If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then your cookware might be in need of a little extra TLC. The telltale sign is generally when the bottom of your pot starts to look like the side of a highway. But hey, at least that means you’re eating real well… or at least trying. We get a lot of questions about how to clean your cookware, and luckily there are some easy tricks!

Cast Iron Upkeep:

Many cast iron items (like the Cravings go-to pan) come pre-seasoned, which means they’ve been treated with protective coating that allows you to start using them right away.  But for daily upkeep to avoid rust over time, you can follow these steps:

1. Wash

Most important rule no matter what: always wash your cast iron cookware in warm water by hand! DO NOT put in the dishwasher! Submerging your cookware in large amounts of soapy water can strip off the seasoning. Of course, use a little soap if needed, but do not go crazy here. If you have really tough, stuck-on food, simmer water for 3-5 minutes, let your cookware cool, and take a dish brush to scrape off any excess food. 

2. Dry

Dry immediately using a clean dish towel or sturdy, lint-free paper towel! DO NOT AIR DRY! 

3. Coat

Maintain that coat of beautiful seasoning by using a lint-free paper towel to rub a small amount (no more than a tablespoon!) of either canola or vegetable oil all over the pan (the outside, too). Make sure that there is no residual oil remaining on the pan, and that the oil is distributed evenly – otherwise, your cookware may get sticky.

Polished Pots & Pans:

How to get the grime off your pots & pans (courtesy of Cravings follower @michellelaplaca):

All you need is baking soda, plain white vinegar, and a scrubber (the abrasive side of a sponge works great!). 

1. Scrub

Sprinkle the bottom of the pan in baking soda, pour one cup of vinegar on top of the baking soda, and wait until it starts to bubble. Once bubbles appear, get scrubbin’. Some spots require more baking soda than others, but you won’t need more vinegar after the first cup!

2. Dry

After you’re finished scrubbing, rinse with warm water and dry completely with either a paper towel or dish towel!