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Old 05-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
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Cast Iron w/Rust - help, please.

Hey ppls! Question. My friend bought me some antique Cast Iron Skillets but they have rust on them. Is there any way to revive them, or are they trash? I ask because Ive tried scrubbing them but that didnt really help, and I dont know what to do to get them usable. I hope I dont have to throw them away, its 6 of them!!

Thanks in Advance!

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Old 05-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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Don't throw them away. You can save them. You just need to sand them to remove the rust. Once you sand away the rust you can then season them again and start using them.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:52 PM   #3
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OOOOOooooooo!! Thanks! Ill try it again. Looks like Ill be sanding for a while, cause these are big skillets! lol What should I use to sand them? Just a brillo pad?
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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Use actual sanding paper. If you have a power sander then use that.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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If you want to sand them quickly, take them to a place that does sandblasting. Look in your phone book for cemetery monument companies. They should have the equipment. We've taken small things to our local monument company. Quick, thorough and not much money.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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thanks so much!
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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get a wire brush that you can put into a drill and the you can power brush it.
I have found alot of good cast iron pot at garage sale and some of them are ewwwwwww. but a wire wheel good soap and water and then reseason it works great.
I reseason on grill outside- less smell in the house
Also rember if using drill and wire brush use goggles or a pair of saftey glasses. lil wires break off at times
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:17 PM   #8
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In an electric drill you might want to use cup type wire brushes; first a medium coarse then a medium fine brush. Then use a disk sander, starting with 250 grit silicon carbide and finishing with 400 - 600 alox. Alternatively you can finish with a rotten stone compound. BTW, rust may be oogly but it won't poison you.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:09 AM   #9
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Use potatos

I know it may sound odd, but it works like a charm. Do a Google search for "Remove rust with potatos". It will result in many hits. I have not done this myself yet but I do know it works from pictures I have seen.

The jist of it is to cut up a few spuds and put them in water. Submerge the item that needs to have the rust removed, and wait about two weeks. Takes a while but all reports are that it takes the rust off. Clean up your pan afterwards, and season as normal.


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Old 05-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #10
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Another "odd" one. Once you have it cleaned up, once in awhile put it on medium high heat with some kosher (or other course) salt. Heat the salt and then remove the pan from the heat, take a dry scrubber and work the salt into the pan and wipe it out. You can even save the salt for a few uses. It will be grey, but that is okay. I learned this in my apprenticeship. Use it all the time on cast iron and french steel.

It doesn't take all the char off (a good thing) but removed impurities and moisture that can cause bacteria and rust. Be sure to re season the pan after.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #11
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Also if you have one of those comercial torches you may just burn the rust of.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Able Hands View Post
I know it may sound odd, but it works like a charm. Do a Google search for "Remove rust with potatos". It will result in many hits. I have not done this myself yet but I do know it works from pictures I have seen.

The jist of it is to cut up a few spuds and put them in water. Submerge the item that needs to have the rust removed, and wait about two weeks. Takes a while but all reports are that it takes the rust off. Clean up your pan afterwards, and season as normal.


Matt
Very Interesting! I'll probably try this also! Ill report back how it works out!

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Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
Another "odd" one. Once you have it cleaned up, once in awhile put it on medium high heat with some kosher (or other course) salt. Heat the salt and then remove the pan from the heat, take a dry scrubber and work the salt into the pan and wipe it out. You can even save the salt for a few uses. It will be grey, but that is okay. I learned this in my apprenticeship. Use it all the time on cast iron and french steel.

It doesn't take all the char off (a good thing) but removed impurities and moisture that can cause bacteria and rust. Be sure to re season the pan after.
I remember thats what my mom used to do with her skillets, and they where always shiny and pretty!

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Also if you have one of those comercial torches you may just burn the rust of.
Unfortunately I cant be trusted with uncontrolled fire, thats why my grilling priviledges have been revoked at the house! Maybe Ill let my dad try! lol
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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I have a bucket of playground sand that I use to scrub rust off of my cast iron grill rack. I just plop the sand onto it and use a rag to scrub. It worked on a nice carbon steel wok I found at a garage sale too.
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