Serious Eats: Talk

Rusty Cast Iron-- Help!

I have a wonderful cast iron dutch oven that I got at a yard sale last year for $20. It was already seasoned when i got it, and I usually just wipe it out to clean it. But I've been lazy recently, and forgot to clean it. Now there's a fair bit of what I assume is rust-- it's definitely rust-colored build-up. Shame on me, I know-- I feel like I've let the pot down!

I've tried tackling it with steel wool and Brillo (assuming I'll have to re-season it afterwards) but it's not working very well, and it's slow going and I'm lazy! (I know, pathetic, right?)

So my question is, does anyone have any tips/shortcuts/advice on removing the build-up? Like I said, it's mostly on the inside of the lid (which has all these grooves etc, making the whole thing even more annoying).

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