The Ingredient You Can Use To Clean Your Beloved Cast Iron Pan

Cleaning a cast iron pan can be challenging, especially when there's a build-up of oils and other residues that you can't seem to remove. No matter how much you scrub away, it won't budge. 

However, rather than hacking away at it, there is a surprisingly simple solution: club soda. While it may seem like a bizarre choice, it works quite well regarding its removal capabilities and may just be the perfect cost-effective solution you're looking for. In fact, you won't even have to spend a penny if you already have some stored away in the depths of your cupboard or your refrigerator. Of course, you can also use it to clean any other cast iron utensils, making it an incredibly versatile solution if you have several things you want to clean. With many of us cleaning up in our kitchens for almost an hour daily, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this method may prove to be very useful and should hopefully save you time. 

Thankfully, the process is straightforward and requires no harsh chemicals. This is a win-win for both yourself and your pan. So, how exactly do you use your club soda?

How to clean your cast iron pan with club soda

To clean your cast iron pan in this way, you'll need a bottle of club soda, which you may already have. If you don't, you should be able to get a bottle of it from a local store. Once you have some on hand, all you need to do is open the bottle and add some to the area you want to clean soon after you finish using it to cook. However, if the dirt is on the outside of your cast iron pan, you may find it easier to add some product on a dry cloth and apply it in this way, ensuring that you work in a generous amount. Just be careful that you don't burn yourself. For the final part, wait several minutes and allow it to work its magic. After this amount of time, you should be able to scrub and rinse your cast iron pan as normal, removing any bits of grime. By using this trick, you should be able to easily take care of your cast iron pan and keep it in good condition.

However, if you are struggling to remove any dirt, cast iron expert Will Copenhaver explains to Food & Wine that "[a chain mail scrubber] does a great job of removing stuck or charred-on food without damaging the seasoning on your skillet." You could either use this on its own or in combination with your club soda. 

But, how does the club soda work? We'll explain.

How club soda helps break down grime

As it turns out, club soda has a slightly corrosive nature due to ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate, which may help to break down any dirt on your cast iron pots and pans. It's for this reason that you may find it easier to keep it clean using this cast iron cleaning trick. It may also help minimize the appearance of any rust, which is perfect if you're struggling with this problem at the same time. What more could you possibly ask for?

However, you should keep in mind that depending on the severity of the marks, the club soda may not always be effective. To see the best results, you should ensure that you apply some elbow grease when you're washing and rinsing your pan. If the club soda doesn't seem to be working, you could always try using a small amount of salt. Just combine it with your club soda and clean it as you normally would. As a result, you should be able to clean your cast iron pan much more easily, without having to replace your beloved cookware.