You may have seen our recent article on dishwashers that tells you never wash a cast iron skillet in your machine. If you can’t do that, then how can you wash one? It’s really quite simple, however, many people ruin their iron skillets because they don’t know the proper technique.

In this article, I’ll explain how you clean a cast iron skillet in four simple steps. Follow these carefully to make your skillet sparkle without destroying the unique qualities that make it a brilliant piece of cookware. Before we get into the method, I’ll also explain to you exactly what this famous type of pan is and why it is so special.

What Is A Cast Iron Skillet?

A cast iron skillet is a piece of cookware used for anything from making omelets to main dishes like chicken and fish, to desserts and much more. They are a very traditional kitchen item that has a wide range of uses. They are also inexpensive, very durable, conduct heat brilliantly, and cook a huge range of dishes perfectly.

As suggested by the name, a cast iron skillet is made from heavy-duty cast iron. They have a great non-stick surface seasoned in a way that makes them extremely resilient. They’re a great tool for taking your cooking to the next level.

Cast iron skillets are very versatile and durable pieces of cookware.

Simple Steps To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet

So, because a cast iron skillet is a special piece of cookware that is seasoned in a unique way, you have to be careful how you clean it. You can’t just chuck it in your dishwasher like many other pans. It might be tempting to scrub away at any food build-up, but I promise you, this is going to do more harm than good. There are 4 simple steps to clean your skillet properly without also causing damage.

Step 1 – Rinse The Cast Iron Skillet

First, start with a clean base. Rinse your cast iron skillet after it has cooled from cooking. Use hot water to get any grime off without also scrubbing too harshly. This is all you need to do for the first step.

Step 2 – Use Kosher Salt And Scrub The Skillet

Second, it’s time to get out your kosher salt. This is a special type of salt that is great for cleaning cast iron skillets, as well as many other things. Pour your kosher salt into the skillet. Cover the whole bottom of the pan.

Once covered, scrub the pan using a damp sponge. The gritty salt will break up any grease or food stuck on the pan. You can see this as an alternative to using a degreasing dish soap that you might usually opt for when washing up.

Scrub your skillet with kosher salt and a damp sponge to remove grease and food residue.

Step 3 – Rinse, Repeat, And Dry

Next, rinse the skillet out again with warm water. This will remove all of the salt and food you’ve scrubbed off.

Use a paper towel or microfiber cloth to dry the skillet all over. Make sure there is no water or salt left.

Step 4 – Oil The Cast Iron Skillet And Heat It Up

Finally, it’s time to re-season your cast iron skillet. Coat the inside of the pan with cooking oil. Pour a generous amount in and spread it around with a paper towel or cloth. This should be a thin layer. You don’t want to put so much on that it does not absorb. The point is to season the metal so it is evenly coated and ready to cook.

Once covered in oil, place the skillet in a preheated oven at around 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook your skillet for 1 hour to allow the oil to sink in and make the pan non-stick again. Allow it to cool before attempting to use it for cooking again.


There you have it! 4 simple steps to clean a cast iron skillet. It really is very simple. This technique helps to preserve the unique properties of the skillet, meaning it can also perform in your kitchen to the best of its abilities.

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