How to Clean Clay Pottery?

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Clay is a natural product that is dug out from the surface of the Earth. It is usually formed from the decomposition of rocks present on the Earth’s crust. Clay is widely used to manufacture various pottery items since ancient times.


Clay pottery is the process in which clay is hardened by heat and then dried to model it into a decorative item or a vessel. However, before putting your hands-on pottery, you should keep in mind that clay pottery is not made with raw clay, but with a mixture of clay and other substances.


Clay pottery works besides being decorative have a drawback. Since pottery items are highly prone to breakage or damage, they are not too easy to clean as the products. If the item is a cooking utensil, like the Ancient Cookware Clay Curry Pot, then you must take special care of it. As people eat on this type of cookware, proper cleaning of such items is needed.

Why Do We Need to Clean Clay Pottery?

Clay made substances are very much delicate and fragile. Continuous resting of dust and dirt on the objects makes it more damageable. Hence, it is necessary to clean the clay pottery works. Cleaning makes the item look new, and restore its authenticity.


How to Clean Clay Pottery?



There are four primary ways of cleaning various types of clay pottery works. Let’s have a glance at how to clean clay pottery:

Clear Away the Sloppy Mud:

    1. Empty the Clay Pot or Vessel: It is very obvious to make sure the pot is empty before cleaning it. The excessive dirt and soil must be cleared off. If the item is a pot, it is necessary to remove the plants gently and fix them in a temporary one until the original pot is ready to be used after cleaning.
    2. Clean Off the Dirt: After the vessels are emptied & the items present within are removed entirely, the extra dirt needs to be cleared away with hands as much as possible. But, in this process, you need to be cautious and refrain from putting extra pressure on the pottery as it might cause the vessel to break.
    3. However, few of the excess mud still cannot be cleaned with bare hands. So, we need to follow a better method to remove the stubborn dirt.
    4. Scour the Clay Utensils Using a Brush: For the tough and stubborn dirt, it is essential to use a thick bristle brush. Chemical Guys Acc_G08 Wheel & Tire Brush is a great option that you can opt for removing the dirt from the clay potteries. You have to rub the brush gently across the surface of the object.

It is to be noted that those brushes that have metal bristles must not be used because they leave a white mark and several scratches on the surface of the clay vessels. Moreover, they can cause the object to break, and sometimes, permanently damage the pottery.


2) Soaking the Clay Vessel in a Homemade Mixture:

  • Prepare a Mixture of Water and Vinegar: A mixture of water and vinegar in a 1:3 ratio is considered as one of the best homemade solutions for cleaning the pottery vessels. However, remember that you use a large bucket or tub for this mixture. Check out the below table to know the exact proportions of the ingredients that must be mixed thoroughly.


Ingredients Quantity (ml)
Water 710
Vinegar 237
Total 947


A mixture of bleach and water can also be used in case vinegar is unavailable. About 60g bleach powder is to be mixed with five gallons of water to make a perfect mixture.

  • Proper Soaking of the Clay Pottery: The clay-made objects, vessels, or pots need to be soaked in the vinegar and water solution for approximately 30 minutes. It must be taken care of that the clay pottery is entirely dipped in the solution.
  • You may hear the sound of bubbles or even see them. But, that’s a very natural thing, and there is nothing to be worried about. It is a sign that the vessel or the item is getting soaked into the mixture properly.
  • Checking: After 30 minutes, the objects are required to be taken out from the liquid to check if it is cleaned or not. When the item is ready to be taken out from the solution, it becomes easy to clean the excessive residues with hands or a stiff-bristled brush. In case it still creates trouble while cleaning, then the object needs to be soaked in the mixture for a few more minutes.
  • Dirty Rims and Vinegar: If the rims of the clay vessel are dirty, flip it upside down, and then, place it in a bowl that contains pure vinegar. After that, leave it for ten minutes to get the rims cleaned automatically.


3) Removal of Salt Marks/ Stains:

  1. Baking Soda Paste: The requirement of the quantity of baking soda depends on the number of clay vessels being cleaned, and how severe the salt stains are. Accordingly, the baking soda should be added to enough water so that it gives the consistency of hand lotion.
  2. Spread Completely: Cover the salt stains completely with the paste. Also, the paste should be thick enough to hold onto the clay vessels.
  3. Let the Paste Sit: Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes. The baking soda paste will get dried up while it sits, but that’s alright.
  4. Scrub the Paste: After this, clean and scrub the dried baking soda paste with your hand. Rinsing might also be required.



4)    Disinfecting the Clay Pottery:

  1. Quick wash: Usually, clay potteries are used as utensils, so disinfecting it after cleaning is necessary to maintain hygienic conditions. So, after soaking the clay pots, you can disinfect it. Set the dishwasher to the quickest wash mode and add the necessary amount of soap in it.
  2. Run the Dishwasher: Let the clay pottery run through the dishwasher as the soap will react with it and disinfect the vessel.
  3. Drying: Finally, the disinfected clay pot or vessel is to be dried under sunlight. One might even leave it in the rack to dry it completely.



Clay pottery or clay-made items are pretty brittle and sophisticated; hence utmost care must be taken off. The entire process should be done very gently and carefully. Though the clay pottery works possess the risk of getting broken or damaged, it brings a blend of uniqueness and authenticity. Hence, people still use clay potteries as a decorative item or for household purposes.

Latest posts