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How to clean cast iron cookware with electrolysis

While out antique shopping about a week ago, Krissy brought home a nice Wagner #3 cast iron skillet from an antique mall in Delaware, OH.  This particular skillet sat flat with no wobble, and had no immediately visible cracks or chips.  Circa 1935 – 1959.
It looked like this when she brought it home:

As you can see, it had years and years of use.  There is good iron under all that burnt-on food, rust, and failed seasoning.  This #3 will be the subject of our topic in this post.
To start cleaning cast iron with electrolysis, you’ll need these items:

1. A plastic tub, filled with water:

2. At least two steel plates to use as the anode in our circuit.  I use diamond plate steel but any scrap steel will do.  DON’T use mesh or steel with holes in it!  Electrolysis works pretty much “line of site” from your cathode (the skillet) to the anode(s). Using metal with holes in it can cause a “ghosting” image of the steel to come out on the cast iron.  I use an 8 gauge wire with metal clamps I got from the hardware store to tie the two anode pieces together.  DO NOT USE ALUMINUM!  It’s worth noting here that for the anode, you can use a steel drum or tank.  Completely surrounding the cast iron piece to be cleaned with the anode metal is best.


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