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Cast Iron Cookware ROCKS & Can Last For DECADES With These Tips…

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Do you cook with cast iron? 🍳

I love cooking with cast iron cookware! It’s economical, naturally non-stick, and is super versatile. Cast iron can easily be used on the stove, oven, outdoor grill or campfire. If taken care of correctly, cast iron can last for many decades.

You do have to clean it in a certain way to avoid rusting. Here are some basic tips on cleaning your cast iron cookware. It’s actually not that difficult! 

1. Wash cast iron by hand, not in the dishwasher. 

Try simply wiping food out of the pan, and rinsing with warm water in the sink while using a scrub brush or sponge. I think it’s easier to wipe clean right after cooking  – if possible, while food is still warm, instead of waiting until caked on and crusted. 


2. Use course salt to help get rid of stuck on food particles.

Try scrubbing any stubborn food particles with course salt. This part seems counter-intuitive, but I find that scrubbing cast iron with course salt can be even more effective than soap. You can however use a small amount of dish soap if preferred, according to lodge.mfg.com.


3. Dry immediately.

To avoid rusting, try not to let your cast iron cookware sit to drip dry. Make sure to immediately use a towel to hand dry completely.


4. Rub with cooking oil to maintain seasoning.

After hand drying, pour in a little additional cooking oil and use a paper towel to rub oil in and around your cast iron pot or pan. This will keep it naturally non-stick for the next time you use it and prevent it from drying out. Hang or store in a dry place.

NOTE, if your cast iron pot or pan is rusty or sticky, no worries! You can fix it by re-seasoning it again in the oven. Go HERE for some helpful tips.


Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.

Join The Discussion

Comments 42

  1. Carrie

    Love mine for sure! I use the 10 inch and I am beginning to love my heavy reversible griddle too (had it for years and just started using it more often).

    I wont sear my steaks in anything else.

    These things are heavy though.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes love my griddle too! I’ve been using it a lot for veggies on the grill 😀

  2. Heather C

    I also love my Scrub Daddy’s… most are yellow. I have a blue one that is specifically for my cast iron. Works very well since it never hits the soap!

    • BOBY G

      What is scrub daddys?is it used for cleaning cast iron?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh interesting – I will have to try those out! Thanks for sharing ~

  3. bobbi

    i made the switch a few years ago and i couldn’t be happier! They are the last pans that you will ever have to buy!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Awesome news – thanks for sharing 😀

  4. Mrs. I

    We switched to cast iron a couple of years ago and it’s all we use now😀

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That’s great! I’m glad you enjoy them also.

  5. hshgal

    Yes the only thing they are heavy

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Yes I agree – only downside.

  6. Laurie

    I cannot, for the life of me, get the seasoning process to really work. I’ve followed so many tips… baking it at super high heats, repeatedly, after wiping on coats of oil. Spent days with smoke detector going off. Eggs still stick like crazy in the skillet (to the point of Hartley having any left to eat), steaks get glued to the grill pan. Mine are Lodge brand, too. I read once about someone sanding the surface till it was smooth like glass, then seasoning.. with better results. Would love some tips..

    • Ihearthip

      Have you tried putting it on the grill?

    • Kellyz

      Same here!!!!!

    • Missy

      The sticking problem would be aggravated by putting cold meat straight into the hot pan (I don’t know if that’s what you’re doing tho). Just saying.

    • Natalie

      Lodge cast iron has a rough surface so they can be seasoned commercially (The oil sticks better than a smooth surface. Good for them, not so good for the user.) I look for pans with a glass-smooth bottom, or the potential for it! Also, when reseasoning, only put a LIGHT coat of oil on the pan at a time. As in, put the oil on, wipe it off well and heat it up. It takes a little longer, but well worth it! Cook a lot of meat at first… bacon!

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        Great tips Natalie!

    • Roger budde

      U must use some kind of oil in the pan. I think your seasoning is ok. Seasoning and cleaning a cast iron pan is the same as just cleaning a normal frying pan. The additional seasoning is just to prevent rusting, light oil wiped down with a paper towel.

    • Crystalsnow

      You’ll need to make sure the pan is hot before adding anything to cook. If it’s still cold, food will stick.

  7. BB

    You NEVER use soap when cleaning cast iron. That is a big no no!

    • Jess

      That’s actually an old wives tale. Modern soap is fine on cast iron and won’t remove the seasoning like many people believe. The seasoning is a chemical bond that can’t be removed by soap. Google it 🙂

    • Laura Y

      I use my Grandma’s 30+ year old pan, clean with soap, and coat with oil after. It’s still the most non-stick pan I have 🙂

      • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

        That’s so great!

  8. Summer

    Been using mine for almost six years – no teflon thank you!

    Once cooled , I scrub mine under hot water with stainless steel scrubber – no soap.

    Then I put over a hot burner to dry and evaporate all the water –
    As soon as water is gone, I pour oil in (I use coconut) and smear all around with a paper towel.

    Be sure to heat pan very well before cooking eggs or chicken to avoid sticking

  9. Nana Donna 2 6

    I have found that the Gainwell stainless steel chainmail scrubber for cast iron to work extremely well on stuck-on food without damaging the surface/seasoning. I’ve also used the plastic scrapper that comes with Pampered Chef stoneware products (i.e. pizza stone).

  10. Kasey

    I had a cast iron pan that wasn’t being non stick anymore I heated it on the stove top and poured some coconut oil in it, now it’s perfect. After I wash and dry it, I wipe olive oil on it. Every so often I will heat it up and use the coconut oil on it.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great tip – thanks Kasey

  11. N

    My cast iron skillet belonged to my mama and is 65+ years old. It is perfectly seasoned thanks to all her years of use. I know ever so often she would rub it inside with beef tallow (from the meat department) and put it in a very high heat oven for 2 hours. Mama would use water to wash it out then coat it thickly with crisco shortening. Now I just wipe it out and oil it after each use and I’ve never had anything stick. My mama was a mountain gal, oh the foods that cast iron skillet has cooked!

  12. cidadams

    I used to go on cattle roundups with a chuckwagon. Everything cooked in cast iron Dutch ovens and frying pans over mesquite coals. They scrubbed them out with sand. Best food I ever ate. I clean mine with a scrub brush and rinse with very hot water, imediatelly dry and while still very warm wipe with shortening. They are the best non-stick pans I have.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great! Thanks for sharing 👍

  13. Amy

    I see the link but what brand do you all recommend? I have never had a cast iron pan and would like to get one. Thanks!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Most of mine is Lodge – thanks Amy for stopping by 😀

    • Crystalsnow

      I bought a 3 piece skillet set from jcp…preseasoned…it was $60, but on sale for $25 and used a $10 coupon. $5 a pan, I thought I had nothing to lose if I couldn’t make it work. But I love them. I used all of them to fry few items first so the oil saturated and really seasoned the pans.
      Bought a utopia brand cast iron wok from amazon. And a bobby flay flat skillet 14″ from kohls.

  14. Sarah C

    Does anyone have the link from the post of the cast iron pans that had a $10 rebate which I believe was from Macy’s about 2 weeks ago?

  15. Julie

    Amy, Lodge is always a good bet. If you can find Griswold at a flea market or yard sale, grab it. It goes for a couple of thousand dollars.

  16. Kikisaver

    Thanks Lina! We’re cast iron newbs…Great tips–we enjoy all of your posts so much–you’re a gem! 😀

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      That is so nice – Thanks for reading and for the kind words 😀

  17. Jen

    Love your articles, very helpful!

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Thanks Jen!

  18. Crystalsnow

    When I first get cast iron, I ONLY use it for frying & pan frying,
    With qt least 1/2 inch of oil. Do this for a couple uses and that pan will season itself.
    I always wash with soap bc of food allergies in the house…then I dry using the stove , and spray with those oil sprays . I store mine in the oven for easy access bc it’s almost all I use (well aside for my pressure cooker). I have 3 of the skillets that come in a set, a huge cast iron wok, and a large flat side less skillet…I think it’s like 14″ . All serve their purposes.

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Great tips! Thanks for sharing

  19. Brenda

    This was the best video I’ve found on the care and cleaning/restoration of cast iron. I belong to an RV group that does a lot of camp Dutch oven cooking. Those are the cast iron pots that have the little legs on them (to sit over coals) and a flat lid with a raised edge (to hold coals placed on top of the pot). Also, remember that you need to use your cast iron, or the oil or shortening used to season can go rancid. The video tells you how to reseason your pans if that should happen.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/jodyduits/how-to-care-for-cast-iron

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