How can I clean an old iron skillet?

  7 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Apr 04, 2019

    Hi Jo, here's a youtube video on how to restore your skillet:

    Hope that helps, happy spring!

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Apr 04, 2019

    Seasoning it after cleaning and periodically, is important.

  • Em Em on Apr 04, 2019


    1. Remove all the rust: Use fine steel wool to remove rust from affected areas. Scour the skillet until the area returns to raw cast iron.
    2. Wash the skillet thoroughly: Wash the cast iron with warm water and mild dish soap. Scrub with bristle brush, gentle scouring pad, or mesh sponge if needed.
    3. Dry the skillet: Thoroughly dry the cast iron immediately with a clean dish towel or paper towels.
    4. Cover the pan with a coating of oil: Apply a small amount of vegetable oil (or cooking oil of choice) to the entire piece.
    5. Don’t forget the bottom and handle: When oiling, don’t forget the bottom and handle. Use only a small amount to avoid a sticky surface.
    6. Place the pan in the oven: Place the cast iron upside down on the top rack of your oven. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any oil drips. Heat the cast iron for one hour at 350°F.
    7. Let the pan cool before using: Turn off heat, let cast iron cool, then get back to cooking!

  • Sharon Sharon on Apr 04, 2019

    I agree with Em's directions above except #4, I never use oil, it remains sticky and collects dust. I always use either suet, lard or the fat off salt pork slab. Just cut up pieces and put in the pan in the oven, then use a pastry or silicon brush to wipe all over the pan as it melts in the oven right side up. I let it stay in the over at 200 degrees for hours adding bits of the fat periodically. It will turn black after hours. I usually do this over a couple days to make sure its well seasoned and won't rust.

  • Hi Jo - This is a great tutorial on how to clean, season, and care for cast iron skillets. Hope it helps! Hugs, Holly

  • Russ Clay Russ Clay on Apr 05, 2019

    To start with a new one; simply toss it in your campfire to burn off all scale, wash then season...

  • Lucy McPherson Lucy McPherson on Apr 05, 2019

    I have been using mine for years and once you get the rust off, it will stay away as long as you keep it seasoned with olive oil after each use and keep it in a dry place like your oven. I have never done the upside down thing like others have told you and do not find that part necessary. Cooking in a cast iron pan gives you a healthy iron in your blood and should be used for many foods. Enjoy