The slow cooker is the perfect kitchen accessory for feeding a growing family that is always on the move. With the parents working and the children active if many different after school activities, finding time to cook a delicious meal can be a real challenge. Luckily with the slow cooker, you simply drop in the ingredients and allow to simmer all day, hot and tasty when everyone finally gets around the dinner table. Keeping this little kitchen appliance clean can be a real chore if you are not familiar with some simple and easy steps on how to clean a slow cooker.
Before you get to cleaning your slow cooker, you will need a few things. Be sure to have a sponge, mild soap or detergent, a clean cloth, and some baking soda. Depending on how dirty or baked on some of the stains, you may need to mix a generous amount of the baking soda cleaning paste.
When you decide to clean your slow cooker, unplug it from the wall and allow it to completely cool if it had recently been used. Once the slow cooker is cool and unplugged, bring it to the counter closest to the sink to help you save time and work easier.
Starting with the outside of the slow cooker, wipe the surface with a clean cloth that is soaked in some warm soapy water. It is extremely important that you never immerse the bottom of the slow cooker in water to clean it or you run the risk of damaging the electrical components inside.
Mix one part warm water with one part baking soda, and stir this solution until you have a paste. Wash the inside of the slow cooker with this paste, scrubbing lightly to remove any spills that have hardened into stains. Go over any stubborn stains with some extra paste, use some extra elbow grease to scrub clean.
Once you have removed the majority of the stains, begin washing the inside of the slow cooker with your soapy solution and some hot water. Use a sponge to clean the inside of the slow cooker, never use a scouring pad or you could damage the finish and leave scratches on your unit.
Give the inside of the slow cooker a quick visual inspection, then simply run your cloth soaked in hot water once around the inside. Remove any loose food particles that have now come free, and give the inside one last go around to make certain it is spotless.
The cover of your slow cooker is usually made of glass and can be cleaned in the dishwasher just like all your other dishes. If you want to clean it thoroughly right now, place the slow cooker lid in the sink and wash with your soapy solution and some hot water. Any stains will easily come off under hot water, then allow to dry in your dish drain.
Once the slow cooker and the lid are dry, place them back in their original counter space and plug back in. Now your cooker is sparkling clean and ready to prepare your next meal. Depending on how often you use the cooker, this cleaning process will only need be done once a month to keep your cooker looking like new.
Bonus Cleaning Tip: If you are too busy to spend some time cleaning your slow cooker and you want to cut the time in half to clean it, here is a little bonus tip that will help. The next time that the slow cooker is being used to prepare a meal for your family, empty out the contents to a large serving dish, then refill the cooker with some water. Be sure that the level of the water is high enough to cover all the set-in stains, and then put the cooker heat on low setting. Simply allow the water to heat for an hour, and by the time you are done having your dinner, you can pour out the hot water and simply wipe clean the inside with a sponge.
Now that you know how to clean a slow cooker, you can keep that little machine looking like new longer.