We debunked the myth of forgoing soap and water when cleaning your cast-iron pan long ago, but sometimes it just isn’t enough to remove stuck-on food. Restoring your cast-iron pan to its original glory takes some dedication, and these babies are notorious for being finicky. But all is not lost!

Lifehacker recently shared their hack for getting stubborn food or rust off your favorite cast-iron pan—a ball of aluminium foil. According to their article, scraping the inside of your pan with little hot water and wadded-up foil will be enough to remove stuck-on food without destroying your seasoning efforts.

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However, as with any cast-iron pan, it still needs to be dried completely after washing to prevent rust. The pan then needs to finish drying on a burner turned to medium-low heat, and sprayed with cooking spray or doused with a few drops of cooking oil before letting it cool and rubbing the inside clean.

Looking for more kitchen cleaning hacks?

  • 7 Expert-Approved Tips for Cleaning Your Wooden Cutting Board
  • This Surprising Hack Will Help You Clean Any Type of Coffee Maker
  • The Hardest Places to Clean in Your Kitchen and How to Clean Them

While cleaning your cast-iron pan takes a little more effort than your nonstick pots and pans (and most other cookware), we think it’s worth it. A cast-iron pan transforms simple skillet dishes, and only gets better with age. It can even help boost your iron intake! Now that you know how to clean it, you can whip up amazing skillet frittatas, crowd-pleasing appetizers, and delicious one-pan dinners.


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