Cleaning Cast Iron With Salt – (2) Very Easy Ways

How To Clean Cast Iron With Salt 

I want to explain and demonstrate how easy cleaning cast iron with salt is. In my opinion, cast iron is one of the best things that you can use to cook with for several reasons.

The only thing is, cast iron cookware has a couple of things that regularly need to be done to keep them in good shape. One is seasoning. Another is cleaning, and then there is maintenance.

But the question is, does salt clean cast iron? Cleaning and washing cast iron with salt can be effective in several ways. With that in mind, I’m going to focus on cleaning a cast iron skillet and, more specifically, using salt.                            

Cleaning Cast Iron With Salt
How To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet With Salt

What Is Salt?

Salt is a natural mineral used to season and enhance the flavor of food. For generations, it has been used as a preservative. Many years ago, it was used as a tool for monetary reasons.  

When we think about salt today, we usually think about regular table salt. So, can you use common salt to clean cast iron?

Yes, you can…

But since it is so fine, other types of salt are larger or coarser than the average table salt, like sea salt and kosher salt.

What Is Sea Salt?  

Sea salt is just salt that has evaporated or been extracted from ocean water and saltwater lakes. Sea salt is not processed as much as regular table salt and has more trace minerals than ordinary.                                          

What Is Kosher Salt? 

Kosher salt is just a little different than table salt. Table salt is more of a finer salt, and kosher salt is a little more coarse. Kosher salt comes from a Jewish practice of using salt to dry brine meat.

Does Salt Damage Cast Iron?

One concern some folks have when cleaning cast iron with salt is, does it damage your cast iron. 

And the answer is no; it will not damage your cast iron by simply cleaning with it. 

And one surprising benefit to cleaning cast iron with kosher salt and olive oil is it will help to pull out any impurities and smells from your cast iron.

What is the best way to clean cast iron?

I regularly clean cast iron skillets with salt. And in the videos below, I will show you two methods you can use to clean a cast iron skillet with salt as I do. 

The first technique I’d like to share with you is how to clean a cast iron skillet using salt and hot water

The first thing you want to do is clean out any debris or bits of food particles that may be in the cast iron pan. 

Next, take it to the sink, add just a little hot water to your cast iron, and then add enough salt to make a fairly thick paste.

Rub that paste around with your hot water and salt using a stiff bristle brush, and watch how it begins to remove any oil and baked-on debris. 

How To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet With Salt.

How To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet With Salt And Olive Oil

The second technique I want to share is cleaning a cast iron skillet using coarse kosher salt and olive oil.

And basically, it’s the same principle and procedure as the previous video.

But, as you can see in this video, the difference is we are not using hot water.

But, instead, we’re using heat from the stove. We heat our cast iron skillet on the stovetop and add some olive oil.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be olive oil. You can use vegetable oil or any oil of your choice.

Then place the coarse sea salt or kosher salt into the skillet and let the salt begin to heat up.

As the salt heats up, the salt begins to change color. 

The reason why it’s turning colors is that the salt is pulling out all the impurities from the cast iron.


These impurities could be food particles that are burnt into the cast iron. 

And it could even be mild cases of rust that the coarse salt is removing.

As it heats up once the salt has turned darker colors, you can go ahead and remove the excess salt and discard that into the trash can.

Or you can even move it over to the kitchen sink and rinse it down the drain.


Now here is a pro tip to take into consideration.

When you remove your cast iron skillet from the stove, since it is hot, you never want to run cold water into a hot cast iron skillet.

The reason is that it could crack and damage your cast iron skillet.

So, with that in mind, turn your water on hot, place your cast iron skillet in the sink, and run hot water in the cast iron skillet.

And, with a stiff bristle brush, brush out any remaining salt and impurities or food particles that may be released at this point.

As you wash out any excess salt, debris, or food particles, you will notice how smooth your cast iron skillet is. 

So, that’s another thing that I am impressed with about using salt to clean cast iron.

And that’s why I recommend cleaning your cast iron with salt because it does help the seasoning by removing any impurities and smoothing out the cast iron seasoning.

Once the cast iron skillet is washed clean of the food particles and debris that may have been burnt into your cast iron skillet, the next step is to dry your cast iron skillet with a paper towel.

Then take it back to the stove and heat it, drying out any excess moisture.

Next, add a little oil of your choice to your skillet and wipe it down like you usually would.


You may or may not have been aware of these two techniques of cleaning cast iron with salt, but I hope these two videos and this article demonstrate the benefits of using a course sea salt or kosher salt to clean your cast iron skillet.

3 thoughts on “Cleaning Cast Iron With Salt – (2) Very Easy Ways”

  1. Pingback: Can Cast Iron Go In Dishwashers? - Mr. Cast Iron

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