Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

how to clean a rusty cast iron skillet

(2 ratings)
Recipe by
Becky Graves
Del City, OK

Great way to restore old skillets!

(2 ratings)
prep time 20 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For how to clean a rusty cast iron skillet

  • raw potato
  • kosher salt
  • crisco -not the buttered flavor!

How To Make how to clean a rusty cast iron skillet

  • 1
    Set your cast iron skillet in the sink and sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Kosher salt in the bottom.
  • 2
    Slice off the top of a raw potato. Make sure to leave enough of the potato so you can grab it easily. Use the cut end of your potato to scour the skillet, grinding the salt into any rusty or crusty spots. As you work, rinse off the skillet (and rust!) and add more salt if it requires more scrubbing.
  • 3
    Once all of the rust has vanished (Yay!), dry your skillet with a clean towel.
  • 4
    If you don’t need to re-season your skillet, just add crisco to its surface. You can be a tad heavy handed with the crisco as it will mostly just absorb. Rub the crisco into your skillet’s surface, that way it’s ready to go for you next cooking adventure.
  • 5
    Never, ever, ever wash your skillet with soap again. Don’t even let a drop near it. The soap will wear off your fresh coating of oil and it will likely make your next meal taste a tad sudsy. After you finish cooking with your skillet, immediately rinse it out to remove any burned on bits. If you need more scrubbing, let it cool, and then use salt and a coarse scrubbing pad to get rid of any burned bits. Don’t let your skillet soak for long periods of time, and NEVER put it in the dishwasher.