Cleaning Cast Iron Pots and Pans

We had several old iron cooking pots and pans, that had been left in storage for many years. They were rusty, and really corroded.

I put them in a plastic garbage bag, soaked a towel with ammonia, and left it tied in bag for several days (maybe 4 days.) As I took each one out to wash and clean, I left the others in the bag. They clean well with a little elbow "grease". They looked almost new.


I had a dutch oven, a huge skillet, a large pancake griddle, and several pans with handles. I used steel wool on some and scraped residue off with a knife, then washed and dried them. I used Crisco and rubbed each one with a paper towel. I set them in the oven for several days when not in use. They looked like new and would have been discarded as useless.

By Beulah

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By debbie (Guest Post)
July 23, 20050 found this helpful

what was the purpose of the amonia? degreaser by fumes?

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July 31, 20050 found this helpful

When my dad used to camp out more with "the boys" he would periodically take my mom's cast iron skillet(s) with him. He was just throw them into the fire. It burns all the yuck off of them. He would bring them back home and mom would "season" them and they were ready to go again.

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By Helpless husband (Guest Post)
January 31, 20060 found this helpful

My wife made a stew and the juice dried out and left a burnt mess in the iron pot. How can we clean it?

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January 31, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Helpless Husband,
Soak it in the sink and scrub it until the food is gone. Iron pots eventually turn black from use, it is called seasoning. Once the food is scrubbed off, coat the pot with suet or a little oil and bake it in the over for an hour or two at 250 degrees F. That will reseason it.


Cleaning of Cast Iron Pots should basically be a rinse and wipe out with a paper towel to keep the seasoning.

Hope this helps.

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