How to Wash a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are a staple in many kitchens. They are versatile, durable, and can last a lifetime if properly cared for. However, many people are intimidated by the thought of cleaning and maintaining a cast iron skillet. In this article, we will show you how to wash a cast iron skillet in a few easy steps.

Why is it Important to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?

Before we dive into the steps for cleaning a cast iron skillet, let’s first understand why it’s important to keep it clean. A cast iron skillet is porous and can absorb flavors and odors from the food you cook in it. If it’s not cleaned properly, those flavors and odors can transfer to the next dish you cook, affecting its taste. Additionally, food particles left in the skillet can cause rust and damage the seasoning, which is crucial for maintaining a non-stick surface.

What You Will Need

Before you get started, make sure you have the following items:- Mild dish soap- Sponge or brush- Hot water- Paper towels or clean cloth- Cooking oil (vegetable or canola)- Stove or oven- Oven mitts

Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you have all the necessary items, let’s get started on washing your cast iron skillet:1. Let the skillet cool down completely before washing it. Never wash a hot pan as it can damage the seasoning and cause warping.2. Rinse the skillet under hot water to remove any loose debris or food particles.3. Add a small amount of mild dish soap to the skillet and use a sponge or brush to gently scrub the surface of the skillet.4. Rinse the skillet thoroughly under hot water.5. Dry the skillet with a paper towel or clean cloth. Make sure to remove all the water, as any remaining moisture can cause rust.6. Place the skillet on a stove or in an oven and heat it over medium-high heat for a few minutes. This will help evaporate any remaining moisture and ensure the skillet is completely dry.7. Once the skillet is dry, use a paper towel or clean cloth to apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the surface of the skillet. This will help protect the skillet and maintain the seasoning.8. Store the skillet in a cool, dry place until its next use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Soap to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?

Yes, you can use soap to clean a cast iron skillet, but make sure to use a mild dish soap and rinse it thoroughly with hot water.

Do I Need to Season My Cast Iron Skillet After Every Wash?

No, you don’t need to season your cast iron skillet after every wash. Seasoning is only necessary when the skillet starts to lose its non-stick properties or if it has been stripped of its seasoning.

Can I Wash My Cast Iron Skillet in the Dishwasher?

No, you should never wash a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher. The high heat and harsh detergents can damage the seasoning and cause rust.


Cleaning a cast iron skillet may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple. With the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can keep your cast iron skillet in tip-top shape for years to come. Remember to always let the skillet cool down completely before washing it, use a mild dish soap, and dry it thoroughly before storing it. Happy cooking!

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