How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet with Salt?

How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet with Salt?

Hello, and welcome to the world of cast iron cookery! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just getting your feet wet with cast iron skillets, one thing is certain: these kitchen workhorses are meant to last. 

The key to maintaining your cast iron skillet in excellent shape is appropriate care and maintenance, and one of the most effective and pleasant methods to clean it is with the simple yet strong power of salt.

We’ll take you on a gastronomic voyage through the art of cast iron skillet care, with a special emphasis on how to clean it with salt. 

How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet with Salt?

Using coarse salt is a terrific substitute for dish soap, and it’s also a better way to keep the flavor of your skillet intact.

Cleaning your cast iron with salt is a good way to help preserve the patina and reduce how often you need to season the pan. The choice of approach ultimately boils down to personal preference.

Cleaning with soap and water offers a better clean, but the salt method builds up the non-stick coating.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Bristle brush
  • Paper towel or cleaning cloth
  • Salt

The Essentials of Cast Iron Skillets

Before we go into the salt-cleaning procedure, let’s talk about what makes cast iron skillets so unique.

For years, these cooking friends have been treasured for their durability, even heating, and the particular flavor they impart to your recipes.

They’re ideal for searing, frying, baking, and so much more, but proper care is required to keep them working at their peak.

The Not-So-Spooky Myth of Avoiding Soap

Many people assume that soap and cast iron do not mix because soap will remove the seasoning from the pan. 

While harsh detergents and extensive soaking should be avoided, using a bar of gentle dish soap for routine cleaning is OK.

However, there is another chemical-free and incredibly effective option: salt.

The Marvelous Cleaning Power of Salt

The salt-washing method is a centuries-old process for cleaning, deodorizing, and even eliminating rust from cast iron skillets. 

It’s an environmentally responsible and cost-effective solution that’s kind on your kitchenware while harsh on filth.

Clean a Cast Iron Skillet with These 8 Easy Hacks

Cast-iron pans can be cleaned in a number of ways, but scrubbing debris away with salt helps. Here are the simple hacks to help guide you;

Get Rid of Food Residue

Ensure your skillet is cool enough to handle but still warm before you begin. If there is any food residue stuck to the pan, carefully scrape it off using a spatula.

Pour Some Salt

When your skillet is ready, liberally sprinkle coarse salt on the cooking surface. The salt serves as a natural abrasive, assisting in the loosening and lifting of cooked-on material.

Start Scrubbing

Massage the salt into the skillet’s surface with a scrubbing brush or a towel. Use circular strokes and light pressure. With each pass, the salt will absorb the grease and grime, leaving your skillet cleaner.

Problem Areas? No Problem!

To remove obstinate spots or rust, mix a paste with a little water and salt. Apply this paste to the troublesome areas and scrub vigorously.

The salt paste’s abrasive effect can work miracles on even the most difficult residues.

Rinse and Repeat

After properly cleaning the skillet, rinse it well. Wash away the salt and any leftover food bits with hot water. Don’t be hesitant to use your fingers to check that all of the salt has been removed.

Dry Thoroughly

After cleaning, use a clean, dry cloth or paper towels to pat your cast iron skillet dry. To avoid rusting, ensure that it is thoroughly dry.

Store it Safely

To keep your cast iron skillet in good shape, keep it dry and avoid stacking heavy cookware on top of it. Proper storage keeps it ready to use when you need it.

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Benefits of Using Salt for Cleaning

The salt-cleaning approach has several advantages over typical soap and water cleaning methods:

  • Eco-friendly: It’s a chemical-free way to clean your skillet, making it a more environmentally responsible option.
  • Cost-effective: Salt is a kitchen necessity, and utilizing it for cleaning will not break the wallet.
  • Rust removal: Salt is great for removing rust stains, which can be a problem with cast iron.
  • Satisfying scrubbing: Scrubbing with salt and watching your skillet sparkle is strangely relaxing.

When to Avoid Salt Cleaning

While the salt-cleaning approach is excellent for most cast iron maintenance, there are a few instances when it should be avoided:

  • Enamel-coated cast iron: To avoid harming the enamel coating on your skillet, use milder cleaning methods.
  • Newly seasoned skillets: If you’ve recently seasoned your skillet, use a gentler cleaning method to avoid removing the seasoning too soon.


Cleaning a cast iron pan with salt is efficient but also meditative and enjoyable. It refers to when simple, natural solutions were the bedrock of household upkeep. 

So, the next time you’re staring at a greasy, crusty cast iron pan, don’t reach for the detergent; instead, grab some salt and try this time-tested procedure. 

Years of excellent, well-seasoned meals will be provided by your skillet. Good luck in the kitchen!

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