Cleaning/Restoring a Cast Iron Teapot
So…we had a major house fire a couple weeks ago and my cast iron tea pot survived – but it’s covered in a thick layer of nasty burnt house smoke/soot/icky stuff. All of the info I’ve found on how to clean up and sanitize dishes after a fire seems like it would ruin the teapot (trisodium phosphate, bleach, massive amounts of dish soap).
I realize that it might not be worth my time to clean/sanitize it – but anything I can salvage makes me happy (if only I could say the same about my tea…). Do you have any ideas on how to clean it without ruining it (or if it is even possible)?
I am just thinking of what I would do with cast iron in general…..
I would start rubbing it down with some kind of vegetable oil….. and I think it will require lots of elbow grease…. start in a small spot and see what happens. I have also used baking soda with enough water to make a paste or Bar Keeper’s Friend on my enameled cast iron cookware.
I hope everyone is all right.
Is Bar Keeper’s Friend a cast iron cleaning product or just heavy duty cleaning? Some of my other metal dishes (some aluminum and some stainless steel) I did successfully clean but they are kind of discolored so I might try that for those dishes too. Thanks!
Bar Keeper’s Friend is a really gentle scouring powder. It will probably do wonders for your pans.
Do you have a self-cleaning oven? I’d put it in there and let it go through the cleaning cycle … I’ve done this with my grill grates which are cast iron as they were forgotten at one point and did not look so great after being forgotten, but after the cycle they looked brand new and all that was needed was a little seasoning on them.
Is it enameled? I know I read that a rusted cast iron pot can be soaked in Coca Cola for several days and then reseasoned. I don’t know if that would help if it is enameled inside. Is it just the outside that is damaged? You could google how to clean cast iron in general and perhaps find some hints. So sorry to hear about the fire. Bless you!
It is enameled on the inside (it’s the teapot in my profile pic). The outside is definitely worse, but the inside is still rather icky.
Coca Cola removes rust?? O_o If that’s not enough to make me stop drinking soda I don’t know what is…(and drink tea instead :) )
Oh yes, for cleaning cast iron my mother always scrubbed it with salt and water and then oiled it, but using oil and salt to scrub sounds like a great idea!
I only have a cast iron pan but when it is too grungy (I once had a friend run it through the dishwasher and then not dry it so it was full of rust) I scrub it with some steel wool, water and soap. Then I oil it and bake it in the oven at a low temp to sort of bake the oil in. I don’t know how you might accomodate the oil for a teapot though. : (
Thanks for all the ideas guys! I will probably try a combination of all of them just to make sure my tea pot gets squeaky clean (minus the squeaky bit). We are all fine – our dog was home at the time but the firefighters got him out alright. Things have started to settle down a bit now so it’s getting better. On another positive note, it looks like a move to a city with a lot more tea shops is in our immediate future, so yay!