What Are the Best Cleaning Tools for Cast Iron? – 4 Recommendations

If you are new to cast iron cookware, you might be wondering what cleaning tools you need.

You may have also heard you can’t use soap.

Interestingly, Lodge says you can use a little dish soap if needed, but you won’t want to use it all the time.

Lodge also has some of the best cleaning tools for cast iron.

Let’s find out about three of them.

What Are the Best Cleaning Tools for Cast Iron?

Three of the best cleaning tools for cast iron are a pan scraper, a scrub brush, and chainmail. A pan scraper removes the bits of food that get stuck in the pan. And a scrub brush is better for your seasoning than a dish cloth. Third is chainmail, which is for more difficult cleaning jobs. A fourth cleaning tool is coarse salt which works much the same as chainmail.

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Pan Scrapers

This pan scraper set is my favorite cleaning tool for cast iron because it’s common for food to get stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan. And it easily gets into all the hard-to-reach areas.

Plus, you can use it on any pan or surface.

On the other hand, you might not need one of each. Maybe you’d rather have two of the same kind. Let’s say you don’t need a grill pan scraper and would rather have two pan scrapers. No problem. Or vice versa; you can get two grill pan scrapers.

Brand: Lodge
See Amazon
Polycarbonate (hard plastic)
1 red, 1 black
Grill – 3.125 x 3.125 x 0.125 inches; Pan – 2.938 x 2.313 x 0.063 inches
Dishwasher safe
Made in: China
Great for: Scraping stuck-on food from a pan

RELATED > > > > > Lodge Pan Scraper Review – 2 Pack

Scrub Brush

The scrub brush is another cleaning tool I use daily. I generally don’t need anything else between it and the pan scraper.

Lodge recommends using a stiff-bristled brush and hot water to maintain the seasoned finish of your cast iron. The brush won’t harm the seasoning, nor will soap if you only use it occasionally.

However, the scrub brush and hot water will typically be enough.

Brand: Lodge
see Amazon
rubber and wood with natural lacquer finish
Plastic with stiff nylon bristles
10L x 2.313W (Head) x 1.36W (Handle) x 1.375H inches
0.25 lbs.
Made in:
Great for: Cleaning

RELATED > > > > > Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware – To Use Soap or Not


Chainmail is a popular cleaning tool when the scraper and scrub brush is not enough to get the pan clean.

It has no sharp edges and, therefore, won’t scratch your pan or harm the seasoning.

And the silicone middle makes it easy to grip the scrubber and use the right amount of pressure.

Brand: Lodge
see Amazon
304 stainless steel with silicone core
4.33L x 3W x 0.75H inches
Weight: 0.34 lbs.
Dishwasher safe
Made in:
Great for:
Cleaning baked-on food

RELATED > > > > > Chainmail for Cast Iron – A Lodge Scrubbing Pad Review

Other Tools and Methods

Another cleaning tool that does the same thing as chainmail is coarse salt.

Although I have and use chainmail, I often prefer making a salt paste. Even though I know chainmail is safe, salt does as good of a job and somehow seems less abrasive.

Sometimes when I have the time, I use other methods depending on what type of food or residue gets baked onto the pan. And these other methods don’t require another cleaning tool.

One way is to cover the stuck-on food with water and bring it to a boil. The hot water loosens anything stuck and makes it easier to clean.

Or, heat your pan and run it under the hottest water possible while scraping it with a spatula or long-handled tool that can handle the heat without melting.

Like I said earlier, I use different methods depending on what’s stuck on the pan. But any of these methods will probably work no matter what food is hard to remove.

You can watch the video below to see Cowboy Kent Rawlins demonstrating a couple of the methods: the hot iron and hot water method or coarse salt with a smidgen of water.

Easy Trick to Clean Cast Iron

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the pan scraper and scrub brush are the two everyday cleaning tools. But sometimes you will have a more difficult job that requires another cleaning tool or method.

For harder-to-clean pans, you might try chainmail or coarse salt.

Or, if you have a bit more time, one of the methods.

You can either heat your pan and run it under hot water or boil water in the pan. Both work without an additional tool but take more time.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the best cleaning tools for cast iron.

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