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How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?

In this topic we will suggest some of the ways to clean a cast iron skillet. Cast iron is one of the most preferred cookware. One doesn’t need to worry about chemicals leaching into the food. Cast iron is known for retaining heat very well. It is naturally nonstick, only if you take its proper care.

If you are using a cast iron skillet for the first time, you may get a bit mystified as to how to clean it. To help you with this issue, we are going to guide you as to how to clean a cast iron skillet. Below are three different ways to clean your beautiful cast iron skillet. Follow the instruction properly to get the best results.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Three Ways to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

1.) Method 1 – Oil to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

This method is best suitable for lightly soiled pans. You can start this method by pouring a couple of oil drops into the cast iron skillet.

Directions to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet:

  • Now, take dish rag or a paper towel, and rub the pan with it until it gets clean. Wipe out any food pieces stuck to the skillet.
  • It’s done! As you used oil to clean the pan, it’s all set for the next cooking.

2.) Method 2 – Abrasive Method to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

This abrasive method is best suited for pans which are a bit more soiled, or have food stuck to them.

You can start this method by sprinkling an abrasive ingredient into your cast iron skillet. For this you can go for coarse sea salt, cornmeal, or similar ingredients.

Directions to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet:

  • Now, scrub the pan using dish rag or a paper towel.
  • Get rid of any food pieces that are stuck into the pan.
  • Finally, finish the process by rubbing your pan using oil.

3.) Method 3 – Steel Wool to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

This method is perfect for pans which have food stuck strongly. It is also suitable if your pan have got smelly because of cooking items like fish.

Directions to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet:

  • To get rid of stuck food, you can remove it using a steel wool. It removes the gunk effortlessly.
  • In case you don’t want to use something as abrasive as steel wool, you can always substitute it by a scrubbing pad.
  • Now, place your pan in the sink.
  • Run some hot water on it. Scrub away all the food stuck on it. Rinse it well.
  • If the food is stuck very strongly, you can let the pan soak the hot water for a bit. But remember! If you leave the cast iron in water for a long period, it will start to rust. Be careful.
  • After washing your cast iron with hot water, it is important that you dry it as soon as you can. Otherwise it will start rusting, especially if it is a new pan.
  • The best way to dry your cast iron pan is to setting it over a high flame for a couple of minutes.
  • You can also dry the pan using a dish towel or paper towel. But, ensure that you are using a dedicated dish towel.
  • Allow the pan cool for a few minutes. Then pour a small amount of oil in it.
  • Rub the oil into the pan with a dish rag or a paper towel.

So, these are there methods you can use to clean a cast iron skillet, depending on the condition of your item.

Additional Tips to Maintain Cast Iron Skillet:

  • After you towel-dry skillet, you can keep the damp skillet either over a low heat flame or in the oven set at a low mode. This will ensure the skillet is completely and properly dry.
  • Remember to coat your skillet with a very thin coat of vegetable oil before you keep it away. Avoid using an animal product such as lard. It will rotten.
  • Coating with oil after drying will allow the lubricant to get deeper into the skillet and minimize the risk of rusting during storage.
  • If you need wish to wash it with soap, ensure to rinse the pan thoroughly and apply oil on your skillet afterward.


  • Remember! Never put your hot cast iron skillet into cold water. This may cause your cast iron to warp or crack. Be careful.
  • Cast iron skillet are known to conduct heat up to the handle, so be careful not to burn yourself by touching it without gloves.
  • A hot cast iron skillet looks similar to a cold one. So, always be careful while handling it.
  • Try to dry thoroughly other kitchen equipment also as you may store them inside your cast iron pan with them. A slightly damp utensil can also rust a cast iron skillet if it gets in contact.

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