Cleaning Cast Iron With Salt - The Cookware Spot

Cleaning Cast Iron With Salt

Cleaning cast iron with salt is an effective and easy method. It helps remove stuck-on food and prevents rusting.

In addition to being affordable, salt is a natural abrasive that doesn’t damage the seasoning on the cast iron. Cast iron pans are prized for their durability and ability to heat food evenly. However, they require proper care and maintenance to ensure their longevity.

One of the best ways to clean cast iron is by using salt. Unlike harsh chemicals or scrubbing pads, salt provides a gentle yet effective solution for removing stuck-on food and rust.

It’s also affordable and readily available in most households. Following a few simple steps, you can keep your cast iron pans clean and in excellent condition for years.



Benefits Of Using Salt For Cleaning Cast Iron

Cleaning cast iron cookware can be daunting, but using salt as a cleaning agent can make it easier and more effective. Here are the key benefits of using salt for cleaning cast iron:

Preserve the seasoning:

  • Salt helps to maintain and preserve the seasoning of your cast iron cookware, which is essential for its longevity and non-stick properties.
  • It removes dirt, debris, and residual food particles without stripping away the seasoning layer, ensuring your cookware stays well-seasoned.

Removes stubborn stains:

  • Stubborn stains on your cast iron cookware can be easily tackled with salt.
  • The abrasiveness of salt helps to scrub away tough stains like burnt-on food and grease without damaging the cast iron surface.

Acts as a natural abrasive:

  • Salt acts as a gentle yet effective natural abrasive for cleaning cast iron.
  • It helps to remove rust, scale, and other buildup on the surface of your cookware, leaving it clean and ready to use.

Safe and chemical-free:

  • Using salt for cleaning cast iron is a safe and chemical-free method.
  • It eliminates the need for harsh cleaning chemicals that can potentially damage the seasoning or pose health risks.

Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning Cast Iron With Salt

Cleaning cast iron cookware can be daunting, but with the right technique, it can become effortless. One of the easiest and most effective ways to clean cast iron is by using salt as a cleaning agent. Let’s take a closer look at the step-by-step guide to cleaning cast iron with salt:

1. Gather The Necessary Supplies

Before starting the cleaning process, make sure you have the following supplies handy:

  • Coarse salt: Choose a coarse salt variety, such as kosher or sea salt, for optimal results.
  • Soft cloth or brush: It’s important to use a soft cloth or brush to avoid scratching the cast iron surface.
  • Water: You’ll need water for rinsing the cookware.
  • Paper towels or lint-free cloth: These will come in handy for drying the cast iron thoroughly.
  • Cooking oil: To prevent rust, you’ll need to apply a thin layer of oil after cleaning.

2. Start With Basic Cleaning

Before diving into the salt cleaning method, it’s essential to start with basic cleaning:

  • Allow the cast iron to cool down completely before cleaning.
  • Use a stiff brush or sponge to remove any stuck-on food particles.
  • If there are stubborn residues, add a small amount of mild dish soap and scrub gently.
  • Rinse the cast iron thoroughly to remove any soap residue.

3. Utilize Salt As A Cleaning Agent

Now comes the interesting part – using salt to clean your cast iron cookware:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse salt onto the surface of the cast iron.
  • Use a soft cloth or brush to scrub the salt gently into the cookware.
  • Pay extra attention to areas with stubborn stains or residues.
  • The salt’s abrasiveness helps remove the grime without damaging the cast iron.

4. Scrub Gently With A Soft Cloth Or Brush

To prevent any scratches on your beloved cast iron, follow these steps:

  • Wet your soft cloth or brush with a small amount of water.
  • Use a damp cloth or brush to scrub away the salt and residue.
  • Don’t apply excessive pressure; instead, scrub gently using circular motions.
  • Continue until all the salt and grime have been removed.

5. Rinse And Dry Thoroughly

Once you’ve completed the scrubbing process, ensure your cast iron is impeccably clean:

  • Rinse the cast iron under warm water to remove any remaining salt.
  • Make sure all traces of salt and grime are thoroughly rinsed away.
  • Use paper towels or a lint-free cloth to dry the cast iron completely.
  • Drying it thoroughly is crucial to prevent any moisture-related issues like rusting.

6. Apply A Thin Layer Of Oil

To maintain your cast iron’s seasoning and prevent rust, follow these steps:

  • Apply a small amount of cooking oil to a paper towel or lint-free cloth.
  • Rub the oil all over the cast iron surface, including the handles and edges.
  • Make sure to coat the entire cookware evenly but with a thin layer.
  • This thin layer of oil will protect the cast iron until its next use.

Following this step-by-step guide, you can easily clean your cast iron cookware using salt as a cleaning agent. Remember to handle your cast iron with care, and it will reward you with years of excellent performance in the kitchen.

Tips For Maintaining A Well-Seasoned Cast Iron

We all know that cast iron cookware is a prized possession in the kitchen. With its ability to retain heat and provide even cooking, it’s essential to take proper care of your cast iron to ensure its longevity. One common method for cleaning and maintaining cast iron is by using salt.

Let’s dive into the tips for maintaining a well-seasoned cast iron.

1. Avoid Using Soap

Using soap to clean your cast iron can strip away the protective seasoning, which is crucial for maintaining its non-stick surface. Instead, opt for salt as a natural abrasive that helps remove food particles and grease without damaging the seasoning.

Here’s how you can clean your cast iron with salt:

  • Pour a generous amount of coarse salt onto the surface of the cast iron.
  • Use a damp cloth or sponge to scrub the pan in a circular motion. The salt will act as a gentle abrasive, removing residue and buildup.
  • Rinse the cast iron thoroughly with warm water.
  • Dry the pan completely using a clean kitchen towel or placing it over low heat on the stovetop.

2. Properly Store Your Cast Iron

Storing your cast iron properly is crucial for its maintenance. Here are some tips for storing your cast iron cookware:

  • Ensure the cast iron is completely dry before storing it to prevent rust.
  • Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or shortening on the surface to prevent moisture from seeping in.
  • Store your cast iron in a cool, dry place to avoid humidity and moisture.

3. Regularly Re-Season

Re-seasoning your cast iron is necessary to maintain its non-stick surface and keep it in optimal condition. Here’s how you can re-season your cast iron:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°f (175°c).
  • Apply a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening to the entire surface of the cast iron, including the handle.
  • Place the cast iron upside-down on the oven rack to catch excess oil drips.
  • Bake the cast iron for one hour, then turn off the oven and let it cool completely before removing it.

4. Perform Routine Maintenance Checks

To ensure the longevity of your cast iron, it’s essential to perform routine maintenance checks. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Check for any signs of rust or degradation regularly. If you spot rust, don’t worry! We’ll discuss how to remove it shortly.
  • Inspect the seasoning for any signs of wear and tear. If needed, reapply a thin layer of oil to maintain the protective coating.
  • Clean your cast iron after each use, and avoid submerging it in water for extended periods.

5. Remove Rust With Salt

Salt can rescue you once again if you encounter any rust spots on your cast iron. Follow these steps to remove rust using salt:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on the rusted area.
  • Dampen the salt with water or lemon juice to create a paste.
  • Use a cloth or sponge to scrub the rusted spot gently, applying pressure until the rust starts to lift.
  • Rinse the pan thoroughly and dry it completely.

Following these tips, you can maintain a well-seasoned cast iron that will last generations. Remember to avoid using soap, properly store your cast iron, regularly re-season, perform routine maintenance checks, and utilize salt to remove rust.

With proper care, your cast iron cookware will continue providing excellent cooking results for years.


Cleaning cast iron with salt is a simple and effective method to maintain and restore the quality of your cookware. Using salt’s abrasive properties, you can effectively remove stubborn food particles and prevent rust from forming. Moreover, this natural method is environmentally friendly and requires no harsh chemicals.

Simply sprinkle salt onto the surface of your cast iron, scrub it gently with a brush or sponge, and rinse it off before drying thoroughly. Regularly cleaning your cast iron with salt will help prolong its lifespan and ensure you can enjoy delicious meals prepared for years.

So, next time you notice your cast iron needs some TLC, reach for the salt and embrace this easy and reliable cleaning solution.

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