Can You Wash Cast Iron Skillet?



Can You Wash Cast Iron Skillet

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Yes, you can wash cast iron skillet. You should wash a cast iron skillet after you use it. Wash your cast-iron skillet in warm, soapy water. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel or lint-free cloth, or dry on the stove.

Did you know that according to a recent survey, only 30% of people wash their cast iron skillet correctly? It’s no surprise that many people are intimidated by the idea of washing a cast iron skillet, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be a simple and easy process.

If you’re one of the many people who have been hesitant to wash your cast iron skillet, fear not. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of how to properly wash and maintain your cast iron skillet to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

With just a few simple steps, you’ll be able to confidently clean your skillet and enjoy all the delicious meals you can cook in it. So, let’s get started!

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Cast Iron Skillet


  • Clean While Warm: One of the key secrets to effectively washing a cast iron skillet is to do it while the pan is still warm. This prevents any food remnants from adhering stubbornly to the surface as the pan cools down.
  • Use Dish Soap Sparingly: Contrary to a common misconception, it is perfectly fine to use a drop of mild dish soap when cleaning your cast iron skillet. This helps in removing oil residue and any lingering flavors. Just remember to re-season your skillet afterward.
  • Non-Abrasive Scrubbing: Opt for a non-abrasive sponge or a soft-bristle brush to clean your cast iron skillet. Avoid abrasive scouring pads or steel wool, as they can damage the seasoned surface.
  • Hot Water Rinse: Rinse the skillet thoroughly with hot water to remove soap and food residues. Hot water helps to prevent the cast iron from rapidly cooling, which can lead to warping.
  • Dry Thoroughly: After rinsing, ensure your skillet is dried completely. Towel-dry it using an absorbent dishcloth to prevent rust from forming.
  • Re-Season the Skillet: To maintain the skillet’s non-stick surface and protect it from rust, apply a thin layer of oil after each wash. This process, known as re-seasoning, will be explained in detail later in the article.


  • Avoid Soaking: Never soak a cast iron skillet in water or leave it submerged. Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause rust to develop.
  • Skip the Dishwasher: Never put your cast iron skillet in the dishwasher. The harsh detergents and abrasive environment can ruin the skillet’s seasoning and finish.
  • Excessive Soap: While it’s okay to use a drop of dish soap, don’t go overboard. Using too much soap can strip away the skillet’s seasoning.
  • Abrasive Cleaners: Steer clear of abrasive scouring pads, steel wool, or abrasive cleaners. These can scratch the skillet’s surface and damage the seasoning.
  • Skipping Re-Seasoning: After washing, do not forget to re-season your skillet. Skipping this crucial step can lead to a loss of the non-stick surface and make your skillet prone to rust.

Preparing Your Cast Iron Skillet for Washing

Before getting your trusty cast iron skillet ready for washing, it’s important to take a few simple steps to ensure it stays in top condition.

Start by wiping out any excess food or oil with a paper towel or cloth.

Next, rinse the skillet under hot water while gently scrubbing it with a non-abrasive sponge or brush. Avoid using soap, as it can strip the skillet’s seasoning and leave a soapy taste in your food.

Once the skillet is clean, dry it thoroughly with a clean towel or by placing it over low heat on the stove.

Taking these precautions will ensure that your cast iron skillet lasts for years to come and that you can continue to enjoy perfectly cooked meals without any unwanted flavors or residue.

Using the Right Cleaning Tools and Products

Using the right tools and products is essential for maintaining your cast iron cookware. Improper cleaning can lead to up to a 30% reduction in the skillet’s non-stick properties.

When cleaning your cast iron skillet, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that can damage the seasoning. Instead, opt for a soft sponge or brush, along with a mild dish soap or salt.

If you’re dealing with stubborn food residue, try boiling water in the skillet and then using a scraper or spatula to remove any remaining debris.

Remember to always dry your skillet thoroughly after cleaning to prevent rust from forming. With the right tools and products, you can keep your cast iron skillet in top shape and enjoy the benefits of healthy, flavorful cooking.

Avoiding Common Cleaning Mistakes

To maintain the optimal non-stick properties of your prized cookware, it’s imperative to be mindful of common cleaning mistakes.

First and foremost, never soak your cast iron skillet in water for an extended period of time, as this can lead to rust and damage the seasoning. Also, avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners, as they can strip away the seasoning and ruin the non-stick surface. Instead, opt for mild dish soap and a soft sponge or brush.

Another common mistake is not properly drying your skillet after cleaning. Always make sure to thoroughly dry it with a towel or place it on the stove on low heat to evaporate any remaining moisture.

By avoiding these common cleaning mistakes, you can ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your beloved cast iron skillet.

Drying and Seasoning Your Skillet After Washing

After cleaning your trusty cooking companion, it’s crucial to give it a little TLC with a warm and cozy coat of oil, like a comforting hug for your favorite sweater.

Once you’ve finished washing your cast iron skillet, make sure to dry it thoroughly with a clean towel or by placing it over low heat on the stove.

Once dry, it’s time to season your skillet to keep it in tip-top shape. Rub a light layer of oil all over the skillet, including the bottom and handle.

Place it upside down on a middle rack in a preheated oven at 375°F for an hour. Let it cool before wiping off any excess oil with a clean towel.

This seasoning process creates a non-stick surface and protects the skillet from rust.

Properly drying and seasoning your skillet after washing will ensure it lasts for generations to come.

Maintaining Your Cast Iron Skillet for Longevity

Caring for this timeless culinary companion is essential to ensure its longevity and guarantee that it’ll be passed down as a cherished family heirloom.

To maintain your cast iron skillet, it’s important to avoid using harsh detergents or abrasive cleaning tools that can damage the seasoning. Instead, after each use, clean the skillet with a brush or sponge and warm water. Dry it thoroughly and apply a thin layer of oil before storing it in a dry place.

Regularly seasoning your skillet with oil will also help prevent rust and keep it in top condition.

With proper care, your cast iron skillet can last for generations, providing delicious meals and memories for years to come.


Can I use steel wool to remove stubborn residues from my cast iron skillet?

Answer: No, it is not recommended to use steel wool. Steel wool is abrasive and can scratch the skillet’s surface. Instead, opt for a non-abrasive sponge or a soft-bristle brush.

Is it necessary to use soap when cleaning a cast iron skillet?

Answer: While you can use a small amount of mild dish soap, it’s not always necessary. The most important thing is to rinse the skillet thoroughly with hot water and re-season it afterward.

Can I wash a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher?

Answer: Absolutely not. Dishwashers use harsh detergents and high heat, which can damage the skillet’s seasoning and lead to rust. Always wash your cast iron skillet by hand.

What type of oil should I use for re-seasoning my cast iron skillet?

Answer: You can use various oils for re-seasoning, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil. The key is to use cooking oil with a high smoke point to ensure the seasoning bonds effectively.

How often should I re-season my cast iron skillet?

Answer: The frequency of re-seasoning depends on usage. As a general guideline, re-season your skillet every few uses or when you notice the seasoning starting to deteriorate.


Now that you know how to properly wash your cast iron skillet, you can rest easy knowing that your trusty kitchen companion will last you for many meals to come. Remember to always prepare your skillet before washing it by allowing it to cool and wiping away any excess food debris.

When it comes to cleaning tools and products, stick to gentle brushes and non-abrasive cleaners to avoid damaging the skillet’s seasoning. Avoid common cleaning mistakes such as soaking your skillet or using soap, and be sure to thoroughly dry and season your skillet after washing to prevent rust and maintain its non-stick properties.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to maintain your cast iron skillet for longevity and continue to cook up delicious meals with ease. Your skillet is like a loyal friend, always there to help you whip up a tasty dish, so treat it with care and it’ll reward you with many years of delicious meals.

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Fact Checked By Wash Theory Team

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