Will cast iron rust

This blog post will answer the question, “will cast iron rust” covering topics on how to remove rust from cast iron, and frequently asked questions related to the topic.

Will cast iron rust?

Yes, cast iron rusts. Cast iron is prone to rust without the surface coatings of carbonized oil known as seasoning. If you leave a well-seasoned skillet in the sink to drain, put it in the dishwasher, let it air dry, or keep it in a moisture-prone location, it will corrode.

What Causes Cast Iron to Rust?

Cast iron, on the other hand, may be exceedingly corrosion-resistant if kept in ideal circumstances, but if not properly cared for, it can rust quite quickly. 

Causes of cast iron rusting are given below:

  • Cast iron corrosion is frequently caused by keeping it in a damp atmosphere for too long (i.e., more than a fast rinse and dry after using it).
  • Furthermore, cast iron is extremely susceptible to variations in moisture, which can result in quick rusting. 
  • The most important thing to understand about cast iron is that it can be excellent if properly cared for. 
  • However, exposing them to the weather would almost certainly result in quick corrosion, which will be harmful to your healthy grilling attempts.

How to remove rust from a cast iron?

Cast iron cleanup needs a tougher, more forceful method due to its physical qualities. 

Cast iron rust can be removed by following the guidance given below:

  • Cast iron, on the other hand, may be cleaned using harder items like wire or steel wool. 
  • Rather than baking soda, consider adding kosher salt with water and make a cleaning solution. 
  • This is more effective at removing rust from cast iron, and a more aggressive approach typically works miracles.
Materials Needed
Kosher Salt
Steel wool

How to rustproof cast iron?

Apply a rust-resistant metal paint layer. Inspect with your paint supplier or product label to see if oil, alkyd, or acrylic paints will attach to cast iron and prevent it from superficial corrosion.

Cast Iron can be made rustproof by following the steps given below:


Soak a clean towel in white vinegar for minor, bothersome areas. Clean and massage the area until bare iron is visible.


Sand harder places with a steel wool brush or medium-grit sandpaper. Put on a pair of leather gloves and a mask to avoid inhaling the dust (particularly if you’re stripping paint). As you work, swab with a vinegar-soaked towel to check whether any bare iron is visible.


Wipe the surface clean using a moistened towel to prevent the vinegar from eroding it anymore. Using a clean cloth, dry thoroughly.


Use circular strokes to sand bigger parts with heavy rust. To stop leaving visible sanding lines in the metal, don’t work in one location for too long. Continue as indicated in the preceding stages, being sure to thoroughly wash and dry.


Apply a rust-resistant metal paint layer. Inspect with your paint provider or product label to see if oil, alkyd, or acrylic paints will attach to cast iron and prevent it against superficial rust. (Have some paint available for touch-ups, such as spot-treating any dents or cracks that may appear.)

Materials NeededTools Needed
White vinegarPaintbrush
Rust-proof metal paintSanding paper
Cleaning ClothWork gloves

Here’s a top recommended Rust-proof metal paint:

Rust-Oleum 7769830 Stops Rust Spray Paint

Benefits of Rust-Oleum 7769830 Stops Rust Spray Paint:

  • The oil-based solution provides a long-lasting protective layer with exceptional rust resistance.
  • In 15-30 min, it dries to the touch and covers 10-12 square feet of each can.
  • Primer creates a strong foundation for adhesion and can survive harsh, heavy-use conditions.
  • Creates an easy-to-stick surface for topcoats.

Methods to prevent rust from cast iron:

Methods of removing rust from cast iron are described below:

  • Scrape the cast iron item as little as possible.
  • Clean the cast iron item with a brush.
  • Avoid using soaps with citrus in them.
  • Take into account the environment.

The porcelain-enameled cast iron (PECI) cooking grates that come standard on many of our barbecues are quite popular. Cast iron’s heat retention capabilities make it simple to get spectacular, strong sear scars on whatever you’re cooking. 

They’re easy to clean and maintain thanks to the porcelain enamel, but there are a few things you should do to ensure they last as long as possible.

I will now explain the methods of removing rust from cast iron:

Scrape the cast iron item as little as possible:

The porcelain enamel protects the cast iron item well, but if you scratch them with metal objects, the enamel may be damaged. Before I worked at Weber, I used to scratch the cast iron objects with the side of my Barbecue blade when cooking. When I consider how many times I had to repair my object, it all seems so obvious what was going on.

Clean the cast iron item with a brush:

Brushing your objects every time you use them is the simplest and most effective method to ensure that they last as long as possible. Simply warm the cast iron object for fifteen min on high with the cover closed before cleaning the object with steel wool.

Tool Needed
Steel Wool

Avoid using soaps with citrus in them:

Washing cast iron items in a bathtub are seldom necessary, but if you must, prevent using any soaps that include citrusy cleansers. They have the potential to cause rust. 

Steps of cleaning cast iron objects:

  • To eliminate obstinate particles, wet the items in lukewarm water, then scrub them with a mild dishwashing detergent using nylon/soft scratchy pads or bristles. 
  • When you’re finished, make sure to dry the object completely with a soft cloth or sponge. 
  • Allowing them to air dry can lead to rust.
Materials Needed
Warm water
Mild dishwashing soap
Scarchy pads

Different methods of removing rust from cast iron:

Some of the best methods of removing rust from cast iron are given below:

  • Use Dish Soap to Remove Rust from Cast Iron
  • Scrub with a mixture of sea salt and potatoes
  • Use Vinegar to Remove Rust from Cast Iron

I will now elaborate on the guidance given above.

Use Dish Soap to Remove Rust from Cast Iron:

While some of you may wince at the prospect of cleaning a rusted pan with soap or steel wool, it’s often the only option. Because you aren’t concerned about keeping the shining layer of seasoning on your pan at this point in the cleaning procedure, washing it with a harsh scrubber won’t harm it. Cast iron is extremely tough and can withstand a lot of scouring if necessary. 


  • Begin with a few drops of dish soap and a small amount of boiling water. 
  • Keep in mind that you don’t want to use too much water. 
  • Scrape the cast iron skillet or dutch oven’s surface until it’s completely free of corrosion.
  • Wash the pan to remove all of the bad filth and soapy water without saturating it. 
  • Once all of the soapsuds have vanished, wipe away any soapy debris or rust particles with a dry towel. 
  • To eliminate any leftover water droplets, place the pan on the heat.
Materials Needed
Steel Wool

Scrub with a mixture of sea salt and potatoes:

If the rust is too severe to be removed using dish soap and steel wool, go to the following stage and use kosher salt and a potato. I understand. A potato may truly be used as a rust remover at home. The coarse sea salt serves as a natural abrasive, while the potato breaks down and dissolves rust using a natural chemical called oxalic acid. They generate a scrub when combined.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Massage in the salt with the potatoes, in the same manner, you would with a scrub brush, making concentric motions to remove away rust areas. 
  • Rinse off the salt once it has reached an orangey-brown hue, dry the pan on the heat, and repeat the same process as required.
  • You may also use this method to repair a rusty BBQ grill if the grates have corrosion after being exposed to the elements for a lengthy period of time.
Materials Needed
Sea Salt 

Use Vinegar to Remove Rust from Cast Iron:

Another great option is vinegar, which may be used alone or in combination with a mild abrasive like baking soda. White vinegar, which is commonly used as a natural oven cleaning, takes up where scouring with other solutions leaves off. 

Here’s how you can do it:

  • The first step is to coat the whole bottom of the pan with baking soda.
  • In tiny amounts, pour vinegar into the pan till the baking soda ceases bubbling. 
  • Allow 10-30 minutes for the mix to solidify in the pan. Start cleaning with a dish towel when the time has elapsed.
  • After washing off the liquid, cover the pan with pure vinegar to remove any remaining rust spots. 
  • Allow the vinegar to sit on the cast-iron surface overnight, or at least six to eight hours, for stubborn rust areas. 
  • Rinse and dry the pan after soaking it in vinegar.
Materials Needed
Dish Towel

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs): “How to rustproof cast iron?”

Is it safe to grill on a rusty cast iron grill?

A grill with scattered rust is dangerous because it can attach to the food; however, a grill with little surface corrosion can be washed and treated to be used again. While swallowing rust in one meal is unlikely to cause damage, repeated intake may be harmful to the digestive tract.

Why is my cast iron grill rusting?

Corrosion can develop on your cast iron grills due to a multitude of factors. Perhaps you’ve been ignoring your grill by keeping the lid off or failing to wipe it thoroughly after each usage. If you haven’t used your grill in a long time, you may see corrosion forming.

How do you keep a grill from rusting outside?

Cleaning the oil and food crumbs away after each cook is the simplest method to keep your grill grates from rusting. After wiping, apply a little layer of oil to your cooking grates to avoid corrosion and to keep them seasoned.

Can you use steel wool on cast iron?

Can I clean my cast iron pan with steel wool or a metal scrubber? No! To eliminate any trapped debris, we suggest using a pan scraper or the Lodge Chainmail Scrubber. Before reseasoning, we only advocate using steel wool or a metal scraper to eliminate corrosion.

How do you get the rust off grill grates with baking soda?

Put a baking soda and water solution to the grills and medium heat till the solution begins to boil. The corrosion will be lifted when the baking soda blooms. Turn off the heat after several minutes, then scrape and wash off the grills using a scrubbing brush.

Do grill covers prevent rust?

Most grills currently come with a cover that prevents the majority of the trash and debris out. The grill cover, on the other hand, does not prevent your grill from corrosion. With a plastics or water-resistant fabric cover, a grill cover efficiently protects every component of your barbecue.












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