I've used my new cast iron skillet 2 times. I wash, dry and rub oil after each use. the paper towel looks very gray even black. it that normal?

  • Posted by: Shelley
  • October 7, 2014


Greenstuff October 8, 2014
Whew, good. I couldn't imagine that you needed admonishment. I think of drying and an application of oil as maintenance, not re-seasoning. We are on the same page.
Susan W. October 8, 2014
Lol..yes, wrong choice of words. I will call it maintenance seasoning. I use it to cook my scrambled eggs every morning and they slide right out, so it's a happy CI pan.
Greenstuff October 8, 2014
Assuming it's just a little black, that's just carbon from whatever you were cooking. I'm in the no-soap camp, though I recognize that others are not. Where I do take exception is the idea that re-seasoning every three months is a good idea. My very best cast iron pieces with the smoothest surfaces have not been re-seasoned in 50 years. If you need repeated re-seasoning, I'm guessing you could treat your cookware better.
Susan W. October 8, 2014
Wow. I don't think I needed admonishment. I have had all of my pots and pans for over 30 years and take excellent care of all of them. I should have been more detailed in my comment. By re-season, I mean I put it on my stove to thoroughly dry it and then give it a light coat of beef tallow. I followed the Canter method of seasoning when I first got it.
Dina October 8, 2014
Once it gets a nice seasoning on it that won't happen. If you think it's because of food residue (like you cooked a frittata in it and let it burn, not that I know anything about that...), you can accidentally leave it in the oven to dry at about 225 overnight. When you briefly panic the next morning and take it out, you will find that all the residue has burned off and it is ready for a nice thin coat of oil and looks better than before!
whmcdevitt October 8, 2014
water yes!......soap no! i've never seen a cast iron pan that says to use soap. to each his own......i'm sure i won't get an argument there! go to lodgemfg.com
sfmiller October 8, 2014
To each his own, sure. But the fact is, cleaning a well-seasoned cast iron pan with standard dishwashing detergent will not remove the seasoning to a significant degree. I've been doing it for 30 years and haven't had a problem yet.

Even the Lodge website says cleaning with a mild detergent is OK (though they'd prefer you didn't): "If no soap is too scary, wash with mild soapy water and dry and oil immediately." Exactly. Don't put it in a dishwasher, don't let it sit a long time with soapy water (or any water in it), don't use powerful degreasers. But normal dish detergent won't hurt anything.

I suspect the never-use-soap-on-cast-iron dogma originated way back when soaps contained lye (which WILL remove seasoning) and were much more caustic than today's dish detergents.
whmcdevitt October 7, 2014
yes it is.......whatever you do don't use soap.
Susan W. October 7, 2014
Respectfully, that has been disproven by many sources. I find my cast iron does best if I use soap and re-season about every 3 months.
Susan W. October 7, 2014
I'm with Abbie. I always use water and soap once in a while. Water definitely does no harm and sometimes I just want a little help from soap. My cast iron is like a teflon pan. Nothing sticks to it. Mine also leaves grey/black on the paper towel. Totally normal because it is a porous non-sealed surface.

Voted the Best Reply!

aargersi October 7, 2014
Normal! I do the same thing (I am not in the "no water" school - I like a little soap!) I wash very gently with warm water and a little soap, then dry them over heat and oil them - and my paper towel always comes away a bit black - I have had mine for YEARS and the seasoning holds great this way
ChefJune October 7, 2014
Once you have seasoned your cast iron pan, it should never see water again. I clean mine with Kosher salt.
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