How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet After Use So It Stays Nice and Shiny!

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I’ve been using a cast iron skillet for about a year now. They make the best sausage gravy! However, I had a really hard time figuring out how to clean a cast iron skillet after using it.

There are all sorts of things I had heard about cast iron, but I didn’t really know what was true and what wasn’t. I was so nervous that I was cleaning it wrong.

However, I’ve learned that cleaning and caring for cast iron skillets isn’t hard. In fact, they are pretty simple. My cast iron skillet is Lodge brand, so that’s where I got all my information from.

Here’s what I do to clean my cast iron.

How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet After Use

Pour out any leftover oil or grease and big debris left from cooking that can easily be scraped off the pan.

Add a little water to the pan and wash by hand. Cast Iron should not be washed in the dishwasher. You don’t want to submerge the pan in your sink for dishwashing, but you can add just a little of your water and soap suds to the pan.

Generally, it is recommend not to clean your pan with soap because the harshness could strip the seasoning from the pan. However, if you use a small amount of gentle liquid dish soap, you should be alright.

Next, use a pan scrubber to clean any stuck on food. I use a scrubbing sponge. It takes off any of the crusted spots that were left on the pan. You could also use a scrubber with stiff bristles, but I find my scrubbing sponge works well.

If you have food that just won’t come off with scrubbing, Lodge recommends that you simmer a little bit of water in the pan for 5 minutes. Once the pan is cooled, you should be able to scrape the pan clean.

Then just give the pan a final rinse of water and be sure to dry it right away.

If cast iron is not dried, it will start to rust. So this is an important step. One that I learned the hard way! If you see a little rust on your cast iron skillet because you didn’t dry it, don’t worry. It can be fixed!

But to avoid rust, wipe the entire pan dry. I like to use a paper towel because sometimes a little bit of the black seasoning comes off, and I don’t want to mess up my dish towels.

Then you’ll want to add a thin coat of oil to your pan. I simply add the oil that I have on hand to a folded up sheet of paper towel and wipe the entire pan with the oil.

And that’s it! Your cast iron skillet is clean and ready to use again.

What do you like to cook on your cast iron? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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