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How to Clean Your Slow Cooker

By: The Editors of

It is always good to be on the lookout for revolutionary new cooking tips, but sometimes it is just as important to get back to kitchen basics. Our guide for How to Clean Your Slow Cooker will help you do just that.


All good cooks know how vital it is to be aware of food and kitchen safety, both when considering how to prepare food and how to clean up once you are done cooking. This is just as true for your slow cooker as it is for any other kitchen appliance or preparation method. Read our tips below to find out quick and easy tricks on how to clean your slow cooker.

How to Clean Your Slow Cooker

Tips on How to Clean Your Slow Cooker

  1. Let the slow cooker do the work. Unfortunately, slow cookers don't come with a self-cleaning feature. However, one of the easiest ways to clean the burnt-on food in your slow cooker is to fill the slow cooker with water, add a small amount of dish soap, put the cover on, and turn the cooker to the LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours. This will loosen all of the baked-on and burnt food so that you can easily wipe it away. Make sure to let the slow cooker cool before handling it.
  2. Take advantage of slow cooker liners. You can find these convenient plastic liners in your grocery store. They fit easily into your slow cooker and are food-safe, so you can feel confident in using them. After you finish using your slow cooker, simply dispose of the liner. Even though you used a liner, be sure to still wipe the inside of your slow cooker with a clean cloth in order to prevent any accidental contamination. Read more about how slow cooker liners can help you with kitchen cleanup here.
  3. Never submerge the base of your slow cooker. Wipe the slow cooker base clean with a sponge or clean cloth and warm, soapy water. You should never put the base in the sink or submerge it in water.
  4. Wash the slow cooker's lid in the dishwasher. In order to prevent warping, plastic lids should be washed on the top rack. Glass lids are also generally dishwasher safe. You may also be able to put the slow cooker's removable insert (the pot in which the food sits) in the dishwasher, but always check with your manufacturer before doing so.
  5. Before putting food in the slow cooker, spray the interior with cooking spray. Using cooking spray will help your finished food come out easier. You will still have some cleanup, but the cooking spray will make it significantly easier.
  6. Clean the slow cooker pot while it is still warm. This will make the mess easier to remove because it won't get the chance to become caked-on. Adding hot water to the slow cooker while it is warm will also help loosen any grime that remains. Always use hot water when the pot is still warm; cold water could cause your slow cooker to crack from the rapid change in temperature.
  7. Never use abrasive cleaning solvent or scouring pads. This could damage or scratch the finish on your ceramic insert.
  8. Soak your slow cooker insert just like you would any other pot. Even if your pot has cooled and is now sporting a caked-on, burnt-on mess, all is not lost. Soaking the slow cooker insert with hot water and dish soap will always help you get your slow cooker back to its sparkling self in no time.


For more handy kitchen tips, check out our free eBook, The Ultimate Kitchen Guide: How-Tos, Cooking Tips & Essential Kitchen Knowledge.


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