How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet: A Comprehensive Guide


Greetings, Asensio. Cast iron skillet is a versatile kitchen essential that can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. However, cleaning it can be a daunting task, especially when you are not aware of the dos and don’ts. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning your cast iron skillet so that it remains in top condition for years to come.

What is a Cast Iron Skillet?

A cast iron skillet is a cooking pan made of cast iron. Cast iron skillets are known for their durability, versatility, and heat retention capabilities. Many people enjoy cooking with cast iron skillets because they add a unique flavor to the food, are easy to clean, and can be used on any cooking surface, including grills and campfires.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Cast Iron Skillet

Properly cleaning your cast iron skillet is essential to maintain its quality and longevity. If not cleaned correctly, your skillet may rust or become damaged, which can affect its cooking performance. Additionally, a dirty skillet can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Therefore, it is imperative to learn how to clean your cast iron skillet the right way.

What You Will Need

Before embarking on the cleaning process, gather the following items:

Items Description
Hot Water To rinse off any debris
Salt To help scrub off any tough stains
Vegetable Oil To season the skillet after cleaning
Paper Towels To dry the skillet and remove any excess oil
Stiff Brush To scrub off any stains or debris

How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet

Step 1: Let the Skillet Cool

After cooking, allow your skillet to cool completely before attempting to clean it. This is because hot water can damage the seasoning of the pan and cause it to rust.

Step 2: Rinse With Hot Water

Place your skillet under hot running water and rinse away any remaining food debris. Use a stiff brush to scrub off any stubborn stains. Do not use soap, as it can strip away the seasoning of the pan.

Step 3: Use Salt to Scrub Off Stains

If there are stubborn stains that cannot be removed with hot water alone, sprinkle a generous amount of salt onto the skillet. Use a stiff brush to scrub the salt into the stains, and then rinse it off with hot water. The abrasive nature of the salt will help remove any tough stains without damaging the skillet.

Step 4: Dry the Skillet Thoroughly

Use a paper towel to dry the skillet completely. Make sure there is no excess moisture left on the skillet, as this can cause it to rust.

Step 5: Apply Vegetable Oil

Use a paper towel to apply a thin layer of vegetable oil onto the skillet. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the skillet, including the handle. This will help prevent rust and keep your skillet seasoned.

Step 6: Store Your Skillet Properly

Store your skillet in a cool and dry place. Do not stack your skillets on top of each other, as this can cause them to scratch and damage the seasoning. Instead, store them separately with a paper towel in between each skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use soap to clean my cast iron skillet?

We do not recommend using soap to clean your cast iron skillet as it can strip away the seasoning. However, if you feel like you need to use soap, make sure to rinse it off thoroughly and re-season your skillet afterward.

2. How often should I clean my cast iron skillet?

It is recommended to clean your skillet after each use. This will prevent any food residues from getting baked on and becoming harder to clean later on.

3. Can I clean my cast iron skillet in the dishwasher?

No, you should not clean your cast iron skillet in the dishwasher as it can cause the skillet to rust and lose its seasoning.

4. Can I use steel wool to clean my cast iron skillet?

No, you should not use steel wool to clean your cast iron skillet as it can scratch the surface and cause the seasoning to wear off.

5. Can I soak my cast iron skillet in water?

No, you should not soak your cast iron skillet in water as it can cause it to rust. However, if you need to soak it, make sure to dry it thoroughly afterward and re-season it.

6. Can I use any type of oil to season my skillet?

You can use any type of oil that has a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil.

7. How do I know when my skillet needs to be re-seasoned?

If your skillet is looking dull or has started to rust, it’s time to re-season it. You can also try the water test. Splash a few drops of water on the skillet, and if it beads up and dances across the surface, then it’s properly seasoned. If it soaks in, it’s time to re-season.


In conclusion, cleaning your cast iron skillet is an easy process if you know the right steps to follow. Properly maintaining your skillet can ensure its longevity and optimal performance, while also preventing any potential health hazards. We hope that this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to clean your cast iron skillet. Remember to follow the steps outlined and store your skillet properly to keep it in top condition.

Take Action Now

If you haven’t cleaned your cast iron skillet lately, now is the time to do so. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to ensure your skillet remains in top condition.


The information provided in this guide is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional before attempting any new cleaning techniques on your cast iron skillet.