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Pottery/Cleaning Calcium from a Crock Pot

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Question
I could ask the slow cooker people, but I don't think they are truly knowledgeable about such things.
Regarding the stoneware on a commercially produced crock pot:
After only a few uses has cloudy appearance to water level, and it is seemingly impossible to get every bit of stuck-on residue off with rubber spatula, dish soap, baking soda, and plain sponge. I am not concerned about appearance, but only health and safety issues of eating food cooked in the pot.
Can slow cooker stoneware be safely soaked with water-or liquid dish soap and water- for several hours?
Will using Bon Ami and a 'non-scratch' pad damage the glaze in such a way to make it leach something that shouldn't be leached or cause some other problem that you know of?
Can I safely soak in vinegar? If so, for how long?
Can I safely simmer water and a cup of baking soda in the stoneware for several hours?
Better ideas?    Thank you very much for your consideration of my question!

Answer
Dear Karey,

    Thank you for your recent question. My apologies for the timeliness in answering. The cloudy appearance or film on your crock pot occurs when there is calcium in the water. Unfortunately, all water has some amount of calcium, which will attach itself to the crock pot during the heating and cooling period. The easiest way to clean the pot is to use Lime-Away. This will clear the milky residue from the surface each time you clean it.

    As for leaching, the pot is safe to use and there is no danger of bacteria leaching into the pottery. Food is safe to eat from the crock pot.

    I hope this answers your questions to your satisfaction. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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