Cleaning a cast iron skillet can seem quite difficult but it is actually quite easy and if you take good care of it, it will last you many life times.
I received my first cast iron skillet as a wedding gift. I thought it would be great because it was not seasoned and I was so excited to season it myself. I followed the instructions and and failed miserably. For some reason it came out sticky and stayed sticky. No matter what I did I couldn't get the sticky substance off. I got fed up and gave it away and stayed away from those pans for a very long time.
About 8 years later I went to the Martha Stewart Show and they allowed the audience to ask questions. I asked what I did wrong with seasoning my cast iron skillet and she said why would you ever buy one not seasoned. That wasn't exactly the answer I expected but I realized then I need to go and get a seasoned one immediately.
I received one as a gift last year and absolutely love it. It makes the best burgers and steaks. If you don't have one you should get one. They are inexpensive and perfect pan for heavy duty cooking.
Here are my tips on cleaving them. I watched an episode on Martha Stewart of a man showing how to clean them and now I am no longer afraid. I used to clean it with kosher salt because I was afraid soap would ruin it. Well he used soap on his and he makes these pans for a living so I figured he must know.
Step 1. After you soaked the pan with super hot water take a brush and a little soap and scrub off all the bits stuck on the pan and rinse with hot water.
Don't be shy it is a very sturdy pan and can handle quite a bit.
Step 2. Rinse all the soap and bits off with very hot water.
Step 3. Dry it immediately and thoroughly. Water will rust your skillet so it is essential to dry it.
Step 4. Add a little vegetable oil in the pan to season it. It is important to season it after every wash so it stays nice for you for years to come.