Chipped My Le Creuset Enamel. Now What?
Le Creuset cookware is not only one of the best performing brands on the market, but it also looks amazing. Even if you aren’t known to cook gourmet meals in dutch ovens all that often, you might still want to own a Le Creuset simply for its shiny and colorful enamel.
But these statement pieces aren’t cheap. So, when you notice the enamel has chipped on your Le Creuset, you will want to know what your options are to fix the problem.
When your Le Creuset enamel chips you should stop using it and see if the damage falls within the company’s lifetime warranty.
You should not attempt to repair the chip yourself. Make sure you follow the proper procedure when mailing a chipped piece back to Le Creuset.
If the item was intentionally or recklessly damaged, or the care instructions were neglected, you might not be eligible for a free replacement.
Even though the Le Creuset company prides itself on its durability and high-quality enamel, accidents and damage can occur. The good news is that while you likely paid a pretty penny for the cookware item, there is a good chance that your chipped cookware is still under warranty.
As you prepare for the next steps, you should understand the different types of chipping and how they are caused and should be addressed.
Types Of Chips You Find On Le Creuset Enamel Cookware
When you notice a chip on your Le Creuset, you should identify exactly what kind of chip it is. Some chips are only eye sores, while others are a little bit more concerning, and may render the pot unusable.
Exterior chipping happens on the outside of the pan. This means that the vibrant color is what is chipping off, rather than the porcelain-looking interior.
This is an eyesore for sure. However, the good news is you can still use your Le Creuset if you have exterior chips.
This is because the chips are not in direct contact with food, and no remnants are likely to end up in your mouth. You should still make sure you address this issue and follow the steps to see if the damage falls within the warranty.
Interior chipping is when you notice chipping on the inside of the Le Creuset cookware.
This often happens at the base or along the interior walls of the item. Interior chipping should be taken seriously, as they can continue to chip.
This new chipping could occur when you are cooking and stirring the pot. This means you could consume the enamel, which could crack your teeth or cause other internal damage.
If your Le Creuset has internal chipping, stop cooking with it immediately, and instead start the warranty return process.
The lid of Le Creuset pans is another common place to find chipping. This can result from banging a lid a bit too hard, or even from dropping a lid on the ground.
Lid chips can occur on the exterior, the rim or the interior. The rim and lip of the interior are common places to find these chips.
While much of the lid is not exposed to food, some interior and lid chips can continue to chip, and as a result fall into the food.
So, use your judgment, but in many cases, unless the chip is all on the outside, then you might want to cook without the lid until you have it replaced.
Can You Fix The Chipped Enamel Yourself?
If you notice chipping on your Le Creuset cookware, not only should you stop using it for the time being, but you should also not try to fix it yourself.
The reason for this is that any “fix” you are likely going to try will not properly match the enamel, and is unlikely to stand the test of time.
Le Creuset uses its own patented enamel that has its signature shine, colors and longevity. Therefore, using any other means of repair or replacement is likely to show.
Additionally, if you try to manipulate and repair the crack yourself, you might make things worse. In doing so you might even render the product void of its warranty.
So, think twice before you try a DIY on this one.
Steps To Replace A Le Creuset Using Your Warranty
Step 1. Ensure Your Chip Damage Meets Their Criteria
You should look up your exact item warranty to make sure the damage fits within their parameters. Contact customer service if you are uncertain about the process or whether or not your chipping falls within the warranty.
Step 2. Fill Out A Le Creuset Warranty Claim (Known As An “RMA”)
Make sure you fill out all the necessary information to ensure you have the best chances to have your claim approved.
Step 3. Ship Your Cookware To The Designated Le Creuset Facility
Keep in mind this will cost you at least $20 in most cases. This is why it is important you are fairly confident that your request will be approved, as you will not be refunded this money if your request is denied.
Step 4. Wait For The Company To Inspect And Contact You
Now all that is left for you to do is wait. Others who have been through this process say it typically takes between 10 days to two weeks to get a verdict. This depends on how quickly the item arrives and how many other claims there are to sort through.
Step 5. Receive Verdict And Your New Cookware (Or A Rejection)
Once the company inspects the damage, they will contact you with their verdict. If they believe the chipping is due to a defect or wear and tear, then you will be sent a new Le Creuset item.
Keep in mind it will be the same item but the color may vary based on availability.
If the item appears to have been damaged intentionally, or poorly maintained (i.e. it has scratches from metal utensils all over it), they might deny your claim and offer to send the item back.
What Makes Le Creuset Chips Ineligible For Warranty
Many Le Creuset fans rave and stand by the company’s lifetime warranty.
Even with products more than 5 or 10 years old, if the enamel chips, the company will likely send you a new product within a month, as long as you follow the return guidelines.
While Le Creuset is true to its word when it comes to its lifetime warranty, there are several circumstances where a product is not eligible for warranty that we listed below.
The Item Was Intentionally Damaged. If you think you can chip the enamel with a tool and get a brand new one in a new color, you are mistaken. The experts at Le Creuset make it clear that intentionally damaged products are not eligible for replacement.
The Care Instructions Were Completely Neglected. If the chipping is caused due to neglecting the care instructions, like using metal spoons or knives, you might be denied.
You Bought The Item Second Hand. The warranty applies to the original owner. So if you find a chipped Le Creuset item at a flea market and think you can send it away for a new one, you will find yourself disappointed.
Gifted items, however, should be approved (as long as they are given new).
The Product Does Not Fall Within The Lifetime Warranty. While all the cast iron enamel cookware, for the most part, comes with a lifetime warranty, some Le Creuset products do not. Items like tea kettles, for example, have a limited warranty.
Ways To Prevent Le Creuset From Chipping
While Le Creuset does have a great warranty, it can still be a hassle to go through the process. In the end, it is always better to have a product that doesn’t chip at all.
Sure, you can’t prevent defects. There are, however, several ways to prevent chipping the enamel on your Le Creuset cookware.
Follow The Care Instructions
Don’t skip over the care instructions. There is important and helpful information in the care instructions.
Following these instructions will keep your cookware looking new and great for many years.
Store In A Safe Place
While it can be tempting to store your Le Creuset out in the open for all to see, make sure you choose a safe location. Don’t store it anywhere where it can tumble to the ground from great heights.
Also, keeping it on the stovetop can expose it to unnecessary heat fluctuation and harsh elements.
Handle With Care
These products are very durable, but be gentle. Pay particular attention when cleaning the cookware. Also, make sure you don’t slam the lid, or slam the pot on the stove top.
Summing Up What To Do When Le Creuset Enamel Chips
If you notice a chip in your Le Creuset’s enamel, you might feel anger and distress. The cookware is, after all, quite expensive. Lucky for you, one of the reasons Le Creuset is so expensive is because most of the products have a lifetime warranty.
So, if you notice a chip, see if your item is eligible for replacement and follow the steps to have it replaced. Keep in mind you must be the original owner. The lifetime warranty also does not cover intentional or reckless damage.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
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