How To Clean Cast-Iron Cookware? Best Tips And Tricks

(Last Updated On: September 4, 2023)

Cast-iron cookware is prevalent in many kitchens because it’s rugged and versatile. However, cleaning and maintaining it can be challenging for some people.

If cleaned properly, cast-iron cookware may develop rust, retain its non-stick seasoning, and become unusable.

To keep your cast-iron cookware in great shape, it’s crucial to clean it correctly. Various methods are available, but it’s best to stick with safe and effective ones.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top ways on How To Clean Cast-Iron Cookware?, including how to strip a cast-iron pan, clean a Dutch oven, and use products specifically designed for cast iron.

By following these tips, you can ensure your cast-iron cookware remains in excellent condition for many years.

With these cleaning techniques, you can confidently enjoy your trusty cast-iron cookware and its excellent benefits in the kitchen.

Why Clean Cast-Iron Cookware?

Cast-iron cookware is a favorite among many cooks because it’s tough, can be used in various ways, and has a non-stick surface.

But we must take good care of it to keep it in shape. If we pay attention, it might get dirty, rusted, and lose its non-stick magic.

So, clean your cast-iron cookware regularly to enjoy its benefits for a long time. Remember, proper care and maintenance are the keys to keeping your cookware happy and working well!

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Here Are A Few Reasons Why Cleaning Cast-Iron Cookware Is Essential:

Maintains Non – Stick Properties

“Isn’t it amazing that cast-iron cookware becomes even better with time? When you season it properly, a natural non-stick surface develops, making your cooking experience smoother and more enjoyable.

But, like everything we love, it needs a little care. Over time, tiny bits of food and oils might accumulate on the surface, affecting its performance.

But fret not! By regularly cleaning your beloved cookware, you can maintain its fantastic non-stick properties and ensure your delicious meals never stick to the pan. Happy cooking!”

Prevents Rust

Cast-iron cookware is terrific for cooking, but it can be prone to rusting if you don’t take good care of it. Rust can mess up the cookware’s performance and even make it unsafe. But don’t worry!

Keeping your cast-iron cookware rust-free is easy-peasy! After each use, please clean it up nicely and dry it thoroughly. This simple routine prevents rust from forming and keeps your cookware in tip-top shape, ready for many delicious meals!

Removes Bacteria

Keeping your cast-iron cookware clean is crucial for your safety and health. Sometimes, leftover food particles can attract harmful bacteria, which might lead to food poisoning. But don’t worry!

By cleaning your cookware thoroughly after each use, you can easily get rid of these pesky bacteria and ensure that your meals are not just delicious but also safe to eat.

So, let’s make a habit of maintaining our cookware and protect ourselves from any foodborne illnesses. Happy cooking!

Preparation for Cleaning Cast-Iron Cookware

Before cleaning your cast-iron cookware, you must get everything ready and heat the cookware correctly.

Let me share a few easy tips to help you prepare for cleaning your beloved cast-iron cookware! It will be a breeze, and you’ll have sparkling clean cookware in no time!

Improves Performance

Cooking with clean cast-iron cookware is a delight! These pots and pans heat up evenly and hold onto that beautiful heat, ensuring your food is perfectly cooked.

When you take good care of your cookware by cleaning and maintaining it properly, you enhance its performance and make your cooking experience even more enjoyable.

So, keep your cast-iron cookware in tip-top shape, and prepare to create delicious meals quickly and efficiently!

Gather Supplies

To clean cast-iron cookware, you will need the following supplies:

· Hot water

· Sponge or stiff brush

· Mild dish soap (optional)

· Salt (optional)

· Paper towels or lint-free cloth

· Cooking oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil)

Cleaning Methods for Cast-Iron Cookware

When it comes to cleaning your cast-iron cookware, you have several methods to choose from.

Don’t worry; each method has some positive points and minor drawbacks. So, it’s all about finding the method that suits you best and brings out the shine in your cookware. Remember, there’s no wrong choice here; it’s all about personal preference and what makes you happy!

Heat The Cookware

Before you clean your cast-iron cookware, it’s essential to follow a few easy steps that will make the cleaning process a breeze and preserve its seasoning for delicious cooking.

The best part is that it’s all about heating!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your cast-iron cookware on the stovetop, and turn the heat to medium.
  • Give it a few minutes to warm up until you can feel the gentle warmth when you touch it.
  • Turn off the heat and let the cookware cool down slightly before cleaning.

By warming up your cookware before cleaning, you’ll prevent any damage to the seasoning and find removing any stubborn, stuck-on food much more accessible.

This simple process will keep your cast-iron cookware in great shape and ready to cook excellent meals!

Salt Method

Cleaning your cast-iron cookware can be a breeze with the popular salt method! It’s easy and effective. Just grab some coarse salt and sprinkle it over the pan’s surface. Then, gently scrub away any leftover food with a paper towel or a clean, dry cloth.

The salt acts like magic, gently removing stubborn residues without harming the pan. You can trust this method because experts recommend it. After scrubbing, rinse the pan with hot water, and voila! Your pan will be as good as new.

Embrace the joy of cooking with a sparkling clean cast-iron pan, and enjoy your culinary adventures!

Soap Method

Cleaning cast-iron cookware using the soap method has been debated among cooking enthusiasts. Some people worry that using soap may harm the seasoning on the pan, but don’t worry; you can safely use soap if you follow these easy steps.

Apply a small amount of soap to the pan’s surface, and gently scrub away any food residue using a sponge or soft-bristled brush.

After scrubbing, rinse the pan with hot water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel. This method is acceptable and keeps your cookware in great condition!

Remember, proper care is crucial to maintain your cast-iron pan’s quality, and this soap method can be a part of your regular cleaning routine without any worries.

So, use this method to keep your beloved cast-iron cookware shining and ready to cook delicious meals!

Oil Method

Keeping your cast-iron cookware clean is easy with the oil method. Gently pour oil on the pan’s surface and use a paper towel or a dry cloth to scrub off any leftover food. The oil works its magic by loosening the stuck-on bits, making them a breeze to get rid of.

Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse the pan with hot water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel. Your cast-iron cookware will stay in great shape, and you’ll enjoy cooking with it even more! Happy cooking!

Maintenance Tips Cast-Iron Cookware


Proper storage is vital to ensure your cast-iron cookware stays in excellent condition. Let’s go over some simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure It’s Dry: Before storing your cookware, make sure it’s completely dry. Moisture can lead to rust formation, which we want to avoid.
  • Choose a Dry Spot: Store your cast-iron cookware in a dry location, away from any moisture or humidity. This will help maintain its quality and prevent any unwanted damage.
  • Avoid Stacking Directly: It’s best to avoid stacking your cast-iron pieces directly on top of each other. This practice can harm the seasoning and reduce its effectiveness.
  • Use Protective Layers: If you must stack your cookware, place a paper towel or cloth between each piece. This simple step will safeguard the seasoning and keep your cookware in top-notch condition.

Remember, by following these easy storage guidelines, you’ll keep your cast-iron cookware happy and ready to deliver delicious meals for a long time!


To keep your cast-iron cookware in great shape, seasoning is the key! Seasoning means creating a non-stick surface on the cast iron by putting a layer of oil and heating it.

It’s easy to do, and here are some helpful tips to make it even better:

  • Use unsalted, flavorless oil like vegetable oil or flaxseed oil.
  • Apply a thin layer of oil to the cookware using a paper towel.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F and put the cookware upside down on the middle rack.
  • Bake it for an hour, then turn off the oven and let it cool down completely before taking out the cookware.

Following these steps, well-seasoned and non-stick cast-iron cookware will be ready to make your cooking experiences even more delightful!

Conclusion – How To Clean Cast-Iron Cookware

Caring for your cast-iron cookware is easier than you might think, and with some simple steps, you can keep it in excellent condition for a long time. Let’s go through the process together!

Firstly, cleaning your cast-iron cookware is essential. Just wash it by hand with a small amount of soap and a pan scraper to remove any stuck-on food. For tricky bits, try simmering a little water for 3-5 minutes to loosen them up.

Next, make sure to dry the cookware thoroughly to prevent rust. You can do this by placing it on the stovetop over low heat or in the oven set to 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

Once it’s dry, it’s time to season the cookware. This means adding a thin layer of oil to the surface and heating it in the oven for an hour. This will create a non-stick surface and protect the cookware from rust.

Proper storage is also essential. Keep your cast-iron cookware in a dry place and avoid stacking it with other cookware, as this could cause scratches and damage to the seasoning.

Overall, taking care of your cast-iron cookware is a straightforward process requiring only a few essential tools and techniques. By following these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of cooking with cast iron for many years. Happy cooking!