Cast Iron Care.

Updated on September 15, 2014
M.C. asks from Louisville, KY
10 answers

I have started using cast iron skillets a lot. So far, I have been using my grandma's method to care for them... Which is to wash them in as little water as possible, absolutely no soap, dry on the stove, and oil.

I was at a friend's house, where she cooked us dinner in her cast iron, then proceeded to wash it submerged in soapy water like the other dishes.

Now I'm kind of curious how other people deal with their cast iron... I googled it to find out what the "correct" way to care for it is, but it seems like there is no one "right" way to do it, and is subjective to personal opinion.

What can I do next?

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answers from Las Vegas on

Soap, water, and a scrub brush. My parents used cast iron and that is almost the only thing I cook on.

It will not remove the seasoning and I have never had a complaint that someone tastes soap or anything odd.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Baton Rouge on

I have cast iron that belonged to my grandmother. I care for it the way she did. Wash in hot water, ABSOLUTELY NO SOAP. Burn dry on the stove. Reapply oil only if necessary. If they need to be oiled, I brush a little bit on while they are still hot.
Mine are so old and so well-cured that they almost never need to be oiled. They're almost as non-stick as Teflon.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I use a lot of cast iron and a few of my pieces are pieces that both of my Grandmother's used frequently.

I use soapy water, towel dry and them let it finish drying in the warm oven.

Personally, I just can't wipe clean and truly believe it is "clean" without washing or having some food residue that I do not want sitting in my cabinets.

You are correct in saying there is no "correct" way to clean it. It is simple personal choice and what is right for me.

I am picky about my cleaning methods... just like washing my denim too, LOL I can't imagine wearing dirty jeans or cooking in a pan that potentially has residue from the last time I cooked.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If you scrub it up with soap and water, then you have to cure it again every time you do that.
In my mind, the least water used, the better.
I know someone who cleans their cast iron stuff in the self-cleaning cycle of their oven.
Just choose a method that works best for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I like to wash mine too. It just seems creepy to not wash dishes then use them again...

I dry them on the stove then put them in the cold oven and just leave them there until I cook again in them.

When they are super gunky I use oil and salt. That works like a scrubber. Then I wipe off the oil.

When I was a housemom we used cast iron pans. The guys would scrub them out the heat them very hot on the fire. Then spray them with non stick spray. Then left them there to cool.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

I have a few. I don't submerge, but I do use minimal soap when I've let it sit long enough for the food to dry on. I towel-dry and set on the fire, rubbing in oil like lotion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lawton on

I wash them with soap and water. Dry them and then oil them to stop the rusting. That is it. Cast iron is the only frying pans I use.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I grew up with cast iron. Putting them in dish soap was a no-no.

When I clean mine, I will often put water in them while they are still warm, just to loosen up anything on it. I'll wash it in hot water with a plastic scrubber and a washcloth.

If there's stuff that won't come off, then I'll dry it, put in a couple tablespoons of oil and a couple tablespoons of kosher salt (the granules are nice and big) and will scrub it with a wrung-out dishcloth. The salt will scrub the stuff off nicely, just a little elbow grease. Then I rinse it well in very hot water, dry it, and put it on a warm burner for a few minutes to get it very dry to avoid rust.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

M., I have cooked with cast iron for years , never used water or soap,
A good scrubby, Sea Salt and paper towels, final wipe down with veg oil
( now) Coconut oil , found in the Hispanic section. If cast iron is ever put in water, you have to re-season it and put in the oven. I also store them in a large plastic tub with cover in my pantry, this keeps them dust free.


answers from St. Louis on

The thought of soap grossed me out. That soap would make your next meal taste soapy. Well unless you scrub out all the seasoning but then that would defeat the purpose of having a cast iron anything.

I thought you cured meat and seasoned cast iron. Not saying I am right since this is my husband's realm. I just know he screams like a girl if I try to go to the sink with one of his skillets.

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