How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet (Don’t Damage It)

Learn how to clean a cast-iron skillet the right way. Doing so, you’ll be able to use it for a long time and maintain its quality.

Staub cast-iron skillet.

Steps to clean a cast-iron skillet

Properly caring for a cast-iron skillet ensures that it lasts and serves you well. What separates it from other pans, such as non-stick or stainless steel, is the process of seasoning.

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When it comes to cleaning a cast-iron skillet, there are two ways to look at it. Some people think that you should clean it, while others may say that you only need to wipe it.

Regardless of which side you’re on, knowing how to clean it will come in handy. Take the following steps to clean your cast-iron skillet:

How to clean a cast-iron skillet

Total Time: 2 minutes

Rinse your cast-iron skillet.

Immediately after use, you need to rinse it with water.

Use a non-abrasive brush to remove food.

Be gentle when you’re scrubbing your skillet because you may remove the pan’s seasoning.

Dry your skillet.

Use a paper towel or lint-free cloth.

Season it.

Use a paper towel to apply a light coat of oil.

If you need to use a little bit of dish soap, it’s not the end of the world. Just make sure you’re using a mild and gentle soap, which ensures that you won’t damage your skillet.

Frequently asked questions

What does seasoning do?

Seasoning your cast-iron skillet prevents rust, food from sticking, and makes it easier to clean.

How can I remove rust from a cast-iron pan?

Scrubbing with steel wool and soap is the best way to remove rust. Once you do, be sure to maintain it well.

Can I soak my cast-iron pan?

No, avoid soaking it because it’ll get rusty.


Overall, cast-iron is a durable and valuable piece of cookware. Proper cleaning and care will give you years of usage. Keeping your cast-iron skillet well-seasoned is a must-do after your clean it.

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Featured image courtesy of Williams Sonoma.

Portrait of David Em.

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