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Mineral B rust, and reseasoning, and ugh.

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I'm trying to fix my mangled skillet. I pored over the other threads, but don't see a clear answer to my concern: Is it OK to use a skillet if it still has some residual rust speckles after seasoning?

My well-meaning partner washed my newish, nicely seasoned Mineral B skillet and left it in a puddle of water in the drainer. I set out to clean and reseason. Scrubbing with salt barely dented the rust, so I got out the abrasive sponge and set to it. I worked really fast, scrubbed and dried and rushed the skillet onto a warm burner to dry off and added oil to season — but tiny rust spots appeared almost instantly as I dried it off.

I went ahead with seasoning, and I'll follow up with just salt and oil scrub and another round of seasoning.

But there are still speckles of rust. Is there any harm in using it? I keep hearing these are prone to rust but always salvageable.

Thank you!

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  1. I'd just scrub with steel wool and reseason immediately. Rust spots could cause pitting eventually. Don't put it onto a warm burning to dry off. Wipe it dry, then put it on a HOT burner for a very short time, then oil it. That should prevent rust from forming before you get the chance to apply the oil.

    1. I dont have any Carbon Steel pans but I have a lot of Cast Iron - try washing it with white vinegar and steel wool (clean not soapy) to get rid of rust - then wipe dry, fully dry on burner and re-season.

      1. Hi, blissed:

        Let's play "good news or bad news"?

        OK, good news: You're fine cooking in it. Your OP is unclear whether the spots are inside or outside, but either way, clean, reseason and carry on.

        Now the bad news. Bare, polished steel can pit even after a short rusting experience such as yours. So be prepared to accept that your MB has a ding or two in its windshield--it happens to the best of us.

        Theoretically, if you lived in the ARR (Anal Retentive Republic) you could have the pan bead-blasted and polished without losing much thickness, but likely you or your partner would slip up eventually again anyway.

        IMO these pans are meant to show their dings and warts. The grodier they look/are, the better.

        Again, my advice: kiss your partner and carry on.


        1. <Is it OK to use a skillet if it still has some residual rust speckles after seasoning?>

          It is ok, but you should remove the light rust with a paper towel or "salt and oil".

          <but tiny rust spots appeared almost instantly as I dried it off.>

          I see. This is where the "salt and oil" method comes in. It is a very mild method, and the oil prevents the cookware from rusting up.

          <But there are still speckles of rust. Is there any harm in using it?>

          No harm. No harm to you for sure.

          1. Thanks, everyone. I don't mind it looking funky — I'm a firm believer that useful stuff looks used. Just worried about the finish. I haven't tried cooking yet, but to be honest the pan feels better than it did the first time I seasoned it.

            We did kiss and make up. I'll continue to be grateful he washes my dishes, and he will never, ever wash a pan again. Everyone's happy!

            1. I don't know if this would work, but I would try it if it were me: if it is bad, you need to take it back to original state. Which to me means taking off the layers/patina with Bar Keepers Friend. Then start over from new with seasoning. I'm really not sure about this and have not tried it on pans. But I did just take a patina off a knife (I wanted to try a new one) this way and it worked well. Everything I know about rust is that it spreads if not removed. What I'm not sure is if BKF is a good way to do that for this pan (and I own three DB steel pans). (the gist here is sim to Sirrith, below, just with a different tactic)

              2 Replies
              1. re: danlind3

                I did use Barkeeper's Friend after the unimpressive salt scrub — looked terrific until I dried it, and it immediately bloomed with rust.

                I've used the pan a few times since, and it's coming along nicely. And the coloring variations that occur with normal use are masking the ugliness from the rust remnants. I'm going to assume that as long as rust isn't coming *off* the pan, and it's got a nice, smooth, on-it's-way-to-nonstick surface, everything will be OK.

                1. re: blissed

                  Any bare iron is gong to rust when exposed to the air...hence your pan rusting as soon as the water dries.

                  Try cleaning again, and while still wet add some oil and wiping it around. You should not see rust at that point.

              2. Considering the short duration of the rust, I dare say it is superficial and cosmetic only.

                As others have mentioned, wash it , scrub it, etc. to remove the visible rust, dry it with a handy towel and place it on a HOT burner for a few minutes and then take a paper towel with some oil in a pair of kitchen tongs and wipe the affected area. I doubt you will notice and difference in your pan after you cook in it once or twice since the seasoning will have sealed up any cosmetic damage that may have occurred. Considering the short timeframe involved, I seriously doubt any rust pits are present but, minor ones will be 'consumed' in the seasoning process. Heck, some people even argue that rough cast iron is better than smooth since the seasoning is thicker and smoother making a better non-stick cooking surface.