How To Clean A Pizza Stone [4 Steps]

If you are a pizza lover, you have likely invested in a pizza stone by now. Pizza stones are a fantastic way to cook restaurant-style pizza right in your own home. The stone gives your pizza crust that perfect, crispy outside and soft, chewy inside. They also are a more economical option to help you bake great pizza. You can use a pizza stone in your home oven rather than investing in a pizza oven (although if you want really great pizza, we definitely recommend a pizza oven too!). 

Once you purchase a pizza stone and use it a few times, you may find that it could use a good cleaning. All that gooey cheese can sometimes slip off the pizza and onto the stone! The oils in the pizza crust will also permeate into the stone and need to be occasionally cleaned. However, pizza stones can be tricky to clean correctly. There are some do’s and don’ts that you will want to follow when cleaning your pizza stone in order to keep your pizza stone in good condition. Don’t worry- we can show you how!  

tips on how to use a pizza stone
While pizza stones can get pretty “dirty” looking, they really don’t affect the quality of pizza or result in any dangers from bacteria since they get so hot. However, there are a few steps you can take to make them look a bit newer.

Remember: Season Your Pizza Stone

When you first purchase your pizza stone, you want to season it. This will not only help make great pizza, but it will also make your stone easier to clean later on. Many stones are pre-seasoned and need no additional preparation before you cook on the stone. However, if you happen to purchase an unseasoned stone, here is what you should do. 

  • Wipe the stone with a damp towel
  • Place it in the oven at 250 degrees F for an hour to let it really dry out
  • Let the stone cool and then place a small amount of olive oil on a towel and rub it over the stone
  • Bake the stone again at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes to set the oil

These simple steps will ensure that your pizzas do not stick to the stone and that your clean up later on is super simple. You only need to season your stone once, when you first get the pizza stone. After that, it will be ready to use forever!

4 Steps to Clean Pizza Stones

1. Cool The Pizza Stone

Before cleaning your pizza stone, be sure that it is completely cooled. You do not want to touch a very hot pizza stone- you can easily get burned! You also do not want to subject your pizza stone to a drastic temperature change. If a hot stone is exposed to a cold towel or cloth, it may crack. Wait for your stone to be cool and then get ready to clean!

2. Clean The Pizza Debris

After you have made a few pizzas on your pizza stone, you may notice a few spots of food baked onto the stone. The first step in cleaning your pizza stone is to remove any food debris off the stone. You want to remove any baked on cheese or stuck on pieces gently. Use a rubber spatula to push off the food. Never use a metal spatula or knife to break off the food debris as this can easily scratch the pizza stone. You can also consider a soft bristled brush.

Cleaning a pizza stone

Simply rubbing a towel over the pizza stone can also help clean off any food pieces. You shouldn’t have to put in too much effort to get the baked on food to come off. The porous material of the pizza stone should help the food slide right off. 

3. Bake It Off

If you have pieces of food that just won’t come off your pizza stone with gentle rubbing, you can try to bake it off. High heat can help loosen the debris and make it come off your pizza stone a little easier. Turn your oven up to 500 degrees F and then place your pizza stone inside. Let it bake for about an hour to really release those food particles. Turn the oven off and keep the pizza stone inside for another hour. Remove the slightly cooled stone from the oven and then rub it again with a dry towel. The pieces of baked on food should pop right off!

ooni koda first cook
This pizza stone is in a 900 degree Ooni oven.

4. Deep Clean the Spots

Sometimes, you may get some stubborn spots on your pizza stone. These are usually from oil or cheese grease and they tend to stain the stone. While grease spots really won’t hurt the pizza baking process, you may want to clean them off just to make your pizza stone look a little nicer. To clean off the grease spots, you will need baking soda, water and a toothbrush. Make a paste using about 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tsp of water. Apply the past to the spots on the stone and then rub it in using your toothbrush. Wipe the stone with a damp cloth to remove the baking soda. Let your pizza stone cool completely before using it again.

Do Not Use Soap

When it comes to cleaning, it may be your first instinct to grab some soap. Resist this urge! Soap should never be used on your pizza stone. Pizza stones are very porous and soap will go right into the stone, soaking in deep. While you may think that you wipe all the soap off, you probably didn’t. The soap goes deep into the pizza stone and stays there. The next time you bake a pizza you will taste the soap on the curst. You don’t’ want to be eating soapy pizza! So skip the soap completely and go for the more gentle ways of cleaning that we listed above.  

Do Not Submerge in Water

You never want to submerge your pizza stone in water. Just like the soap will absorb into the pores of the pizza stone, water will too. The next time you use your pizza stone, the internal wetness may cause the stone to crack. The damp stone also will not help to make your pizza crispy. No one likes a soggy pizza! If you need to use water to clean your pizza stone, always just wipe the surface with a damp cloth. You should also always make sure the stone is totally dry before using it again. That’s the only way to get that crisp, restaurant style crust you want! 

Pizza stones are fantastic to help make the perfect texture pizza. Keeping them clean is important to ensure that your stone lasts a long time. You can make thousands of pizzas on one stone and a good pizza stone should really last forever. Follow our cleaning tips and your stone will be as good as new! Now, go enjoy some homemade pizza!

Written by Derek Gaughan

Derek Gaughan is the Founder and Content Lead for Pala Pizza. He's been featured in PMQ Magazine, The Washington Post, and Home & Gardens. Derek holds an MBA from Pennsylvania State University and is a trained pizzaiolo, specializing in New York style, Neapolitan, and Detroit pizzas.

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