Tips for Respecting and Protecting Your Favorite Heirlooms

castiron cleaning


Use it often

The more you use your beloved cast-iron skillets, the more seasoned their finishes become. Be sure to clean your pans as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.


Don’t leave a pan unattended on the stove.
Don’t use harsh abrasives.
Don’t use soap (if you can help it).
Don’t submerge your pans in water.
Don’t place your pans in the dishwasher.
Don’t put cast-iron pans away wet.

Storage Tip

Be conservative when applying oil to your pans for storing and seasoning. Using too much can result in a sticky residue. To remove any residue, heat your pan over medium heat. Using a folded paper towel or cloth, carefully rub in 1 tablespoon oil at a time until the surface is smooth. Store in a cool, dry place.


Residue-Removal Tip

1. Scrub the pan with a stiff-bristle brush and hot soapy water to remove any rust or buildup. Rinse well, and dry completely.
2. Use a cloth or paper towel to rub a light coating of oil on the pan, inside and out.
3. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or a rimmed baking sheet on the lower rack of your oven to catch drips. Place the oiled pan upside down on middle rack of the oven, and bake at 350° for approximately 1 hour.
4. Turn off the oven, and let your pan cool in the oven. Repeat as necessary until finish is restored. Store in a cool, dry place.



  1. I wipe down my skillets as soon as I am done eating and they have cooled a little. I use salt and paper towel. Started using cast iron as a camp jack kid in the high country in early 50’s. Very seldom have to re-season unless someone tries to help out with soap and water. Now I tell anyone who wants to do dishes, leave my cast iron alone! Worked as a hunting guide in the back country for more than 40 years and still have some of the originals. Got my grandmothers 3 legged 8 qt dutch oven that has to be more than 100 years old and its in good shape. If I get sticky food, I’ll scrape out as much as I can, then boil some water in it, then wipe the skillet or dutch oven dry. Heat it up to speed and totally dry. If necessary, a light coat of oil.


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