Why do my cast iron skillets get this gummy sticky residue on them? I thought I had cured it well, and I wash it with only water. What can I do to get it back to good shape?
Nancy from Nebraska
I have had this happen when seasoning them too well. And don't wipe the excess oil off from them. What I do is wash them really good with hot soapy water and an SOS pad, then just season again. (09/01/2006)
I agree. I'm lazy though. I wash the outside with hot soapy water, the inside with just water and a scratch pad if it's needed. When the skillet is just too gunked up, I put it in the bottom of my self cleaning oven and clean it, then begin again re-seasoning. I also store my skillet in the oven, upside down after washing. My skillets came from my grandmother who was born in the 1880s. (09/01/2006)
To bring your cast iron pots back to new, soak them in a 5 gallon bucket with 1 can Red Devil Lye. It depends on how bad the pot is on how long you soak it. I have some soaking now that has been in for 2 days. They were in pretty bad shape, as I got them at garage sales. When clean take them out and wash them good with dawn dish liquid. Season as usual. Just like new again. (09/02/2006)
I was told by my grandmother, NEVER put soap or detergent on a cast iron pan. You should either heat them up and try to wipe out the stickiness. Or, you could just add boiling water and wipe them down. In the future, always clean the pans right after cooking, while they are still hot and use kosher salt for the abrasive action and re-season with oil or shortening. Be sure to wipe off any excess. When you use soap, the patina of the pan degrades and you will lose the non-stick ability of a well seasoned cast iron pan. Good Luck! (09/04/2006)
I agree - soap it down, use a brillo pad if need be, and then re-season. I think it's a good idea to do this periodically, even if it isn't too gunked up. (09/07/2006)
Use oven cleaner, then re-season. (02/10/2009)
Please do not use over cleaner. Cast iron absorbs those toxic chemicals. Soak it in very hot water with salt and soda, Then use an SOS pad and a salt/soda mixture. Soak in some water with vinegar if needed. Dry on stove top and re-season with vegetable shortening. (02/11/2009)
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