How to clean a pizza stone like a pro in just 5 simple steps

These easy-to-follow expert tips on how to clean a pizza stone will get yours looking as good as new

slice of pizza on a pizza stone
(Image credit: Aaron Bastin / Alamy Stock Photo)

If you've been wondering how to clean a pizza stone after one of your recent pizza nights, you've come to the right place. The great thing about cleaning pizza oven stones is that in general this doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. Because of the high temperatures reached in a pizza oven, they are mostly self cleaning, and all that's required is a wipe down with a brush or a plastic scraper, to remove any excess burnt bits after use. 

The high temperatures will kill any bacteria, so don't be tempted to use any cleaning sprays or soaps on your pizza stone. In fact, you'll discover below that the experts warn that these are a no-no when it comes to how to clean a pizza stone properly.

After a lot of use, however, you might find you have a build up of more stubborn burned-on stains. The good news is there are simple ways to remove these, so you can smarten up the appearance of your best pizza oven with ease. 

You do need to bear in mind that there are certain tools you should definitely avoid using, these include anything which might scratch the surface. So steer clear of sharp metal tools and choose implements made of plastic or wood, as well as stiff bristled brushes.

A pizza cooking inside an oven on a hot stone

Karu 16 multi-fuel pizza oven, Ooni

(Image credit: Ooni)

How to clean a pizza stone and remove stubborn stains

Keeping the pizza stone clean and looking as good as new is a key part of maintaining your oven. Occasionally you will find that drips of tomato sauce, or other food items on the list of what you can cook in a pizza oven, will leave unsightly stains on your pizza stone which won't come off with the scrape of a brush. 

With that in mind, Dean Davies, professional BBQ and oven cleaning expert at Fantastic Services shares his step-by-step method for how to clean a pizza stone.

You will need:

  • A plastic scraper 
  • A sponge or scouring pad
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  1. Cool your stone: A key part of how to use a pizza oven is making sure you allow it to cool down to room temperature before you start your cleaning tasks. This is partially for safety reasons (you don't want to get burned) but also, a hot pizza stone will crack on contact with cold water.
  2. Remove the burnt bits: Clean the burned-on food with a spatula or scraper. Scrape against the burnt bits to loosen them and wipe the burnt pieces into the trash.
  3. Rinse with water: Take the stone to your sink and scrub it with a sponge or scouring pad. The toughest burnt bits can be removed with a spatula or scraper, but there might still be burnt places that didn’t come clean. 
  4. Tackle the stains: To naturally lighten the stains, stir 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water. Spread the paste on the stone and leave it for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing off with a brush. Then, rinse with hot water.
  5. Leave it to dry: Be sure you don't leave your pizza stone soaking in water as this will mean it takes ages to dry. Once you've rinsed off your baking soda paste leave it to dry completely before you use it next.

Side view of nature and eco friendly natural cleaner baking soda paste on washing sponge for cleaning

A simple paste of baking soda and water should be used instead of soap

(Image credit: FotoHelin / Alamy Stock Photo)

Can you use soap on a pizza stone?

'Don’t use soap to clean your pizza stone. It would be tempting, but this is not a good idea,' says Dean Davies. 'The porous stone is absorbent, which means that anything you put on it will be absorbed, including soap. That will give your food an off-taste.' The same goes for dishwashers.

This is backed up by Louise Lee, Category Lead - Kitchen, Utility & Cleaning at Robert Dyas. 'No, it’s best not to use soap,' she says. 'The pizza stone is porous and the next time you cook with it your food might take on a soapy flavor. Simply scrub with a bristle brush or scouring pad if necessary while briefly running under the hot tap. Avoid soaking as it will take a long time to dry. Finish by wiping the stone down with a wet cloth, ready for your next foray into Neapolitan cuisine!’

What tools can you use to clean a pizza stone?

Don't be tempted to use a sharp metal implement just because it's close to hand, as this will damage the surface of your pizza stone with scratches. 'Use a plastic spatula, or other blunt tool that won’t scratch, to scrape off any excess food,' says Louise Lee.

homemade pizza baking in oven, cooked on pizza stone

Don't use sharp tools to clean your pizza oven stone, which can scratch the surface

(Image credit: helovi / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Do you need to clean a pizza stone?

According to Tom Gozney, the founder of Gozney, pizza stones are typically self-cleaning due to the high pizza oven temperature that is reached, burning away any leftover food residue. 'However, if there are any stubborn areas (such as burnt on cheese) once the oven is cool you can simply give them a light scrape with a brush from your pizza oven accessories to help accelerate the thermal cleaning process,' he says. 

Pizza cooking on a pizza stone on a grill

(Image credit: B&Q)

How to clean an Ooni pizza stone

If you've recently invested in an Ooni pizza oven, there's some good news about how to clean an Ooni pizza stone - you don't have to! Francesca Fay, Brand Manager at Ooni tells us that the ultra high temperatures of Ooni pizza ovens triggers natural pyrolytic cleaning of the oven –  burning off any debris – meaning no clean up! 

'If you spill a pizza on the stone, you can let it burn off, or just flip it over (once it's cooled down) and use the other side,' says Fran. According to Ooni, the next time you cook a pizza in your oven, the bottom of your stone will clean itself due to the high temperatures. 

'To clean my Ooni pizza stone, I simply brush off any burnt bits once the stone has cooled down, and then occasionally give it a quick wipe with a damp cloth,' says Beth Murton, editor of Gardeningetc. 'It really is that easy!' 

Like the sound of how simple it is? Find out what else is so great about Ooni pizza ovens with our in-depth Ooni Fyra pizza oven review and Ooni Karu pizza oven review

Teresa has worked as an Editor on a number of gardening magazines for three years now. As well as holding editorship of Easy Gardens magazine and Woman's Weekly gardening she has worked as the gardening specialist on a number of home magazines including Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors, Ideal Home, Living etc and Style At Home, so she is lucky enough to see and write about gardening across all sizes, budgets and abilities.

These years in the industry have meant that she has developed close working relationships with top garden designers and landscape architects having access to their projects and and expertise. Attending industry events such as Chelsea Flower Show and other garden openings and launches. Last year she was on the judging panel for the Society of Garden Designers awards and she continues to be this year too.

She recently moved into her first home and the garden is a real project! Currently she is relishing planning her own design and planting schemes. What she is most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants. Keeping our patches alive with greenery is great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife.