The Best Cast Iron Scrubbers, According to Our Test Kitchen
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When your cast-iron pans need some heavy-duty cleaning, reach for one of these cast iron scrubbers to remove cooked-on food and more.
Claire Krieger/Taste of Home
Cast-iron pans are our go-to for weeknight meals, comforting dinners and even some delightful desserts. But when it comes to cleaning these sturdy skillets, you often need more than your average dish sponge—you need a cast iron scrubber.
With so much advice out there about how to clean cast iron, it can be hard to know which scrubbers will get the job done without hurting your precious seasoned pan. That’s why our Test Kitchen set out to find the best cast iron scrubbers.
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Cast Iron Scrubbers
After trying multiple different scrubbers on their own cast-iron skillets, members of our Test Kitchen team found the best cast iron scrubbers for getting rid of burnt-on bits, sticky food and even rust (yes, you can restore rusted cast-iron skillets!). Here are their three favorites.
Best Overall Cast Iron Scrubber: Scrub Mommy
Greasy, stuck-on food was no match for Scrub Mommy. Similar to the Shark Tank-famous Scrub Daddy sponge, this scrubber softens with hot water and becomes stiff and abrasive with cold water. It also has a soft sponge side to wipe away any remaining mess.
This combination gave all our burnt-on bits a one-two punch. The stiff, abrasive part of this scrubber was just the thing to pull up stuck-on food and the softer side helped dry the pan. After cleaning up with the Scrub Mommy, our editors’ pans looked like new.
Our Test Kitchen also loved the Scrub Mommy’s design, which gives you an easy and comfortable grip for cleaning. And it’s not just good for cast iron—we put the Scrub Mommy to work cleaning tile, baseboards, cupboards and sinks. Best of all, we could toss this sponge into the dishwasher for an easy clean-and-sanitize session.
We can’t recommend Scrub Mommy enough—it’s a real kitchen superstar, just like your cast-iron pan!
Most Convenient Cast Iron Scrubber: Casabella Mini Brush
Need a quick, hands-off cleanup? Try these Casabella Mini Brush Scrubbers, which have a handle and come with a holder to keep them handy near your sink. The handle keeps your hands clear of all that grease and grime, while the stiff bristles brush away your messes. In our tests, this scrubber held up well to a lot of elbow grease, which makes it good for stubborn caked-on food.
Best Cast Iron Scrubbers for Re-seasoning: Scotch-Brite Stainless Steel Scrubbers
While the Scrub Mommy and Casabella scrubbers are great for everyday use, reach for a Scoth-Brite Stainless Steel Scrubber when you want to start over from scratch with your cast iron. Use this steel scrubber to remove rust and other debris from your messiest recipes. Then season your cast iron skillet again and it’ll be as good as new.
In our tests, Scotch-Brite steel scrubbers got rid of all burnt-on food (even bacon crumbles) and left a smooth surface behind. But since the steel is so abrasive, it can quickly go from cleaning to removing your seasoning. Be mindful as you clean—both for the sake of your pan and your hands.
The only drawback to this product is that it tends to unravel fairly quickly and might need replacing more often. These scouring pads are fairly inexpensive, though, so we don’t mind.
How to Care for Your Cast-Iron Pans
Cast-iron pans are resilient! They can stand up to all kinds of scrubbers, sponges and cleaning tools. Just stay clear of harsh cleaners—a mild dish soap is all you need.
For other methods of cleaning cast iron, we recommend using coarse sea salt or chainmail, which is a chain link piece of stainless steel. And if you’re new to using cast-iron cookware, check out our cast iron cooking guide for tips, recipe ideas and more.
Teddy Nykiel, Taste of Home Associate Digital Editor, contributed to this article.
Note: This blind taste test was performed by our staffers and was not part of a sponsorship. All opinions shared are our own, and have not been influenced by advertisers.