How to Clean Rusty Cast Iron Dutch Oven?

How to Clean Rusty Cast Iron Dutch Oven? – Easy Step

Cast iron cookery is a common one in everyone’s home. The efficiency with which food can be cooked and the convenience make cast iron the best choice for cookware. However, cast iron is a difficult material to maintain. When exposed to a humid or wet environment, it is prone to develop rust. Corrosion of cast iron dutch oven is so common and develops frequently if not well taken care of. So how to clean the rust off the cast iron dutch oven? 

Don’t you worry as we have managed to come through very effective yet equally swift ways that will completely clean the cast iron dutch oven. The process consists of several steps which are listed in detail below. These simple steps need to be strictly adhered to for the best results. After you have cleaned the cast-iron Dutch oven, you should not forget the seasoning as seasoning plays a prime role in preventing the cast iron from corroding. Therefore, if you want your cast iron Dutch oven to last long, go for seasoning at the end. 

Fixing the Cast Iron Dutch Oven by Taking the Rust Off

You need to take extreme care of the cast iron cookware. The steps are not as tedious as they might seem to you. However, you are required to put in a little effort for a successful cleaning. Investing your effort and your precious time is totally worth it when you see exceeding results. This cleaned and well-seasoned oven will cook tastier and better meals. Dutch ovens are a real king when it comes to cookware and no one wants to spoil one. Therefore, get to the method for effective cleaning. 

Factors Deciding the Options

There are several options that can be used when it comes to cleaning the oven. However, what method you will be using depends upon several factors. These factors serve as the basis for deciding which method you should go for. The factors are as below.

  • The quantity of rust developed on the cast iron Dutch oven. 
  • The time you can invest in this activity.
  • To what extent do you have the utensils and equipment with you. 

Let us get to the simple and fast method first. This method is the easiest yet is very effective. It is best to use as preliminary methods for the more effective methods listed below. Further, this method is perfect to use when you have less time on your hands. Dive in! 

What Do You Require? 

The tools and equipment required for the cleaning of the cast iron Dutch oven are as follows. 

  • Stove 
  • Wire brushes 
  • Foil 
  • Paper towels 
  • Scourers 
  • Vinegar 
  • A potato 
  • Some salt 
  • Carb soda

Quick Fix Method of Cleaning the Rust Off

When you start off with the cleaning process, you should always be ready to give your whole concentration and effort to the task. This is due to the reason that the rust takes exceedingly long to develop over the oven. Therefore, it is very hard to clean. A Dutch oven is corroded and does not have some usual burns and stains. Therefore, it takes a lot of effort which can sometimes get strenuous as well. You should be ready for effective cleaning by investing your time and effort. 

Removing Rust Using Wire Brushes

The first method which is a very efficient method is to employ the use of wire brushes. These wire brushes might be attached to the end of the cordless drill. This is the primary step of rust removal and is so very effective. 

Purchasing a drill for the process might seem like a huge investment at the time which might be hard on your pocket. However, if you think in the long run, it can be used for multiple home-based tasks and jobs which makes purchasing the drill totally a useful investment. Therefore, do not hesitate in buying a drill as that might prove to be a significant help in the cleaning process. 

A wire brush is a cheap and affordable thing on the other hand. However, there are issues with that too. Wire brush has a tendency of wearing out. You should expect that it can be used only once. But since it will completely clean off the rust, it proves effective as well. 

Therefore, the first thing which you should do is to purchase a drill with an attached wire brush. This will completely clean up the rust therefore you should not hesitate to buy these. 

However, it is possible that you wouldn’t find a drill with a wire brush attached. Do not worry! You can always use the wire brush with your bare hands. This will require more effort but save the cost. Therefore, you can always go for this method. However, make sure to get a wire brush of a smaller size if it is to be used manually. 

This is for the reason that the smaller the size, the greater the probability of the brush hitting the side walls. Clean the rust off the oven through the wire brush effectively by putting in the effort. After it is cleaned, give it a quick rinse with lukewarm water. 

Cast iron cookware should never be left wet. Therefore, drying is a step you should never miss. Take the oven and put it upside down on the stove. This will dry it up perfectly. Therefore, the oven will be clean and dried as well. Be careful to remove the moisture always as that is the prime cause of the formation of rust. 

Further Methods Leading to Complete Cleanliness

Salt Water Technique

For complete and thorough cleaning, you can adopt other cleaning methods as well. One such method is a mixture of salt and water. The dutch oven should be soaked in this mixture. Next, you need to take a potato and cut it into two halves. Taking one half you can scrub the surface. This will separate the rust off the cast iron Dutch oven. 

You can also use leather pieces in case of the unavailability of potatoes. Do not forget to rinse it afterward using a mild soap and lukewarm water. Finally, do not skip drying by heating on a stove, keeping the oven upside down. 

Baking Soda Technique 

Baking soda is another striking and effective option when it comes to cleaning. However, you need to use this process if the above two processes weren’t able to remove the rust. After using a thick mixture of baking soda on the surface, do not forget to apply a thin layer of vinegar. Afterward, scrub the vinegar a little. 

This would break in the rust which is evident by the formation of the bubbles. As soon as it starts frizzing, you need to scrub the cast iron surface using a scrubber. The color of the liquid will start changing as the rust is being dissolved in the liquid. After complete removal of rust, clean it by rinsing it using water and dishwasher soap. Dry it afterward which will keep the rust from developing. 

However, there are a few things which you should consider. If the rust is hardened badly and is not removed, you can simply add a large quantity of vinegar. Let it be there for around half an hour. Put it on low flame and take it off as soon as it boils slightly. Moreover, repeating the process is the key if the rust is hardened and is not removed. 


As you have added baking soda, vinegar, salt, and other components, it becomes essential to ensure that the oven has been completely dried. For that, you need to dry it with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Further, you have to put it upside down on the flame. Finally, you have to place it inside the heated oven and keep it there for half an hour to ensure perfect drying. 

Final Verdict 

There are multiple methods to clean the rust off the dutch oven. You can go for scrubbing using wire brushes followed by baking soda treatment and saltwater mixture. Repeat the processes again and again to ensure thorough cleaning. Lastly, dry the cast iron dutch oven perfectly as it will keep the rust from developing. Happy cooking in a clean Dutch oven! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, vinegar will remove the rust from cast iron however it has a probability of penetrating in the surface itself. Therefore, extreme care should be taken when taking the rust off using vinegar. After removing the rust using vinegar, you should soak it to ensure all its particles are removed. 

You can fix a rusty cast iron using several methods. The most efficient method to fix a rusty cast iron is cleaning it through a wire brush. 

Coke does remove rust from cast iron. This is the reason that coke contains phosphoric acid. This acid had the tendency of dissolving the rust.

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