How to Clean a Carbon Steel Wok

Cleaning Your Wok isn't hard. You just need the right technique and tools to do it.

Team Made In|Mar 11, 2021

Our Blue Carbon Steel Wok has crazy heat control and cooking speed, which is great, but it can be a bummer when your clean-up takes longer than your cooking. If you're looking to learn how to clean a wok, this guide is for you. Check out our tips on cleaning and storing your wok.

Cleaning Your Carbon Steel Wok

When it comes to learning how to clean a carbon steel wok, make sure you do a little research before you start using it. We're sure you've taken the time to properly season your new wok and it would be a shame to undo all of the progress you've made by dunking the pan into water and scrubbing it clean. Unlike

caring for stainless steel cookware

, you don't want to scrub your wok clean after each and every use because of that beautiful seasoning!

The key to cleaning a wok is being gentle!

Try to refrain from dunking your seasoned wok in hot soapy water as this will strip away any seasoning you have already built. When you finish cooking, gently wipe the pan clean with a paper towel or dish towel. We prefer paper towel because this is usually something you want to throw away instead of washing after a single use. Either way, a paper towel or dish towel should help you collect any burnt food and remnants and absorb excess oil and fat.

If you have food that's stuck or burnt to the pan's surface and its necessary to scrub, you'll need a little water to loosen the debris. Do NOT use soap and do NOT use a soaking bath. Hot soapy water will strip your seasoning that you've worked so hard to build. Gently scrub the residue off with a bristle brush or sponge and a


amount of water. 

If you're still having trouble, add water to your pan and boil it on the stove top. After it reaches a rolling boil, dump the water and carefully wipe away any remaining residue.

In both cases, you'll want to totally and completely wipe your pan to remove ALL dampness before you store it. In fact, you might want to put it over on the stove over medium heat to help dry out any water or moisture and re-season it with a bit of

Made In Wax

or oil.

Storing Your Carbon Steel Wok

After you learn how to clean a seasoned wok, it's time to store it properly. Just like your

stainless steel cookware

, be sure that your wok is cleaned and free of any water or moisture before storing. Once your pan is clean (and maintains its slickness) you can store alongside your other pans. If you live in a place with natural moisture (or don’t use your skillet often), apply a very thin layer of oil to the surface to prevent rusting before you put it away. Your pan should always have a semi-slick and slightly oiled surface. A thin layer of olive or vegetable oil will help preserve the material and keep it in good condition.

Carbon Steel pans and woks can be a bit messy, but they're durable. You can stack, hang, or display your

carbon cookware

collection without any worries of scratching, breaking or chipping. And if you see a bit of rust develop between uses, don't worry. Follow our tips on

how to remove rust from steel

 or scrub the rust away and reapply oil or wax to bring it back up to wok speed. Remember, try not to use dish soap! A wok that has been properly seasoned will only need a good wipe down. For more tips, check out our article on

re-seasoning carbon steel