Most kitchen supplies require specific maintenance procedures to ensure the longevity of the product. Cast Iron is no exception, and adhering to these rules will actually make your product better with age. Cast Iron skillets and griddles can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. Here are some maintenance fundamentals:
After hand cleaning with hot water, towel dry and store away, or put atop an open burner until the heat just dissipates the moisture. (If super dry, apply a thin layer of warm oil to the surface of the pan and allow for it to soak in)
Should rust spots form or if a metallic taste is detected on food, simply work a sheet of sandpaper or steel wool over the surface to remove and reseason your pan with warm oil
When your pan is not being used, make sure to store it in a cool, dry place (Lodge Mfg suggests putting a paper towel on the surface of the pan or in between the pan and the lid to keep moisture from forming)
Don’t use soap or detergents for cleaning cast iron- hot water will do and a sponge!
Never put cast iron in the dishwasher- the chemicals in the detergents will strip down the oils in your pan’s seasoning, resulting in a brittle, dried out pan
Avoid submerging the cast iron in cold water, particularly when the product is still hot. This could cause thermal shock and a warped pan