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Home cook demonstrates proper way to clean and season cast-iron cookware: 'I don't like to use anything that might lift the seasoning on the pan'

"Great tips!"

"Great tips!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

If you don't already have a cast-iron skillet in your kitchen's arsenal, maybe you should reconsider. A cast-iron skillet is a handy tool that can be used to cook almost anything: frying up breakfast favorites like eggs and bacon, grilling a steak and sauteing some vegetables for dinner, or even baking a gooey and delicious chocolate chip skillet cookie.

While cast-iron skillets are undoubtedly useful, many people are afraid to buy or even use them. A common misconception is that these skillets are difficult to clean. With the worries of incorrectly cleaning and subsequently damaging or ruining the skillet, it's easy to understand why folks might try to steer clear of them.

Thankfully, TikTok user Maria Harte (@_mariaharte_) is here to dispel any anxieties about cleaning cast-iron skillets with a quick and easy tip demonstrating how to safely clean your cookware using just two products you probably already have in your home.

@_mariaharte_ Cleaning hack for cast iron pans! #sustainability #buyoncebuyright #cleaninghacks ♬ original sound - _mariaharte_

The scoop

Maria's cast-iron skillet cleaning method only requires two ingredients: coarse sea salt and half a lemon.

To start, Maria says to pour a "generous helping" of coarse sea salt into the pan before taking a towel or cloth to wipe away the inside of the skillet. The coarseness of the salt will scrub away any excess food lingering in the pan while reseasoning it for future cooking at the same time.

The last step is optional but perfect if you cooked something especially smelly. Take half a lemon and rub it along the inside of the pan to eliminate any smell.

Now, all that's left is to quickly rinse and dry the skillet.

"A perfectly clean cast-iron pan," says Maria.

One user who commented on the video suggested adding vinegar to the list of cleaning ingredients, but Maria insisted that the salt and lemon are all that's needed.

"I don't like to use anything that might lift the seasoning on the pan," she explained.

How it's helping

Cleaning hacks like Maria's that use common household ingredients will save you money and are far better for the environment.

Switching to natural cleaning products (most of which are already in your kitchen) can save you around $90 on cleaning products every year.

Environmentally, switching to natural cleaning products can help reduce plastic in the form of packaging and prevent exposure to harmful chemicals found in household cleaners to yourself and the environment. Using natural cleaners can help you to avoid 200 pounds of chemicals every year, 20 pounds of which you would be exposed to by normal use.

Plus, cast-iron skillets are a great alternative to popular non-stick cookware containing toxic chemicals that take ages to break down and also accumulate in the body over time. Cooking with this type of cookware can expose people to numerous health risks, such as kidney, thyroid, testicular, and ovarian cancers.

What people are saying

Users were impressed by Maria's trick and thanked her for sharing her wisdom.

"Great tips Maria!" wrote one user.

Others provided helpful tips of their own.

"I just scrub mine under hot running water," another wrote. "It doesn't break the oil seal in that case. Never use wash up liquid."

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