How to Get Rust Off of Cast Iron Cookware


Cast iron cookware holds heat well and cooks food evenly. Its cleanup should be a simple process, but if you let a cast iron pot soak overnight in water, you'll end up with a rusty pot. Remove the rust with a variety of scrubbing tools rather than with harsh chemical rust removers that may damage surfaces in your kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Rough sandpaper
  • Wire brush
  • Plastic scouring pad
  • Scouring powder
  • Drain the water out of the cast iron pot and dry it off if it has been soaking.

  • Sand the rust off by scrubbing the sandpaper back and forth on the cast iron cookware. Brush away any loose rust that comes off.

  • Use a wire brush on the dry surface of the cast iron cookware to remove any large rust spots that remain after sanding.

  • Place the cookware under running water, sprinkle some scouring powder on it and scour it with a plastic scouring pad to get rid of any light rust that remains.

  • Rinse the cast iron cookware off and dry it thoroughly before storing it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent your cast iron cookware from rusting again by seasoning it. Coat the inside and outside of the cookware with a light vegetable oil and wipe off the excess. Bake it in an oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour, and let it cool down while still in the oven. Baking the cookware builds up a layer of carbon and prevents the pan from rusting.

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  • Photo Credit ajos image by Jaume Felipe from
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