Enameled cast-iron pots—sometimes called French ovens, made famous by the brand Le Creuset—are excellent at holding temperature, and are easier to maintain than bare cast iron. They’re also an investment when it comes to cost, but something you’ll keep and use your whole life. Here are some quick tips on how to care for your beloved Le Creuset and keep it in prime working order.

How to Pick the Right Utensils

To avoid scratching the enamel, it’s best to use rubber, wooden, or silicone-coated utensils, like wooden spoons, and birch or silicone-coated whisks.

How to Fix Scratches

But what if you’ve already caused a scratch? Take a deep breath and don’t be too hard on yourself—it might not be a scratch at all.

What appear to be scratches in the enamel could be marks left by metal tools: streaks of metallic residue, which have caused little or no damage to the underlying enamel. (Enamel is much harder than stainless steel, so metallic residue is far more likely than actual scratches.) Try scrubbing the marks with a gentle cleaning compound such as Bon Ami, Bar Keepers Friend, or Le Creuset’s proprietary compound. Some folks even swear by denture-cleaning tablets.