How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet after Use

How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet after Use? – (Do This Before Cleaning)

Cast iron skillet has exceptional versatility. It can be used for a variety of tasks. From cooking steaks to frying an egg, this has got everything covered. However, one needs to clean the cast iron skillet after use. This will make it last long. While increasing the durability, it will also contribute to its appearance as well. 

The cast iron skillet is a cookware you would.t want to lose. The way it is able to heat itself up evenly and thoroughly is truly exceptional. Moreover, it keeps the food so hot and perfect that it simply looks worth drooling for. However, cleaning and seasoning is essential so that your cast iron pan remains like that for ages. The cleaning and maintenance will ensure that the pan doesn’t develop rust. Further, it will keep the food from sticking. Let us proceed to the 4 simple and easy steps which will tell you how to clean the cast iron skillet after use. 

How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet after Use

How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet after Use- The Comprehensive Yet Simple 4 Step Guide

The key to cook wonderful, juicy and delicious food in your cast iron skillet is to properly clean and season it. When seasoning has its own importance, cleaning carries immense significance as well. Seasoning should be done at least thrice annually for amazing results. If you skip on the maintenance, the pan’s performance diminishes really quickly, making you regret your decision. You sure do not want your cast iron skillet to last this soon, right? Therefore, head over to these uncomplicated and effortless steps. 

What Do You Require? 

You require the following items listed below. However, most of these items must already be present at your place. Purchase the rest of the items for the effective cleaning process every time after you use the cast iron skillet. 

  • Sponge: Make sure that the sponge at your place is a plastic one. This is to ensure that the cast-iron surface is not being scrubbed by a stiff, hardened scrub. That will contribute to destroying the surface of the cast iron which is obviously not desirable.  
  • A cleaning brush: You might also go for a cleaning brush in spite of the scrub as the brush is able to reach the corners of the cast iron skillet. However, you need to ensure that the bristles of the cleaning brush are not composed of steel or any other hardened material. This is due to the reason that those steel bristles will introduce scratches on the cast iron pan. Therefore, go for the cleaning brush having soft and effective bristles. 
  • Paper towel: You need to get a paper towel as that is a necessary item when it comes to drying. Drying is an essential  part of the cleaning process and the paper towel largely aids during that process. Therefore, select the one having remarkable effectiveness. 
  • Clean cloth: A clean cloth is also needed in addition to the paper tower for the purpose of drying.
  • Kosher salt: kosher salt is not actually needed for the cleaning process but it will assist to get rid of the food which is stuck. 
  • Any cooking oil: You can go for any cooking oil but it is advised to choose the one having high smoke point. Therefore, oils like vegetable oil, canola oil and lard oil are proved to be very effective for the seasoning process. 

Cleaning Process of Cast Iron Skillet

After you have used the skillet for cooking, clean it right afterward. It is recommended to give it a thorough cleaning while it is warm. Waiting till hours until it cools down completely is not a wise technique. Also, it is also not recommended to leave the skillet soaking in warm water for a couple of hours. Cast iron surface is sensitive to water and therefore, it should not be exposed to moisture for this long. This might result in rust formation, ultimately destroying its beautiful appearance. Therefore, clean the pan right after cooking.

  1. Filling the Area with Lukewarm water: Leave the pan until it’s warm and easy to lift with bare hands. Fill the clogged sink with lukewarm water. Put the used cast iron skillet inside the sink. 
  2. Preparing a Mix of Water with Kosher Salt: Prepare a thick consistency mixture of lots of kosher salt crystals with a little amount of water. Pour in this mixture in the pan and rub it thoroughly. The crystals will rub against the stuck food and will assist in the removal. After rubbing and scrubbing the skillet with this mixture perfectly, you will notice that the food is removed. Remove the residue left using the brush or either a soft sponge. 
  3. Dying the skillet: After you have completely cleaned the cast iron skillet, you need to dry it. For drying, you can take the assistance of a paper towel or either a clean cloth. Ensure thorough and complete drying as leaving the moisture will result in corrosion. 
  4. Oiling the skillet: This is the last step of the cleaning process. Take a few tablespoons of the oil and pour it in the pan. Gentle covers the whole cast iron surface. However, you should ensure to take enough oil to only cover the whole cast iron surface. It should not be dripping off. If you have taken the excess, wipe it off using a paper towel. Do not forget to coat the sides and the bottom as they are also made up of cast iron. This layer of oil will prevent chemicals attacking the surface of cast iron or the development of rust. 

Final Verdict 

Cleaning the cast iron skillet after use carries immense importance. The cast-iron pan can be cleaned through an easy yet effective 4 step method. First you need to wash the skillet by keeping it in warm water. This should be followed by rubbing the pan with a kosher salt mix. After this, you have to dry the oil followed by oiling it and you are done.


You should oil your cast iron cookware after every use to enhance its durability of the cookware. Oiling the cookware after every use will make it last long while making its appearance better. 

You cannot use harsh soap on a cast iron skillet as that will destroy the seasoning. It has chemicals which contribute to the removal of seasoning. 

The best oil to season cast iron cookware is the one with a high smoke point. In particular, vegetable oil has proved to be quite effective for seasoning.

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