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So I decided to try seasoning my cast iron skillet in the oven. After a few hours I made the mistake of thinking I could take it out and look at it with some pot holders. It turns out pot holders than will be just fine at 350 can't stand up to the max heat of my oven -- Fibers melted on the handle, or maybe they got stuck in the oil, I'm not sure -- but I can't get them completely off with a brillo pad.

My next step is something a bit more drastic -- sandpaper or a dremel with a buffing wheel. This will leave bare cast iron exposed unfortunately. I realize it's just the handle, but I don't really want that to rust either. If I do wind up scrubbing it down to shiny metal, is there any reason I wouldn't be able to just reseason it using advice on this site?

  • Try a solvent like enamel remover or as such. It won't let any residue. Surely not after the pan is heated up again – Alchimista Jan 17 at 10:26
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First, you should never scrub cast iron with a brillo pad, as the steel in the brillo is harder than the cast iron, and can not only strip off the seasoning but scratch up the iron itself. The same would be true with sandpaper or a dremel.

Instead, you should plan to completely strip and reseason the pan, using lye or oven cleaner (scroll down a couple pages in that article).

If it is only the handle that is a mess, use the oven cleaner method to just strip the handle (protecting the rest of the pan with a plastic bag), then continue the seasoning process. The handle will end up with fewer layers of seasoning than the rest of the pan, but that's fine, it's just the handle and not a cooking surface.

Alternately, if you can heat the pan in a well-ventilated area (an outdoor grill, for example), you may be able to simply burn off the fibers, depending on what they are made of (if they have a silicone or metallic coating, probably not). In this case, just heating the pan to more than 500F/250C for a couple hours may take care of the problem, and can even be part of the seasoning process.

Finally, if you plan to handle the hot pan during seasoning again, get some welding gloves.

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