Clean Rust On Cast Iron: Tips And Tricks

Rust On My Dutch Oven Cast Iron? Oh My! Ugonwa's
Rust On My Dutch Oven Cast Iron? Oh My! Ugonwa's from


Cast iron cookware has been a staple in kitchens for generations. Its durability and heat retention make it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike. However, over time, cast iron can develop rust if not properly cared for. In this article, we will provide you with some tips and tricks on how to clean rust off your cast iron and restore it to its former glory.

Understanding Rust

Rust is the result of the oxidation of iron in the presence of moisture and oxygen. When cast iron is exposed to these elements, it can develop a reddish-brown coating that not only looks unsightly but can also affect the flavor of your food. Cleaning rust off cast iron is essential to maintain its performance and prolong its lifespan.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you start the rust removal process, gather the necessary supplies. You will need a stiff brush, steel wool or a scrub pad, dish soap, white vinegar, baking soda, a clean cloth or paper towels, and vegetable oil.

Removing Rust

Start by scrubbing the rusted areas with a stiff brush to remove any loose particles. Next, create a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Submerge the rusted cast iron in the mixture and let it soak for at least one hour. This will help to loosen the rust.

Scrubbing and Rinsing

After soaking, use steel wool or a scrub pad to scrub away the remaining rust. Be gentle yet thorough, ensuring you cover all rusted areas. Rinse the cast iron thoroughly under running water to remove any vinegar residue.

Baking Soda Paste

If there are stubborn rust spots that did not come off with the vinegar soak, make a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the rusted areas and scrub gently with a brush or scrub pad. Rinse the cast iron again to remove any baking soda residue.

Drying and Seasoning

Once the rust has been completely removed, dry the cast iron thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towels. Place the cast iron on a stovetop or in the oven to ensure it is completely dry. Once dry, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the entire surface of the cast iron to prevent future rusting.

Regular Maintenance

To prevent rust from forming on your cast iron, it is important to practice regular maintenance. After each use, clean the cast iron with hot water and a brush, avoiding the use of soap. Dry the cast iron thoroughly, and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to keep it seasoned.


With proper care and maintenance, you can easily clean rust off your cast iron and enjoy its benefits for years to come. Remember to gather your supplies, remove the rust, dry, and season your cast iron properly. By following these tips and tricks, your cast iron cookware will remain in pristine condition and continue to provide you with delicious meals for a long time.