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No! Soaking cast iron in water is a recipe for rust. If you need to remove sticky or stubborn stuck-on food, use a nylon scrubbing brush or a pan scraper and rinse under warm water. Be sure to thoroughly dry your pan. Note: If you do accidentally leave your pan in water for too long and it develops rust, don't panic! With a little extra care, you can remove the rust and continue using your cast iron cookware.
Contrary to popular belief, you can use a small amount of soap to clean cast iron cookware! Large amounts of soap can strip the seasoning off your pan, but you can easily re-season your pan as needed.
No! We recommend using a pan scraper or the Lodge Chainmail Scrubber to remove any stuck-on residue. We only recommend using steel wool or a metal scrubber to remove rust before reseasoning.
No. Our cast iron cookware should be washed by hand. A dishwasher will remove the seasoning and likely cause rust. For dishwasher-safe cookware, check out our heat-treated serveware.
Seasoning is a layer of carbonized oil. It is baked onto cast iron and carbon steel. It gives your cookware that classic black patina. Seasoning forms a natural, easy-release cooking surface and helps prevent your pan from rusting. It may take a little extra care, but a well-seasoned cast iron pan will last for generations.
Lodge uses soy-based vegetable oil to season our traditional cast iron and carbon steel cookware in our foundries. There are no synthetic chemicals added at all. The oil is highly refined, and all proteins that cause soy-related allergies are eliminated. The oil is kosher and contains no animal fat, peanut oil, or paints. Some cookware may have slight variations in the seasoning finish. These variations do not affect cooking performance and typically even out with use.
All cooking oils and fats can be used for seasoning cast iron, but based on availability, affordability, effectiveness, and having a high smoke point, Lodge recommends vegetable oil, melted shortening, or canola oil, like our Seasoning Spray. Traditionally, lard was used to season cast iron, and while that is still okay, we do not recommend it unless you frequently use your cookware. If the cookware is stored for too long, lard and other animal-based fats can go rancid. Whichever oil you choose, the important thing is to make sure you heat up your pan to that oil's smoke point. When the oil hits that smoke point, a chemical reaction occurs, bonding the oil to your pan to create a layer of natural seasoning.