How To Use E-Cloth To Clean Your Cast Iron Cookware
E-cloth is enough.
If needed, wash the cast iron by hand with a Washing Up Pad and hot water. Don’t use soap if it isn’t absolutely necessary, but make sure to scrub away any stuck-on grime.
Dry the cast iron using another Wash & Wipe Dish Cloth, or just let it dry on the stove over low heat. Apply a light coat of oil to the dry cast iron, then blot away the excess oil with a washrag. Store it in a dry place, and repeat the process whenever you use your cookware!
Cast iron is built to last. This tough-as-nails kitchen tool deserves a cleaning routine that helps – not hinders – its natural nonstick properties, years’ worth of seasonings, and immaculate cooking surface.
E-Cloth is built for that.
Continue reading to see how you can incorporate E-Cloth into your cast iron care routine!
1) Start ASAP!
The first rule of cooking with cast iron is don’t wait to clean your cookware! Begin the clean-up process as soon as possible after your cookware has cooled to a reasonable temperature. The longer you let your cast iron sit without cleaning it, the tougher it’ll be to revive, and the more aggressive you’ll have to be when cleaning.
Also, make sure to NEVER let your cast iron soak for a prolonged period of time. If you believe your pan needs more than a quick rinse, feel free to soak it ONLY for a few minutes, then promptly begin to scrub.
2) Wipe Off & Wait
Before running your cast iron to the sink, start the cleaning process by wiping the skillet (or pan or grill!) with a clean and dry reusable cloth, such as our Wash & Wipe Dish Cloth or even a Kitchen Cloth. Do your best to remove all food residue, oil, and other grime with just this cloth.
Wait a minute! Pause your cleaning process and assess your cast iron’s cleanliness for just a moment. If you’re able to wipe off all noticeable food residue and grime, then stop right here! Cast iron cookware does NOT need to be rinsed and washed after every use – doing so can actually backfire and may cause your cookware to prematurely age. Cast iron is resilient, but it performs best when cared for gently.
So, if you don’t need to scrub away any stuck-on food, then simply lightly oil your pan if needed (with cooking oil, like vegetable oil, or a saturated fat, such as coconut oil or even butter) and store it for its next use.
3) Add Water & Scrub Away
Not all cooking sessions are the same. If you put your cast iron through the ringer and there’s a lot of mess leftover, go ahead and bring the pan to your sink to rinse and scrub it under warm or hot running water.
Our favorite scrubbers for cast iron include our Washing Up Pad, or even the scrubbing corner of our Kitchen Cloth. All are non-abrasive scrubbing tools that clean without the risk of damaging your precious cookware.
Feel free to use your favorite E-Cloth scrubber either wet or dry on your cast iron, and make sure to quickly rinse off stuck-on food residue once it’s been scrubbed away.
Optional: Add a drop of soap as needed
If you’re scrubbing (and scrubbing and scrubbing) away with our Washing Up Pad and all the elbow grease you can muster isn’t working well enough to clean your cookware, go ahead and add a drop or two dish soap to the mix.
Soap isn’t always required to clean cast iron. Often, just a microfiber cloth, some water, and a scrubber are all you need. However, if soap seems necessary for your messiest culinary creations, make sure to not overdo it, and definitely make sure to thoroughly rinse away all soap residue.
We're serious when we say soap isn’t always needed. Your cast iron (and its seasonings) will thank you.
4) Dry Thoroughly... & Dry Again
Once your cast iron is clean, skip the drying rack altogether and grab another clean and dry cloth, like our Wash & Wipe Dish Cloth or Classic Check Dish Towel, to thoroughly dry ALL leftover water residue – even that rogue, tiny droplet of water on the skillet’s handle.
An improperly dried cast iron product can and will rust over time, so do your best to completely dry the product using a lint-free cloth. (Thankfully, all microfiber cloths – such as your favourite E-Cloth product – are naturally lint-free and safe to use on cast iron.)
For good measure, you can also dry your cast iron on the stove over low heat for up to 10 minutes. Just don’t forget you left the stove on…
Optional: Oil as needed
Oil and saturated fats are a cast iron’s best friend! Cast iron that becomes too dry is more likely to rust over time. If you cleaned your cast iron under water, definitely don’t skip this step. Just place an extremely thin layer of vegetable oil, coconut oil, lard, or butter over the pan. This step is especially important if you don’t use your cast iron on a daily basis.
If you accidentally use too much oil, grab your nearest (clean!) washrag and lightly blot the surface. Just don’t forget that oil or fats and E-Cloth products don't mix, so it’s best to not use an E-Cloth product to soak up any remaining oil.
5) Store Safely & Repeat!
Cast iron performs best and lasts for longer when stored in a cool, dry place, safe from water and extraneous humidity. Keep in mind that it’s best to NOT stack cast iron under other kitchen tools or utensils, as the weight from other objects can compromise the pan’s natural seasonings.
Remember, a delicious cast iron meal starts with a well-cared-for and properly cleaned cast iron!
Use E-Cloth to maintain your favourite kitchen tools and tell us how it’s going with the hashtag #makeitsparkle.