Small-ring chainmail scrubber in a cast iron pan
Home - Garden
The Safe Ways To Clean Your Cast Iron Pans With Soap
Home cooks have long avoided cleaning cast iron pans with soap, which, in the past, often contained lye. These days, unless a pan is really dirty, avoid using products with lye.
There are several effective ways to clean cast iron while protecting its seasoning, but for regular day-to-day cleaning, dish soap is both convenient and safe.
A good place to start would be to fill the cast iron pan with warm or hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes before loosening any stuck-on food with a plastic scraper.
If the grime is stubborn, let the water simmer on a stove for a bit, then move to the sink, and add a drop or two of liquid dish soap before scrubbing the pan gently with a brush.
Rinse well to remove soapy residue before drying your pan thoroughly to keep rust from forming. Coat it with a bit of cooking oil to protect the seasoning before stowing it away.
Avoid cleaning cast iron in the dishwasher, as the harsh cleaning agents in dishwashing detergent, combined with the lengthy wash cycle, will remove the seasoning from your pan.
When handwashing, don’t use steel wool pads, which can scratch and remove the seasoning from your pan. Instead, chainmail scrubbers can gently remove cooked-on grime.