How to Clean a Pizza Stone

Keep your pies fresh and your pizza stones fresher. Learning how to clean a pizza stone will prevent build-up and bacteria that could ruin your homemade pizzas.

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Using a pizza stone is one of the secrets of perfect homemade pizzas. They keep your pies crispy because they maintain a lot of heat and can mimic the way a pizza oven cooks your pizza. But with the wrong care, your pizza crusts might start turning out soft and mushy rather than classically crisp.

Learning how to clean a pizza stone is easier than you think. A pizza stone is made out of porous materials like stone or ceramic. Because these materials are porous, that means it’s easier to retain moisture when soaked in water. If there’s moisture in your pizza stone when cooking, it won’t have any more room to suck in the moisture from the pizza crust. The result? The feared floppy crust with no brown edges.

Just like your cast-iron pans and wooden spoons, a pizza stone is a tool that should never go in the dishwasher. It’s also important to never soak it in your sink overnight. Luckily, there are two quick methods for removing grease, melted cheese and caked-on sauces that can help lengthen the lifespan of your pizza stone. You’ll be on your way to browned and bubbly Neapolitan pizzas in no time.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Bench Scraper: This tool comes in handy in the kitchen, not just for cutting dough or transferring large heaps of chopped veggies to a pot, but also for cleaning. Use the scraper to get stuck-on bits of food off your pizza stone.
  • Microfiber cloths: These non-abrasive cloths are a good way to wipe down your stone once you’ve scraped it clean.
  • Baking soda: Ever-trusty baking soda has so many uses, and of course it can also clean your pizza stone when it needs some extra love.

How to Clean a Pizza Stone

Cleaning a pizza stone with a scraper

So you’ve just figured out how to use a pizza stone, and now you’re wondering what the best way to clean it is. First, you’ll always want to make sure the stone has completely cooled before cleaning. The stone can retain a lot of very high heat, so it might take a while to cool, and you wouldn’t want to burn your hands.

Once cooled, you can lightly wet the stone under running water or with a damp cloth. Take care not to get it too wet though. Now, use your bench scraper to remove any tough bits of melted food. Try not to scrape with the corners of the bench scraper, as this could create small scratches on the surface of the stone. Instead, use the whole plane of the scraper and gently loosen the food.

If there are no bits of food stuck, and you’d just like to remove some excess olive oil or sauce that spilled over, you could skip the bench scraper. Use a damp cloth instead to buff away any light stains.

Cleaning a pizza stone with baking soda

If you use your pizza stone for more than pizza, chances are it gets a bit more dirty or grimy than usual. For tough stains and melted foods, you should opt for a deep clean. Still no soap though! We don’t want Dawn-flavored pizza dough. Instead, use baking soda (just one more thing on the list of things baking soda can clean).

Make a paste with equal parts water and baking soda. You shouldn’t need too much—start with one tablespoon each. Using a cloth, scrub the tough spots or stains with the paste until they are buffed out. For deep stains, you can let the paste rest for a few minutes. Wipe away the paste with a damp cloth, and let your pizza stone completely dry before storing it.

How to Deep Clean a Pizza Stone

OK so you’ve tried your best and there is still food on your pizza stone. Don’t worry, there is a way to deep clean the stone. Because the stone can withstand so much heat, the deep cleaning process is a breeze. Simply set your oven to 500°F and place the pizza stone on the top rack. After about an hour, you should see bubbles forming from the grease. At this point, you can turn the oven off, and let it cool down with the stone still in there.

Wipe the stone clean with a damp cloth once you remove it, and let it dry completely.

How Often to Clean a Pizza Stone

You should clean your pizza stone after each use. This will keep it fresh when you’re making the best pizzas ever, and you won’t have to deal with crumbs from last week’s pizza. Note that it is natural for your stone to get darker over time. Don’t try to buff away those signs of age! Darker stains actually result in a more seasoned crust, similar to cooking on a seasoned cast-iron skillet.

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Rosemary Siefert
Rosemary is an editor at Taste of Home where she can combine her love of writing with her love of all things food. When she's not working, Rosie can be found curled up with a coffee and a book, testing a new recipe for dinner or trying a new dish at a local restaurant.