How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet the Right Way – Ultimate Guide

how to clean a cast-iron skillet

Do you love cooking?

If your passion is cooking or simply love cooking, then you must choose the right and suitable cookware for your kitchen.

The old utensils have been replaced with some recent and modern cookware with which you can cook in a much easier way without facing many troubles like burning the food or sticking the food with the cookware.

So what would be the best choice for your kitchen?

Of course, a cast-iron skillet is the first choice for master chefs around the world and the people who love cooking.

  How to clean a cast-iron skillet

Main Qualities of a Cast-iron Skillet

You might question what is so special about this cookware. Well, if you research a bit on these cast iron pans, you will find the main reasons for their popularity. This cookware has a naturally nonstick surface, high heat retention power, long-lasting durability, and the most amazing part is you can afford it easily. Moreover, the traditional aluminum pans might be risky for cooking food as there is a chance of getting mixed the food with the material of the aluminum pans. So for the better and healthy food and to cook the food in an easier and fast way, cast iron skillets are the most eligible cookware.

Follow the Right Cleaning Process

But of course, you know that it doesn’t matter how strong or potential something is if you do not take proper care of that. The same method applies to these skillets as well. You want your skillets to last for a long time and provide the best service for you? Then you must learn the right cleaning process of this cookware. Often people get confused about it as there are many ‘don’t’s in the right cleaning process of these pans. Well, don’t get confused and try to clean it in the wrong process and destroy your precious cookware. We will make it easier for you by providing the step by step process of how to clean a cast-iron skillet.

Dry Cleaning

The simple method of cleaning a cast iron pan or skillet would be to just wipe it with a soft paper towel. But you must keep in mind that the paper towel has to be dry. If you clean the pan immediately after cooking when the pan is still hot and the pan is well-seasoned then this method should be enough to get off the food stuck on the surface of the pan or the burnt food. You can scrape them softly if there is still some remaining on the pan. But in most of the cases, if you use the pan properly, just wiping it down with a paper towel is enough to clean it and in this way, you won’t destroy the non-stick surface of the skillet.

Use Lukewarm Water

If the dry cleaning doesn’t work, then you can use water to wash the pan. Of course, washing a cast iron skillet with water might result in some serious damage to your cookware if it is not done properly. Because water will increase the chance of rusting on the cast iron pan or skillet. But don’t worry. Do it properly and you can avoid the rust. Mix some coarse salt with lukewarm water and spread it on the pan. But do not wait for it to soften the burnings or the remaining of the food on the pan. Immediately scrub it with a scouring brush after sinking the pan in the mild hot water mixed with coarse salt. The coarse salt helps to get rid of any remaining foods on the pan. After scrubbing it softly wash it with cold water. But remember to dry it completely because if there is any water still on the skillet, it will result in rusting. To avoid this rusting, the best solution is to place the skillet in the oven and keep it there in approximately 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes so that it is perfectly dry. When it is completely dry, after getting it out of the oven, spread some vegetable, soybean or flaxseed oil into the pan and wipe it on the surface with a paper towel. But remember that there should not be any extra oil on the surface of the skillet.

Remove Heavy Rust with Hot Water

What are you going to do if the surface of your pan is heavily rusted? In this case, the techniques mentioned above might not work. You can use hot water, in this case, to remove the heavy rust from the surface. But maintain the right process, otherwise, you might destroy your cast iron cookware. At first mix, some soap or coarse salt with hot water spread it on the pan and then scrub it using a steel wool brush. As an alternative, you can use oven cleaner. In this after spreading oven cleaner on the pan wait a bit like 10-15 minutes and then scrub it and wash it. But after washing it remember to follow the same steps to dry it completely and rub some oil on the surface of the cookware.


The secret of preserving your cookware for a long time is to season it regularly. You need to season your skillet after cleaning it every time. It preserves the non-sticking surface of the pan and removes the rust if there is any. But how to season it properly? Place your skillet in a preheated oven (approximately 350 degrees) and keep it there at least for an hour. After you get the pan out of the oven, rinse a bit oil on the surface of the pan after cooling it down a bit. Keep it like that for a bit moment and then rub it with a paper towel. But make sure that the towel is dry. The best oil for seasoning the cast iron skillet would be soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and corn oil.

  Final Words

If you don’t clean your cookware following the right process, doesn’t matter how potential and solid it is, it will not last long. Cast iron skillet might be the best option for your cooking, but if you want to keep it as new cookware, follow the right steps to clean it and season it regularly.

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