I Tried the Official French Cleaning Solution from Le Creuset and Was Seriously Impressed
I love my Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware. Maybe sometimes I love it too hard. This 1.5-quart chef’s oven is a major kitchen workhorse for me, and I use it for all sorts of things, like simmering grains, reheating leftovers, and searing small cuts of meat. All of this adds up to a lot of time spent scrubbing crusted-on food and stains that just won’t quit.
So when I heard that French company Le Creuset offered a cleaning product made specifically for their enameled products, I had to order an 8.5-ounce bottle right away. It didn’t take long for me to get myself into a *situation* that required hefty cleaning help: I had recently made a small batch of jam with strawberries and rhubarb and, after ladling it into jars, I might have forgotten to wash my Le Creuset for a day. (What can I say? Life got life-y.) I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to clean the crusted-on burnt sugar from the ridge of the pan.
After giving it a quick scrub with soap and water, I’d removed the lightest of the stains and grime, but there was still work to be done.
I dampened a wash cloth with warm water, then squirted on a little bit of the Le Creuset cleaner. After a quick swipe, more than half of the crusty jam was gone! Sacré bleu! It took me less than two minutes total, and one more application of the product, to get my pan sparklingly clean (I rinsed it with water afterwards, of course).
Does the Le Creuset Cast Iron Cleaner Really Work?
In one enthusiastic word: YES! My jam stain was the sort of thing I’d normally clean up with a chain mail scrubbie, but unfortunately those aren’t safe for enameled cast iron, as they could scratch the surface.
The Le Creuset cleaning product got my pan back to its pre-strawberry jam shape in less time than it would take for me to call my mother for advice. Le Creuset’s website says that this product is ideal for cleaning “heat stains, discoloration, grit, and grime,” and I’d agree. It even lightened some of the marks left from high-heat searing.
This product isn’t cheap, at $25 per bottle. Still, it’s gentle and formulated specifically for Le Creuset products (you can also safely use it on any brand of enameled cast iron). Plus, a little really does go a long way. This bottle is going to last me for quite some time!
You’ll note in my “after” photos, there’s still a little discoloration at the bottom of the pot, and I’ll own up to my mistake there. I once used a metal whisk (duh) while making pudding, which scratched the enameled surface. So that’s beyond repair. Other than that, this product cleaned like a dream, and even gave my pan a brilliant new shine. I will definitely be using this again — after all, blueberry jam season is right around the corner!
How do you clean your Le Creuset cast iron cookware? Tell us in the comments below.