Cast iron skillets are desirable for their long life, durability and supplementation of iron to foods. Although cast iron requires a certain level of preventative care, it quickly recovers from general misuse. If left in water, cast iron rusts. However, you can clean rust from a cast iron skillet and easily re-season the cookware.

Things You'll Need

Scrub the skillet with hot water and steel wool to remove the rust. Depending on the severity of rusting, this process may require considerable physical pressure and lengthy scrubbing.

Thoroughly dry the clean cast iron skillet with paper towels.

Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the entire surface of the skillet, using a basting brush. If you do not have a basting brush, use oil soaked paper towels.

Bake the basted cast iron skillet in a 350-degree oven for one hour.

Remove the skillet from the oven—use caution, it will be extremely hot—and cool on the stove top. Store the newly seasoned cast iron in a dry place.


  • To avoid future rusting, always thoroughly dry the skillet immediately after washing.

References and Resources

Cast Iron Cleaning Techniques