Some time ago I got iron cast dutch oven, alomost right away I noticed that when I wash it (just water, no soap) when I wipe it with white paper towel I get something black on it (see pictures).

Today I got a new cast iron fry pan (same manufacturer, Lodge) when I washed it with hot water and wiped with paper towel - I got rust-ish coar on the towel (see pictures).

Similar thing I saw in Martha Stewart's video where she shows how to season a fry pan, on 2:25 when she wipes just seasoned pan.

I notice this thing every time I wash my dutch oven after cooking (and I put oil on it when I store it), it it should not require seasoning, looks fine and oily. And fry pan... wel it is brand new and supposed to be preseasoned...

So the questions:

  • Is it safe?
  • Is it even possible to get rid of it?

I am seasoning my cookware while writing this post, will see in couple hours when I will have a chance to wash and wipe it again, but I am not sure it will change anything.

UPD: So I seasoned fry pan, one layer (like in video below) and tried to fry some meat and potatoes on it - it suck and burn a little :) I didn't want to use washing liquid so i scraped it with tools i had. After that - i got the same black residue on my white paper towel, same as on photo I took wiping my dutch oven. So, I guess I will have to season it again, this time couple of layers.

enter image description here

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  • The first photo doesn't worry me very much. The second one does - I'd get in touch with Lodge and make sure they see it.
    – user293
    Oct 12, 2016 at 19:10

4 Answers 4


Lodge is an ideal choice because it comes pre-seasoned. While I expect to wash a bit of muck out of them after bringing one home, it should only be stuff the pan has accumulated after it was seasoned in the factory. And I don't mind that, because they're pans after all and designed to accumulate things. If you're still seeing that after uses and washes, I'd get in touch with them.

You might be in need of replacements, which the warranty (fortunately also great) would cover. I can't tell from the photos if it's iron oxide or not, and obviously you can't either - I'd call the warranty line and let them know what you're seeing.

It's certainly not what I've seen (I love them!) after an initial rinsing with hot water and drying prior to first use. Something seems off to me.


I've used cast iron cookware for years. From new, they should be washed and rinsed well to get rid of the manufacturing oils. Then they should be seasoned according to the manufacturers instructions. This typically involves wiping with a vegetable oil, burning it off, wiping, and repeating. Frying pans should only be wiped with oil and paper after use, saucepans can be washed with soapy water, rinsed well, and dried thoroughly before wiping with oil. And yes, the paper will have some rust appearing on it. This is quite normal, and is harmless. After they've been used a number of times, there will be a build up of black carbon. This is normal, and shouldn't be scraped off. I use my (45 year old) Dutch oven about once a year, and give it a quick wash and dry, then a wipe with oil before using it. Hope this helps!

  • Are you really getting rust from the seasoned surface of the pan? If it's well-seasoned, there shouldn't be any exposed iron.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 12, 2016 at 17:15
  • One of the biggest selling points of Lodge (brand) is that it comes pre-seasoned. He shouldn't be seeing that at all after multiple uses.
    – user293
    Oct 12, 2016 at 18:27

"Pre-seasoning" is not seasoning. It is a spray-on of multitudes of pans at the Lodge factory, and it will not last long. I don't buy new cast iron, but I see the black stuff shown in your last photo after I have taken crusty old cast iron out of a lye bath and then cleaned it off as well as I can with a brush. The black continues to come off when I oil it and remove the oil right before first seasoning, when the iron is still raw. But cast iron that is fully seasoned does not do this.

Do you dry off all the oil when you put a pan away? I haven't watched Martha Stewart and don't intend to, but I will tell you that any oil put on the pan during seasoning and during storage should be wiped off thoroughly. The cast iron will absorb what it needs, and you don't want superfluous oil on it.


ALSO: You say you're seasoning and will see when that's done in a couple of hours?!

Sorry, but I think you should be thinking about a couple of days. You should not expect any kind of performance out of a cast iron pan, certainly not a modern Lodge, with one coat of seasoning. Put the pan in the oven. Heat the oven to its lowest temp, then take the pan out and smother it in Crisco. Then try your best to take all of the Crisco off, no matter how many paper or cotton towels it takes. (You will see black residue on the towel, and that's normal for this stage.) Put the pan (upside down; if you followed directions, there is no need for aluminum foil below) in the oven at low temp, and when it reaches that, raise the temp a hundred or two hundred degrees. When it reaches that, raise the temp more. Keep going till you get to 450 or 500, and when the oven reaches that, cut it off. Don't open the oven door until it and the pan are cold.

Then repeat the process three more times.

One coat of seasoning is nothing.

  • Thank you, Norma, I just updated my post, sorry it took so long, was bussy with work. So now I guess, I will season again using your instructions!
    – Pavel
    Oct 13, 2016 at 22:41

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