Cleaning cast iron pan

How do I get this “crust” and rust off of here?

Have you tried a paste of baking soda and water? I’ve had good results with that on other kinds of cookware - leave the paste on for a half hour or so, and then scrub it off. I usually use salt as a scrub for my cast iron. (And soap, sometimes, shhh.)

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I haven’t done anything.

Based on my (little) experience…

Surface rust comes off with water, very little soap, and a non-scratch scubbie pad. Dry and lightly the oil IMMEDIATELY.

That crust probably ain’t coming off unless you use some pretty drastic measures to strip seasoning (which you can find on the internet). Even taking a sander will not work (at least, it didn’t for my partner).

Some of those methods are vaguely dangerous, so, if the inside of the pan is smooth and non-rusted, I’d leave well enough alone, TBH.

I haven’t tried this myself, but a friend swears by external soaking of the pan in Coca-Cola for 28-72 hours. Apparently the relatively acidic pH of Coca-Cola (at a pH of 2.52) does wonders.

Again, just passing on a a tip from someone else - one I haven’t used myself in the past. Caveat emptor: YMMV.

I have used the second method here,, with good results. Just be aware that you will have to completely reseason your pan.
Of course let it cool off completely before you touch it!

Some other methods:

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I used steel wool, sand paper and maybe a knife sharpener on my Big Baby this week . Small one is great but my lady aka the sous chef has been allowed to use my 12 inch (bouchikabouwau) and screwed it all up .

Had to start over


We shall rebuild


Questions: if you use steel wool, does that remove the seasoning? What does the knife sharpener do?

yes, i’m starting over, as in stripping everything and reseasoning this one because it’s too flawed, bumpy

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sandpaper and steelwool weren’t good enough, luckily i thought about my knife sharpener… lost a good inch of it grinding it down lol

Do you use ever Easy Off to remove the seasoning? I’ve done that before for “weak” seasoning. Doesn’t seem to a thing for really strong seasoning.

Were the bumps on the horizontal surface? We have bumps on the vertical surfaces of our cast iron, but, since we don’t make frittatas and such, I just leave the bumps alone b/c it’s such a PITA to deal w/.

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I don’t think it’s the craziest idea. Supposedly Coke can dissolve a penny, but I haven’t tested the theory.

ya was on the flat surface… i dont care much what happens with the walls or back if i’m honest… no i’ve never used any seasoning remover… this was my first time doing such a thing… felt like i was sinning after years taking care of it.

Has anybody used a pumice stone?

Should work too. My friend says an orbital sander is the right way to go. But also you can just get a new one for 20 and call it a day lol

Not a Griswold. :frowning:

But, yes, you can def get a modern one for a lot less $ and work than what we’ve been describing above!

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i dont have the necessity of requiring vintage fancy pans myself… cast iron for me is for beating up and abusing… i take them camping etc. my 2 lodges have been beyond satisfactory. i suppose i’d enjoy trying a gris to see if i notice any difference


Partner bought for the Griswold for dirt cheap at a yard sale (the skillet is not in good shape). Neither of us knew anything about Griswold until, ~1-2 yrs ago, I decided to look up Griswold on the internet b/c I like the smooth surface better than the modern stuff. And then I got a rude awakening when I saw how much the stuff goes for. Bleh.

Also not in love w/ our Lodge grill pan, but I think the shape and such just make it a huge PITA to use (and perhaps a conventionally shaped skillet from Lodge would probably be just fine for me).

I doubt the smooth surface makes much (if any) of a diff in cooking, but I feel like like it’s easier to clean and maintain.

The carbon steel has been nice b/c it has much of what we like about cast iron but is slightly lighter (and more heat responsive, which could be a plus or minus, depending on what you’re cooking).


That’s CS a whole other discussion :). Hope you stay happy with your pan choices .