How To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet

Researched & Written by Jonny

Keeping your cooking utensils properly cleaned and in working condition comes with tons of benefits. These  include;

  • Generally increase the life expectancy of the utensil
  • Improves general hygiene
  • Adding just a bit more pleasantry to your cooking session.

All in all, learning to properly maintain your utensil is a must. However, it’s not always clear on how to properly do so or how to get started.

For reasons above, we’ve constructed a simple/easy to follow guide, to assist in your quest to achieve an almost factory new cast iron skillet!

What we’ll need

  • Sponge (with no ragged edges)
  • Oil Brush
  • Cooking Oil
  • A Cast Iron Skillet (otherwise we’ll be cleaning air)

Step by Step guide

Step 1) Prerequisites

We need to make sure that after food is served, and all have eaten we get our cast iron skillet prepped for a clean.

Don’t use anything that could damage your skillet

Try not to use soap or any hard brushed equipment as it could leave scratches or ruin the coating of the skillet itself. Ensure to be patient and not too rough whilst cleaning to reduce the chance of damaging it.

Don’t put your skillet in the dishwasher

You really need to be careful on what you put in the dishwasher  as some materials such as cast iron can be damaged and even develop rust when exposed to large quantities of water. This is the same for leaving skillet in the sink to soak.

Do clean your skillet shortly after cooking

We know this is an important rule to follow, but lets face it. We always leave it for later!

This just makes cleaning easier in general and is a great rule to pick up for cleaning of any cooking utensil. Leaving food inside the skillet and leaving it to dry will cause you to spend double (or in some cases even more) the time cleaning your skillet when it could be a really easy task. So try to get into the habit of cleaning after eating.

Step 2) The Big Haul

Grab your sponge and make it slightly damp with cold water, go over the skillet slowly, and then proceed to squeeze your sponge into the sink to remove the dirt. Literally rinse and repeat this task as needed. Once the skillet is free of visible and easy to remove dirt, proceed to the next step!

Step 3) The little things that add up.

Once you’ve remove any excess food that might be on the skillet, it’s time to go over and give it a good-ol finisher. Apply a small coat of your cooking oil onto the skillet, and gently spread around with your sponge. Once you’ve done this let it set for a bit, and repeat step 2 for a brand-new looking skillet.

If you want to go even further, you could boil a bit of water in your skillet to make sure it has a thorough clean, just make sure to be careful afterwards to prevent any injury.

Step 4) Aftercare

We’ve cleaned our skillet, now we need to worry about what comes next, keeping it that way until it needs to be cleaned again. By storing the skillet somewhere dry, you can prevent any questionable water marks on the skillet when you pop it out for it’s next cooking task.


Now we have a great looking cast iron skillet, all prepped and ready for us on our next session. Make sure to never use materials that could damage your cast iron skillet, and keep up with that cleaning for a long-lasting cooking utensil.

In the market for  a new Electric skillet? Then check out our guide on Best Electric Skillets

Cast Iron isn’t the only thing you should keep out of the dishwasher, check our post about Everything You Should Never Put In a Dishwasher to save yourself the hassle of having to buy a replacement product in future!