Fortunately, all it takes to remove rust from cast iron is a few simple items and a little bit of elbow grease provided you identify the issue early. Even old items can usually be restored if the cast iron hasn’t been deteriorated by rust to the point that it has holes or feels thin. Use these easy instructions to learn how to remove rust from cast iron.
How Often Should Cast Iron Be Rusted?
You should remove any rust that you see on your cast iron right away. Because the damp cast iron’s surface oxidizes more readily, rust will continue to spread. Rust can develop on a cast iron pan in less than a day if it is submerged in water or left outside in a humid environment.
How To Get Rust Off Cast Iron
Rub Out Any Visible Rust
To get the rust flecks off the cast iron’s surface, use a non-metallic scraper or a stiff-bristled nylon brush. This may be all that is required to remove rust from a tiny area of rusty cast iron before washing and seasoning it.
Mix a Cleaning Paste
You will need to create a cleaning paste if, even after scraping, the rust is still evident. In a small bowl, combine one cup of baking soda and one tablespoon of lemon juice for a rust-covered cast iron pan.
Treat the Rusted Cast Iron
Over the rusted spots, apply the paste. Put the cast iron in a plastic bag that can be sealed, or cover the paste with plastic wrap. After letting the item sit for at least a day, clean it down with a brush with stiff bristles. After giving the cast iron a thorough rinse in hot water, check for any rust residue. If necessary, repeat the paste treatment.
Clean and Air-Dry the Iron
After washing the cast iron in hot, slightly soapy water to remove any remaining rust, pat it dry right away with a microfiber cloth. To avoid rust, the object needs to be dry before you season it.
Season the Cast Iron
Preheat oven to 450–500 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply a thin layer of one to two teaspoons of vegetable oil to the entire cast iron component, letting it dry and become glossy black. Make sure that all surfaces are covered with oil.
With a disposable pan or baking sheet underneath it on a lower rack to catch any greasy drips, place the cast iron in the preheated oven. After baking for an hour, turn the oven off. Before taking the cast iron out of the oven, let it cool fully.
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