Cast iron pans are a few of the old-fashioned things that almost all of you have in your kitchen.
They are undeniably durable and give an undisputed cooking experience. And the best part, they can live up to many years without getting damaged.
However, you should handle it with care and clean it the right way for it to last generations. But is it alright to put cast iron in the dishwasher?
Well, no. You cannot put cast iron in the dishwasher. Because the combination of warm water, scrubbing action, and dishwashing detergents will strip your cast iron off its non-stick surface.
Cast iron can only withstand hand washing. So it should be washed with non-abrasive sponges and plain water only.
Cleaning cast iron pans requires a little extra effort. Therefore, we will answer all your queries about washing cast iron in a dishwasher.
So, read till the end to know about it and learn how to wash cast iron pans after use properly.
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Table of Contents
- What Would Happen if You Put a Cast Iron Pan in the Dishwasher?
- How to Clean Cast Iron Pans After Use?
- Step 1: Wash the Pan
- Step 2: Dry the Pan
- Step 3: Apply the Oil
- Can You Soak A Cast Iron Pan in Water?
- What to Do if You Accidentally Put a Cast Iron Pan in the Dishwasher?
- What if the Pan is Rusted?
- How to Season the Cast Iron Pan?
- Final Thoughts
What Would Happen if You Put a Cast Iron Pan in the Dishwasher?
Cast iron pans are seasoned with oil when they are new. So when you put a cast iron pan in the dishwasher, the warm water and washing soaps will break down the oils.
Also, cast iron pans are raw unprocessed, so the dishwasher will also rust your pan.
A well-seasoned pan is all you need for effortless cooking. So, we are sure you would never want your dishwasher’s harsh detergent chemicals and water jets to strip it away.
Once the seasoning is ruined, your cast iron will be useless. So don’t put it inside a dishwasher when you can simply wipe it clean after every use.
Let’s have a look at how you can do that.
How to Clean Cast Iron Pans After Use?
Cast iron pans should always be washed conventionally by hand. So, there is a myth that one must not wash a cast iron at all! Well, that’s not true.
Washing your cast iron pan is not the problem here, but washing it the wrong way is.
To achieve the best results, you should wash your cast iron pan right after using it. But don’t be so impatient. You should allow it to cool first!
Below is the complete procedure for cleaning a cast iron pan.
Step 1: Wash the Pan
For cleaning, cast iron, dish soaps, and steel wool are not good. However, you can use a mild dishwashing soap carefully if you want.
- Wash the cast iron pan with slightly warm water.
- Grab a sponge or a stiff brush and put a small amount of soap on it.
- Then, gently rub the surface with the sponge or the brush. You can use a pan scraper if you have one.
- If some food particles are badly stuck, you can use vinegar or some salt to break them down and remove them.
- Once you have scraped the surface, rinse it well with water.
Step 2: Dry the Pan
After washing the pan, the next step is to dry it thoroughly. Take a towel or a piece of cloth and gently rub it throughout the surface to dry out the moisture from the cast iron pan.
If you see something black lingering in the towel, it would just be the seasoning only, which is perfectly normal.
An alternative way to dry the pan can be heating. You can place the washed pan on the stove for a couple of minutes, and it will dry completely.
Step 3: Apply the Oil
Now, before placing the pan back in its place, you should apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the surface of the cast iron pan.
If you have a seasoning spray, you can spray that. Otherwise, follow these steps:
- Drop a few drops of oil.
- Spread it evenly all over the surface.
- Take a paper towel and wipe the excessive oil.
After following all these steps, you can finally keep the cast iron back in its place. Make sure that the place is dry.
Can You Soak A Cast Iron Pan in Water?
Many people prefer soaking pots and pans in warm water for some time before washing, which makes washing a little easier. But let me tell you that never soak your cast iron pan in water.
Soaking your cast iron pan is the road to building up its rust. Leaving the cast iron pan in water for a long time can help it develop rust if there is a break in the seasoning.
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What to Do if You Accidentally Put a Cast Iron Pan in the Dishwasher?
We have explained clearly that you should never put a cast iron pan in the dishwasher.
Still, if you accidentally put a cast iron pan in the dishwasher and realize it a little later, do not panic!
We have got you all covered.
You can go through the steps below and fix your pan easily. However, if the seasoning has been destroyed, you won’t be able to restore it in the way it previously was.
If you realize that you mistakenly put a cast iron pan in the dishwasher while still in it, stop the dishwasher immediately and take out the pan.
Next, scan the state of the pan and perform the fixes accordingly.
What if the Pan is Rusted?
If the cast iron pan develops rust after getting dried, it will require scrubbing the rusty pan and re-seasoning it. To remove the rust, follow these steps.
- Wet the pan with some warm water and put some dishwashing soap. Using soap in this step is ok as the seasoning is already ruined, and you would be re-seasoning it afterward.
- Take steel wool and scrub the rusty surface properly.
- Once the rust has loosened, rinse the pan with clean water and dry it well.
The next thing to do is to re-season the pan, as explained below.
How to Season the Cast Iron Pan?
Seasoning is really important for making your cast iron pan usable for a long time.
To re-season your cast iron pan, here are some really quick and simple steps required to follow.
- Apply a very thin layer of cooking oil to the pan inside out. Be careful to use just a few drops of oil. Excessiveness of it can lead to the pan being sticky.
- Spread the oil evenly with a paper towel.
- After this, place the pan facing upside down in the oven on the top rack at 350°F for an hour. It is also advised to place a large aluminum foil or a baking sheet on the bottom rack to remove any excess oil that might drip off the pan.
- When the pan has been baked for an hour, let it cool down. You may want to repeat the procedure depending upon the appearance of the surface and its performance while being in use.
Also, Read to Know:
In a nutshell, placing a cast iron pan in a dishwasher can be a hassle.
And maintaining the seasoning of the pan can be difficult sometimes, but when you know exactly how to treat it, things can become easier.
We hope that this article has cleared all your confusion regarding a cast iron pan and its cleaning procedure.
We would love to hear your thoughts. Keep reading for more helpful content and interesting articles.