Cast Iron Skillet Care: Don’t Use Soap

Cast iron skillet care can seem somewhat daunting. No soap? Who knew?!

But it is one of the biggest rules with cast iron. The rule I chose to ignore over and over again. Until I found this new trick on Pinterest.

It makes cleaning cast iron so much easier. As a result my pan no longer sits for days on end waiting to be cleaned.

I take care of it quickly because the task is no longer one I dread.


Soap strips the coating from your cast iron pans. I am beyond guilty of committing this atrocity. Therefore my food is forever sticking to the bottom of the pan which then requires seasoning again.

But not anymore! I am reformed.


spring cleaning checklist


Cast Iron Skillet Care: Salt and Elbow Grease

This very simple solution is going to change your kitchen game. Any cheap salt will work.

For solid grease I scrape it out into the trash with a nylon scraper.

Cast Iron Skillet Care and How to Maintain Your Pans

Then add salt and rub it around the pan with your fingers. I also use the nylon scraper to help dislodge the food.

If food is really stuck on, I add a little bit of water and then add salt to form a paste as shown in the picture. This method works like a charm.

Cast Iron Skillet Care and How to Maintain Your Pans

The best part is that it can all be scraped into the trash and no grease goes down the drain.

Repeat the process if the pan is really messy. I finish it off with water and a sponge to get the last little bit out.

Do NOT use scouring pads, detergent pads or steel wool to scrub your cast iron pans. It will remove the seasoning.

If you love this cleaning tip be sure and read how I clean my stainless steel in the kitchen here.

Cast Iron Skillet Care and How to Maintain Your Pans


Cast Iron skillet Care: Preserve the Nonstick Coating

Once your cast iron is clean you can rub it with a light layer of cooking oil.

Another method I use is cooking omelets in my clean cast iron skillet.

Because YUM.

Cast Iron Skillet Care and How to Maintain Your Pans

The butter in the warm pan helps to season it again. Once my omelet is done, I wipe the pan clean with a slightly damp paper towel.

Then my cast iron is ready for the next use.

Easy peasy.

This method works because the warm butter coats the pan while the omelet does not stick. Cooking any kind of meat or starch would not work.

Cast Iron Skillet Care and How to Maintain Your Pans

Be sure not to stack your cast iron inside of each other without a paper towel or something similar between the pans.

I use small, cheap hot pad holders which work really well.

As a result, this will protect the pans from scratching. In addition the cast iron pans will always be ready to cook up something yummy.


Savvy tips for cooking, organizing and cleaning

Savvy Tip for Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

The paste made from salt and water will soak up the grease in your cast iron skillet. You should then be able to pour it into the trash and wipe with a paper towel.

Then just add a little water to get anything left behind and scrub with a sponge.

This method keeps grease out of your pipes and your pan from losing its nonstick quality.

While I’m on the subject, put as little down your garbage disposal as possible. Lettuce and egg shells are a big NO.

It makes for a cloggy mess. Cloggy’s a word. I promise.

Baking soda and vinegar poured down the garbage disposal will help break up the gunk and dislodge it.

Pour 1/2 c baking soda followed by 1/2 c vinegar and let it sit. When the fizzing stops run the disposal to clear it.

You may need to repeat this process a few times.

Follow it up by pouring a pan of boiling water down the disposal. Let it sit while it cools and drains.

Then clear it with warm water from the sink.

spring cleaning checklist