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Old 02-15-2005, 03:50 PM
Catwoman's Avatar
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rust on cast iron

Hello folks! I dug two cast iron skillets out from the depths of my kitchen cabinet, and they're covered with some pretty thick rust spots. Any suggestions on how to get it off? It seems to me that I read somewhere that you can scrub it off with baking soda or something like that... just can't remember where...
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:32 PM
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I just did this recently and save the directions, the 2 pans came out good too
Hugs Sandie

To remove rust, buff the pan with a fine wire wheel in an electric drill. Crusted rust can be dissolved by soaking the piece in a 50%solution of white vinegar and water for a few hours. Don't leave it more than overnight without checking it. This solution will eventually eat the iron!

After removing the burned on grease and rust, you are ready to season the piece. Put the pan in the oven to warm it. Remove it and apply shortening. I prefer solid Crisco. Pam spray also will work. Some people prefer lard or bacon fat. Put it in the oven at 225 degrees for half an hour. Remove it and wipe it almost dry. You don't want any pooling of the shortening. Place it back in the oven for another half hour. The initial seasoning should be accomplished at this point. However, typical of cast iron cookware, the more you use it (and don't abuse), the better it will be. It is generally recommended that you cook fatty foods in the pan the first few times you use it, as this adds to the seasoning process.

After cooking in the pan, DO NOT use a detergent to clean it. That will destroy the seasoning. Put hot water in the pan and bring it to a boil. CAUTION: Do not put cold water in a hot pan! Let the pan soak for several minutes, then wipe it out with a paper towel. If something sticks, scrape it with a spoon to dislodge it. Do not use a brillo pad to scour it! An abrasive pad cuts into the seasoned surface. Then, reheat the pan and apply a fine coating of shorting, oil, or Pam. Do not apply enough to run. Just enough to wet the surface with a fine layer.

About the author
David G Smith, well known as the "Pan Man", who resides in the western region of New York State, is both a collector and dealer of Cast Iron Cookware. He has been collecting for over twenty years during which time he has assembled one of the finest collections of Iron Muffin Pans in the nation. Not content with only collecting early cookware, David Smith became keenly interested in the history of cast iron cookware and its manufacturers. He spent hundreds of hours researching both. In addition to collecting, he has been actively buying and selling iron cookware for over a decade. Visit David at his website for quality castiron cookwear, plus information on his newsletter, Kettles'n Cookware. You can also email David at [email protected] if you have any questions.

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Old 02-17-2005, 12:26 PM
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Sandie, thanks for that info... I am going to try the vinegar-and-water thing today!!
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:02 AM
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I read that putting them in the oven on a self cleaning cycle would clean them right up. D
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:12 AM
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I bought mine used with rust on them, dh took a electric sander to them, came out fine.

I have found if I don't dry and oil them right away, they will get rust on them... if this happens I just use a Brillo pad on them, cook, clean, dry on stove and put a layer of Crisco Oil on them with a paper towel and they are fine.

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Old 02-21-2005, 12:03 PM
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Hi all,
I have had iron skilets all my life , and I'm a grandma. I do scour mine with a wire scouring pad. If the rust has not pitted the iron scouring will work. If it is pitted then have it sand blasted. It it is badly pitted paint a picture on it and hang it on the wall.LOL Badly pitted will just get worse in my opinion. After scouring if you take the baked on black off then you should grease or oil it with unsalted lard but I have used crisco or oil and it worked too. Bake it in the oven for at least a couple hours at 300 to season. I should do this but rarely have and everything works out fine. When I wash my skilets if I need to scour I do then put on a burner that is on for a few minutes to dry and then spray with pam spray and wipe it out with a paper towel. This will keep it from rusting. hang it up or put in the cupboard.
Grandchildren are Gods way of compensating us for growing old.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:18 PM
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Location: Greensburg, PA
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My mom said the way her grandma used to clean rust out of iron skillets was to build a fire and throw the pans in. It might just be cooked on grease, not rust. DO NOT use oven cleaner on them. DO NOT soak in water.

My great grandma would be about 110 tears old if she were still alive.

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Old 02-21-2005, 09:02 PM
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I love my pans. Now I grab them from garage sales when I see them. You can also put them on your bbq grill to heat them up and/or season them too.

To clean mine I run really hot water and scrape off food etc. Put on top of stove to dry it off then wipe grease, crisco whatever on it with paper towel just like the rest of you. I store them in my broiler in the bottom of my oven. Never had a problem with them there.
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