What Is The Best Way To Remove Rust From Cast Iron?

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Every now and again, rust manages to find it’s way onto your cast iron pan, and it’s annoying. The question can you restore a rusted cast iron pan always pops up into your mind. Well the answer is, you can.

The best way to remove rust from cast iron is soaking your cast iron in white vinegar for 1 hour, and using a steel scouring pad to scrub, the acidity of the vinegar will dissolve the rust, whilst the steel scouring pad will remove any stubborn rust. After you have removed the rust, you need to season you cast iron skillet to prevent it from rusting again.

In this article I’ll be covering all the methods on removing rust from your cast iron pan

Remove rust from cast iron with vinegar

If you have white vinegar, and steel scouring pads, this method is the best way to remove rust.

To remove the rust with this method follow these instructions:

  1. Soak your cast iron in white vinegar for 1 hour. If there are any rusted parts which can’t be covered, using a plastic bag full of white vinegar and place your cast iron inside.
  2. After 1 hour, use your steel scouring pad to start scrubbing away at the rust. A paste of rust and vinegar should begin to form, this is a good sign it’s working.
  3. Finally, once you feel you have got the rust off, rinse the pan with water and dry. If rust still remains, then repeat this method again.

Remove rust from cast iron with salt

Removing rust with salt is the worst method with large amounts of rust, but if you only have a little bit of surface rust, it’s a quick and easy solution.

Pour some salt into the cast iron, and use a steel scouring pad to rub it into the rust. Both the salt and the scouring pad are used as an abrasive, this should get any surface rust up. Then simply rinse with water.

Don’t use paper towels or cloths unless you have a good layer of seasoning, otherwise you will get fibres stuck in your cast iron.

Remove rust from cast iron with coke

Using coke to remove rust is just as effective as vinegar, so if you have no vinegar then use coke. But vinegar will be more effective for cases where the rust is more severe, as vinegars acidity is higher than coke.

Use the method above and soak your cast iron for 1 hour in the coke, and then use a steel scouring pad to scrub the rust away.

To read about this method more in-depth, see how guide on removing rust with coke.

Don’t use heat!

A lot of other websites mention using heat to remove rust. This is false, and useless. Rust is an oxidised metal. Meaning you can’t burn it off. It’s as simple as that. So do not be tempted to use this method, it will get you no where.