Is your cast iron skillet worn out? Is your outdated radiator becoming more of a nuisance than a help? No problem. Cast iron is totally recyclable.
Since iron is the main component of steel, you should refrain from throwing it away. Your used cast iron appliances can be melted down and crafted into something brand new, and you can even get money for it!
Recyclable cast iron items:
- Skillets, Pots, and Pans – Cast iron kitchen tools have been a popular choice among cooks and chefs due to their incredible durability and unparalleled safety. While aluminum and stainless steel versions have been a cheaper option for years, studies have found that cast iron is still fairly popular among even the younger generations of cooks. Cast iron kitchen tools are capable of handling high-heat and cooking food evenly, which is perfect for searing meats and sautéing vegetables.
- Radiators – While they require much more time to heat, cast iron radiators retain thermal energy for much longer than steel or aluminum radiators. This creates a more consistent, long-lasting heat output. If you’re considering removing your old cast iron radiator, consider asking a professional to help you remove it. Then bring it in for recycling.
- Pipes – In the early phases of modern plumbing, PVC had not yet been considered a viable option for piping. This means that plenty of older homes that were built before the 1970’s will most likely contain cast iron pipes. Cast iron was originally used because of its durability and expected longevity. It could transfer the flow of hot water and sewage without retaining damages. However, with home updates, home builders and plumbers have switched to PVC for ease of installment. If you’re looking to replace rusted cast iron pipes, consider recycling them before throwing them in your trash can.
- Bathtubs – A cast iron tub can last for many years. It’s thicker than bathtubs constructed from other material, and it’s covered with a layer of enamel that furthers the improbability of erosion and rust. In recent years, studies have shown that lead contaminants in the porcelain glaze can seep into the water, which could potentially be very hazardous to children. So if your current bathtub no longer meets health standards, or if you’re looking to remodel your bathroom with a different shower setup, consider recycling your old bathtub.
- Sinks Cast iron sinks are durable, but also extremely heavy. While they can potentially last for nearly thirty years, the lead in the porcelain may seep into the water, which is obviously not preferred when cleaning dishes. Though durable, cast iron sinks can potentially be scratched by pots, pans, or utensils.
Will Cast Iron Rust?
Yes. Cast iron can rust. You can typically remove this rust by scrubbing thoroughly with steel wool.
However, a proper seasoning can prevent the rusting process from happening on most cast iron skillets, pots, and pans. The seasoning stops oxygen and moisture from getting in contact with the iron. Therefore the oxidation process is less likely to occur.
How Do I Season Cast Iron Skillets?
You can season your cast iron with cooking oils like vegetable or canola oil. After using your skillet, spread this oil around the interior base and sides with a napkin or paper towel to prevent that part from rusting.
How Do I Clean Cast Iron Skillets?
Do not use soap to clean your skillet! Soap can be absorbed by the cast-iron, and you’ll notice that your food’s flavor will start tasting like it!
Here’s how you can clean it properly:
- Use steel wool or paper towel to scrape out food remnants
- Rinse with salt and water
- Wipe down interior with a paper towel
- Spread seasoning with a new paper towel
Can Cast Iron Be Cut?
Yes, cast iron can be cut. However, you should consider using a diamond-edged cutting tool to make a clean, smooth cut. While it’s a very durable material, it becomes brittle when broken down with standard cutting tools.
Also, standard reciprocating saws may be damaged when attempting to cut through this material, so if you plan on using one, be careful!
By recycling our cast iron skillets, we’re taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint, preventing the deterioration of the ozone layer, and promoting a healthier environment for us all.
Let Cohen properly recycle your cast iron.