How to Remove WD-40 from a Cast Iron Skillet


Mike asked: I sprayed WD-40 on a cast iron skillet. Now I would like to use it. How do I remove the WD-40 so I can cook food in this skillet?

WD-40 is a lubricant that is made to provide a barrier against moisture. It is not meant to be easily removed or washed away. To ensure that the pan is safe to use, we contacted the customer service experts at WD-40. Here are their cleaning recommendations. If you are unable to completely remove the lubricant, do NOT use the pan for cooking. Dispose of it and purchase a new one.

You Will Need: 

  • Hot water
  • Grease fighting dish soap (Dawn or Dawn Power Dissolver)
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the WD-40:

  1. Begin by filling the sink with hot water.
  2. Add a good amount of grease fighting dish soap or detergent.
  3. Soak the pan for about ten minutes in the hot, soapy water.
  4. Scrub the surfaces of the pan with a scrub brush and a soft cloth.
  5. Drain the water and rinse the pan completely with clean, hot water.
  6. Refill the sink and repeat steps 1-5 two more times (more if needed).
  7. Once the pan has dried, place it on a burner with nothing in it.
  8. Heat the pan.
  9. If there is any smoke or odors coming from the pan, all of the WD-40 was not removed.
  10. Either repeat the washing process again or dispose of the pan and purchase a new one. Do NOT cook with the pan until you are sure you have removed ALL traces of the WD-40.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Cast iron absorbs the oil, which is the cause for concern. While you may be able to wash it off of the surface, it may not be possible to remove the lubricant that has been absorbed by the pan.
  • Successful removal depends largely on the amount of WD-40 applied to the surface and the amount of time it has been on there. The longer it sets on the skillet, the more it will have soaked in to the cast iron.
  • If you are unsure that you have successfully removed all of the WD-40, do NOT use the pan for cooking. It is better to dispose of the pan and replace it with a new one than risk WD-40 seeping into your food.
  • For more information about proper use and health concerns, see the Material Safety Data Sheet for this product.
  • Though WD-40 is commonly used to clean the exterior of cast iron skillets, it is flammable and needs to be used properly.



  1. You can also put cast iron into an oven and put the oven on a self cleaning cycle. When the pan has cooled back down to room temp, wash the pan again with soap and water. Then coat the pan with olive oil and the season pan.

Leave a Comment