Using Oven Cleaner to Clean Cast Iron

Written by arthur barnhouse
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Using Oven Cleaner to Clean Cast Iron
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Cast iron, especially cast-iron cookware, has a tendency to get dirty. Whether it's a cast-iron grill, grate, skillet or pan, burnt-on food can seem impossible to remove. Of course, if not properly maintained, cast iron can also easily rust. You need not, however, consider discarding the cast iron. With a bit of scrubbing, ingenuity and a few common cleaning supplies, you can rejuvenate your cast-iron piece.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Can of oven cleaner
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Vegetable oil
  • Towels
  • Wire brush
  • Scouring pad
  • Plastic trash bag
  • Rubber gloves

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  1. 1

    Put on your rubber gloves, gather the cast-iron pieces you wish to clean and find a well-ventilated area in which to work. Oven cleaner fumes can become overwhelming if you’re not careful.

  2. 2

    Coat the cast iron in oven cleaner, spraying it thoroughly. Try not to get it on your skin or breathe in the fumes.

  3. 3

    Place the cast iron into a plastic trash bag and tightly tie the bag shut. If you wish, you can use a plastic tie or rubber band to seal the bag. The plastic should be airtight to prolong the cleaning action.

  4. 4

    Lift the plastic bag carefully, so as not to rip it, and set it in a safe place. Allow the cast iron to soak in the oven cleaner for about two days.

  5. 5

    Remove the cast iron while wearing your protective gloves, and move to the sink.

  6. 6

    Scrub the cast iron under water using a scouring pad. Mix in a small amount of dish detergent, just enough to create suds. If the cast iron is still rusty or extremely dirty, use a wire brush to scrub. Continue until you’re satisfied with the results.

  7. 7

    Dry the cast iron immediately with towels. Do not allow the cast iron to soak or remain wet, as it will cause rusting.

  8. 8

    Use a clean towel to apply a light coat of vegetable oil on the cast iron, especially if you will be storing it. This will help prevent rust.

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