Asked on Apr 13, 2014

How can I clean the crud off my cast iron skillet? You can see that

by Louise

I've scraped and scraped and made a mess. How do I clean off my cast iron sillet?

  75 answers
  • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on Apr 13, 2014
    When mine looked like that I placed it in a campfire and burned it clean, then seasoned it. I did this several times which was more than the skillet could take and after a few years of these treatments the skillet handle fell off :(
  • Louise Louise on Apr 13, 2014
    Ooooh, I don't want that to happen!
  • Patti Biggar Patti Biggar on Apr 13, 2014
    My dad did a similar thing with our iron skillets growing up. We had a burn barrel and he would put them in that to burn off the crud.
  • Debbie R Debbie R on Apr 13, 2014
    You can not fix this. Once you have a good finish on a cast iron pan, you want to leave it on there. Clean them right after you use them, but never scrape the finish off. It's best not to wash them in a dishwasher also. Do you know how to season a cast iron pan? If not I can help with that.
  • Lori J Lori J on Apr 13, 2014
    I have read that spraying them thoroughly with oven cleaner and the then sealing in a garbage bag for a couple of days will help.
  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Apr 13, 2014
    I put them in the oven when I am doing the self-cleaning cycle.
  • Linda Stone Linda Stone on Apr 13, 2014
    Shouldn't scrape it off. I don't know if that's ruined or not. If I ever have anything stuck on mine, I add a little water and heat it up as I scrape with a spatula. Food comes off, but the black finish remains.
  • Louise Louise on Apr 13, 2014
    This one is still usable -- I use it several times a week -- but thought it should look better. If I season it, will it look any different? I never put it in the dishwasher, BTW. Not sure how to season it, so info would be great.
  • Darla Darla on Apr 13, 2014
    I put a little plain water in it and scrub with a plastic scrubbie, rinse and dry well, then put some salt in it to scrub with that. Sometimes the water will dissolve off gunk that you can't get off by scraping. After it's completely dry you will need to oil it again. It looks like you will be able to use it again. To season it, you just coat it with oil and heat it in the oven.
  • R.V.R. Farris R.V.R. Farris on Apr 13, 2014
    Facebook has a page devoted to Cast Iron restoring, here's the link-
  • Louise Louise on Apr 13, 2014
  • Annie Annie on Apr 13, 2014
    BEST site I've ever found for reconditioning & re-seasoning cast iron cookware
  • Joan Joan on Apr 13, 2014
    i love my cast iron cookware and have quite a few pieces. when i started gathering the cookware I didnt know how to clean it and i did a lot of silly things to it that i will never admit to. what i do now, though, is much better and lots easier-the problem with build up is almost always not having the right temp for cooking, so stuff sticks. if you see your food is sticking, use your wooden spoon to stir & scrape. after you've cooked and you've let the pan cool, you can use a thin plastic scrubber [i have a tupperware scraper[for about 40 years] that i use-being sure you pan is cool, empty all your waste and scrape run under water-no soap -rinse and dry. when dry spray lightly with Pam or a like product i wipe front and back w/a paper towel. it will look like shiny velvet and you will be able to use it, drain and wipe to clean it. less is more with cast iron. good luck joan
  • Lreg Lreg on Apr 13, 2014
    I would scrub my skillet with a steel wool pad. The SOS brand. Then I would wipe on some crisco, turn it upside down, place in oven and recure it according to website directions. I would not EVER put my skillet thru the self clean on my oven. I have skillets that my grandma used. Remember to NEVER use dawn dish washing detergent on your cast iron cookware.
  • Louise Louise on Apr 13, 2014
    I love the name of this site! I'll look at it now. Thanks.
    • Greta Swanson Greta Swanson on May 06, 2014
      @Louise If you are on Facebook look up a site called Hillbilly Cast iron Cooking. Trust me, I am on it. Some of the things posted on here you do not do! Go to the site or go to Lodge cast iron cookwares site.
  • Robin H Robin H on Apr 13, 2014
    Spray it with Easy Off Oven Cleaner, set it outside in the sun in a TIGHTLY wrapped trash bag for a couple days, then rinse it REALLY well. You will have to re-season it afterwards, but that should get everything off. OR, I've heard you can clean your cast iron thoroughly and then run it through the self-clean function on your stove/oven if you have one, but again you have to re-season. I "wash" mine with some plain water that I bring to a boil and then using a wooden spatula, scrape off any thick pieces of baked on stuff. Dump the 'dirty' boiled water out, then rinse with only water and do a mini-re-season on the stove top with shortening (lard really does work best for seasoning cast iron) and heat on high until it smokes, then turn off the heat and add another light coat of shortening. Hope one of those helps, or try here too
    • See 2 previous
    • Jay B Jay B on Apr 16, 2014
      @Robin H Actually, if you place any greasy messy pots or pans in a black plastic garbage bag, pour in a few cups of ammomia, tie and leave in the sun for a day or two, then rinse with a hose, all the gunk will slide off. Just be careful when opening the bag that you don't get a snout full of ammonia fumes.!
  • Louise Louise on Apr 13, 2014
    I love HomeTalk. I get so many great answers!!!
  • Kelley Kelley on Apr 13, 2014
    We clean ours by throwing them into a huge fire when we go camping, I have some handed down to me from my great grandma and I'm 63.
  • Louise Louise on Apr 13, 2014
    I'm not a camper, so won't work for me. :-)
    • See 1 previous
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 15, 2014
      @Louise My dad used to build a fire in the back yard and cook the skillets to clean them for Mom. I inherited a couple from her and they were as smooth as satin inside...the outside we did not worry about. A fire pit made by digging a shallow hole and then placing stones around it will work. Be sure and keep an eye on it. At 73, I bet some of my skillets are about 100 years old!
  • Juanell Hollingsworth Juanell Hollingsworth on Apr 13, 2014
    If you can't build a fire and then put pan in coals then the next best thing is the self cleaning oven. To season then cover entire pan, inside and out, with unsalted oil or shortening.
  • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on Apr 14, 2014
    I have read (haven't tried it yet) that sealing stove top grills in a plastic bag with a some ammonia and leaving it overnight softens burned on grease and it washes right off. The ammonia doesn't have to cover the object as the fumes do most of the work.
    • See 1 previous
    • Donna Shipley Donna Shipley on Jun 15, 2014
      @Barbara R Wow, glad I haven't tried it on my skillet. Works great on the burner grates. I won't use it on any cast iron cooking surfaces. Thanks.
  • Cindy tustin Cindy tustin on Apr 15, 2014
    at least once a year my skillets go into the ash of a brush fire. I fill each skillet with the ash and coals and push them into the coals. I am 66 yrs old and this is the method my grandmother showed me. I have skillets that are over a hundred yrs old and have always been cleaned this way. I have also used the ammonia for me doesn't clean like the fire. always season. I do recommend you check out web sites that tell you how to clean and care for cast iron.
  • Emily Moothart Emily Moothart on Apr 15, 2014
    If I have this happen, I boil water in the skillet to soften the crud. Then use steel wool to get everything removed. Usually have to reseason afterwards.
  • Lynne Lynne on Apr 15, 2014
    My husband uses his electric drill with a wire brush attachment. Fast and easy !
  • Kim Hudnall Richmond Kim Hudnall Richmond on Apr 26, 2014
    water and potato peelings.. or water and some apple peelings.. seer the peelings.. keep moving them in the skillet... then poor the water over... for a "deglaze" then boil a bit.. wash, dry properly, then reseason... one thing my grandmother and mother always said is to never ever use Brillo Pads/steel wool or anything harsh ...
  • Patty Patty on May 06, 2014
    My dad used to take my moms skillets outside and put lard or cooking oil in the skillets and set fire to them, then after they had cooled off mom would wash them dry them on the stove then coat them good with cooking oil and put them in the oven at 250 degree's for a couple of hours, and they were good for another five yrs. or so. I have one that is over a hundred yrs. old and I just season it every year, I have never had to burn it.
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Jun 03, 2014
    You never should use soap or Heaven forbid using a soap pad on cast iron.Will cause rust.My Grandmother would take the skillet outside and scour with sand,rinse with water, coat with lard and bake until real dry. Never any rust problem.Do not put in dishwasher!!!
    • See 2 previous
    • Irene Irene on Jun 29, 2014
      @Shirley Hendrix Weber i have always washed my cast iron with soap and water too. i don't like the idea of cooking in a skillet that hasn't been washed. i do the same as you shirley. when the skillet is dry and still hot i put a little olive oil in it and rib it all around and wipe off any excess oil and put it away. there is only problem i have had is with my old 8 in" skillet that is at least 100 years old. my mother in law gave it to me when i was first married and it was old then. that was about 60 years ago. it has a lot of crud on the out side. i keep thinking there must be a way to get it off but then again maybe it's a good thing to just leave it alone.
  • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on Jun 03, 2014
    One thing that will take off rust is to cut a potato in half and use salt to scour the rust places .a friend of mine gave me a lid and that was how I cleaned it up then oil it and stick in oven.
    • Barbara R Barbara R on Jun 15, 2014
      @Marlene Wilson Put some kosher salt on that potato, it works wonders, cleans and leaves no aftertaste!
  • Sarah Johnson Sarah Johnson on Jun 15, 2014
    Burn it off, then keep it seasoned add oil and let cook in oven and when u wash it set it on the stove with burner on to dry it but be careful, also recently learned and tried it that save the ends of your onions when you cut one up and then use the onion ends to clean your grill top, make work on the cast iron too
  • Dena Adden Dena Adden on Jun 15, 2014
    Any thing I have burnt on I have put to soak with a Bounce dryer sheet, really hot water and dawn. Let it soak and then wipe it out with the dryer sheet and then wash as usual. May take a couple of attempts.
    • See 3 previous
    • Irene Irene on Jun 29, 2014
      @Lynda Chevalier not luck it has worked for me for at least 60 years.
  • Meem Kaplan Meem Kaplan on Jun 15, 2014
    Soap in non-stick pans or plastic beverage holders will do the same and it is an awful taste and smell to deal with. I am going to do the burn thing with my skillet as the outside of it is getting a bit thick... Thanks for sharing this and all suggestions!
    • Irene Irene on Jun 29, 2014
      @Meem Kaplan for dealing with bad smell just put some baking soda and water in whatever has the bad smell and let soak an hour or so. rinse well and the smell will be gone. i have always put my non stick skillets in the dish washer.
  • Mila S Mila S on Jun 16, 2014
    Sounds like your skillet needs to be scoured really good & then reseasoned. Instead of putting them in the oven, we put them in the BBk. That way your kitchen doesn't get all heated up.
    • See 3 previous
    • Judy Adams Judy Adams on Jul 06, 2014
      I choose natural Olive oil over any manufactured oil any time, to season my precious old cast iron pan. Be sure to dry the pan over a burner and when dry ,wipe with a good olive oil. If you use the pan regularly there will be no build up and the oil will not spoil in the pan like shortening or have a sticky build up like cooking oil .Never use corn oil to wipe in the pan it has the worst build up of all .
  • Sheila Conlon Sheila Conlon on Jun 16, 2014
    Never never never use soap on cast iron!!! Warm the skillet with water to loosen any removable particles. Then agree with @Sarah Johnson you have to re-season your pan. My cast iron skillet is over 100 years old and my mom's husband "scrubbed" clean and we lost all that seasoning. The whole reason you season the pan is mainly for non-stick properties.
  • Deanna Rinker Deanna Rinker on Jun 21, 2014
    I use straight white vinegar to remove rust, I use a copper scour pad, no soap, after just rinse and re-season. but what you have in the picture is broken seasoned crud. soaking in vinegar and boiling water will loosed so you can scour it out. fire can cause your pan to warp, so I do not recommend that method.
    • Judy Adams Judy Adams on Jul 06, 2014
      @Deanna Rinker Thanks for your comment. I have a rusty cast iron pan i bought at a yard sale for a dollar and wondered if i could clean out the layers of rust . Now i know i can with your suggestion .
  • Pat Pat on Jun 28, 2014
    I have heard for the crud on the outside of a cast iron fry pan use Easy Off Oven Cleaner. That is ONLY on the outside. I have never had crud on the inside... I just put a little (tiny bit) dish soap and water in the sink....wash it lightly and dry it. Have you used your fry pan on an open camp fire?
  • Shirley Hendrix Weber Shirley Hendrix Weber on Jun 29, 2014
    I could never cook in something that had not been cleaned , all the taste from what had been cooked in it would still linger , it just makes me sick to think of cooking in a unwashed pan
    • See 2 previous
    • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Sep 25, 2014
      @Shirley Hendrix Weber Agree - I don't like unwashed. I do what my Mother did. Scrub it in hot soapy water after use, rinse, and then dry on low heat on the stove element. Then I usually, not always, put a little oil on a paper towel and wipe it to remove the black stuff that usually is there. Never had any problem with rust.
  • Darla Darla on Jun 30, 2014
    Shirley - If you have been cooking something strongly flavored, all you have to do is wash the pan out with water only, and dry it with paper towels. If that's not good enough, maybe you should use stainless steel pans or you will be scrubbing with salt and reseasoning every time you use your cast iron.
  • Patty Patty on Jun 30, 2014
    My cast iron skillet is well over a hundred yrs. old and I never use soap on it I just rinse and wipe. If I have food stuck on it (very rarely happens) I put water in it and bring it to a boil on the stove, then turn it off and let it sit for thirty min, then just use plain steel wool no soap it comes right off then dry it on the stove and while it is still hot I pour a little oil in it and rub it in with a paper towel and that is it. it is good to go. I do all kinds of cooking in my cast iron, from roast to cornbread to pineapple upside down cake. Once they are well seasoned and well cared for the right way they are wonderful and never let you down. My skillet doesn't have any odors from food cooked in it.
  • Beverly S Beverly S on Jun 30, 2014
    I burn mine off in my fireplace or when we are at the lake in the fire pit ,you can also take them to a machine shop and have them sand blast it clean and tell them NO OIL AT ALL JUST CLEAN when you get them back they look new and you can oil them your self with what you want
  • Joyce Galloway Parker Joyce Galloway Parker on Jun 30, 2014
    When mine became caked on like that, I just burned if off on my gas barbeque grill. Just turn the flames up high, let it set on the fire till burned off, then let cool gradually. Never try to speed up the cooling process, or it can warp or even crack in two. After it's cool, scrub with steel wool (not the kind with soap), then apply a thin coating of vegetable oil or shortening and place in a warm oven for about an hour.
  • Terry Terry on Jul 01, 2014
    The credit for this idea goes to my brother-in-law, John, this is what happened. My son and his girlfriend were fixing breakfast. After frying potatoes in the skillet, they left it on the stove with a plastic kitchen utensil in the skillet, and the burner on (of course). After the meltdown, and the smell, it was discovered. The plastic popped out of the skillet, but it left a residue. I did not want to use the skillet for cooking, and as it a really good skillet, did not want to throw it away. Nothing took out the residue. John looked at the skillet, thought for a few minutes and said "Do you have a self-cleaning oven?" Bottom line: I put the skillet on the oven rack, upside down, and ran the oven-clean cycle. The skillet came out looking brand new, it had to be seasoned, but my skillet is back -- and it cleaned off the residue on the bottom, too.
  • Elizabeth Poteat Elizabeth Poteat on Jul 06, 2014
    Looks like you are going to have burn this pan to get rid of the scales it has developed and I would do that in either a Charcoal grill or a gas grill and then after it cools some, reseason it with either bacon grease or rub it well with a piece of fat back. That seasons better than any of the oils on the market now. My mother in law always said it was the salt in the pork that make it season better.
  • Patricia Yorker Patricia Yorker on Jul 07, 2014
    when I was a little girl my Mother took our pans like that and put them in the out door fire place and burned the crud off then reseasoned
    • Kelley Kelley on Aug 19, 2014
      We still clean ours that way, I have some that belonged to my grandma and I am 64 years young. These skillets are used daily and all my kids and grand kids are fighting to be named in our will as the new owners!
  • Lynne Sedgewick Lyon Lynne Sedgewick Lyon on Jul 16, 2014
    I simmer water with about 1/4 cup of baking soda for about 30 minutes. Mess will scrape right off.
  • Carol Carol on Jul 18, 2014
    Use a steel wool pad and ashes from the fireplace. Wet the steel wool, dip in the ashes, then scrub the pan. Make sure the ashes are from real wood.
  • Phillip Williams Phillip Williams on Aug 17, 2014
    The "crud" on the outside is not a problem. (It's called character) However, since you have started, you can finish it easily with a wire brush. I like to use a wire wheel in a drill or drill press to make it easier. Re-season the entire pan when you are finished. I have used cast iron cookware for fifty years or more. You just can't beat it!
  • Jessie Jessie on Aug 17, 2014
    If you have a self cleaning oven put the pan in the oven when you clean the oven, in years gone by my mother used to put her pan in the burning trash barrel. Don't forget to re season the pan .
  • Melissa B Melissa B on Aug 17, 2014
    Salt and a hard brush usually work for me. I have several pans that we use and the best are the ones we take care of and use the most. Nothing sticks to them, they are like teflon, but can take higher heat and cook more evenly. I have had a huge Dutch oven rust on me once on a rainy camping trip. after a steel wool scrub (no soap), the seasoning started.... shortening layers over and over... then cook up a bunch of bacon on the BBQ..... wipe it out.... scrub with salt again if you need to... heat up on the stove or bbq to dry it thoroughly... then wipe with oil or shortening again. not an easy task, but worth it. Soap on a cast iron pan... oh my goodness no.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 18, 2014
    I just spray with oven cleaner if they get too bad, and then reseason. Day to day, I do as my mother did. I wash in hot soapy water and use a brillo. I then rinse and set to dry on a stove element turned on low. You can then wipe with on a little oil using paper towel. Have never had a problem with sticking.
  • Lindsay Jackson Lindsay Jackson on Aug 26, 2014
    Put it in a fire, burn it well, then once cool wipe it down and season it
  • Annette C Annette C on Aug 26, 2014
    I clean mine in the oven when they get cakey looking. 450 for couple of hours or so, don't really keep track of how long I heat them. As they cool vibration breaks the build up off or you can Flash Cool them by putting them in room temperature water. That shrinks the molecules in the iron & release the debri. When I let it cool on it's own, I hit it lightly with a hammer & all the chunkys flake off... Basicly you just need to Burn off all the crud in a high heat, can take off years of baked on crud. I also use the boil water in the pan method with stuck foods, I never use soap on cast iron.
  • Put in a plastic dish pan, submerge completely in apple cider vinegar and soak for 24-48 hr. It may require a little steel wool, but should just rinse off. Wash with soap and water. Set on stovetop on med to hi heat for å few minutes to dry. When cool, take rag or paper towel and coat it with a cooking oil.
  • Kathleen Wallace Kathleen Wallace on Sep 24, 2014
    soak in hot water and baking soda and dish soap over night
  • Sharon Russell Sharon Russell on Sep 30, 2014
    My friend just brought me hers last week. Mine is like black glass and she wanted the same thing. My husband used a wire brush ( on the drill) and blasted off the inside and outside for her. I scrubbed the heck out of it, in hot sudsy water, gave it a light coat of Crisco, and heated it at 250 for about an hour. Wiped off the residue, gave it back to her, and now there is fried chicken going on at her house :) * Note, mine is from my Dad, I inherited it in 1977. He was born in 1904, made a living as a "drayage driver" in the 20's-30's, and used his cast iron in campfires. Mine is close to 90 years old and still good so don't ever give up on it.
  • Mary Rossell Mary Rossell on Oct 03, 2014
    Spray the skillet with oven cleaner and put in heavy plastic bag. Let it alone for about 10 days and check to see if all the sludge is loose. remove from bag and wash in hot soapy water and rinse well, then season your cast iron. Good luck. Mine turned out like new.
  • Lanie Twigg Lanie Twigg on Nov 21, 2014
    I agree with Lindsey Jackson. We would build a bonfire put the cast iron in fire. When cool, scrape off the crud. Then you have to re season them. Put cooking oil one lightly, put into warm oven for about an hour. When done wipe oil out. I was always told you shouldn't use soap on them but ????
  • Rosie Walsh Rosie Walsh on Nov 22, 2014
    Could this be placed in the fireplace with a good fire going? I keep the insides of my skillets in good shape. It's the crud that builds up on the outside that bothers me. The heat from the burners loosens it and leaves little black junk on the cook top. Love love my skillets. Use them for almost everything. Rosie
  • Terri Hull Pernosky Terri Hull Pernosky on Dec 04, 2014
    I was told never clean the outside, just the inside by my Grandma and Dad, They said that is what creates the great even temp. I do clean the inside without emerging, I have a variety of sizes, some inherited, some from second hand stores, none bought new.. If build up happens yes, the drill with wire brush. Grandma said we never had fancy soaps or time for that, she just put in a fire once a week to clean.
  • Linda J Linda J on Dec 25, 2014
    Check Pinterest. I found some wonderful remedies that worked well for me.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 27, 2014
    Never put harsh soap on cast iron..never clean the crud off of it to where you are removing the black coating.... you will have a rusty mess and your cast iron will be unusable without starting the seasoning again. I have my grandmother's and I am 66 years old, it is beautiful, black and awesome. I run very hot water over it , I never scour...I dry it in a warm oven. If it is seasoned properly food will not stick. You can use salt to rub over it to get off stuck food...then rinse. To season a cast iron skillet or pot rub with what we called is the salty fat of a pig..or with bacon grease ...and stick it in a fire...let it burn...bring it out, wipe it out..rub with the grease again and put it back in the fire. Let it burn. If you have messed up the inside you might need to burn it again. Always dry it in a oven, don't just tea towel dry will rust. A well seasoned cast iron skillet or pot is very non stick...the more it is used and seaoned the better it will be. Do not get the black off...that is what you want. After you have seasoned the cast iron well..each time you use it you just need to oil it, put it in the oven and wipe it out with a paper towel. Mine is way over 100 years grand mother brought it from Ireland with her...and it well could be older then that.
    • See 1 previous
    • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 28, 2014
      @Lois Gibbs Just oiling a skillet does not season it. It takes burning on the oil...if not all you do is wash it off again as soon as you run water over it. But then that is what I was taught as a young girl..60 something years ago. We always rubbed it with salted fat and put it in a bonfire...Every time you use it it should be oiled and then put in the over to dry... to replace any seasoning you might have washed off.. I guess every one has their own method, that was what I was taught...instead of the bonfire you can put in the oven and burn it..but that stinks and smokes.
  • Carol Carol on Dec 28, 2014
    Just took a set I inherited in to the local community college that had a sandblaster. They were in pretty bad shape inside and out. When I got them back they were clean and smooth. I wiped them down with a soft cloth and then seasoned them with unsalted lard smeared on in a thin coating, then baked in a 200 degree oven for 2 hours. Left to cool in the oven and repeated the process 2 more times. l did it once a day before bed. It may take more than 3 times to get it as non stick as you'd like. If you can't find the lard, use solid shortening, but it will wear off after a few washings and you'll have to do it again. Hope this helps.
  • Carol Carol on Dec 28, 2014
    Adding to my previous post: Do not allow water to touch your sandblasted pans until you have seasoned them properly.
  • Pam Tamayo Pam Tamayo on Dec 29, 2014
    Put on a grill and let it burn everything off. I did it with a cast iron pan that we found. Had crud and rust all over it and we burned it all off and oiled it. That was 12 years ago and I still use it to make tortillas
  • Rita Reid Rita Reid on Jan 12, 2015
    Grandma said you throw it in the fireplace and burn it off...then you reseason it with oil that has to be baked in
  • Judy T Judy T on Feb 10, 2015
    easiest way ever. I put mine in the oven when I do a self-cleaning mode. when the oven is finished, the crud just flakes off of the pans. Like brand spankin new. just need to season. I piled 3 or 4 in the oven. just set them on the bottom.
  • Colimbia1 Colimbia1 on Feb 10, 2015
    I put mine in a very hot oven (500 degrees) with a pan or foil on the rack below it and let it burn off. May take more than once. Could also be done in a gas grill.
  • Judianni Judianni on Apr 15, 2015
    My dad grew up in the country with very old fashioned parents. He always kept the iron cookware smooth and clean by heating it on the top of the stove till it was intensely hot and then thrusting it into a sink full of water. All the crusty stuff would just pop need to re-season. My housekeeper also told me that her dad used to make them take the iron skillets outside and rub them with sand till clean and smooth.
    • Sidney Patin Sidney Patin on Oct 07, 2015
      @Judianni That's a good way to crack your cast iron pot. The sudden change of temperature will cause the metal to break. I don't even put cold water into a hot skillet, only hot water.
  • Folkert B Folkert B on Sep 20, 2016
    You clean it with salt and rinse.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Sep 21, 2016
    Well... you do not clean the black off..that is your seasoning. It builds up and you have a nonstick. If you get rid of the black.. we used pig fat and salt..rub it in real good..then we put it in a bonfire. Take it out.. do it again./. put it back in the fire ( or in a hot oven) at least 3 times. Do not plunge it in cold water..and never, never scrape the black off. I have my great grandmother's cast iron skillet...After you use your skillet, rince with hot water with a small amount of soap..a light wipe down and put it back on the stove over heat with a light coat of oil a little salt, wipe...let it get very hot..and then let cool.
  • Adele Adele on Oct 23, 2016
    I place mine in the coals of the BBQ when all the cooking is done. Put the lid on and remove while the pan is still warm and easy to handle. I do this at the first BBQ of the season. It removes any crust that may have formed over the winter.
  • Sharon Russell Sharon Russell on Oct 24, 2016
    Do you have a drill? If you attach a wire brush ( sold where drills are sold) you can whirl it right off of the cast iron. (Then, wash to remove any possible brush wires that broke off). Then season and heat as other comments here suggest. This worked for my sister's, when hers " got away from her."
  • Micki Aber Micki Aber on Aug 28, 2017

    Take you cast iron pan to a metal worker, they can sand blast it perfectly clean and then bring it home and season it! I do this when I find old cast iron pieces at garage sales.

  • Alison Savill Alison Savill on Jun 27, 2018

    use a copper pad to clean it with soak it in boiled vinegar over night then use pad and the cold vinegar to scrub clean