Peeps, it is not that complicated. Don’t overthink it!
Hand wash, dry thoroughly, protect the surface after cleaning. I made a little video a while back showing how I routinely clean my iron; you can take a look at it below.
Soap or no soap?
The biggest issue that arises with cleaning of cast iron is whether or not soap may be used. People are very passionate about the subject, and those who regularly use their cast iron pans will fervently state their reasons why they do or do not use soap.
Do I use soap? Yes, and I always have.
When I first became interested in vintage cast iron and started learning and researching, it seemed that the majority of sources I read were on the “do not use soap” bandwagon. That has changed; a bit of googling shows that many if not most sources on the web now agree that a drop of soap is not going to ruin your properly-seasoned pan.
If you don’t believe me, believe Southern Living, Kenji, Lodge, America’s Test Kitchen, Bon Appetit, and the Kitch’n, just to name a few. But, as you can see from this article in Garden & Gun, there continues to be disagreement on the question. I started making a list, but then realized that it was a rabbit hole with no discernible end! Ultimately, as with almost everything else in life, you have to make your own decision.
How I clean my cast iron pans
I made a little video about how I routinely clean and maintain my vintage and modern-day cast iron pans. Take a look if you’re so inclined!