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Cast iron cookware is well-known for its exceptional heat retention and resistance, the quality of its meals, and how difficult it is to clean.

So, if left to mold, is it irreversible?

Fortunately, no. Your cast iron pans, like any other item of cookware, may be preserved even if they acquire mold or rust.

They’re simply a bit more difficult to manage.

To remove mold from a cast iron pan, kill it first and then gently clean it with warm water and a mild soap or abrasive.

After the mold has been removed, the pan must be reseasoned.

All you need to know about cleaning mold from a cast iron skillet and preventing it from returning.

How to Remove Mold from a Cast Iron Pan

Sometimes, in the midst of dinner preparation and cleanup, we forget to clean our cookware.

If this occurs, uneaten or stuck-on food is allowed to sit. Food left out to sit attracts mold spores, which begin to break down the meal.

Our pans are also sometimes found in damp, warm areas.

This is an ideal breeding habitat for mold, which will be drawn to the extra oil left over after the seasoning process.

Mold, unfortunately, is typically hazardous to humans. This kind of infection makes the pan useless.

But don’t worry; with good management, you can easily rescue the pan.

Getting Rid of Mold

Mold eradication may and should begin with a fire.

Put your cast iron pan in the oven and set it to the self-cleaning cycle. You can do the same with fire.

While it is feasible to clean your cast iron using bleach, most owners highly advise against it.

Although bleach can destroy the mold, it will also corrode the surface of the pan, necessitating additional cleaning.

Nonetheless, you want to get rid of the mold as fast and effectively as possible. This is to keep it from staying or spreading. You may clean the pan after it has been scorched.

Getting Rid of Rust

Mold and rust might appear in your cast iron at the same time. This is especially true if it has been exposed to moisture.

It’s tough to remove rust from a cast-iron skillet without scraping it, but it’s possible. The simplest method is to use oven cleaning.

Spray the pan with an aerosol oven cleaner and set it aside in a non-metal container for approximately ten minutes. The pan should next be carefully rinsed to eliminate the black and red rust muck.

Take care to do this step in a well-ventilated place, if possible outside. Since oven cleanser may be caustic, keep it in a sturdy container. You should also keep any pets or young children away from the area.

This step will almost certainly remove the seasoning from your pan, but that’s OK. It is reseasonable. More on it in a second.

For the time being, it is necessary to clean your cast iron cookware. It’s simpler than you think.

How to Clean Cast Iron Pans

Several people advise avoiding cleaning cast iron with water at all. According to common belief, the seasoning layer is made up of the cooking oils you use.

This is not totally correct. Non-neutral oils, such as olive and peanut, may and do deteriorate, rendering them useless for seasoning a skillet.

If you use them without washing the pan afterwards, you will leave a layer of inedible oil on your next meal. This is dangerous and should be avoided.

In reality, contrary to common opinion, washing your cast iron cookware with water is absolutely fine and even suggested. You simply have to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.

To begin, never moisten your pan since this might cause rust. The dishwasher is the same; machine cleaning is too harsh for cast iron seasoning and will strip the pan.

Instead, place the pan on the burner and bring a half-inch of water to a gentle simmer. Scrape away particles with a spatula and drain away the muck. Repeat many times.

You may also use a half-inch of warm water and mild dish soap to clean your pan. For exceptionally difficult bits, use an ordinary kitchen sponge or a nylon brush.

Alternately, you may clean with salt.

Fill the pan halfway with coarse salt, then add enough warm water to make a paste. Scrub the pan clean with the paste, then rinse with warm water.

The most important thing to remember is that you must instantly dry your pan after cleaning it. Set it in the oven or on the stovetop on a low heat setting to do this.

Cast Iron Pan Reseasoning

Since mold might be difficult to remove, you should reseason it after the pan has been thoroughly cleaned.

The protective oil film that covers the surface of cast iron cookware is known as seasoning. This is what gives it its shiny, nonstick finish and keeps it from rusting.

Also read: Seasoned Vs Unseasoned Cast-iron Skillet

Preparing Your Pan

Begin by coating your pan with neutral oil.

Flaxseed, canola, and vegetable oil seem to be the best, however others favor solid shortening. Choose something that will not spoil.

This layer must be thin because if it is too thick, you will have more cooked-on residue to clean, which will require you to restart the process. While applying, use a gentle hand.

Make certain that you coat the entire pan, not just the interior. You should also coat the outside, including the bottom and handle.

Baking in a Pan

Place your pan in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit/177 degrees Celsius for one hour. This allows the oil to react with the surface and bake on it.

After an hour, remove the cast iron from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature before removing, wiping off excess oil with a paper towel, and storing.

Whether your cast iron pans are preseasoned or not, most experts suggest reseasoning them at least once a year. This, along with frequent usage, maintains them in excellent condition for a lifetime.

How to Keep Mold Away from Your Cast Iron Pan

One of the simplest methods to avoid mold off your cast iron cookware is to store it correctly.

Store your cast iron in a dry place. Many people keep their cast iron in their ovens or broiling drawers, where it can withstand the heat of frequent cooking.

If you’re keeping many items together, put something soft between them, like a paper towel. This will keep the surfaces from scratching.

Don’t leave food in your cast iron pans after you’ve finished cooking, particularly if it’s beneath a cover or in damp circumstances. To avoid mold formation, promptly clean and dry the pans.

Even if you’ve cleaned the pan, don’t use it if you suspect it has mold. Alternatively, wait a week and repeat the technique if there is still mold.

How to Maintain Your Cast Iron Pans in Good Operating Condition

It’s easy to forget that, despite their reputation for durability, cast iron pans may be damaged or weakened by inappropriate usage. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Handle your pans with caution. Don’t bang them into surfaces or subject them to harsh impacts, particularly from other pans.

Nonetheless, use caution when using pans on glass surfaces or stovetops. With enough effort, they may scratch, break, or shatter glass.

Useing cold water in a cast iron pan promotes corrosion and other damage.

For the greatest results, always cook and wash the pan in room temperature or warm water.

While cooking with cast iron, there are several things to avoid. Very acidic meals, such as tomato-based foods, should be avoided since they may consume the seasoning.

You can certainly cook delicate things like eggs or fish in a cast iron pan. You simply want to make sure it’s well-seasoned and that you’re keeping a close eye on it while it cooks.

Lastly, use the pan on a regular basis! Cooking using a cast iron pan exposes the pan to oil on a regular basis, which benefits the seasoning. Just be sure to tidy up any leftovers.


There’s a reason why cast iron cookware is so popular. It’s inherently nonstick, cooks rapidly and evenly, and lasts a long time. Even though it requires more upkeep, it is worthwhile to invest in.

That is why mold growth in cast iron can be so troublesome. Mold eradication may seem difficult if you are not confident in cleansing it routinely.

Don’t be alarmed if you see mold on your cast iron. Destroy the mold, then clean and reseason the pan. Your cast iron should quickly return to becoming your favorite pan.

You may also be interested in:

  • Is it harmful to have black residue on cast iron skillets?
  • Is your cast iron pan causing your food to turn black? Here’s what you should do!
  • Can You Cook with a Cast Iron Pan on an Electric Range?
  • 3 Simple Methods for Cleaning the Exterior of a Cast-Iron Skillet
  • How do you season a cast iron skillet with lard?
  • Is Cooking in a Rusted Cast Iron Pan Safe?


How do you remove mold from a skillet?

1 cup bleach in 1 gallon water is the maximum amount. Use the bleach and water combination to clean the item. If the item’s surface is rough, scrape it with a firm brush. Rinse the item under running water.

How do you remove black mold from an iron?

Baking Soda & Water: Combine 1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons baking soda to make a paste.
Apply the paste on the iron soleplate with a rubber spatula or a clean cloth.
Using a moist towel, clean the iron.
Load your iron with clean water and put it to steam.
More to come…

Can you use a pan that has mold on it?

If you find mold within or around your pot, it must be cleaned and sterilized before it can be used.

How do you remove mold and rust from cast iron?

Cast Iron Restoration
Invert the pan in the sink and sprinkle with baking soda.
Several squirts of dishwashing liquid…
Remove rust and dirt using a scrub brush.
With additional baking soda and a scrub pad, clean the pan.
Thoroughly rinse and dry your hair.
Additional information…•May 1, 2020

Will Dawn dish soap remove mold?

Is Dish Soap Effective in Killing Mold? While dish soap does not destroy mold, it may be used to eliminate apparent mold. Dish soap functions as a surfactant in water, helping to remove mold and mold spores from surfaces, making them simpler to brush away.

Does Dawn and vinegar remove mold?

To safely remove mold from your house, use four basic ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent or soap.

Does mold grow on cast iron?

There was more mold in the cast iron pot than I’d ever seen on any cookware before I left it covered with its lid on. My first objective was to get rid of all the mold as soon as possible. I took the pot and pan (lid) outdoors into my yard, poured bleach on it, and then covered it with hot water.

Does vinegar dissolve black mold?

Vinegar for Black Mold Removal

White vinegar is a gently acidic cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting agent. On porous and non-porous surfaces, it may also destroy 82% of mold species, including black mold. It is safe to use on most surfaces, and its disagreeable odor dissipates rapidly.

What is a permanent mold for cast iron?

Permanent mold casting is a method of creating new metal items by pouring molten metal into a metal mold composed of steel or cast iron. Since it may be reused, the metal mold is referred to as a permanent mold.

Is mold killed by cooking?

Molds may grow in high-acid foods such as jams, jellies, pickles, fruit, and tomatoes. Nevertheless, these tiny fungus are readily eliminated by heat processing high-acid foods at 212 °F in a boiling water canner for the necessary duration.