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DanaL 10-12-2015 10:23 PM

Help a newbie out!
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Hi everyone! I finally found a great deal at a flea market on (what I hope is) a vintage cast iron pan. I was so excited to begin using it, but I'm already running into problems which is bumming me out :( I'm hoping one of you experts will pick this thread up and be able to point me in the right direction... :)

The issue is this: There seems to be an endless grey/charcoal residue coming off the pan...I'm not sure what it is, or if it's a problem or not. I'm hoping it's just a result of the raw/unseasoned iron (pan doesn't seem to be seasoned, it's not blackened and the residue doesn't seem to be "season" flaking off from what I can tell).

I've attached pics, hopefully it helps to show what I mean. I literally went thru a role of paper towels and the residue didn't seem to lessen or "come clean" (i used kosher salt and veg oil to begin cleaning it before seasoning it). I don't want to begin the seasoning process if there's an underlying issue I need to be concerned about.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Doug D. 10-12-2015 10:56 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
About the best description for that, which is not unusual, is "black rust", a type of soft iron oxide normally left after electrolysis cleaning. Nothing to worry about. You can often minimize it by washing the piece with Dawn liquid, rinsing , drying, and proceeding with seasoning as usual.

See also:

DanaL 10-13-2015 04:11 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
Thanks Doug for your quick response and helpful link! I'm feeling a little better about it. My husband was worried that I had been "duped" and aquired a pan that had been spray painted or something! I did wash it out with dish soap initially (though not specifically Dawn brand), and the residue still kept coming off. But maybe once I begin the seasoning process it will prevent that. Off to begin the journey I guess ! thanks again!

W. Hilditch 10-13-2015 04:42 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
There is dish soap and then there is Dawn. They are not the same. If straight Dawn on a plastic brush won't clean it, oven cleaner is next.


KevinE 10-13-2015 06:29 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
As Doug pretty much said, all that pan needs is to be seasoned.

Jeffrey R. 10-13-2015 07:00 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
Some of the "black" will come off while applying the oil with your first layer of seasoning. Have no fear. Just wipe all the oil off and put it into the oven to season.

DanaL 10-14-2015 12:33 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
FAB! Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the extra input, it helps put my mind at ease since I'm new to all this :) I'm definitely going to get my hands on some Dawn to do one last good cleaning (the pan is literally spotless, i.e. no visible built up gunk, food residue, rust, etc etc, it's just that grey residue that seems to endlessly keep coming off), one last Dawn cleaning then off to begin the seasoning process ---- wish me well! lol love and good CI eatin' to you all! <3

Jeffrey R. 10-14-2015 01:32 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
Not to put Dawn, but I use Palmolive. I purchase it in 2.81 quarts size.:icon_thumbsup:

Mark H 10-14-2015 03:03 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
Dawn cuts through oil and grease. Often used in oil clean up on the water ways.

W. Hilditch 10-14-2015 03:13 PM

Re: Help a newbie out!
Palmolive makes your hands pretty. It also makes your crystal shine. My SO uses Palmolive and I use Dawn.


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