how it gets so dirty “under” the crock. I never fill it that much that it would overflow. I even checked to make sure the crock was not cracked..lol

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  • I agree with Edie about using ammonia outside. A former wonderful elderly neighbor lady taught me to use ammonion to clean my oven racks. She did both hers and mine the first time and then I took over and did hers at least a couple times per year. Find a place outside away from the house, use a large heavy garbage bag, put the oven racks inside along with a glass container holding 1 cup of ammonia–something that won’t tip over easily. Seal with a twist tie and leave overnight or up to 24 hours. Open away from yourself, allow fumes to escape, wipe down the racks and hose them off. Never thought of using this technique with the crock pot, but will do so–albeit outside. Thanks again Jillee!

  • With this being crock pot season, this is a great time for this post. Mine sure could use a good cleaning right about now. I’m hoping to get it back to ‘new’ before it gets any worse. Thanks Jillee!

  • Just curious – do you ever have an issue with your ceramic crock cracking? I use my crock pot all the time. Weekly, sometimes more than once a week. But it seems that I can’t make them last more than a year or two at most.

    I don’t put it in the dishwasher – hand wash only. I don’t wash when it is too hot. I usually don’t put the crock in the refrigerator. It stays on my counter top so I don’t move it a lot.

    I end up with a hairline crack that ends up traveling across from one side to the other.

    • I cracked one of my crock pots because I made stew, but wanted it for the next day, and thus, I put the stew in the crock (with our the outer part that heats) into the refrigerator overnight. Then in the AM I put the crock into the heating element and turned it on to High, big mistake as the crock cracked. I had to but a new inner portion of the crock pot. Now, when I take stew or soup out of the fridge, I set the crockpot on warm, leave it while I have breakfast, then turn to low, and finally to high.

  • This is one I will definitely try! While I’m at it, my toaster oven is also needing attention. Wonder if this will work in that, also. It won’t seal as well to hold in the fumes, so I’ll have to put it inside a large plastic bag. Any idea if it would harm the heating element inside?

      • I will try your idea, but I have purchased a sixty second enzyme spray to use on cold ovens, it was purchased from a Signatures Catalog. It may take a couple of sprayings to get your oven, or counter top oven/toaster oven, clean, if it is especially stained with “burnt offerings,” but it does work.

  • I might have missed any other ammonia cleaning solutions, and I know the fumes can be toxix, BUT you don’t stick your face in them, either. I have a breathing problem, but I still use it. The best way I ever found to clean stove grates is put them in a (doubled) plastic shopping bag, just pour about 1/4 cup into the bag, and seal shut with a twistie. Let it sit overnight and the grease doesnt’ dissapear, but a steel wool pad and hot water takes it all off soooo easily, no scrubbing! I’ve done oven grates the same way in a large trash bag! Throw the bag in the trash, it keeps animals away! I also used the same “in a bag” trick to clean the outside of my Mom’s cast iron frypan set…..that had 60 years of burned on grease on the outside. They look like new now, and I use them constantly. Just don’t inhale the fumes which dissipate right away!

  • I use the Crock Pot Slow Cooker Liners and there is hardly any clean up needed at all. They keep your slow cooker clean especially when you use saucy type recipes.

  • Be sure the crock pot is unplugged before cleaning. Before the heating base of the crock pot cools down completely, I use a moist micro cloth or a moist Magic Eraser to easily clean the inside. Just be careful that it isn’t that hot, you don’t want to burn yourself. If it is a bit messy, I use the cloth and rinse out between wipes.

    I find it works better to spray your Magic Eraser with water other than wet it under the faucet. I wet the cloth with water with a small amount of liquid hand wash dish soap, wring it out leaving it moist but not drippy. In case of excess dripping, I put a paper towel inside. Wipe with clean cloth to rinse.

    At times, I have doubled my cloth and quickly but carefully wiped inside while it was a bit hot and it steamed out the grease. I do this each time I am done using the crock pot, if it needs it.

    It depends how messy the crock pot base is but this doesn’t take much time as long as it is hot/warm and safe enough to steam clean.

  • What is the safest way to dispose of ammonia? I have read so many cleaning tips with ammonia lately and wonder what is the best way to get rid of it after using it? Down the sink? Or dump in the backyard? Lol amy advice would be great thanks!

  • Please don’t use the ammonia as it penetrates the cooker and give off toxic fumes to the next food cooked. I have found that “Barkeepers Friend” does an outstanding job without the toxic chemicals. Thanks for letting me express my concern. God bless.

  • Being asthmatic I can get anywhere near ammonia. I take a cup of vinegar, boil for 2 mins in microwave then place that dish inside the pot, same as Jillee does with the ammonia. I let it rest for the night and in the morning remove lid and use a hot cloth to wipe up the mess. What I can’t get off with the cloth I grab a magic eraser and the rest wipes clean. Thanks Jillee for all your hard work and wonderful ideas!!

    • That is a great idea. I was a little concerned about using the ammonia in the house, I have cleaned oven grates in plastic bags with it but I do that outside.

  • I got pneumonia from using ammonia in 1968.
    I always checked ingredients on every cleaner I used to make sure it didn’t have ammonia as an ingredient.
    Now 46 years later so many tips say to use it.
    I’m going to wait until summer,buy ammonia but pour it outside per your directions.
    I hope I remember but I save almost all of your ideas.
    Thanks again Jillie

  • I love you for this! My crock pot is exactly the same as yours, color and everything, except the dial is a digital display. LOVE the fact you can lock the lid in place and avoid messy splatters that normally come out from under the lid, but I digress… I have never been able to scrub the inside of any crock pot clean. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Angie, DON’T LOCK THE LID WHILE COOKING. IT’S FOR TRANSPORT ONLY. Check your owner’s guide booklet, on page 6, under NOTE: Unit SHOULD NOT (underlined) be in the locked position while cooking. I also own a cook and carry Crock Pot (name brand) and LOVE IT. It’s so practical when transporting to and from potlucks, parties etc………………………..

  • How would you recommend cleaning the outside of the slow cooker? Mine is a burned greasy mess on the outside as well. (It’s all metal & I can’t get the gunk off )

    • Maybe find a plastic storage container large enough to fit your crock pot in and allows the lid to close. You may have to add 2 or 3 small dishes near the worst spots. I’d probably tape a plastic bag over the electrical cord to protect it. Make sure it’s a container that would not hold food, and be sure to take out the ceramic insert before trying so you don’t contaminate anything.

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