I Tried That Fan-Favorite $9 Cast Iron Cleaning Brush—And It Instantly Became a Kitchen Staple

updated Jun 6, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Even though cast iron pots are huge and heavy, they’re also sensitive. Your run-of-the-mill cleaning methods won’t work for this stovetop essential, something I embarrassingly didn’t understand until recently. As I do with pretty much everything, I went in blind to the world of cast iron: Not only was I naively unfamiliar with essential terms like “seasoning,” I also had no idea how to properly use—or clean—the pan. 

After a few silly rookie mistakes (like submerging my cast iron in water, which can rust the iron, and using gobs of dish soap, which can ruin the seasoning), I found a simple method for de-griming the pan’s surface. All it takes is a bit of coarse salt, a paper towel, and some water. For standard iron pan clean-up, I just coat the pan in salt, dip the paper towel in water, rub away, and rinse. 

It usually works! But there have been times I needed more than what the salt flakes could give me. For example, I recently burned some bacon in my cast iron, which left behind significant chunks of baked-on char (not to mention a strong, but strangely enjoyable, odor in my kitchen). Let’s be honest: I would have had to use my entire box of sea salt and half a roll of paper towel to return my pan to a usable, bacon-free state. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Desperate for a solution (and to keep my pan safe from future cleaning mess-ups), I did some research for other safe and effective methods of cleaning my cast iron. I wanted something a bit more powerful and forceful, without removing the seasoning I’ve worked so hard to coat my pan in. That’s when I heard about a fan-favorite cleaning tool on Amazon—the Full Circle Tenacious C cast iron cleaning brush. Boom, add to cart. 

When the brush arrived on my doorstep, my charred pan was still sitting on my stovetop, ready for a spa treatment. Reader, I have to admit: I was slightly shocked by how well the brush worked, and how much I actually enjoyed the brushing process. 

First, cleaning with this brush is so simple. Rather than bringing out half my kitchen cabinet, I can just use the brush with some water. Even more importantly, it doesn’t just look nice next to my sink. It’s effective. Since my pan was in especially tough shape, I had to use a little more force while brushing, but it still felt reasonable. Within probably a minute or two of brushing away with some water, the pan looked 100 percent better. 

A bit about the brush, and why it works so well: The bristles are sturdy, but they’re not metal, which could scratch the pan and damage the seasoning coat. There’s also a built-in scraper to remove stuck-on areas. I also liked that the brush had darker bristles, so they don’t show wear as easily as other brushes do. And as a bonus, it’s made of recycled bamboo plastic. 

Now, my favorite part: The brush is heat resistant. Why is this important? Well, after you scrub old, burned-on grime, a good rinse in the sink doesn’t always take care of the mess. Instead, throw this brush in the dishwasher with the rest of your things, and it’ll emerge as clean as your cast iron is.

I’ll still use my go-to salt method for everyday purposes, but when I need to bring out the big guns, I know I can trust my cast iron cleaning brush