It’s a known fact that you should not put any cast iron cookware in the dishwasher, but does it also hold true for cast iron stove grates? This is a question that we get all too often and for a good reason. Nobody enjoys handling or cleaning cast iron stove grates; that’s just a fact.
So, can you put your cast iron stove grates in the dishwasher? The simple answer is yes; you can put your cast iron stove grates in the dishwasher; however, precautionary steps must be taken to prevent your cast iron stove grates from rusting.
The process is not too complicated but needs to be done every time you put your cast iron grates in the dishwasher. Read on to find out what all you need to do to put your cast iron grates in the dishwasher safely.
Why Should You Avoid Putting Cast Iron Cookware in the Dishwasher?
Cast iron cookware, unlike cast iron stove grates, is seasoned for a purpose, and if you put them in the dishwasher, it will most likely remove any if not all of the seasoning on your cast iron cookware. The dishwasher can also predispose your cast iron pots and pans to rust if you’re not too careful.
Obviously, cast iron stove grates don’t need to be seasoned, and people often wonder can you put cast iron stove grates in the dishwasher. We won’t tell you that you should do this, but we also won’t say that it can’t be safely done and that we’ve done this ourselves a few times.
Although it’s not a recommended way of cleaning them, you won’t risk too much by cleaning them in a dishwasher. However, you need to be extra careful about it being predisposed to rust, especially on the underside, if not dried properly.
The most important thing is to prevent any rust from forming, so after the grates have dried completely, you should apply vegetable oil by using a brush on both the tops and bottoms of your cast iron stove grates.
How Do You Get Grease Off Cast Iron Stove Grates?
Everybody finds themselves in this predicament at some point in their lives, some more than others, but okay, we’ve all been there. Those nasty-looking cast iron stove grates need to be cleaned, and if you don’t want to try the dishwasher method, then we have another option that works pretty well. But we must tell you, this way can be messy and might stink a bit.
Use a Degreaser
We suggest purchasing a good degreaser and spraying it on your cast iron stove grates. Let this product sit on them for at least 30 minutes (longer if they are filthy), making sure they are soaking wet before attempting to scrub them clean with a really fine steel wool pad.
You want to make sure you are using a cleaning pad that will not scratch the surface of your cast iron stove grates. This is super important if you don’t want to see many spider-looking webs all over your stove grates; trust us, it happens when using an abrasive product.
When choosing your degreaser, try to find one that using citrus additives, as these are the ones that work best when it comes to the tough degreasing jobs. Nowadays, you can even find some with essential oils like lemon or orange, which will also work great.
How to Clean Rust From Cast Iron Stove Grates
First of all, don’t panic; cast iron is very durable and will not be harmed by a little (or a lot) of rust. You can easily correct this issue by ensuring that your cast iron stove grates are completely dry before using them again. But okay, that’s not always the case.
If not correctly taken care of, cast iron stove grates can rust and probably will at some point in time. If that happens, you’ll need to remove the rust using a metal brush and scrub generously until most of the rust is off. After that, simply clean the grates with mild dish soap and then apply vegetable oil to the entire surface of your cast iron stove grates.
Recommended Ways of Cleaning Cast Iron Stove Grates
To make the process as simple as possible, you can always wipe down your cast iron grates and burner caps with a damp cloth or sponge and dry them completely each time after cooking. This is considered maintenance cleaning and can be done with regular hot, soapy water (mild dish soap) or a mild store-bought cleaner such as Soft Scrub.
If, after cleaning, you notice some spots that did not get removed, you can use an alternative method; however, it requires using newspaper and going outdoors. Just purchase some Easy-Off Fume Free Max Oven Cleaner or a similar product depending on the availability and follow these instructions for using an oven cleaner on your cast iron stove grates:
- Remove your grates and the burner caps.
- Go outside and place them on top of some newspapers.
- Spray with the oven cleaner you chose to use.
- Allow the cleaner to sit on the stained areas for approximately 1 to 2 hours.
- Then clean them off with hot, soapy water (mild soap).
- Now make sure you dry them entirely from top to bottom.
When you are cleaning cast iron stove grates and burner caps, you have to thoroughly dry them underneath. If the bottom of the grates does not get completely dried before putting them back on your stovetop, they could endure some rust.
You can also put the cast iron grates and burner caps on top of your stove burner and turn the burner on maximum for just ten to fifteen seconds to make sure they are completely dry.
Once they are completely dry, we recommend applying vegetable oil to them and allow the oil to soak in for about 15 minutes before returning the cast iron stove grates or burner caps to their location on your stovetop.
When wondering can you put cast iron stove grates in the dishwasher, just keep in mind that the technique requires one simple step to avoid any issues, and that’s making certain that your cast iron stove grates are completely dry and well oiled before the next use.