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We all have a stash of beloved pots and pans, but are we cleaning them correctly? I’ve had my fair share of stainless steel and non-stick pans over the years, but had been gifted a cast iron pan (which I had been hinting at for a couple months) and had no idea how to care for it properly! I set out to do some research, and found some interesting tips along the way about my other cookware too!

 

1. Cast Iron Skillet:

Let’s start with the one that I had NO idea about… cast iron! I had obviously never had one so I had a lot of learn!

DON’TS: NO SOAP…NO STEEL WOOL…. AND NO DISHWASHER.

Now that we have the “No Nos” taken care of let’s get to the cleaning process of the cast iron pan!

What You Need:

-Cast Iron Skillet

-Sponge or Stiff brush

-Clean, dry cloth or paper towels

-Vegetable oil or shortening

-Kosher salt

-Stove (optional)

Instructions

  1. Get right to it: Clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm. Don’t soak the pan or leave it in the sink because it may rust.
  2. Clean the skillet: Wash the skillet by hand using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan’s seasoning.
  3. Scrub off stuck-on bits: To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Stubborn food residue may also be loosened by boiling water in the pan.
  4. Dry the skillet: Thoroughly towel dry the skillet or dry it on the stove over low heat.
  5. Oil it: Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a light coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside of the skillet. Some people also like to oil the outside of the skillet. Buff to remove any excess.
  6. Put it away: Store the skillet in a dry place.

**Additional tips!

Remove rust from cast iron by using steel wool or by rubbing it with half a raw potato and a sprinkle of baking soda (seriously, it works!). Again, it may be necessary to re-season the pan after cleaning.

 

2) Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Have you ever experienced the pain of a burnt frying pan? I sure have! Well I found some tips to clean them that are not only easier, but chemical free as well!

What you need:

-1 Cup Vinegar

-2 tablespoons of baking soda

-1 cup of water (more or less depending on the size of the pan)

-A burnt stainless steel pan

 

Instructions:

  1. Fill the bottom of the pan with a layer of water.
  2. Add the vinegar.
  3. Bring the pan to the boil. It should be looking a bit cleaner already.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the baking soda. Expect fizz!
  5. Empty the pan and scour as normal; if necessary add an extra bit of dry baking soda.
  6. If there are any super stubborn marks that don’t come off with scouring, make a paste of baking soda and a couple of drops of water. Leave the paste on the marks for a while and return to clean as normal.

7. Ta-da! Now you can put your feet up and enjoy the many hours you saved yourself standing over the sink.

 

3) Non-Stick Pots and Pans

You shouldn’t have a ton of issues with these pans since there is a non-stick layer on the pan itself, but things like grease can give you a tough time!

What you need:

-Non-abrasive nylon scrubber

-Dish Soap

-Warm Water

-Vinegar

Instructions:

  1. If there is a layer of oil that is difficult to remove, fill the pan with water and add ½ cup of vinegar.
  2. Bring the water/vinegar mixture to a boil.
  3. As the mixture boils, the oil layer will rise to the top.
  4. Remove the oil and dispose of the water.
  5. Wash the pan with warm water and soap using a nylon scrubber.
  6. Rinse completely and dry with a soft cloth.

I hope these cleaning tips are as helpful to you as they were to me! I now know how to take care of my new favorite pan, and new tips for the old! I think it’s finally time to cook! 🙂

 

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