How to Restore Rusted Cast Iron Cookware

Written by constance barker
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How to Restore Rusted Cast Iron Cookware
Use a non-metallic scrubber to restore rusted cast iron cookware. (bolognese sauce preparation image by Sean Wallace-Jones from

Cast iron skillets or muffin pans are common cookware in most kitchens. To make perfect cornbread, cooks often swear by using cast iron cookware. While durable, cast iron can also become rusty, especially when left soaking in water. To restore the cookware, rust spots need removed and the cast iron requires re-seasoning.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Nylon scrubber
  • Dish towel
  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking tray
  • Waxed paper
  • Unsalted vegetable shortening
  • Paper towel

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  1. 1

    Fill a sink with 1 tsp liquid dish soap and hot water. Place the rusted cast iron cookware into the sink and allow it to remain in the soapy water for three minutes.

  2. 2

    Scrub the rust from the cookware with a nylon scrubber. After removing all the rust stains, rinse the cookware with hot water. Dry the cookware with a clean dish towel.

  3. 3

    Heat your oven to 177 degrees Celsius. Place aluminium foil over the top of a large baking tray.

  4. 4

    Tear off a piece of waxed paper. Scoop up 1/4 cup of unsalted vegetable shortening with the waxed paper.

  5. 5

    Rub the cast iron cookware with the shortening, covering the entire inside and outside areas.

  6. 6

    Place the cookware on the baking tray upside down and put into the oven for one hour.

  7. 7

    Remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the cookware to cool completely. Wipe any grease from the cookware with a clean paper towel.

Tips and warnings

  • Dry cast iron cookware after cleaning and avoid allowing water to evaporate on the surface to prevent the formation of rust.

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