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Chef Blog

How to Clean Carbon Steel Woks

08 Jul 2022 0 Comments

Carbon steel woks are a staple in Asian cooking. They're light, easy to use, and non-reactive with many spices. The carbon steel material can withstand high temperatures and oil splatter.

Their increased heat retention capabilities lead to faster cooking times, especially on stir-fries and other Asian recipes. Carbon steel woks also have evenly distributed heat distribution capabilities that keep food from sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan. In this article, we will discuss a guide on how to clean carbon steel woks.

imarku wok pan

What to Do Before You Use Wok?

The wok is one of the essential cooking tools in the modern kitchen. It is a small, round-bottomed pot with rounded sides and a flat bottom surface. The wok has a rounded shape that helps to cook food efficiently by reducing the amount of oil or fat required. Woks are made of different materials like cast iron, carbon steel, and stainless steel.

The first thing you will need to do before using a carbon steel wok is to clean it properly. To do this, you can use a brush or sponge to scrub off any dirt from the exterior of the wok. You can also use soap and water for cleaning your wok if you want to keep it hygienic.

After you have cleaned your wok, please put it on top of low heat for about 5 minutes so that it gets rid of any excess oil on its surface. After 5 minutes, wipe off any remaining oil with paper towels or cloths that you have used to clean your wok earlier.

To avoid getting hurt while cooking with a wok, ensure that you wear oven mitts while handling the hot handle of this utensil because they could cause burns if they contact your skin.

imarku wok pan

How to Clean Carbon Steel Wok Regularly?

If you are a chef or a home cook, you certainly want your utensils to be functional and last for long periods. If you purchase high-quality cookware, cleaning them regularly is needed to keep their performance at its peak.

Woks are unique in their ability to withstand constant use or repeated cooking with minimal damage. Here are some ways how to clean carbon steel work regularly.

Washing the Wok

Washing the wok with soap and water is one of the easiest ways to ensure that it does not rust or develop any stains. It also helps remove any food particles and dirt that might have accumulated in the dishwasher. Soak the wok for a few minutes under running water and scrub it with a sponge or brush until all dirt and debris are removed from its surface. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and wipe dry with a soft cloth before storing it away in its container or hanging on a rack next to other cookware.


Tinning is the best way to clean carbon steel wok regularly. This can be done by adding about two tablespoons of baking soda to the water and then scrubbing the wok with a steel scrubber or an old toothbrush. This will remove rust and other unwanted stains from the wok's surface.


Boiling Water

Boiling water is another effective way to keep your carbon steel wok clean, as it removes all types of stains and grease from the surface of your work quickly without damaging its structure or making it rusty. You can use this technique in a large pot, as it will have enough water to boil your wok for about 20 minutes. After that time, remove your wok from the fire and let it cool down until you are ready to rewash it with warm water and detergent.

Salt Water Scrubbing

Saltwater scrubbing is yet another effective way to clean carbon steel woks regularly because it leaves no trace of rust on their surfaces, even if they have been used for years before being washed with salt water scrubbing.


 Do You Have to Wash the Bottom of the Wok?

Woks are made of cast iron, durable, and can last long. However, it does not mean that you should not wash it. To keep your wok in good condition, you should wash it regularly and clean it properly.

Woks are usually made of cast iron, durable, and can last long. However, it does not mean that you should not wash it. To keep your wok in good condition, you should wash it regularly and clean it properly.

The bottom of the wok is vulnerable to rust when left unwashed for extended periods. Cleaning the bottom section involves scrubbing with a brush or sponge dipped in water to remove any accumulated dirt or grime from the pan's surface. The scrubbing will help remove dried food particles that may be stuck on the bottom of the pan due to prolonged use over time.

You can also use a mild detergent like dish soap and warm water when washing your wok if there are stubborn stains on its surface that need extra effort before being obliterated.


How to Clean a Rusted Carbon Steel Wok?

When cleaning a carbon steel wok, you must do it correctly. This is because the natural seasoning of your wok will disappear rapidly if it is cleaned improperly. There are many ways to clean a carbon steel iron pan, some more effective than others. When cleaning any iron cookware, the goal is to remove every trace of rust and reduce build-up on the surface so that it remains as shiny and new as possible. Here are ways how to clean a rusted carbon steel wok.

Using Vinegar

This is the most common method to clean a rusty carbon steel wok. You can try using white or apple cider vinegar, but avoid using soapy water as it will bleach your stainless steel.

Brushing Off With a Soft Brush

The second way to clean your carbon steel wok is by brushing it with a soft brush with abrasive material. This will help quickly remove rust and dirt from the wok's surface. However, ensure that you only use a soft brush and not any other type of brush because this may result in scratching your new cast iron cookware.

Using Salt and Lemon Juice Mixture

You can also use salt and lemon juice mixture to clean your rusty carbon steel wok easily and safely at home or in the kitchen area where you want to keep your new cast iron cookware away from rust and other stains caused by food like oil, grease, tomato sauce or anything else that might stain them over time.

How to Prevent It From Rusting?

One of the biggest problems that we face in our homes is rusting. It's not only a cosmetic problem, but it can also have profound implications—if it gets infected, then you're not going to be able to enjoy your house for more than a few weeks. Here are some ways how to prevent it from rusting.

Keep the Metal Clean

The first step to preventing rust from forming on your metal is to keep it clean. A build-up of dirt and grime will cause the metal to rust more quickly. If you notice any signs of rust, take action immediately by cleaning it with steel wool or a toothbrush. The best way to do this is by dampening a cloth with warm water and wringing out the excess water. You can also rub the surface with an old toothbrush or steel wool.

Keep It Dry

You should also ensure you don't let your tool get wet, as this will lead to corrosion if left unchecked. It's best to store your tools in dry conditions and away from moisture or humidity sources like windowsills or other places where water might accumulate during rainstorms or snowfall seasons (which occur in some parts of the world).

Avoid Contact With Corrosive Substances

You must avoid contacting corrosive substances like acid rain or strong chemicals found near the beach. These substances can damage your tooling if not properly maintained over time.

How to Remove Burnt Bits

People sometimes burn their food and then wonder what to do with the bits of burnt food. A fantastic hint from my family members is putting them in a pot of water, ensuring that the water does not overflow. This should remove the bad taste and smell from your burned food. Here are some ways how to remove burnt bits. If you've also got a stainless steel cookware, you may be also interested in the discoloration of stainless steel

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most popular home remedies for removing burnt bits in your pan. It is an alkaline substance that neutralizes the burnt food's acidity and prevents it from sticking to the pan.

Mix baking soda with water to paste and then apply it to the burnt bits. Let the paste sit for at least 10 minutes, wash it off with hot water, and let it air dry. It will help remove those burnt bits easily without damaging your cookware or making more of them.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another excellent way to eliminate burnt bits in your pan without damaging or making more of them! All you have to do is mix some lemon juice with salt and apply this mixture on top of the burnt bits in your pan before washing it off with hot water. This will help remove that pesky bit entirely, but remember that this method may not work for all types. Try different combinations until you find one that works best for you.

Use Metal Sponges

If you have a metal sponge handy, you can use it to scrape off the burnt bits from your grill, but make sure that it's made from stainless steel or aluminium, as these will not melt in the heat and cause damage to your other components of the grill. If you don't have any sponges handy, use a brush instead and scrub away at the burnt bits until there is nothing left behind on the surface of your grill.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Wok?

Always using the right tools and materials is the most important thing to remember when cleaning your wok. Most works come with a steel or carbon steel pan, but you can also purchase high-quality stainless steel woks.

Good quality work will be made from carbon steel, a very dense metal with good heat retention. It can withstand high temperatures without losing its shape or becoming warped.

It would help if you never used soap when cleaning your wok as it will leave a residue behind, which can cause your food to stick to the pan's surface. Instead, use warm water and a natural dishwashing liquid (like Dawn) to help remove any grease from the surface without damaging it.

You should also avoid using harsh detergents, as these may leave traces of detergent on your pan, which could lead to rusting if exposed to moisture over time. You should also avoid using abrasive cleaners as they can scratch the surface of your wok and damage its finish.


Wrapping Up

A carbon steel wok can be very smooth or textured, with various colored patinas. Woks will develop a layer of brown or black rust if they are not dried and left out when wet. This roughened surface is part of a carbon steel wok's traditional appearance and texture; it should not be sanded or buffed off.

It may be removed by cleaning with hot soapy water after cooking. Leaving a carbon steel wok to dry thoroughly, with no food residue inside, before storing it will prevent further rusting, which will help keep your wok clean for longer.

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