How to Restore Old Cast Iron

Yesterday, I posted in a couple of my homestead groups about restoring my grandma’s cast iron pans. After a lot of suggestions on how to restore them and my own prior knowledge, I set out on a mission to get them back in good working order. I also needed to clean and take the rust off of one of my own pans.

Below, you’ll see a before of one of the pans that belongs to my grandma. There’s a ton of build up on these from years of use without proper striping and reseasoning. To my surprise the way I was instructed to clean the pans were to start a fire, drop them in it, and let the fire do all the work.


Below, shows pictures of the pans in the fire and what they look like this morning after the first round of burning and cooling off. After bringing them in and taking a good look at them I decided to give them one more go in the fire before I brought them in to scrub them down.


After burning as much as I could off the pans I brought them in to follow the same process I followed with mine last night. I cleaned them with soap and water (some people don’t do this, it’s up to you – I would recommend, Dr. Bronner’s Sals Suds Biodegradable Cleaner) and then scrubbed it down with salt and a potato half.

TIP: Scrubbing your cast iron with salt and a potato will take the rust right off and get your pan/pot ready for seasoning!


I will admit that I probably took the pan out of the oven too soon because we burn gas and it was HAWT up in this piece but these are the results from the quick seasoning that I did. Keep in mind that you should leave them in the oven at about 500 degrees until all the water is out of the pot/pan.


I’m no expert at this but I am pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish with this and can’t wait to continue learning skills like this. So many of these things have been lost throughout the generations, mostly ending with my mother and grandmother’s generations. I want to obtain all this knowledge to be able to pass on to Chloe as she grows.

I hope you all enjoy this post! Let me know if you try it and what results you gain from it. For more posts like this head on over to the cleaning tab under homemaking on the blog.

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