How to clean a pizza baking stone - 6 easy steps to clean and prevent food spills and stains

Nope, soap and water are not welcome here

Outdoor kitchen with BBQ and pizza oven
(Image credit: Future PLC/Jemma Watts)

Looking for tips on how to clean a pizza baking stone? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as we’re pizza baking stone aficiona-doughs (pun very much intended). 

After all, the best pizza oven wouldn’t be complete without a pizza baking stone. But what you might not realise is the fact that pizza baking stones aren’t just reserved for pizza ovens. This nifty accessory can also be used on the best BBQs and in your oven, instantly turning what could be a rather ordinary pizza into something crispy, crunchy, cheesy, and charred to perfection. 

And while it’s important to clean a pizza baking stone, soap and water won’t help you here.

How to clean a pizza baking stone 

We’ve consulted with the experts to gauge the best way to clean a pizza stone without damaging it in the process. 

What you’ll need


1. Allow it to cool

If you notice leftover melted cheese and rogue tomato sauce on your pizza baking stone, you may feel inclined to clean it right away. But you must resist the urge to do that as you may damage it in the process. Instead, you should allow it to cool.

Make sure that the stone has cooled completely before you attempt to clean it. If it comes into contact with any water whilst it’s still hot, it could crack.

And while we have no doubts that you’ll love the best Ooni deals as much as the next guy, we bet you probably don’t want to replace your pizza baking stone after just one use. 

Outdoor pizza oven in outdoor kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

2. Scrape off leftover food

When the pizza baking stone is completely cool, you can then work on scraping off the larger bits of leftover food.

Dennis Littley, a fine dining chef and owner of, explains, ‘For stubborn, stuck-on bits, a chef's secret weapon is a bench scraper or spatula. Gently scrape away the residue without damaging the stone's surface. This method is more effective than scrubbing and ensures the stone's longevity.’

3. Wipe with a damp cloth

Cleaning a pizza baking stone isn’t like cleaning a baking tray or how you clean stainless steel pans. Unfortunately, you need to keep your pizza baking stone as far away from washing-up liquid as possible. Unless your aim is to make a pepperoni pizza with a soapy aftertaste, of course.

Emily Barron, cleaning expert at Property Rescue, urges, ‘Don’t be tempted to use liquid soap or detergent. Pizza stone is typically made from porous material, which means it can absorb the soap and affect the flavour of your pizzas.’

Instead, you just need to wipe your pizza baking stone with a damp cloth. ‘Use a little elbow grease with a damp cloth, but be sure to dry the stone thoroughly afterwards,’ adds Emily. 

Testing the DeliVita DiaVolo Gas Pizza Oven at home

(Image credit: Future)

4. Treat tougher stains with baking soda

In most cases, scraping off food debris and wiping it with a damp cloth is the best way to clean a pizza baking stone. But if you’ve had a pizza-making disaster and have tougher stains to deal with, you might want to whip out the baking soda. 

Spot-treating them with a baking soda paste made from a teaspoon of baking soda and water to make a paste can gently tackle stubborn marks. Just rub it in circles gently. 

Then, wipe the pizza baking stone with a damp cloth a few times, making sure to remove the stains and the paste. 

5. Season with oil

If you want to prevent future staining or food build-up on your pizza baking stone, you might want to consider seasoning it with oil. In fact, those with the best cast-iron cookware will already be familiar with this process, as seasoning cast iron pots is essential. 

Dennis says, ‘Much like cast-iron skillets, pizza stones benefit from occasional seasoning with a light coating of oil. This not only enhances the stone's non-stick properties but also prevents the absorption of flavours from previous bakes. Simply rub a small amount of vegetable oil onto the stone and let it absorb before the next use.’

You don’t need any fancy tools to do this, either. Some vegetable oil and kitchen roll should do the trick. 

A garden with a pizza oven and an olive tree

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

6. Consider heat cycling

If you’re still worried that your pizza baking stone doesn’t look clean, you could also consider heat cycling. 

Dennis explains, ‘Harness the power of heat cycling to keep your pizza stone pristine. After cleaning, gradually heat the stone with each subsequent use. This process not only helps to eliminate any residual moisture but also enhances the stone's ability to distribute heat evenly for that perfectly crisp crust.’

This is extremely easy to do, as you can pop it in the pizza oven or in your regular oven while it’s preheating. And this is echoed by Emily, who says, ‘Another top tip is to place your pizza stone in the oven to heat up before putting your pizza on it.' 

'This is a great way to burn off any remaining food particles. The heat will open up the stone’s pores, which means it’s less likely to absorb any food spills.’


What's the best way to clean a pizza stone?

To clean a pizza stone successfully, you first need to let the pizza baking stone cool as rapid temperature changes can cause the stone to crack.

Then, scrape off any large chunks of food debris with a plastic spatula and wipe down with a damp cloth. This should be enough to clean it, but you can also treat stubborn stains with a paste made from baking soda and water. 

Ideally, finish by seasoning the pizza stone with oil to prevent future food build-up.

Do pizza stones turn black?

While it will take a very long time for a pizza stone to turn black, it is true that pizza stones do darken over time. This is completely normal, and shouldn’t affect the taste of your pizzas - unless it’s covered in leftover food or you don’t clean it properly. 

In fact, the Ooni website says, ‘Don’t worry about the stone changing colour, that’s completely normal and a sign of a well-loved Ooni.’

Can you clean a pizza stone with vinegar?

If you want to treat tougher pizza stone stains, you can create a paste from baking soda and vinegar. However, most experts would agree that a paste of baking soda and water is preferential. 

After all, you don’t want a vinegar-flavoured pizza. 

Now you know how to clean a pizza baking stone, it’s time to start planning your pizza party. And yes, we’d like an invite…

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.