How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced Tips

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Last updated: August 13, 2023
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Carbon steel  wok is known as Trusted Source Wok - Wikipedia A wok is a deep round-bottomed cooking pot that originated in China.  an effective and reliable material for cooking thanks to its provision of quick heat conduction. This wok is often seasoned to prevent foods from sticking. It requires consistent maintenance to last long, making it imperative that you have a good understanding of how to clean carbon steel wok.

After using your carbon steel wok to make your sweet batch of chicken stir-fry, you need to clean it in the right manner to avoid any damage to your pot. This is not to say the process of cleaning a wok is complicated because it’s not. The process mainly involves “rinse, scrub, dry”. Luckily for you too, we have developed a step-by-step guide that contains all the right information to help you clean your carbon steel wok.

In this article, we will tell you the do’s and don’ts of carbon steel wok cleaning.

Regular carbon steel wok cleaning

Cleaning your favorite carbon steel wok involves certain steps that must be taken to ensure that it’s done in the right way. When these steps are ignored, you might encounter problems such as rusting. Below, we will discuss the steps to follow in cleaning your carbon steel wok.

Rinse with water

The first step in cleaning your carbon steel wok is rinsing it with warm water. You shouldn’t use any detergents or soaps so that you don’t compromise the non-stick coating you’ve built up during your cooking. Rinse thoroughly and discard the water.

Gently scrub with a nonmetallic scrubber

How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced TipsAfter you’re done rinsing the wok, pick up your nonmetallic scrubber to scrub away stuck food particles. You should only use a safe and reliable scrubber like the nonabsorbent and fast-drying Peachy Clean Silicone Scrubber.

If you can’t get to remove the stuck particles, soak the wok in hot water and wait for a few minutes to continue scrubbing. The hot water helps to loosen the food particles, so you can easily wash them away.

Rinse again

After scrubbing the food particles and you’re satisfied they’re all removed, rinse the wok again. Rinse until all food particles are gone. As you did earlier, use only water for this process.

Dry with paper towels

How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced TipsIt’s important to dry your carbon steel wok after rinsing to ensure that no moisture is left on it. Moisture can lead to rusting and you surely want to avoid that. Using clean paper towels, gently work your way around the inside of the wok to dry up moisture.

Place on the stove to completely dry

How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced Tips

The wok needs to be completely dry to get rid of any residual moisture. Place the wok over medium-low heat on the stove to ensure that. You should cool it before storing it.

Season it for next use

As we mentioned earlier, seasoning your carbon steel wok makes it stay non-stick. If you want it to be in the best condition for your next use, you should season it before storing it. But before you embark on seasoning your wok, you should ventilate your space. When you heat the wok to a high temperature, it may let off fumes and smoke. Opening a few windows and turning on your fan can control this situation.

So, how do you season your wok? Pour a tablespoon of oil into the wok and rub it over the interior with a clean napkin or paper towel. This action helps protect the wok from rust.

How to clean a rusted carbon steel wok

It’s best to clean your carbon steel wok correctly to avoid rust. But if the wok did rust, do you know how to clean a rusted carbon steel wok? You don’t? No problem. We are here to help. We will discuss some steps you can take to remedy the situation below.

Scrubbing with salt

Cover the rusted cooking area(s) with a mixture of warm water and a handful of salt. You should allow the mixture to stay for about 20 minutes. You can then clean the area(s) with a soft sponge or nonmetallic scrubber. If any stain remains, repeat the process and get your wok free of rust.

Scouring pad

How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced Tips

A scouring pad is another tool that can be used to clean a rusted carbon steel wok. Get warm water and pour it inside the wok. Wait for some minutes before using a nonabrasive pad to scrub the rusted area(s). Continue to scrub until the rust is removed completely. Then, rinse the wok and season it again to prepare it for further use.


How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced TipsVinegar is another agent that can help you get rid of rust on your carbon steel wok. Using it is quite simple and straightforward. Pour one glass of vinegar into the water. Stir gently to create a mixture. Place the wok on the stove to heat it and leave it to boil for about 10 minutes. Wait for some minutes before throwing out the mixture. Pick up a nonmetallic scrubber to remove the rust residues and get your wok clean again.

How to prevent it from rusting?

How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok: Regular Maintenance and Advanced TipsPreventing your carbon steel wok from rusting has nothing to do with complicated rules. Firstly, you should avoid washing the wok with soap, detergent, or dishwasher. Secondly and most importantly, you should season your wok regularly to prevent rust. We have explained earlier about how you can season the wok.

How to remove burnt bits

Are you confused about how to clean burnt bits off carbon steel wok? Well, you shouldn’t because the process is pretty simple. You should get warm water with salt or vinegar. Soak the wok in the mixture and wait for few minutes. Get a nonmetallic scrubber to scrub the burnt bits after and ensure you get rid of all of them.

What to avoid when cleaning your wok?

Below are things you must avoid when cleaning your wok to avoid rust or any damage:

  • Unclean water;
  • Soaps;
  • Detergents;
  • Dishwasher;
  • Abrasive cleanser;
  • Metallic sponge.

Final thoughts

Cleaning carbon steel wok correctly is crucial to its longevity as we’ve established in this article. When cleaning the wok, you should follow the necessary steps and avoid compromising agents/elements. When you have a high-quality steel wok like the Mauviel M’Steel Carbon Steel Wok with excellent heat conduction, you surely don’t want to compromise it. With our comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide, knowing how to clean carbon steel wok shouldn’t be a problem for you anymore. This article contains everything you need to know about cleaning carbon steel wok.



Wok - Wikipedia
A wok is a deep round-bottomed cooking pot that originated in China.

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