Enamel Care



It is the smooth, hard finish on cast iron range cookers, cooker hobs, grills and ovens. You will find it on high quality cast iron cookware, microwave cooker linings, pots and pans and metal baths. Some sinks, some dishwashers and some washing machine drums are vitreous enamelled

What is vitreous enamel? It is, quite simply, glass fused on to metal at red heat to form a durable protective finish. Its presence in the kitchen and bathroom makes sense because, being glass, it is one of the most hygienic surfaces possible.

If you want to know more, have a look at the technical details in: What is Enamel or the History of Vitreous Enamel.


The Vitreous Enamel Association has a scheme for testing cleaners and cleaning cloths/scourers. Those that pass the strict tests may use a recommendation seal on the pack. enamel-care-cleaner-scheme. The object of the scheme is to identify those products that clean vitreous enamel satisfactorily without harming it. This is important because, once damaged, the gloss on vitreous enamel cannot be restored. Cleaner manufacturers are invited to submit their products for testing on different vitreous enamel surfaces. VEA Aproved Enamel Cleaners List

Cleaners, for use in hand cleaning of your enamelled product, are divided into categories of use:

  • General (for all vitreous enamel surfaces)
  • Baths (for modem steel or old cast iron)
  • Cookers Oven interiors

The ‘VEA Approved’ Symbol

Only products that have been successfully tested and proved to clean efficiently without damaging the enamel surface are eligible to carry the VEA approved symbol. This is the symbol for a general vitreous enamel cleaner Note: The wording in the right hand box will vary according to the type of enamel for which the cleaner is recommended. Look for the symbol when shopping, or contact the VEA – see Contact Us Or see the VEA Approved Vitreous Enamel Cleaners List 


Vitreous enamel behaves like glass when it is cleaned, but even glass can be scratched with really abrasive materials. Always use a VEA approved cleaner on vitreous enamel surfaces. These will clean your vitreous enamel product without harming it. There are other cleaners on the market which may cause irretrievable damage. Do not use a product which is only approved for one use on other vitreous enamelled surfaces. A hint for removing stubborn stains and marks.

Take a clean wine bottle cork and apply the Approved Vitreous Enamel Cleaner to the bit you want to clean and use the end of the cork to rub the area in a rotary motion. This will provide very good localised cleaning and also it doesn’t wear out your fingers


  • Do not allow lime scale to build up on your bath – wipe it dry after use with a soft cloth. If you have a bath which has lime scale on it, please have a look at our suggestions for Limescale Removal 
  • Stop your taps dripping – Have taps re-washered when required. This will prevent staining from persistent dripping). A dripping tap will cause discoloration of your bath and a build up of lime scale.
  • Clean your bath directly after use. Only use approved cleaners to clean your bath – it an expensive investment – look after it. Recommended Cleaners After use or cleaning, wipe the surface of your bath or sink dry with a soft cloth.
  • Remember that the hardest substance that goes into your sink is grit from vegetables. If you use a plastic bowl, make sure that nothing is trapped underneath it or the friction from the gritty particles may cause tiny scratches.


Follow the manufacturers’ instructions if your oven is fitted with linings which help to clean themselves while cooking is taking place. Vitreous enamel cleaners should not be used on these special linings.

Remember – only use VEA Approved Cleaners on your enamel.

  • To keep the interior of your vitreous enamelled oven clean, try cooking at lower temperatures for an increased length of time; you will save energy and often, if roasting meat, the joint will be more tender.
  • Keep the use of fat to a minimum and surround the meat with potatoes or other vegetables. Use a meat tin with an anti-splash tray or cover meat with aluminium foil.
  • After use, wipe clean the inside of the oven while it is still warm.
  • If the oven is badly marked, the application of a nylon brush and warm water, to which a little detergent has been added, may give good results.
  • Soaking is easier than rubbing. Where removable parts of your oven can be soaked in the sink, hot water and detergent will soften most burnt-on stains in about ten minutes. Do not do this on oven linings which help to clean themselves.
  • If spills occur on your cooker hob, try and wipe them up before they burn on.


Remember – only use VEA Approved Cleaners on your enamel.

  • Do not plunge hot pans into cold water immediately after use.
  • Clean your pans with hot soapy water.
  • For removing really stubborn marks you will be safe with any cleaning product which bears the recommended symbol of the VEA for general use on vitreous enamel.
  • Save fuel and prolong the life of your pans by using a gentle heat when you start cooking. This will also help to prevent food burning on to the base of the pan.
  • If a vitreous enamelled pan becomes stained (after boiling beetroot, for example) first fill it with water and then add a teaspoonful of household bleach. Soak for a few hours and clean in the usual way. In hard water areas, drying pans immediately after washing will prevent a whitish film forming.