There’s nothing not to love about a pizza stone. It’s the closest my kitchen can get to a wood-fired oven, and it’s a pleasure to use.
But, in all honesty, it can be a real pain to keep clean.
There’s no reason to panic if you’ve got a mold buildup on your pizza stone, it can be cleaned. But taking care of mold on a pizza stone is one of the more arduous tasks that comes with ownership. This is largely because the usual ways of dealing with mold, like cleaning products, are taboo when it comes to pizza stones.
In this post, I’ll go over how to properly, not to mention safely, clean a pizza stone, then I’ll address further techniques in dealing with mold on a pizza stone.
How to Get Mold Off a Pizza Stone
You’re going to have to make a paste. It’s not much work, and it should take care of any concerning mold buildup on your stone.
Making a paste is fairly simple. Remember, you don’t want a lot of product on your stone, so stick with:
- White vinegar or water
- Baking Soda
Mix a teaspoon of each together and stir until you have a fine paste. Apply that paste to a rag and rub in a circular motion where you can actually see mold on the stone. Don’t scrub too hard. You can also use toothpaste, provided it’s baking soda based.
You might think bleach or hydrogen peroxide might work just as well, and you’d be right. However both chemicals are harmful to stones.
The important part comes when you wipe the paste away with another damp rag. This will help ensure no mold or paste is left on your stone, and after it dries it’ll be ready to make another brilliant pie in a matter of hours.
How to Clean a Pizza Stone
Unlike most things in your kitchen, you can’t just throw a pizza stone in the sink. Here are some things you should never do when cleaning your pizza stone:
- Never wash it with soap. The last thing you want to do is successfully clean your stone, only to have your next pizza taste like soap. Pizza stones will absorb whatever liquids you put on it, so if you have to use anything, stick with some warm water.
- Never submerge your stone in water. Instead, once the stone cools, scrub off any stubborn food particles and wipe with a damp cloth. Don’t worry about stains on your stone, as they add flavour to future pizzas.
Typically, stones are made of porous materials such as stone and ceramic. It makes for a great surface to bake, but a difficult one to clean. Most of the items you’ll need to clean it you’ll easily find hanging around the house, like:
- Dough scraper
- Metal and plastic spatula
- Stone brush
- Blunt table knife
- Scouring Pads
- Damp cloth
Bear in mind, you may not need all of these every time you clean your stone, however it helps to keep them nearby. It’ll help manage frustration with particularly stubborn particles.
Step 1: Wetting The Stone
Let a small stream of warm water run from the tap. Make sure not to use too much, just let a little run over the surface of your stone. Excess moisture will hurt your stone. It’ll also mean a longer time between use, because the stone must be completely dry before it’s ready for baking again.
Step 2: Stone Brush
Scrub thoroughly with a stone brush. Use it firmly against the surface, especially in areas where you can see bits of cheese and sauce left. Make sure to get the ends of the stone, where the grease often collects.
Step 3: Damp Rag
Dampen the rag with water. Remember, never put soap on it. Wipe the stone in circular motions, always making sure not to leave it sitting on one area too long. This is also where you would use any of the other tools if you need them.
A dough scraper or plastic spatula is a great place to start with really stubborn bits of food. However, you may need to use sandpaper to really get at burnt cheese.
Step 4: Let Dry
Let the stone dry completely. This can take several hours, during which you can think where you want to store it. Storing it in the oven is usually the best place.