How to Get Rust off Cast Iron: Using Guides and Tips

Since immemorial time, cast iron utensils have been widely discovered and utilized and are quite effective, especially in the kitchen with utensils such as cast iron pots, liver pots and cast iron pans. They are indispensable tools in every kitchen. It is famous for its ability to produce dishes with great taste. Thanks to its thick and heat-retaining properties, cast iron kitchenware is very suitable for dishes that use a lot of heat for a long time. Let’s explore how to get rust off cast iron in this article.

How to get rust off cast iron

The Reason Why the Protective Layer of Cast Iron is Broken

Although cast iron pans are very durable, many people do not know how to preserve cast iron pans in the right way. It causes their pans to rust. If you encounter this rusty pan, the article below will show you why the cast iron pan is rusty and how to handle the rusted cast iron pan condition quickly and effectively.

The protective layer of cast iron is damaged for the following reasons:

  • The protective layer is peeled off the process of scraping the surface of the pan with the help of a shovel or spatula to remove burnt food.
  • When washing cast iron tools with a stiff or abrasive brush and sponge
  • When using chemicals that cannot be cleaned from cast iron.
  • The high humidity of the room leads to rust on the surface of the cast iron pan
  • Failure to dry the cast iron pan after cleaning the pan will result in the cast iron pot being rusted. This situation is also quite common, cast iron pans with water often lead to oxidizing cast iron and causing rust.
  • Store the cast iron pan in a place with a lot of moisture. A Cast iron pan is a kitchen tool used every day for cooking. If you store cast iron pans in humid places, your cast iron pans are easy to rust.
  • Cast iron pans have been used for a long time and have not been carefully and properly maintained. Cast iron kitchen utensils are often used to cook fried, sauteed and fried dishes. This easily causes plaque to accumulate and causes rust or damage to the natural non-stick coating of cast iron pans.
  • Using a cast iron pan to cook salty or highly acidic foods is also one of the main causes of rust. Acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemons, tamarind will lose the natural oil layer of the cast iron pan. Using a cast iron pan to cook too salty dishes such as braised fish, braised meat with fish sauce, etc also causes rust on your cast iron pan.
  • Using soap with strong detergents to clean cast iron pans is also a cause of them getting rust off cast iron. When you use a chemical dishwashing liquid too strong to clean the cast iron pan, the pan will lose its natural non-stick coating.
There are many reasons why cast iron gets rust
There are many reasons why cast iron gets rust

How to Get Rust off Cast Iron

Cast iron is a material that often rusts, especially when it comes to cookware.

1. Get Rust Off Cast Iron with Salt

  • Step 1: Prepare table salt and brown paper. The salt acts as a mild abrasive, making it easy to scrape away the rust without damaging the pan.
  • Step 2: Pour salt into the rusty pot and the pan. Pour in enough salt to lightly coat the area you need to rub with a thin coat.
  • Step 3: Wipe the pot with brown paper. If the salt corrodes the rust, remove the dirty salt and add fresh salt to scrub until clean.
  • Step 4: Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of vegetable oil into the pan, then spread it out with a paper towel to cover the entire pan.

If the pan is safe in the oven, bake for 1 hour at 190 degrees Celsius.

If the pan is not oven-safe, heat the oil in the pan on the stovetop until the oil begins to evaporate. Once the pan is cool, you can rub the oil into the pan with another clean paper towel.

2. Get Rust Off Cast Iron by Refreshing the Non-stick Coating

How do you renew the non-stick coating to a cast-iron skillet? It sounds ridiculous, but it’s completely doable at home. And even when you’re done, the pan’s almost new results will surprise you.

Tools to prepare:

  • The cast-iron skillet lost its non-stick
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Hard brush
  • Dry towel or paper towel
  • Vegetable oil (or another oil of your choice)
  • Oven


  • Step 1: Heat the pan and wash

Heat a cast-iron skillet in the oven over high heat. Clean the pan with warm and soapy water and a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.

  • Step 2: Add heat

Continue to bake the pan a second time in the microwave for a minute or two to remove moisture. Dry the pan thoroughly with a towel so that no moisture remains.

  • Step 3: Oiling

Using a cloth or paper towel and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the inside of the pan and to the outside of the pan. Vegetable oil can be whatever you have.

  • Step 4: Bake the pan for the last time

Place the pan upside down in the center of the oven. Place a sheet of aluminum foil underneath the rack to catch any drops of water. Bake the pan for one to two hours.

There are some tips to get rust off cast iron
There are some tips to get rust off cast iron

3. Refreshing Cast Iron Pan from Rust Most Effectively

When the surface of your thick, smooth, shiny and non-stick cast iron pan is covered with a layer of rust, it’s time to know you have to replace it with a new pan now. However, this will not happen and you do not need to spend a lot of money on buying a new pan just by following these tips.

What do you need to prepare?

  • Cast iron pan
  • Raw potato cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Hard brush
  • Dry towels and paper towels

How to process?

  • Step 1: Soak the cast iron pan in salt

You should use coarse salt if your pan has a lot of rust stains. This will help dislodge stubborn stains and rust stains that are staining the surface.

  • Step 2: Cut the potato in half

You should use potatoes to scrub your cast iron pan. That is why you should buy a really large potato and cut them in half (cut following length)

  • Step 3: Rub the potatoes on the surface of the pan (especially at the rusted area)

At this step, you only need to use the flat side of the potato to scrub the surface of the pan. The roughness of the salt and moisture from the potato will help remove rust more effectively than a brush or sponge.

  • Step 4: Scrub again with a stiff brush

You can use hot water and a stiff brush to remove residual rust. After that, do not forget to wash and dry with a clean towel.

Using Guides and Tips

1. Tips to keep cast iron kitchen utensils like new

  • Store the pan in a cool and dry place. Storing cast iron in a dry place makes the pan free of moisture is very essential. You also need to store it on a high shelf, not near a place with a lot of steam or high humidity.
  • Rinse the pan with warm water and dry it after each use. If you follow this tip regularly, your cast iron pan will be more durable, easier to clean and better retain the natural oil layer.
  • Do not use strong detergents with cast iron pans. Using a highly detergent dishwashing oil will cause the natural oil of the pan to be easily lost, lose the non-stick ability of the pan and easily rust. Use only mild detergent or diluted dishwashing liquid.
  • Avoid using a pan to cook high-salt, high-acid dishes. Limit the use of cast iron pans to cook foods with a high sour taste such as tomatoes, tamarind, lemon or vinegar. Especially, kindly note that do not use the pan to boil water.
  • Do not wash cast iron items in the dishwasher.
Tips to keep cast iron kitchen utensils like new
Tips to keep cast iron kitchen utensils like new

2. What should you pay attention to when washing cast iron pans?

There is a lot of controversy about instructions for cleaning cast iron pans so that they last longer and effectively. However, cleaning cast iron pans is actually very easy and you can do it simply at home.

Most of us just need to clean cast iron pans with a quick wipe or wash. Immediately after cooking, drain off excess grease and wipe the inside of the pan with a dry cotton towel or wash as soon as the pan is still hot under hot running water. You can use a soft bristle brush to remove any food particles left on the pan.

If you need to remove odors when cooking foods with special flavors, you should use a few drops of dishwashing liquid and use a soft bristle brush and hot water to wash them. Short-term exposure to soap will not damage the surface of the pan. However, it will still be enough to remove food odors from the pan.

When the food sticks to the pan too firmly, you should pour some warm water in and heat it on the stove. Boiling for a few minutes will help the food stop sticking to the pan and pop out, easier to wash under flowing water. When the pan is clean, heat the pan until dry.

Look on the inside of the pan. If the surface of the pan is smooth, dark, then it is standard and you can put it away. If the color is gray and dull, you can continue to coat it with a thin layer of oil or grease and keep it on the stove for a few minutes. After the pan is cool, you can store it.

Store the pan in a dry place, avoid rust, do not cover. In a humid environment, keep the pan near a hot place to keep it dry.


With just a few simple steps and easy-to-find tools like the instructions above, an important kitchen item made of cast iron has the perfect look it has ever had. If you are having the same problem, you can immediately refer to this article. Thank you for watching and do not forget that we have a lot of interesting topics that you can refer to and apply to your daily life.

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