Are Crockpots Dishwasher Safe? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart
Crock Pots make it easy for you to prepare a meal without using an oven or stove. Luckily, you can wash the lid to a Crock Pot in the dishwasher, but the rest of It is not dishwasher safe. Follow along as we explore how you can safely wash a Crock Pot.

You never have to question the beauty of the item known as a slow cooker–it’s all about the “set it and forget it” life. It’s one of the most versatile cooking devices on the market and also happens to be one of the easiest ones to use. Crockpots are superb for people with tight schedules, but are crockpots dishwasher safe?

According to the official Crockpot website, you can wash most modern Crockpot lids and bowls in the dishwasher. However, it’s important to watch for any signs of wear and tear as the dishwasher can be rather harsh. It is best to switch between using the dishwasher and handwashing method to clean your crockpot while ensuring its longevity.

Understanding how to clean your crockpot or slow cooker) is a smart move if you want to make the most of it. After all, you don’t want to destroy a piece of cooking equipment that could become a staple in your home. Here’s what you need to know before you jam it in your dishwasher.

Is My Crockpot Dishwasher Safe?

For the most part, all instant cookers and crock pots will have at least one or two pieces that are going to be dishwasher-safe. However, not all parts are.

The question, of course, is what parts you should be able to stick in the washer without losing it. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Lids can go in the dishwasher. Yes, even that one from the smaller one. Just make sure not to try to wash the cover in cold water while it’s hot. Extreme temperature changes will make it explode.
  • Removable pots and bowls are safe. The stoneware is remarkably durable and is designed to be used in a dishwasher for easy cleaning. We suggest following the cleaning instructions in your owner’s manuals.
  • Do not submerge your entire heating base in water. If the interior is part of the heater, add some dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom, then scrub it clean.
  • If your crockpot comes with accessories, check the manual to find out what can and cannot go in a dishwasher. Thermometers, for example, generally should be washed by hand. If your Crockpot product has stirrers included in the package, it’s best to wash those by hand, too.
  • Never submerge any of the electrical components of a Crockpot in water. We know we said it before, but it needs to be emphasized. No Crockpot heating base is waterproof — none. The water will cause the electrical components to fail, or worse, turn into an electrocution hazard.

Is It A Good Idea To Put Your Crockpot in the Dishwasher?

What if your crockpot dishwasher is safe, but you still aren’t sure if using the dishwasher is the best idea? Even items that tout being dishwasher-safe can wear down over time after too many runs through the dishwasher.

For example, depending on the material of the removable bowl, it might be a better bet to wash it by hand. Ceramic and stainless steel bowls do perfectly well in a dishwasher. But, if your crockpot bowl features a non-stick coating, you’re better off ashing it by hand.

The reason for this is that the heat from the dishwasher can wear down non-stick coatings over time. So, regardless of whether your crock pot’s dishwasher safe, if it has a non-stick coating — stick to handwashing.

Is It Better to Clean A Crockpot By Hand?

You might find that it’s ultimately better to clean your crockpot by hand in many situations. A large crockpot can take up a lot of room in your dishwasher.

Plus, if you’re dealing with stuck-on food, you might end up needing to wash it by hand first anyway. At that point, you might as well finish cleaning it by hand as well and bypass the dishwasher.

But, if you have a small crockpot and give it a good rinse before food has a chance to dry on it, it’s easier to pop it in the dishwasher. In this scenario, using the dishwasher to clean your crockpot can save you a lot of effort and time.

Video: Crockpot Questions

How Can You Clean Parts Of Your Crockpot That Aren’t Dishwasher-Safe?

Generally speaking, most items part of your Crockpot product can be cleaned with a damp cloth and soapy water. When you’re wiping down parts of your machine that are not deemed dishwasher-safe, make an effort to avoid putting water near areas where electricity could touch—for example, the machine’s plug or near the sensors.

If you don’t have a dishwasher but need to clean your slow cooker, don’t fret. Regular dish soap will work for any part of the dishwasher-safe portions, and you can also expect to be able to submerge the dishwasher-safe parts in water without any issue.

Avoid getting the cord wet when it comes to cleaning the heater part of your crockpot. Also, don’t submerge this part in water or let it soak. Your best bet is to clean the crockpot regularly to avoid having to deal with challenging, caked-on stains.

What Kind Of Cleaning Pads Should I Use With My Crockpot?

If you’re cleaning your slow cooker or instant cooker’s stoneware, be careful when it comes to the sponges you choose. The enamel in Crockpot products is meant to be highly durable, but it doesn’t stand up very well to abrasion. So don’t use steel wool, “scrubber” sponges, or highly abrasive materials to clean it.

How To Get Sticky Foods Off Your Crockpot

Are you having a hard time trying to get some stuck cheese or BBQ sauce off your slow cooker’s bottom? It happens to the best of us.

But even if your crockpot is dishwasher-safe, the dishwasher might not do a decent job with caked-on food. Here’s how to clean it off without using an abrasive sponge:

  • Soak the crock pot’s container (NOT HEATER!) in water overnight. Sometimes, you need to add extra water to soften up the food enough to be scrubbable. By letting it sit for 10 hours or so, most food will have softened up so that you won’t need a specialty brush.
  • If you’re having a tough time, fill your crock pot’s container with water and set it to “cook” for a couple of hours. The hot water will be able to soften up stains and remove bacteria. It’s similar to how steam cleaning deep-cleans sweaters. After letting it cook, take a sponge and wipe down the interior.
  • Vinegar and heavy scrubbing with a soft sponge will remove residue. Vinegar is a cure-all when it comes to cleaning, and yes, it can eat away stains on a crock pot’s interior remarkably well.
  • Add baking soda and dish soap to the water trick above for extremely tough stains. The baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer and can also help break down grease caked onto the container’s interior. The dish soap helps sanitize and can help make certain stains easier to lift.

Can I Wash My Crockpot If It’s Still Hot?

Before you set out to clean any crockpot instant cooker, you need to make sure that your cooker has cooled down. If you try to clean it while it’s still hot, you can burn yourself.

If you splash it with cold water while it’s still warm to the touch, you also run the risk of causing heat shock. This can break both lids and stoneware vessels.

What Should I Do If I Need To Clean An Off-Brand Slow Cooker?

At the risk of sounding a little biased, I tend to be of the school that most slow cookers are relatively similar when it comes to their maintenance. So if you don’t have a legitimate Crockpot, act as you do.

Or, if you want to play it safe, refer to your slow cooker’s owner’s manual. It’s the easiest way to find out what you can and cannot do to clean your thing.

Tips For Keeping Your Crockpot Clean

Overall, there are some tips you might want to abide by when cleaning your crockpot, regardless of whether you want to do this by hand or by dishwasher.

  • Wash your crockpot as soon as you’re done. You can wash the crockpot or soak it in hot, soapy water. However, you will want to let it cool down just a bit; otherwise, you can crack the bowl.
  • Remove leftovers asap. Do not let your food sit in the crockpot. It’s best to remove them as soon as possible to avoid any getting stuck to the walls of your crockpot bowl.
  • Wipe up any spills right away. If you notice juice or gravy dripping down the sides of your crockpot, you will need to wipe it up as soon as you can.
  • Use baking soda and vinegar for stinky odors. This mix will attack the smell at its core.
  • Use single-use liners. If you want to make cleanup easier, this will help.
  • Do not run your slow cooker overnight. Leaving it run unattended is a fire hazard, and it can make it challenging to scrub off any burnt foods.
  • Spray oil in your crockpot before use. This oil will help prevent food from sticking.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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