How to Properly Clean Cast IronThe global market for cast iron skillets has been growing over the last few years. The trend is driven by a rise in single-person households.

In America, people are rediscovering the cookware that’s been used in their families for generations. Some prefer vintage, while others are buying brand-new skillets and pans.

Some people believe it’s hard to take care of a cast iron pan. Not only do you need to season it, you also need to know how to clean cast iron. It doesn’t need to be difficult though.

We’ll show you the easy steps to clean cast iron, so you can make your skillet last generations.

Wipe the Skillet with a Paper Towel

You should clean a cast iron pan every time you use it.

The first step to cast iron skillet cleaning is to wipe down the interior of the pan with a paper towel. This process removes any excess oil or food from the surface of the pan.

It’s also non-abrasive, which is important in cleaning cast iron properly. Abrasion damages the surface of the pan and strips the seasoning.

It’s important to wipe the pan down while it’s still warm. This gives food less time to stick to the surface and makes for easier cleaning.

Gently Clean Cast Iron with Water

Once you’ve wiped the surface of the pan, it’s time to give it a good rinse. Place the pan under warm, running water, and scrub it down.

You can use non-metal tools to remove the most stubborn bits of food and grease. Remember, you don’t want to use anything too abrasive. Most metal tools will damage the pan.

You can use a small amount of soap if you want. Be sure to rinse the pan thoroughly.

Dry the Skillet

As soon as you’re finished washing the pan, dry it off. You don’t want to allow a cast iron pan to drip-dry, since this can lead to rust formation. Instead, use a towel to dry the pan.

Once the pan is dry, place it back on the stove over low-medium heat. This will remove any last traces of water.

Oil Cast Iron Skillets

Once the pan is dry, it’s time to oil it. Add half a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Then spread it around evenly using paper towels.

Continue to wipe the pan with the oiled paper towels. Once the pan’s interior is dark and smooth, you can remove it from the heat. Now it’s ready to use the next time you need it.

Rusty Pans Need More Attention

If you’ve inherited a piece of vintage cast iron, you may notice it needs some more intensive cleaning.

You can use abrasive tools such as steel wool when cleaning cast iron that’s rusted. Scrub until you’ve removed the rust and any dirt. You may need to repeat this process.

You’ll then heat the pan up and oil it heavily. Add some salt to form a paste and rub it in until the pan is slick and black. Rinse the pan, and oil it.

Cleaning is Key to Cast Iron’s Long Life

As you can see, it’s easier to clean cast iron than many people think. Take good care of this pan, and it will serve you well for years to come.

If you’re looking for more great cleaning advice, check out our blog. We have plenty of tips to keep your house spotless.