deep clean cast iron pan

How to Clean Cast Iron

Wondering how to deep clean a cast iron skillet? Discover methods to remove rust, reseason, and deep clean cast iron with our natural products & tips!

Written by Tenley Haraldson.


Whether used in an oven or over a campfire, cast iron is one of the most versatile cooking tools. And when you know hot to deep clean cast iron correctly, it should last for generations.

To sear, bake, and fry to your heart's content, discover the best way to clean cast iron skillets, Dutch ovens, and other pans.

5 Reasons Why Is Cast Iron So Great

how to deep clean a cast iron skillet

Cast iron is great at absorbing oils and fats. Often referred to as "seasoning", this shiny-looking, non-stick surface enhances the taste of food while preventing rust formation. 

1. You Won't Scratch Them

Most non-stick pans can’t be used with metal utensils. Feel free to use whatever utensils you’d like with cast iron. 

2. Cooks More Evenly

Because this material heats more evenly, you’re less likely to see “hot spots” (or scorch marks). 

3. Heat Resistant

how do you clean cast iron

From stove tops to ovens to campfires, cast iron withstands incredible temperatures. And because they also retain heat, your pan can keep food warmer long after it's been removed from the heat source. 

4. Virtually Indestructible

Any aficionado recommends against washing your pans regularly. Most of the time, a quick wipe down – while it's still warm – is good enough..

5. Don't Require Regular Washing

Any aficionado would recommend against washing your pans regularly. Most of the time, you can get by with a quick wipe down while it's still warm.

Note: Battling tough food stains? Fill your pan with water and boil it before applying elbow grease.

How to Season Cast Iron

cleaning iron skillet

Are flavors getting funky? Do you notice a dull or rusty surface? Deep cleaning your cast iron  – and seasoning it will ensure a smoother cooking surface. 

  1. Softly scrub the pan with some water and a drop of dish soap. A washcloth should work just fine.
  2. Rinse and dry your pan with a microfiber clothDrop 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or lard into it.
  3. Using a paper towel or rag, ensure that the entire surface is covered (don’t forget the handles and the bottom). 
  4. Turn the pan upside down, place aluminum foil underneath to catch any drips. Bake in a 350ºF (175ºC) oven for one hour.
  5. Once it cools, if your pan feels rough or sticky, repeat the process.

Note: Some cast iron pans already come seasoned, so check the packaging. If it's pre-seasoned, proceed with cooking.

How to Remove Rust from Cast Iron

can you soak a cast iron pan

Rusted cast iron may feel like it’s beyond fixing, but it’s actually simple to reseason:

  1. Apply some water, a drop of gentle dish soap, and a stiff-bristled scrub brush (or balled-up aluminum foil). 
  2. Scrub-a-dub.
  3. Rinse all of the gunk and goop out of the pan.
  4. Before cooking, season your pan (using the tips above).

How to Keep Cast Iron Pan in Great Shape

how do you clean cast iron

To ensure a longer lifespan (and to pass cast iron down to the next generation), there are a couple of cardinal rules to follow:

  1. Never soak a cast iron pan in water.
  2. Clean cast iron skillets after use, preferably while they're still warm.
  3. Dry after cleaning and add a thin layer of vegetable oil/lard before putting it away. 
  4. Struggling with sticky food? Simmer some water for 1-2 minutes before scrubbing.
  5. Stick to basics: You only need some vegetable oil and an occasional drop of dish soap.

Deep Clean Cast Iron with Puracy

how to clean a cast iron

Your kitchen cleaning routine deserves plant-based products that pack a serious punch. Not only does our Natural Dish Soap annihilate grease with its 99.41% formula, but it also leaves your hands incredibly moisturized without sulfates, petroleum-based ingredients, and synthetic fragrances.