Keep Your Cast Iron in Good Condition
Honestly, I just wipe my pan with a paper towel after I cook and then again before (after heating it up), and it stays relatively clean & seasoned. I will occasionally take some soap to it as mentioned in the article, but not after every use.
Just like the grills in restaurants which get scrapped down constantly and never washed. that is all I do to my iron skillets. I used a grinder to sand bottom of new skillets smooth, treated them and haven't washed them in 3 years. Wiped out, scrapped good, wiped more and oiled if needed. You won't die.
My late mom (would be 99 years old this year) cooked all her life with cast iron. She (and others of her generation) always said if a pan gets too badly in need of cleaning, put it in a brush pile that is being burned. Recover it when it's cooled (as a volunteer firefighter, I've recovered several pans from the rubble that would be good as new when cleaned and re-seasoned. NEVER TRY TO COOL THEM QUICKLY WITH WATER! They will crack!) PS: Anybody know how to "season" an old-fashioned iron teakettle? Grease will give you greasy water. Otherwise, they'll rust...any ideas? Thanks.
Most old timers like me that have used cast iron teakettles for their purpose which is as a humidifier that blends in unlike a pot or bucket or other water holder on your wood stove. You can use the hot water for drinking but, there's an heavy mineral and iron content to the water.
I know if you need an abrasive you can put salt on it and use a paper towel. I have seen a little soap and water used but the pan is heated until all water evaporates. Then you add oil all over and heat it until it smokes. These are Iron that has already been seasoned well. not starting out. I have heard there is one American company making cast Iron called "Logan".
I have cleaned my cast iron precisely as described in the article for my entire life.
I was pleased to see a reasonable set of suggestions instead of the usual "no soap, not ever, oh, no!" stuff that is pervasive.
If you can clean it well and not use soap, scalding hot water rinse and dry with paper towels - great. But eventually of course you will find a time when it's absolutely necessary to properly clean a cast iron pan with soap and water.
Just dry it well, dash of oil, dash of heat, good to go. Reseasoning is something you might need to do every few years, but a little oil and a couple minutes on the burner is enough most of the time.
And even if you ever did see a little rust, it will scrub right off and you can then reseason.
I was happy to read your comment about rust. A friend has her grandmother's iron skillet and it has a few spots of rust. Knowing her, she may just throw it away. I could not confidently tell her it would be safe to use. But I'll tell her of your suggestions and we shall see. Any other ideas about getting rid of rust spots and its safety?