How to Strip Cast Iron Without Oven Cleaner

How to Strip Cast Iron Without Oven Cleaner

If you have a cast iron pan in your home, you know how handy it is to use. Almost everyone should have them in their collection as they bring extra flavor and texture to your food.

However, cleaning cast iron is quite a tough job. You can strip cast iron in many ways to make your work done. And hence, it needs extra care so that the seasoning does not go away.

You can easily use an oven cleaner to strip your cast iron skillet, but it is not always safe and healthy. Let us find out how to strip cast iron without oven cleaner.


How to Strip Cast Iron Without Oven Cleaner

Cast iron is great cookware for cooking and baking. As it is made of cast iron, it often gets rusty and greasiness. To strip off this extra layer, we often use oven cleaner which is very handy to be honest.

However, if you are looking for something apart from an oven cleaner, you can follow the following methods. It is possible to strip the old cast iron with heavy-handed scrubbing and patience.


  • Wood burning stove for stripping cast iron

Using a wood-burning stove is an ideal solution when you are trying to avoid the bad smell of the whole stripping process. This method requires some steps.

First, you have to set your wood-burning stove and burn some coals inside it. Once the coals are nicely burned, it will turn into ashes.

Now, bury your cast iron skillet into the hot ashes in such a way where the pan will be faced down to the ashes. Leave the pan in the ashes overnight.

Pick up the pan from the ashes the following day and give it a nice wash with soap and hot water mixture. It will easily remove the dirt from the pan. However, if you do not have a wood-burning stove, you can follow the entire method using a fire pit.


  • Self-cleaning oven for stripping the cast iron

Well, if you do not have any access to a fire pit or wood-burning stove, you can use your self-cleaning oven to make your work done.

In this process, you have to put your pan in an upside-down position in the middle rack of the oven. Then close the door and set the timer for it.

After the timer is up, let the pan cool down inside the oven. Then wash the pan with soapy water to clean up all the dirt. You can use steel wood if the rusts are still there after the wash.

However, a self-cleaning oven can make your work done in a day, but it will stink up your house. So, it is better to keep a window open while cleaning the skillet.


  • Electrolysis to strip cast iron

Electrolysis or e-tank can remove any type of rust easily. The method is quite easy as well.

In this method, you have to place your pan into a water-filled tank. Electricity is flown through the water. The negatively charged particles get attached to the rusts and remove the dirt from the pan.

Soak the pan into the water for 24 to 48 hours. After that, if the rusts are loosened enough, give it a soapy wash. If not, then soak the pan for another 24 hours.


Important Tips You Should Know

  • Stripping your cast iron outside a fire pit will not cause any bad smell.
  • After scrubbing, do not forget to season the skillet.
  • The black residues you find on your skillet are not harmful at all. It is basically a carbon deposit.
  • After washing the pan, rub the pan with a tablespoon or 2 teaspoons of oil.
  • Vinegar-baking soda solution can work amazingly to clean your cast iron as well.
  • After heating the skillet while washing, let it cool down gradually.



Oven cleaners can be an easy solution when it comes to striping the cast iron. Nonetheless, oven cleaner contains many chemicals that you might not like to add in your skillet.

However, we have come up with some solutions which you can use to strip your cast iron without considering oven cleaners. It might seem kind of a tough task to do, but it is worth it.

Now, it is your turn. Apply these solutions properly.

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