A skillet is one of the essential tools in a kitchen; one of the most common materials skillets are made of is cast iron. With proper maintenance, your cast iron skillet can last you many years, so here, we have compiled the dos and don'ts of caring for yours. Remember: these tips also apply to other kitchen utensils that are made of cast iron.

Cast iron skillets are worth every penny because they can be used in many ways — just think it! They are also long-lasting thanks to the dense material and are known to facilitate even cooking.

An important feature of a cast iron skillet is its seasoning, a layer of oil baked onto the pan's surface. Each time you cook with oil or fat, the seasoning build and eventually make the pan nearly nonstick.

However, this seasoning may get eroded if the pan is washed using the wrong materials. Here, we have provided a compilation of tips to keep your cast iron skillet last much longer:

1. Use Hot Water and Soap

Unlike the common misconception that a pan's seasoning can wear off because of soaps, experts say a little soapy water once in a while won't hurt. To get rid of tough and oily food stains on your skillet, wash it with warm soapy water; the food bits melt off in one wash!

2. Don't Use Abrasive Scrubbers

The list of abrasive scrubbers includes iron sponges, scouring pads, steel wool, etc. Just one scrub, and you may lose all the seasoning. So when you have tough grits on your pan, use warm water, soap, and, if necessary, a mildly textured scrubber.

3. Clean the Skillet After Every Use

Never put off washing your skillet right after using it. At the very least, give it a quick rinse; this will prevent food bits from sticking to the pan and causing you to use an abrasive scrubber.

You may also pour a glass of hot water into the pan and let it sit for a while. Then hand washes after it has cooled.

4. Don't Soak the Pan for Too Long

Never leave your skillet to soak for too long. You only need it to soak for a few minutes before tough food bits soften enough for a wash. In a rush to eat your well-prepared meal, you may forget to wash the pan and instead leave it soaked for more time than is needed.

Avoid this; it may cause the pan to rust!

Remember:

Don't place your skillet in a dishwasher; it can promote rusting Don't submerge a hot skillet in cold water; the sudden temperature changes my cause it to crack.

5. Dry Well and Oil

Immediately after washing your skillet, let it dry on a stovetop or in an oven instead of leaving it to dry pan on a rack. This will prevent rusting. For that extra love and care, give the pan a light coating of vegetable oil while it's still warm to reinforce its seasoning.

On a final note, we want you to remember that a little rust or scrubbed-off seasoning doesn't mean you have to ditch the pan. Without special attention and care, a cast iron pan will last long, but with the proper care, it'll last a lifetime!