How to Clean a Rusted Cast Iron Skillet

Pot, pans and skillets are made from a variety of materials. Cast iron is one of the more expensive forms of cookware. It cooks food more evenly than aluminum or stainless steel. But because it is made of iron, a cast iron skillet is prone to rusting at a faster rate than other metals. Keeping cast iron cookware free of rust is an ongoing process. But there are a few ways to remove the rust from a cast iron skillet and keep it rust-free for a time. Fortunately, these methods are easy to do.

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Step 1

Use a fine steel wool pad or a fine grade of sandpaper to scrub away the rust on the skillet. Scrub in circular motions.

Step 2

Use regular dishwashing liquid, hot water and a stiff brush to wash the skillet. Rinse the skillet in hot water. Use a paper towel or dish towel to dry the pan thoroughly.

Step 3

Season the skillet by applying a thin layer of cooking oil to its interior and exterior. Mother Earth News in its article "How Do You Remove Rust From a Cast Iron Pot?" writes, "The cooking surface of cast iron cookware is 'seasoned' by coating it with vegetable oil and then heating it." It is important to re-season the cast iron skillet after removing the rust.

Step 4

Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the skillet on the top rack upside down. Heat the skillet for 1 hour minimum. Turn off the oven but keep the skillet inside to cool down. Remove from oven and store in a dry place.