How To Clean The Pizza Stone: All The Smart Tips

A pizza stone is a helpful kitchen tool, a necessity if you are using pizza ovens, to make homemade pizza even more delicious and crispier. But have you noticed that after a few uses the stone gets a dark, burnt layer? As disgusting as it may look, it’s absolutely normal and a major aspect of the stone’s natural seasoning

A pizza looking delicious on a pizza stone

If you don’t like, though, baking pizza in a stained stone, then you should be really careful when it comes to cleaning it. You can’t soak it in water mixed with soap no matter the material your stone is made of. But if you can’t wash it, then how are you supposed to clean it? 

What should you use to clean the pizza stone?

They are made of ceramic, stone or cast iron. All these are porous materials that can absorb any substance you might use to clean them, leading to a change to your food’s flavour. What’s more, extra moisture will affect pizza’s crustiness. The dough has moisture which is absorbed by the stone whilst heating the pizza. That’s the cause of the crispy crust texture. But if the stone is too moistured, you won’t get the desired crisp result. 

Thus, as you can understand, you can’t clean a pizza stone as you do with the rest of your pots and pans. You need special tools and processes to do so if you want to keep your stone in good condition and keep tasting scrumptious homemade pizza. These special tools aren’t so unique and hard to find, as you might already have them in your kitchen. You need tools that can slide under pieces of food, or you need tools to scrub leftovers

A pizza on a pizza stone ready to be cooked

So, some of these useful tools you are going to need are:

  • A bench scraper
  • A blunt table knife
  • A metal spatula or a plastic spatula 
  • A stone brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Scouring pads
  • A toothbrush

Some of these tools should be used only when you want to remove any burnt food because you run a great risk of scratching your stone. Also, never clean your stone using soap or cleaning products as they will affect your pizza’s taste. One last thing and most important to remember is being careful while using water to clean your pizza stone. You need to do it only if you have to and do it in moderation. 

How to clean your pizza stone step by step?

The million-dollar question is: if you can’t use soap and water or any other cleaning product, how can you clean it? You should keep in mind that you use yours at very high temperatures where no germs and bacteria can survive. However, even if there’s no chance for bacteria to grow on your stone, you’ll still have to clean it after each use. 

Here’s what you are going to need to clean it:

  • A spatula
  • Hot water
  • A stone brush
  • A cloth
  • A clean, dry towel

A tasty pizza on a pizza stone

The steps to successfully clean it are:

  • Let the stone cool down.  Always be sure that it’s cool when trying to clean it. Otherwise, you’ll probably burn your hands due to the high heat trapped in it. 
  • Scrape away any pieces of food and burnt bits using a spatula. 
  • Use a small amount of water. We’ve already mentioned water usage only when it’s absolutely necessary and extremely moderate. However, if it’s truly hard to remove stuck food, wet the surface with a little hot water.
  • Use a brush. Srub the stone with a brush very well and remove all food particles with a damp cloth
  • Air-dry the stone. Let the stone dry completely. A clean, dry towel could speed up the process. 
  • Store the stone. Keep your stone in the oven to minimise the chances of breaking it. 

Note: You might skip step 3 if you achieve scraping particles away from the stone with a brush. 

How to remove stains from the pizza stone?

As you can imagine, stains on yours are frequent. In fact, they’re a sign of the tasteful pizzas you’ve made! What’s more, the darker a it is, the more seasoning will be. If you don’t like the sight of stains all over, you can clean them.

Here’s what you need to remove the stains:

  • A spatula/brush
  • A tablespoon of baking soda
  • A tablespoon of warm water
  • A cloth

A pizza cooked on a pizza stone and being in front of an oven

Then, do as follows:

  1. Scrape any stuck-on food away with a spatula or a brush.
  2. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of warm water to make a paste. 
  3. Apply the paste on the stains and scrub with a brush in circular motions until you cover the entire surface.
  4. Wipe the stone with a damp cloth.
  5. Let it dry completely.

How to clean a burned pizza stone?

If there are any stubborn baked-on particles that you can’t get rid of even after having used a plastic scraper or a pizza scrubber brush, then you can try to clean them in the oven using the self-cleaning cycle

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Set the oven to 260°C (500 degrees F).
  2. Place the stone on the top rack of the oven.
  3. Bake it for an hour
  4. After an hour, you should see grease bubbles. When the bubbles have stopped, start the self-cleaning cycle. If your stone is very dirty, a lot of smoke will be produced, and bits of food will burn off.  
  5. Wait for the oven to cool down when the process has finished.
  6. When it’s cool, get the stone out of the oven and wipe it with a clean cloth.

An oven ready for a self-cleaning cycle

Extra tip: If you don’t get the desired results, then use a piece of medium-grit sandpaper to sand down the burned particles.

Why can’t I use soap when cleaning my pizza stone?

It consists of porous materials. That means anything that comes in contact with the stone will be absorbed by it, and then your pizza will have a soapy taste. Thus, avoid cleaning it with soap, unless you want to taste your dish detergent.

What to do if your pizza stone has been washed with soap?

If by mistake, you or someone else happens to wash your precious stone with soap, there’s no need to worry. It, probably, won’t have been damaged, and there’s a way to save it. To bring it back in the former condition, you just need some bread. Cover the stone with bread leftovers and wait until they’re toasted. Bread will absorb the soapy taste. Then, wipe it away!

Tips to maintain your pizza stone in shape

As you can imagine, it isn’t unbreakable. You should treat it with caution to maintain its good condition. Thus, if you want to keep baking pizzas, you better follow the below tips:

  1. Don’t put a cold pizza stone in a hot oven as it may break due to the different temperatures.
  2. Excessive water or olive oil might also lead the stone to break. What’s more, the stone should be completely dry before you put it in the hot oven.
  3. Be careful when you place frozen pizza dough on a hot one. Significant temperature differences will lead to cracking. 
  4. Never place a hot pizza stone on a cold countertop as it could also lead to a stone crack. Instead, wait for a while for the pizza to cool down inside the oven and then place it on a towel.
  5. Before placing pizza dough on the stone, you should first preheat it

FAQ

1. Can I wash a pizza stone in a dishwasher?

Washing your pizza stone in a dishwasher isn’t a safe choice. Pizza stones shouldn’t be submerged into water, as extra moisture will prevent the pizza from forming a crust texture. 

A woman using dishsoap and a sponge to clean

2. Can iI use steel wool on a pizza stone?

You shouldn’t use steel wool or any other abrasive material, like steel scouring pads, to prevent your stone from getting scratched. You should opt for nylon scrubbing pads every time you want to clean it. 

3. Should I oil my pizza stone?

You should never put olive oil on your pizza stone as its porous material will absorb any liquid and damage its seasoning. Oil coming from foods will insert the stone and make it non-stick. Excessive moisture, even oil, will not help baking the pizza crust properly. Keeping your pizza stone out of the water and excess moisture is vital for the performance and condition. 

A pizza getting cooked on a pizza stone

Following the above tips will help you maintain your stone as new, and you will enjoy ultra tasteful, crispy, crusty pizzas for long.

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