Toxic Crock Pot panic
January 10, 2009 1:49 PM   Subscribe

A soup of cleaning chemicals soaked in my slow cooker for several days. Is it safe to use for cooking still?

For various reasons I'd rather not go into, none of them particularly good, the ceramic cooking portion of my Crock Pot was filled with soapy water and bef stew remains, but also various muck like laundry detergent and Comet. When I poured the mixture out, there was a slimy blue residue at the bottom. I used dish soap and rather hot water to clean out the nastycrap, and soaked and washed it like three more times, and now I've got some water in there cooking on the high setting to try to get it to boil.

In other words, I'm kind of panicking. Have I done enough to get rid of the chemically mess, do you think? Is the ceramic porous, or could some nasty chemicals have leached into it in some way? Should I do anything else before I consider this thing safe to cook in and eat out of again?
posted by cobra_high_tigers to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
None of the things you described should have etched or other wise damaged the ceramic insert in the crock pot. If it were mine I'd just throw it in the lower rack of the dish washer for a cycle and be done with it.
posted by JFitzpatrick at 2:09 PM on January 10, 2009

just clean it normally once a day for a few days until a person with a good sense of smell can no longer smell anything out of the ordinary.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 2:13 PM on January 10, 2009

None of those chemicals is especially severe, and enameled ceramic is used for just the reasons you're worrying about: nothing will leach in. As long as there's no soap or anything on the surface (dish soap is fine for this) and it doesn't smell weird, you'll be fine.
posted by rhizome at 2:48 PM on January 10, 2009

Best answer: Just like everybody else says, it's safe. If you're paranoid you can put it in the oven and boil it out with water. All the chemicals, and most of them are not that harmful anyway, are water soluble. Boiling makes them even more soluble and should get any residue out of the fine pores of the ceramic. If it is a glazed pot, it will be clean even faster (my understanding of crock pots though, is that they are unglazed, what I would call a Römertopf).
posted by mmkhd at 2:54 PM on January 10, 2009

Sorry about the derail, I did a google image search, a crock pot is totally different from a Römertopf, even though the cooking method is the same. Have no worries a good wash will do.
posted by mmkhd at 3:02 PM on January 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, guys!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 8:41 PM on January 10, 2009

And if you are having a tough time boiling water in it, then boil the water first in a kettle and dump in.
posted by jkaczor at 9:49 PM on January 10, 2009

Chiming in late, but as someone who's had not particularly good reasons to soak her crockpot too, can I tell my secret? Liquid dishwasher soap. I leave a straight paste on burned/dried stuff overnight, and the stuff comes right out. It even removes black burned popcorn from stainless pots and burnt oil residue, burnt milk, and really really baked-on chili and other things and it gets the burned stuff off my white enamel stove top with one swipe, and a soak of my white Corningware baking dishes in it makes them look new again. (I get distracted easily.) I know it's toxic to ingest (really really toxic) - but I do the boiling water rinse thing after, or run it through the dishwasher without any soap.
posted by peagood at 4:03 PM on January 11, 2009

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