How To Clean A Cast Iron Pan With Burn Spots, Rust, And More

by Sid Wilson | Published On

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If you spend time in the kitchen, the food will eventually burn. But before throwing it away, see if you can still use it for something else or fix the problem.

Yes, I know that you can do nothing to preserve the meal if it’s entirely made of charcoal, of course.

In this instance, discard it and begin anew. But frequently, only the food’s top layer or the pot’s bottom burns. 

When you attempt to clean a burnt cast iron pan, you could wonder how to go if it has significant stains. Additionally, as no soap can completely reduce burns, using soap raises additional concerns.

Also, washing utensils in the dishwasher ruin their original hues, making them unsafe. So how do you wash a cast iron skillet with burn marks?

You should also make sure that cast iron cookware is properly cleaned before you use it on an electric stove; it does not leave any mark on the electric stove.

I have listed a few ways on the procedure how to clean a cast iron pan and some additional information on the same for you to follow in this article. Continue reading.

How To Clean A Cast Iron Pan With Burn Spots, Rust,

How To Remove Burnt Bits Of Food


A cast iron pan is simple to keep and clean. A deeper cleaning may be required, though, if the cast iron has rust problems. Let’s explore some practical ways to clean cast iron-

  • Clean Your Cast Iron With Baking Soda

    Cast iron may safely use baking soda, which also makes a wonderful substitute for soap. Discoloration, scorched food, and tough stains can be best removed with baking soda.

    • Add baking soda first: To make a paste, combine three parts baking soda with one part water. The paste is a substitute for detergent and will help get rid of any unpleasant smells.
    • Cleaning the cast iron: With a soft-bristled brush or SOS pad, scrub the cast iron. To prevent rubbing off the seasoning, scrub softly. The damaged areas will be scrubbed away with the abrasive paste.
    • Rinse: Rinse the cast iron to get rid of the baking soda and food stains. Dry the cast iron completely after rinsing it, then re-season it in the oven.
  • Cook Away Burnt-On Food

    In a matter of minutes, the dish becomes tough to eat since you left it cooking on the stovetop for too long.

    The finest chefs occasionally burn a pan. Whether you can remove burnt food from a skillet depends on whether you should throw out the damaged cookware or keep it.

    Sometimes adding heat is all that is required to remove grime from the pan’s bottom. Hot water alone can just act as a useful element.

    The surface of your pot or pan can be softened by boiling water, which won’t damage delicate materials like aluminum or cast iron.

    Start by adding just enough water to your pot or pan’s base to cover the scorched food area or coat the bottom.

    Once the water on the stove has reached a boil, use a plastic spatula, wooden spoon, or another non-damaging object to gently scrape away the food that has burned onto it.

    To expedite the procedure if simple water is ineffective, you can also add a few drops of dish soap.

  • Dry Your Cast Iron

    Cast iron must be kept dry for one main reason: iron is extremely prone to rust when exposed to oxygen and water. You can’t prevent your pan from touching the air, but you can control how long it stays wet.

    You can’t rely on the drying method alone to keep your cast iron from rusting, though, as the seasoning must also be dry. In other words, a seasoned cast iron pan cannot be left wet.

How To Fix A Rusty Cast-Iron Pan

Cast iron is prone to rust without seasoning, which is a layer of carbonized oil. A cast iron skillet that is a bit rusted doesn’t need to be thrown away. To restore cast iron cookware to its original splendor, simply follow these simple procedures-

  • Getting Rid Of Light Rust On Cast Iron

    If your cast iron pan is well seasoned, it shouldn’t need a lot of upkeep. The porous surface of the metal will be sealed, offering a protective layer.

    Try to just use hot water and a plastic scrub brush to clean your pan.

    Unless required, avoid using dish soap because doing so could destroy the seasoning layer, leaving your pan vulnerable. Don’t scrub too vigorously because doing so can also remove the seasoning.

    After cleaning, you must make sure the pan is fully dry. Before putting it away, it is a good idea to put it in the oven for a few minutes to make sure the pan is even drier.

  • Use Vinegar And Water To Remove Rust

    Rusting is the process of iron oxides accumulating on the surface of iron objects or structures. When oxygen and iron react in the presence of water, rust is created (or has high levels of moisture).

    The surfaces develop a covering of a crimson, flaky substance that is simple to powderize.

    The acetic acid (CH3COOH) in vinegar combines with the rust (FeOOH) to create salt (Fe(CH3COO)3) and water, which can be used to remove the rust deposit from iron items.

    The neutralizing process is another name for this procedure. It may be found in your home with ease and is helpful outside of the kitchen as well.

    The instructions for using vinegar to remove rust from iron objects are as follows-

    • Pour one gallon of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into a container.
    • Add a cup of table salt as well. The mixture is now fully stirred. Depending on the size of the object, reduce the solution amount
    • Set the item inside the vessel, fully submerging it
    • Watch the thing for 20 minutes to 12 hours to see if the rust comes off. Some items might be cleaned in less than 30 minutes, while others might take up to 12 hours
    • Avoid putting fragile things inside the solution because doing so could damage their covering
    • Use a brush to clean the object once the rust has begun to shed after you have immersed it in the solution
    • Remove the object from the solution while donning a pair of rubber gloves. Start by brushing the leftover rust from the item while it is on a towel
    • After your object is clear of rust, immerse it in a solution made of one cup of baking soda and one gallon of water
    • Stir the mixture before submerging the item for 12 minutes. The acidity will be offset
    • After removing it, you can wipe it down with a cloth. When you set it aside, make sure it is completely dry

How To Restore And Season Your Cast Iron

If your cast iron cookware develops a little (or a lot) of rust, don’t become alarmed. You’ll be able to cook for many years if you use these easy techniques to restore the finish on your cast iron pan-

  • Wash and scrub your frying pan: For cleaning the rusted areas of the iron pan use a steel wool or a lode rust eraser and clean it with soap and water at the end.

  • Dry thoroughly: For cleaning and drying your iron pan, you should clean using a paper towel or a lint-free cloth. But make sure it is completely dried and you keep it on the burner with low heat for a couple of minutes. You can dry your iron pan with a paper towel or a lint-free cloth. To make sure that it is completely dried, place it on the burner on low heat for a few minutes.

  • 1 hour in the oven: The oven should be preheated at 450–500 degrees F. To collect any extra oil, place aluminum foil on the oven’s bottom rack. On the middle rack, arrange your cookware upside down. By doing this, oil doesn’t collect on the cooking surface. For one hour, bake.

  • The oven to cool: After turning off the heat, let the cast iron pan cool in the oven. By doing so, the seasoning can adhere to the iron and continue to cure. Cast iron will lose its shine if it is heated without any oil on the cooking surface or not enough oil to fully cook the food. The dullness results from the pan’s oil being burned off before cooking. Re-season the pan to solve the problem. Repeat the process until your cast iron develops a faint sheen if, after re-seasoning it, it still looks dull.


Cast iron can withstand a lot of and rust only causes surface damage, which means that it can be removed with minimal scrubbing.

Additionally acceptable is little surface pitting. Your cast iron, however, cannot be repaired if it has extensive pitting or cracks.

Cast iron frying pans can look a little scruffy, but they are easy to clean and can be brought back to life with a little elbow grease.

They will once again be the superb kitchen equipment they are hailed as being with only a little cast iron skillet care.

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Sid Wilson

Being a father, a golf lover, and an engineer by profession are the things that define Sid Wilson. He spends most of his time in his garage building and experimenting with stuff. Unscrewing things and then screwing them up is his favorite hobby. Doing these things in his garage has made him what, he is today.

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