Using Oven Cleaner to Clean Cast Iron

Cast iron, especially cast-iron cookware, has a tendency to get dirty.
Whether it's a cast-iron grill, grate, skillet or pan, burnt-on food can seem impossible to remove. Of course, if not properly maintained, cast iron can also easily rust. You need not, however, consider discarding the cast iron. With a bit of scrubbing, ingenuity and a few common cleaning supplies, you can rejuvenate your cast-iron piece.

Step 1

Put on your rubber gloves, gather the cast-iron pieces you wish to clean and find a well-ventilated area in which to work. Oven cleaner fumes can become overwhelming if you’re not careful.

Step 2

Coat the cast iron in oven cleaner, spraying it thoroughly. Try not to get it on your skin or breathe in the fumes.

Step 3

Place the cast iron into a plastic trash bag and tightly tie the bag shut. If you wish, you can use a plastic tie or rubber band to seal the bag. The plastic should be airtight to prolong the cleaning action.

Step 4

Lift the plastic bag carefully, so as not to rip it, and set it in a safe place. Allow the cast iron to soak in the oven cleaner for about two days.

Step 5

Remove the cast iron while wearing your protective gloves, and move to the sink.

Step 6

Scrub the cast iron under water using a scouring pad. Mix in a small amount of dish detergent, just enough to create suds. If the cast iron is still rusty or extremely dirty, use a wire brush to scrub. Continue until you’re satisfied with the results.

Step 7

Dry the cast iron immediately with towels. Do not allow the cast iron to soak or remain wet, as it will cause rusting.

Step 8

Use a clean towel to apply a light coat of vegetable oil on the cast iron, especially if you will be storing it. This will help prevent rust.

Things You Will Need

  • Can of oven cleaner
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Vegetable oil
  • Towels
  • Wire brush
  • Scouring pad
  • Plastic trash bag
  • Rubber gloves

About the Author

Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.