November 29, 2020

How to Clean Rusted Cast Iron

Posted By: Maggie Stamper November 29, 2020
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Cleaning cast iron can be tricky and very complicated, especially heavily rusted cast iron. Cast iron that is heavily rusted needs a lot more attention and more resources needed to pull the rust off the cast iron.

One of the most common suggestions is the use of a vinegar bath. A solution made up of half water and half vinegar. Sadly, a vinegar bath will not help cast iron in this kind of condition. The pitting from the rust is extremely hard to remove.

The two best methods I use to restore rust damaged cast iron is Evapo-Rust or electrolysis tank.

Evapo-Rust is very safe to use. You can purchase Evap-Rust at O'Riley's or through Amazon. Your cast iron skillet needs to be place in a warm area. Evapo-Rust also works better in warm conditions. After allowing your pan to sit for 24-48 hours, you need to pour the contents in a bowl and scrub the pan down using steel wool. The pan should be down to factory grade metal, dull gray. If you are needing the skillet to soak a little bit more longer, you can pour the Evaporust back into the skillet.

The other option is using an electrolysis tank (e-tank). I love using my e-tanks because this is the cheaper route in the long run. However, you only really need an e-tank if you plan on making this your hobby. An e-tank will clean a cast iron skillet within hours by using electrical current to move rust to sacrificial pieces of metal through water. The current comes through a manual battery charger. You can find information about building your own electrolysis tank through Electrolysis Tank Builders on Facebook.

Using Evaporust or an electrolysis tank is a much safer option than using a vinegar based solution. In these two very easy steps, your pan will come out a lot safer and the end product is stunning.

Here's a quick recipe I use to season my cast iron skillet.

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Maggie Stamper, Old Time Cast Iron Restoration
Hey, ya'll! I'm Maggie Stamper founder and blogger of Old Time Cast Iron. Thanks for joining me and allowing me to share some of my favorite memories, recipes, and finds with you.

I'm a wife and mother to three children. Born and raised as a farm girl in the small town of Greenbrier, Tennessee, I loved spending time with Mammie (grandmother). That's where my love for cooking started, right at her farm table which launched into cast iron skillet cooking later as a young adult.

Today, I love to blog, restore, cook, and treasure hunt for cast iron skillets. Be sure to check back in often because you'll always find something new to enjoy!

Be sure to follow me.
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