Martha Stewart's Trick For Saving The Sink While You Clean Your Cast Iron

There are few home and cooking icons with the breadth of knowledge of Martha Stewart. And among her many tricks is a great solution for one critical problem many people face when cleaning a common piece of cooking equipment — the cast iron skillet.

Home cooks who've used cast iron before know they often need a good cleaning afterward, but setting them on the bottom of your sink can be an easy way to cause unsightly scratches that damage it over time or create space for bacteria to grow. Meanwhile, they're often too heavy to comfortably hold in the air while applying the needed cleaning pressure.

Martha's simple solution (revealed in a recent TikTok with a highlight from a past show) involves nothing other than a handy kitchen rag or towel. Just set it at the bottom of the sink (and along the sides if necessary,) which will help protect the finish of your sink. This also offers the added bonus of keeping your skillet from sliding around, allowing you to put some real elbow grease into removing any burnt-on gunk.

Soap up without fear

While Stewart says you should never use soap on your cast iron outside of restoring rusted or heavily soiled ones, science has shown this is one of the myths about cast iron skillets that you need to stop believing. Many have heard soap ruins the cast iron's natural nonstick seasoning, but ordinary dish soap can be used without fear. This is because seasoning is a chemical process that occurs on the surface of the skillet, not just a layer of oil, and a light washing won't be able to affect it. Soap will also make cleaning easier, meaning there is less chance of a scratch or ding to your sink, even when protected with a towel.


A well-seasoned cast iron skillet can last a lifetime. #castironskillet #castironcare #tiktokpartner #throwbackthursday

♬ original sound – Martha Stewart

In any case, all cast iron should be properly reseasoned with a fresh layer of oil following each wash to protect it for the long term. While it may seem like a simple hack (and it is), Martha Stewart's incredible selection of small tricks from a lifetime of cooking are among the reasons she's considered one of the greats.