Cast Iron Cleaning...FAIL it is.  It's a Pinterest fail.

Though, to be fair - and honest - it's probably not so much the pin that failed me as much as it is we have sucked UP caring for this cast iron pan.  It's probably my fault entirely.  So look at this post as a cry for help.  Please.

Several years ago, my husband convinced me to cook with cast iron.  I've been afraid of using them, because they seem to require so much care.  Just give me a pan I can toss in the dishwasher, and I'm good.  But - it seemed like a better option than the non stick pans who contain who knows what, and they've been around for a million years, AND I'm in the South so...when in know how that goes.

It's been a good run with these pans for a few years.  There was a small learning curve for me, but I got it down and we've kept them nice and well seasoned.  And then, suddenly, they started to NOT be so well seasoned.  I tried curing them, and that seemed to help - but after a high heat round of stir fry the other night, I fear this pan will never be the same.  Can you see the layer of gunk on it?  It won't come off.

Enter this pin that I had saved from my Tips board on Pinterest.  It comes from In This Crazy Life via Martha Stewart.

I love when I have everything I need for something, so I quickly got to work.

I grabbed my cast iron, my coarse salt and soft sponge and got to scrubbing.  I scrubbed gently at first, and then realized this was going to take a little more elbow grease.  You can even see the salt turns this gross brown/grey color - I took this as a good sign.  The gunk must be coming off, right?


But no.  Nothing changed, except my salt got gross.


Have I destroyed this thing?  Is there any hope for it?  What you can't tell from the picture probably is that it's definitely a LAYER of gunk.  I can't just re-season it, because it's all bumpy and gross feeling.  Please someone, give me your tips.  Tell me I can save this pan...

Seriously though, we only have cast iron around I really need to save this pan.

And, congratulations to Rosa H. who won our $50 store credit giveaway!  Look for an email, Rosa!