This is a question we get asked all the time. “I got a pizza stone! How do I clean it?” And the truth is, you really don’t have to do much. Hooray! A dirty stone is a good thing! It means you’re using it! How about that? Finally, a kitchen tool you don’t have to keep looking like new. That said, you don’t want to neglect it entirely. There are some things you can do to keep the surface useable and make sure your stone lasts for years to come.
PLEASE NOTE! The biggest concern is always cracking. Pizza stones are susceptible to “thermal shock.” This means rapid temperature changes (like putting a cold stone in a hot oven or splashing cool water on the hot stone) can crack it. So give the stone plenty of time to slowly heat up and cool down any time you use it or want to clean it.
Now, different manufacturers will offer specific guidelines for each product. So be sure to read the materials that come with your item so you are familiar with the specifics. That said, here are some general rules, tips, and methods you can follow to help keep your stone clean.
Cleaning in the Oven
The easiest way to maintain a pizza stone is to keep it in the oven–at all times. This might sound extreme, but you have to keep it somewhere. And if you cook enough pizzas to want a quality stone in the first place, then it makes sense to just leave it. Storing the stone in the oven will help maintain your stone because most of the spills will eventually burn off and you can simply sweep them away. And keeping the stone in the oven will also help minimize hot spots and equalize the heat in the oven. Win win! Just move the stone to the bottom rack when you are done with it so it doesn’t block the heat.
Deep Cleaning in the Oven
Once in a while, the stone needs a deep clean for those incredibly burnt on pieces of food. You can still do it in the oven. Remember, heat is your friend! Set the oven to 500℉ and place the stone on the top rack. Allow the stone to bake for about an hour, occasionally checking on it. Grease should bubble up from the surface and pieces of food should burn off (and might produce some smoke if it is very dirty). Once the bubbles stop, shut the oven off and allow the stone to cool completely. Then, remove it and brush it clean.
Clean with Water
Whatever you do, DON’T use soap or chemicals on the stone. Water is the only liquid you should use to clean it–and even then, only in moderation. For a quick clean, wait for the stone to cool completely (are you seeing the pattern?), and then wet the surface with a small stream of hot water. Remove caked-on food with a plastic spatula or bench scraper so you don’t scratch the stone. Then, use a stone brush to thoroughly scrub the surface. Wipe away any remaining crumbs with a damp cloth and allow the stone to sit out so it can dry completely before using or storing.
Clean with Baking Soda
For really tough, greasy stains you can make a paste of equal parts water and baking soda (i.e. 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp baking soda). Apply the paste to a cooled stone, let it sit for a few minutes, then rub in gentle circles with the stone brush, working the paste until the stains come away. This might take two or three applications. Wipe the stone with a damp cloth and allow it to dry completely before using it again.
That’s it! Check out our selection of pizza stones. And just remember, it’s totally fine if your pizza stone gets darker stains on it. In fact, the stains are signs of love and attention. And they mean the stone has better seasoning and more non-stick properties. Don’t worry about overthinking it and over-cleaning. Be proud of those stains!