How to Clean and Take Care of Your Cast Iron Pans

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The right kind of cast iron cookware tips to keep cast iron pans ready for decades of use.

Do you cook with cast iron

I love cooking with cast iron cookware! It’s economical, naturally non-stick, and is super versatile. Cast iron can easily be used on the stove, oven, outdoor grill, or campfire. With these cast iron cooking tips, your cookware can last for many decades.

You’ll soon see it’s actually not that difficult! 

1. Wash cast iron by hand, not in the dishwasher.

Simply wipe food out of the pan, and rinse with warm water in the sink while using a scrub brush or sponge. Wipe clean right after cooking (while food is still warm) instead of waiting until the food is caked on and crusted.

2. Use coarse salt to scrub away stuck on food particles.

Try scrubbing any stubborn food particles with coarse salt, which can be even more effective than soap. You can, however, use a small amount of dish soap if needed, according to

3. Dry your cast iron pans immediately.

To avoid rusting, don’t let your cast iron cookware sit to drip dry. Make sure to use a towel to hand dry completely.

4. Rub with cooking oil to maintain seasoning.

After hand drying, pour in a little additional cooking oil and use a paper towel to rub the oil in and around your cast iron pot or pan. This will keep it naturally non-stick for your next use and prevents it from drying out. Hang or store your pan in a dry place.

NOTE: if your cast iron pot or pan becomes rusty or sticky, no worries! Re-season it again in the oven. Visit for more helpful tips.

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

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Comments 4

  1. Maite Cabrera

    I also read somewhere that once in a while you can even add a very very small amount of dish soap, like Mrs. Mayer’s. I have done it and as long as you keep it to once a month or even every 2 weeks, nothing will happen to the coating. When adding the oil to coat after drying I also put the pan on the stove on low temp for a few minutes and it’s as good as new or old 😂! Nothing sticks and for some reason meals taste so much better when cooked in cast iron.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for letting us know how you have been cleaning yours, Maite! Good to know!

  2. Joe

    You can actually add dish soap every time, and even Lodge confirms this. True seasoning does not come off from dish soap, it is hard and baked on. It is the same thing as the burnt on brown on baking trays that you can’t get off with dish soap or the burnt on brown and black in your oven that you need the self-cleaning cycle to remove

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Interesting! It does seem you can use a bit of dish soap if needed. Thanks for taking a moment to share with us! 🤗

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