Can You Not Clean Cast Iron?

When it comes to cast iron, the age old tale is that you should never clean it. There are many people that stand by this claim and will not clean cast iron. However, you may be interested to know that this is in fact, just a myth. It is entirely possible to clean cast iron. 

Those that use cast iron take this type of material seriously and with great care. Considering that cast iron is one of the more expensive materials when it comes to kitchen equipment, this is understandable. The last thing you will want to happen is for you to purchase cast iron, and clean it, only to find that it has been ruined. As you may be aware, there are many people that have reported that you should not wash cast iron.

However, you can do this. Washing any kitchen appliance or utensil after it has been used is important. Not only is it unhygienic to not wash crockery properly, but it can potentially make you ill if you do not do this. In addition to this, not washing cast iron properly can affect how other food tastes when you use it to cook in the future. This is because you will not have washed the pan properly and the taste will transfer to the new food. This is something that you will want to avoid.

Cast iron is great because it is such a strong material. This is one of the reasons why it is such a popular choice for those who love cooking. Given how well it cooks food and how many years cast iron skillets can last, there is little that can compete with them.

Keeping in mind how durable cast iron is, there is no reason why it sho9uld not be cleaned after every use. It is more than capable of withstanding being scrubbed to ensure all the food has been removed.

As it is naturally non-stick, you are not going to remove this property by cleaning the iron skillet correctly. Cast iron is far too durable for this to occur. Given this, you should always clean an iron skillet thoroughly after it has been used to ensure that it is clean and hygienic for the next time you use it. 

Can you put dish soap on cast iron?

Yes, you can put dish soap on cast iron. Interestingly, while some people assume that you cannot use dish soap on cast iron, this is in fact, a myth. Dish soap does not affect cast iron negatively like many people assume it does. 

It is thought that if you use dish soap on a cast iron pan that this will affect the seasoning of it. This idea has been adopted because dish soap is intended to remove oil. While this is great when cleaning cooking skillets because you want to remove all the oils and leftover food from the pan, given that iron skillets have natural oils, it is assumed that the dish soap removes these.

As you can imagine, if this were the case, it would be something you would want to avoid given that iron skillets are naturally non-stick. However, the layer of oil that is known as the seasoning has actually been bonded to the pan. This means that it cannot be removed from the surface of the skillet when you use dish soap. 

While you may assume that the layer of oil sits on the surface of the skillet, this is not the case. It is more of a plastic substance that allows the pan to have the non-stick surface that cast iron is known for. 

As a result, you should not be afraid to give the iron skillet a good scrub with dish soap and water once you have finished using it. In fact, it is always recommended doing this. This is because it will ensure that the pan is cleaned thoroughly and is sanitized ready for further use. 

However, while it is safe to use water and dish soap on a cast iron skillet, it is not recommended leaving it soaking in dish soap and water for long periods. Instead, you should clean it quickly and thoroughly. By leaving it to soak in the water for too long. This can potentially cause the cast iron to wear down and become damaged over time. 

It is always recommended that once the skillet is cleaned and dried thoroughly, that you place a small amount of oil in the pan. You will want to cover the pan with this oil so that it has a light coating. Once you have done this, you will want to heat up the pan, and then allow it to cool. This will help to ensure that the pan does remain seasoned after continued use.

Does bacteria grow on cast iron?

When it comes to bacteria growth on a cast iron skillet, this is possible. As with any type of surface, if it is not cleaned correctly, and there are things such as leftover food present this can cause bacteria and mold to grow.

Not only is this unsanitary, but it is potentially dangerous too. This is why it is essential that you remove all the food from the cast iron skillet after use. This is very easy to do. All you need to do is scrape off the leftover food, and clean the skillet with soap and water. Once the skillet has been left to dry, you should always ensure that it is clean before you put it away.

If you do not use the skillet often, and it is left in the cupboard, bacteria can quickly grow on the surface over time. This is easily avoided, and as long as you are keeping the cast iron skillet sanitary, this will be prevented.

It is also important to remember that when the cast iron skillet is heated up, it reaches temperatures that will kill bacteria. Given this, even if the pan looks clean, but there is potential bacteria leftover, this will be avoided when it has been heated up. However, this should not replace cleaning the skillet thoroughly after use. 

Is cast iron sanitary?

Yes, on the whole, cast iron is sanitary. However, how sanitary it is will depend on how well you are looking after the cast iron. If you are not cleaning the cast iron correctly then it is not going to be sanitary. This is why it is important to ensure that you are cleaning it thoroughly after use.

As we have already covered in this article, many people assume that you do not need to clean cast iron skillets. However, this is a myth, and they do require cleaning. As with other cooking equipment, you will always want to ensure that your skillet has been cleaned after use. This will not ruin the cast iron, and it will help to ensure that it remains sanitary.

The best way you can clean your cast iron to ensure it is sanitary is by using a small amount of dish soap and warm water. You will want to scrub the skillet well to remove any leftover food. You can scrub the skillet with a dishcloth or sponge. You can even use a dish brush. These will not ruin the seasoning of the skillet, but it will help to ensure that it is sanitary.

If you take into consideration not cleaning the skillet, over time, the build up of grime and leftover food will be noticeable. Even though placing the pan on a high heat can help to kill the bacteria, not cleaning the pan at all is not sanitary.

Even if you are only cleaning the pan with water, this is not enough to ensure that the pan is completely sanitary. If there are more difficult to remove stains or food, you can soak the cast iron for a very short period to help remove this. However, you should not leave it soak for too long as this can cause damage to the skillet over time. 

What happens if you don't wash cast iron?

If you do not wash cast iron after use, this can cause the skillet to be unsanitary. It is a common myth that you should not wash cast iron with water and soap. However, this is the best way to ensure that it has been cleaned thoroughly. Not washing cast iron can cause a buildup of bacteria and food.

Over time this will have an effect on the taste of the food you are cooking in the pan, and it can potentially cause you to be ill too. Given this, it should always be cleaned to help prevent this. It is thought that you remove the seasoning of the cast iron if you wash it, but this is not the case.

 In addition to this, if you add a small amount of oil to the pan once it has been cleaned and dried, this helps to ensure that the cast iron remains seasoned. Given this, there is no real need to not clean or wash cast iron after use. It is a durable material that will not be damaged easily, which is worth keeping in mind. 

While the heat from the skillet can kill the bacteria, given how easy the pans are to be cleaned, it is not worth risking not cleaning the cast iron at all. While it should not be soaked in water for long periods, you are cleaning it in water and soap for a few minutes, there are no issues with this.

Washing cast iron with water is often linked to it becoming rusty over time. While this can happen, if you are during the cast iron corrects, and you are not leaving it to soak for long periods of time, the likelihood of this happening is far lower.

Why do you salt cast iron?

As we have covered in this article, many people who have cast iron skillets assume that you cannot use soap and water to clean this material. However, this is a myth, and a small amount of water and soap will not affect it.

Even so, many people will still choose to not use this method. While we would always recommend using a small amount of soap and water to ensure that the skillet is cleaned thoroughly after use, there is another method that many people have adopted and use instead.

This method is using salt. The salt used is coarse to help remove any debris or leftover food. Around a tablespoon of this salt is placed into the skillet. You will then need to take a cloth and scrub the inside of the cast iron.

As the salt is coarse, this helps to lift the stains and left over food. This is typically done for a few minutes. As this the salt is scraped into the bin. Some people will choose to swill the skillet with water, but others will not do this. If the food is particularly difficult to remove, oil can be added to help with this process.

While this is an effective method, it does take slightly longer when compared to the regular soap and water method. However, many people will choose to use this method over other options. You should always be aware that this may not be absolutely sanitary, however.