I have a problem with cooking food in my crockpot until it burns and crusts onto the inside porcelain. So I usually avoid using my crockpot - since cleaning it is a gross chore.
last month i finally soaked the thing in rainwater for a week and was able to slough off most of the burned, moldy food crud. blech. then this week i have been using the pot again to heat up dried pinto beans.
I am trying to remember to take out the cooked beans before they burn, and put it in other containers, rather than just eating out of the crockpot. So today I moved the beans into containers for the fridge and was looking at the dried stuff on the pot's sides. I don't have hot water so i usually wash everything cold.
It finally hit me that I could cook water in the pot to make the crusties soft. So right now I am cooking the crockpot with water, a squirt of dishsoap and a little bleach. When i't s hot i will use a scrubby to clean out the particles and I bet the thing will look like new.