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How to Clean Cast Iron Cookware

We'll teach you how to clean Lodge cast iron in three simple steps.

3-Step Cast Iron Cleaning Method

Step 1


Wash your cast iron cookware by hand. You can use a small amount of soap. If needed, use a pan scraper for stuck on food. For stubborn, stuck-on food, simmer a little water for 3-5 minutes, then use the scraper after the pan has cooled. Our Seasoning Care Kit has everything you need to wash and care for cast iron the right way.

Step 2


Dry promptly and thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. If you notice a little black residue on your towel, it's just seasoning and is perfectly normal.

Step 3


Rub a very light layer of cooking oil or Seasoning Spray onto the surface of your cookware. Use a paper towel to wipe the surface until no oil residue remains.

Whether you have a seasoned cast iron skillet, a Dutch oven, a grill pan, or bakeware, each piece of our cast iron cookware follows the exact same steps for cleaning.


Cast Iron Cleaning FAQs

No! Soaking cast iron in water is a recipe for rust. If you need to remove sticky or stubborn stuck-on food, use a nylon scrubbing brush or a pan scraper and rinse under warm water. Be sure to thoroughly dry your pan.

Note: If you do accidentally leave your pan in water for too long and it develops rust, don't panic! With a little extra care, you can remove the rust and continue using your cast iron cookware.

Contrary to popular belief, you can use a small amount of soap to clean cast iron cookware! Large amounts of soap can strip the seasoning off your pan, but you can easily re-season your pan as needed.

No! We recommend using a pan scraper or the Lodge Chainmail Scrubber to remove any stuck-on residue.

We only recommend using steel wool or a metal scrubber to remove rust before reseasoning.

No. Our cast iron cookware should be washed by hand. A dishwasher will remove the seasoning and likely cause rust. For dishwasher-safe cookware, check out our heat-treated serveware.

How to Clean and Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Pan

Step 1


Scour the rusty pan with warm, soapy water and steel wool. It's okay to use soap since you are preparing to re-season the cookware. Rinse and hand dry thoroughly.

Step 2


Apply a very thin, even layer of cooking oil to the cookware (inside and out). If you use too much oil, your cookware may become sticky.

Step 3


Place the cookware in the oven upside down on the top rack. Place a large baking sheet or aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any excess oil that may drip off the cookware. Bake at 450-500 degrees F for one hour. Allow to cool and repeat as necessary to achieve the classic black patina.

While maintaining the seasoning should keep your cast iron in good condition, accidents happen and your pan may develop rust. If it's just a few rusty spots, simply scour the rust, rinse, dry, and rub with a little vegetable oil. If the rust problem persists, follow our directions below to refurbish the finish of your cast iron cookware.

Still have questions?

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