How to clean an Ooni pizza stone - why you must never use water and what to do instead

No, there’s no water or soap involved

Ooni pizza oven on metal table.
(Image credit: Nick Hook)

Offering novices and pizza-ficionados the chance to make restaurant-standard pizzas in the comfort of their homes (well, their gardens), it should come as no surprise to learn that Ooni has dominated the pizza oven market. The most delicate and crucial element of a pizza oven is the pizza, so you need to know how to clean your Ooni pizza stone to keep it working well all summer round.

The Ideal Home team seriously rates Ooni', and the Ooni Fyra Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven has held the number one top spot in our best pizza oven guide for years. Most affordable and portable pizza ovens use a pizza stone to get that cripsy base, and Ooni is no different.

However, while you might know how to clean a baking stone, the rules are a little different for the Ooni brand. That's why we’ve put together everything you need to know about cleaning an Ooni pizza stone. 

How to clean an Ooni pizza stone

When you've chosen which Ooni pizza oven to buy you should protect your investment. Proper care and attention are key to keeping your Ooni pizza oven in full working condition - and your pizza as tasty as can be. Pizza stones can be quite fragile so they need to be cleaned very carefully.

What you’ll need


1. Do not use water

You might assume that you should clean an Ooni pizza stone the same way you’d clean your dirty plates, bowls, or chopping board - but soaking your Ooni pizza stone in water is the worst thing you could do.

Harry Hook from Raw Food & Drink PR and her food photographer husband, Nick Hook, have cleaned their Ooni pizza stone more times than they can count. One thing they have learned over the years is never to use water. 

They say, ‘It's inevitable that tomato sauce will drip and blister onto the pizza stone and cheese will bubble over. The key tip to cleaning a pizza stone is not to add water. The stone is porous, so it could crack when you heat it.’

For this same reason, you should also avoid using any soaps or cleaning agents… unless you want a pizza that tastes like washing-up liquid. 

Image of Ooni pizza oven

(Image credit: Ooni)

2. Burn the debris off

Instead of using soap and water to clean an Ooni pizza stone, you need to use the Ooni pizza oven itself. In fact, Harry and Nick say, ‘Let the heat do all the work. The oven will probably be above 300-400℃, which will burn any grease or debris away.’

If you pop it in the pizza oven for around 30 minutes after your pizza party has ended, you should be left with ash that you can simply blow or brush away. 

If you're running short on time, however, you could just burn off the debris on-the-go. Rich Payne from Dough & Behold explains, 'If you are in a rush, or mid-flow in a pizza party and don’t have time to burn off the excess residue, you can simply turn your flame off, and with heatproof gloves, carefully lift the pizza stone up and turn it upside down, so all the burnt residue is on the underside of the stone.'

'Turn the flame back on and continue making pizza like nothing happened. While you are making pizza, because the stone is so hot, the residue will also burn off on the underside, so it will still be cleaning while you bake.'

'At the end of your session, once the stone has cooled, you can turn it back over, and the stone will be clean. Repeat this as many times as you need to. This is the method I use the most when I have an “accident!"'

If there’s still some debris left over, though, you can move on to the next step.

3. Brush the pizza stone

Harry Hook cleaning an Ooni pizza stone

(Image credit: Nick Hook)

If needed, you could then brush the pizza stone clean. 

Dennis Littley, a fine dining chef and owner of explains, ‘For light cleaning, use a dry brush or stiff-bristled brush to gently remove any loose debris or flour from the stone. This helps prevent buildup and ensures even heat distribution during future use.’

Ideally, use the Ooni Pizza Oven Brush for this step. This 2-in-1 brush has soft bristles and a scraper, which can be particularly handy for stuck-on cheese or stubborn food debris that needs a little extra push. 

This brush is also worthwhile because it can be used to clean the inside and outside of your Ooni pizza oven. Just be careful you don’t scrape or brush too hard.

4. Don’t worry about stains

If you’re worried about the stains left on your Ooni pizza stone, don’t worry! This is all part and parcel of using a pizza stone in a fiery pizza furnace. The Ooni website even says, ‘Don’t worry about the stone changing colour, that’s completely normal and a sign of a well-loved Ooni.’

This is echoed by Rich, who explains, ‘Some stains just can’t be removed! Be prepared to accept that even the greatest Pizza Maker will not be able to keep their stones 100% clean and blemish-free.’

‘The minute you burn something, sauce bubbles, oil spots etc, they will all stain your stone to a degree. Whilst heating on full flame will burn most of this away, some of the stains may still remain, especially the closer they are to the front of the oven where the stone doesn’t get quite as hot.’

‘This isn’t a defect, think of it as a battle scar, a badge of honour for a pizza oven well used!’

An Ooni pizza oven outdoors

(Image credit: Ooni)

5. Store it properly

To maintain the cleanliness and integrity of your Ooni pizza stone, you should always store it properly. Most importantly, you should store it inside your house and not inside the Ooni pizza oven itself. 

Dennis says, ‘Store your Ooni Pizza Stone in a dry, cool place when not in use. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or sudden temperature changes, as this can weaken the stone and affect its performance over time.’

So, pop it in your kitchen cupboard or leave it out on your worktop so you can admire its newly clean surface! 


Do I need to clean my OONI pizza stone?

While it’s important to cook pizza on a clean pizza stone, this task is incredibly easy and requires very little effort. In fact, popping your pizza stone back in the oven after use should burn off any leftover food or debris.

If this doesn’t quite work, grab your Ooni pizza oven brush and lightly brush the pizza stone to remove anything left behind. 

How do you properly clean a pizza stone?

To clean a pizza stone, you should resist the temptation to wash it in warm water and washing-up liquid. Doing so could cause the pizza stone to crack and could result in soapy-tasting pizza.

Instead, clean a pizza stone by heating it up in the pizza oven or the oven in your kitchen. The high temperatures should burn off any dirt or debris.

Then, you can brush the pizza stone with a pizza oven brush to remove any remaining crumbs.

It really couldn’t be easier to clean an Ooni pizza stone. 

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.