How fun is it to cook? I know that, at the end of the week, I just love to throw a bunch of random remaining ingredients from my fridge and try out a new stew in my slow cooker. Nevertheless, it’s all fun and games until you have to clean the thing! Slow cookers can get so cruddy and crusty that it takes all of the fun out of cooking with them.

Luckily, Sara from Life Should Cost Less has a valuable, time-saving tip for all of us slow cooker aficionados out there!

If your slow cooker is caked in crusty food particles, you know how difficult these devices can be to clean. Sure, you can soak them, but in our experience there is still a great deal of scouring and wiping to be done until the cooker is back to a somewhat pristine condition.

The best part about this technique is that it allows the slow cooker to, essentially, clean itself. As Sara says: “It’s super easy, and it requires minimal scrubbing, which is awesome!” We agree, that is pretty AWESOME!

You can start this process by carefully following these instructions:

  1. Turn your slow cooker off

    With your slow cooker still plugged in, start by flipping the dial to the ‘OFF’ position. Though it’s not mentioned in the video, we also suggest waiting until the cooker has absolutely no heat left in it.

  2. Fill the cooker with water

    water in cookerLife Should Cost Less

    Fill up the slow cooker with enough water so that the “ring of crud,” as our host calls it, is submerged. This should be at least a couple of inches down from the rim of the appliance.

  3. Pour in vinegar

    vinegar in cookerLife Should Cost Less

    Add one cup of vinegar to the water.

  4. Add baking soda

    baking soda in cookerLife Should Cost Less

    Next, pour about a cup of baking soda into the vinegar-water mixture. Sara notes to add just a little bit of baking soda at a time as the concoction tends to foam up if added too quickly.

  5. Watch for foaming reaction

    baking soda reactionLife Should Cost Less

    The chemical reaction will start as you bring in more baking soda, so it’s best to let the foaming dissipate until you put more in to the slow cooker.

  6. Turn your cooker back on

    Next, you will re-attach the lid and set the slow cooker on the ‘LOW’ setting. This method is most effective if given 4 to 8 hours.

And this is what the cooker looks like after an overnight soak!

cooker with floating crud after night of cleaningLife Should Cost Less

Sara reminds the viewer to turn off the slow cooker and allow at least an hour for the heat to escape. Be careful because the mixture will be very hot!

From there, you can rinse out the slow cooker— there should be very minimal scrubbing involved.

Just take a look at that shiny pot!

shiny clean slow cookerLife Should Cost Less

Watch the video below to get a good step-by-step tutorial for this tip.

Are you a slow cooker lover? What are some of your favorite meals to make in your slow cooker? Do you have any other kitchen cleaning hacks? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!