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Cleaning expert shares easy hack for salvaging a rust-covered cast iron pan: 'You are quite literally a magician'

"I cannot tell you how much I value you."

"I cannot tell you how much I value you."

Photo Credit: @itsnicolejaques / Instagram

Cast iron skillets are nifty, but they can be a pain to clean. If you're hoping to remove rust from your skillet, just grab these household staples and get scrubbing.

The scoop

Instagrammer Nicole Jacques (@itsnicolejacques), who specializes in kitchen hacks and cleaning tips, shared a video of how she brings her rusty cast iron back to life. Using nothing but baking soda, water, and white vinegar, she removes rust and restores her skillet.

After donning a pair of cleaning gloves, Jacques sprinkles baking soda onto the skillet and rubs it in to remove loose pieces of rust. 

"Then, make the baking soda into [a] paste with some water, and scrub or let sit overnight," Jacques instructs. When that's done, she adds a little white vinegar, letting the mixture bubble up before rinsing the skillet and letting it dry. "Guess what? It's back to new," Jacques says.

How it's helping

By cleaning your cast iron skillet with household cleaning products, you're saving money and keeping cookware out of the landfill. 

Cast iron is susceptible to rusting, but a little rust is no reason to discard your skillet. Instead of spending money on a new skillet or specialized cleaning products, it's cheaper and easier to reach into your pantry and use what you already own. Doing so gives your dishes a second life, saving you money and reducing the waste of throwing away a salvageable skillet.

What everyone's saying

Jacques' video was great news for folks who were looking to clean their rusty cast iron. "Saving this so I can bring my favorite cast iron pan back to life this weekend!" one wrote.

"I [was] thinking yesterday, 'since cast iron seems to be the vessel of choice for so many recipes, how do I care for it?' Then I saw your post today and almost fell off my chair. Thank you," another shared.

A third user shared, "You are quite literally a magician/sorceress and I cannot tell you how much I value you."

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