How to Clean a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet


If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that my trusty cast iron skillet is my number one kitchen tool. It pretty much stays on my stovetop all the time; my ‘go-to’ pan for cooking dinner and what not, the number one ‘star’ in my kitchen, after my trusty chef knife of course. But with a very hectic summer, juggling work/mom-life (yes, as all mom's know, the struggle is real), some things got neglected (unintentionally), my cast iron skillet being one of them.

But now I’m back. I cleaned up my rusty cast iron skillet and I’m back in the kitchen whipping up some new recipes that I look forward to sharing with you soon.

A cast iron skillet is a good quality and relatively inexpensive, heavy duty pan that will last you a lifetime. It can be used for pan-frying, sautéing, braising, searing, baking, broiling, roasting, and grilling. Cast iron gets screaming hot and maintains heat at high temperatures making it a great choice for food that needs high heat, like searing meat to create a nice char.

Generally, cast iron is easy to wash, simply rinse with hot water and a little soap if needed, and dry thoroughly. If you have stubborn bits of food stuck to the pan just fill it with a little water and bring to a boil then let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse again. NEVER drip dry cast iron since that may cause it to rust. Always dry with a towel or place in your oven on a low heat until dry.

If you find your cast iron starting to rust like mine, watch the video for a step by step instruction on how to clean it so it looks brand new.

You will need: dish soap, a scouring pad and neutral oil with a high smoke point (grapeseed or avocado oil work great)


  • Scrub your cast iron with soapy water and scouring pad (I use steel wool)
  • Rinse it with warm water
  • Dry your skillet really well
  • Coat the skillet using very little oil and smearing it all over with a towel to form a thin layer, you don’t want to put too much oil since that will cause a sticky finish
  • Place your skillet facing down in a oven on top of silver foil
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Bake for one hour
  • Let it cool before you use it

Violla! You've got yourself an (almost) brand new skillet! 

Happy cooking! 


Click on the items below for my recommended products

Cast iron skillet

Scouring pad

Dish soap

Avocado oil



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