Effective Ways to Remove Rust from Your Iron Skillet

If you are a fan of cooking with cast iron, then you may have experienced the frustration of rust on your beloved skillet. Rust can impact the quality and taste of your meals, not to mention the health concerns it may raise. But have no fear! In this article, we will go over the steps to properly remove rust from your iron skillet so that you can continue to enjoy cooking with it for years to come.

Assess the Rust

The first step to removing rust from your iron skillet is to assess the extent of the damage. If the rust is just starting to form, then it may be easier to remove. But if the rust has been there for a while, and has affected a large portion of the skillet, it may be time to consider purchasing a new one. Make sure to check all the crevices where rust can grow to ensure you have an accurate idea of the situation.

Gather Your Supplies

In addition to properly assessing the rust on your skillet, it’s also important to gather the necessary supplies before beginning the cleaning process. To properly remove rust, you will need:

  • A stiff-bristled brush
  • Dish soap or baking soda
  • White vinegar or citric acid
  • Vegetable oil or other type of seasoning
  • A clean, dry cloth or paper towel

Once you have all these items, you’ll be ready to start the cleaning process.

Scrub the Rust

The next step is to scrub the rust off the skillet. Use the stiff-bristled brush to gently scrub the rusted areas of the skillet. You may want to use hot water to help loosen the rust. If the rust is particularly stubborn, you can try using a mixture of dish soap and baking soda to create a paste. Gently scrub the paste onto the rusted areas and use the brush to remove it. Rinse the skillet thoroughly and dry it off with a clean towel.

Soak in Vinegar

After you have scrubbed the rust off the skillet, it’s time to soak it in vinegar. Combine equal parts water and white vinegar (or citric acid) in a container large enough to hold the skillet. Soak the skillet in the mixture for a few hours or overnight. The acid in the vinegar will help break down any remaining rust on the skillet.

Rinse and Dry

Once the skillet has soaked in the vinegar mixture, remove it from the container and rinse it thoroughly with water. Make sure to completely remove all the vinegar from the skillet to avoid any unwanted taste. Dry the skillet with a clean towel or paper towel. Be sure to dry it completely, as any remaining moisture can lead to more rust forming on the skillet.

Season the Skillet

Finally, you’ll need to season the skillet to protect it from rusting again in the future. You can do this by rubbing a small amount of vegetable oil or other type of seasoning onto the skillet. Make sure to coat the entire skillet, including the handle. Bake the skillet in the oven for about an hour at 350°F. This will create a protective layer on the skillet that will help prevent rust from forming in the future.


Removing rust from an iron skillet may seem like a daunting task, but with the proper steps and supplies, it can be done quickly and easily. By properly assessing the rust, gathering the necessary supplies, scrubbing the skillet, soaking it in vinegar, rinsing and drying it, and finally seasoning it, your skillet will be as good as new. And remember, maintaining your skillet over time will prevent rust from forming in the first place, so be sure to finish your cooking by wiping your skillet with a little vegetable oil to keep it working well for years to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *