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Don't Toss Out Your Cast Iron Skillet—Here's How to Clean It So It Lasts for Years

Your pans can last for years with proper care. Learn how to clean a cast iron skillet like a pro.

how to clean a cast iron pan
Written by
Riley Baker
So you've got your favorite cast iron skillet. It's been your trusty sidekick through countless breakfast sessions, hearty dinners, and even some experimental midnight snacks. But lately, it's been looking a little, well, worn out.
Before you consider tossing it out and contributing to our ever-growing
landfill problem
, hold on! What if we told you that renewing your beloved pan is as simple as understanding how to clean a cast iron skillet the right way? 

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Stuff

how to clean a cast iron pan
Being more sustainable always starts with keeping what you already own around as long as possible, and that includes our
kitchen essentials
. Giving your cast iron skillet a little TLC with the proper cleaning techniques not only benefits your bank account (no rebuying here!) but also allows you to reduce the amount of waste you're contributing to landfills.
So, how do you clean a cast iron skillet so it looks and feels brand new? Stay tuned as we break it down into manageable steps.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Now, let's get to the crux of the matter—how to clean a cast iron skillet so it looks brand-new. It's a lot easier than you think.
First, gather your cleaning materials. Don't worry, we're not talking about heavy-duty chemicals or industrial-strength scrubbers. A few simple kitchen staples will do. Then, follow the instructions below.

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What You'll Need

• Non-metal brush or sponge
• Kosher salt
• Vegetable oil
• Soft cloth or
reusable paper towels


1. Using a spatula, carefully scrape off any loose food into
your compost bin
2. While the pan is still hot, carefully scrub it with a non-metal brush or sponge. Don't use soap, as this will strip the seasoning from the cast iron skillet. (One of the things that makes it so special!)
3. If there's stuck-on food that's hard to remove, utilize the salt. By working it into the pan with a dry towel, you can remove any stubborn pieces.
4. Rinse the skillet under warm water then dry it off with a cloth.
5. Using a cloth or reusable paper towel, apply a light coating of oil to the pan to re-season it.
There you have it—a perfectly-cleaned and re-seasoned cast iron skillet that's ready for your next cooking adventure. Next up, learn
how to clean stainless steel pans