While searching on the internet about how to clean cast iron cookware you probably have seen plenty of lists. But this post has got the best to list keep your cookware clean, rust-free, well-seasoned, and long-lasting.

Cooking in modern cookware like cast-iron skillet or pan is just a breeze. But when your food is burnt, the cleaning becomes a big headache. This type of cookware has its own cleaning methods that if followed correctly, ensure best results.

The best and simplest way to clean the cast iron cookware is to use dish soap and a cast iron pad or cleaning brush. Rub it, wash it, wipe it, dry it, season it with edible oil and at last cover it and stack up. It may sound easy but removing food deposits without harming the surface is a big task. Let’s dig out the best cleaning methods.

How To Clean Cast Iron Cookware First Time

Few cast iron cookware come pre-seasoned and are ready to use. In that case, you are only required to wash your cookware before using it.

Basic cleaning steps for fresh cast iron cookware are mentioned below:

  • Take water and a soft sponge to clean the skillet or pan
  • Next, use mild dish liquid and scrub the cookware gently
  • Wipe it and hang it to dry it
  • In the last step, cover the cookware and stack it up

Now, if you want to re-season the cookware, the following steps you need to perform:

  • Pat edible oil all over the cookware. Next, put it on the flame and heat the cookware under low to medium flame for 5-6 minutes
  • After that, turn off the stove and let the skillet or pan cool down completely
  • In the last step, use a soft cloth or tissue paper to take away the excess oil

Tada! Your cookware is all ready!

Essential steps on how to remove basic or tough residue from cast iron cookware

  • Sprinkle half a cup or 3-4 tablespoons of coarse-ground salt onto the bottom of the cookware. The salt is a good cleaning agent, it will act as a mild abrasive to clean and polish the iron cookware without damaging it. In an alternative option, you can use baking soda to loosen out the burnt-on residue stains
  • Next, drizzle 1–2 cups of water to form a thick paste. Ensure it should have the right consistency. Over watery paste won't do an effective cleaning
  • Now, scrub the pan with a soft sponge or cast iron cleaning brush or folded towel. Use firm pressure and tight circular motions onto the surface of the pan to grind away solidified foods and any residue
  • After this, the next step includes rinsing the cookware thoroughly with hot water. Avoid using tap or cold water as cold water won't do a good job of dissolving and flushing out the salt and other substances. You can repeat this step as many times as it takes to do away with the last of the salt paste, along with any food residue it helped to loosen
  • The last step involves drying and re-seasoning the cookware. Dry the cookware including its bottom surface, rim, and handles with a dry towel
  • The additional step to remove any remaining moisture is to warm the cookware over a low flame. Lastly, it is required to be re-seasoned
  • Rub a few drops of oil into the pan’s surface to keep it seasoned. Ensure you are re-oiling your skillet or pan every time you clean. After performing all these steps, store your cookware in a dry place

What should you not clean cast iron with?

  • Never soak cast iron cookware in water for a long duration
  • Never store the pan until it dries up completely. Storing a skillet while it's still wet can damage its surface and makes it prone to rust
  • One of the biggest mistakes few people commit is using the same skillet for both savory and sweet dishes
  • Don’t get lazy to clean the skillet after every use. Wash skillet after every use
  • The next biggest thing is that you should never cook acidic or high smelly foods like garlic, fish, stinky cheese, tomatoes, etc. in cast iron cookware as they don’t react well in iron cookware
  • Never forget to re-season your cookware and it's crucial when your skillet’s smooth seasoning begins to chip off
  • Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan's seasoning

These are the best tips one should follow along with the don’ts of how to clean cast iron cookware for their comprehensive protection.

Have anything to share? Pour in your suggestions in the comments section below.