Cast iron cookware has unique benefits. One difference between cast iron and most other cookware is that many people advocate for not cleaning it with any soap between uses, because the soap can degrade the seasoning which protects it. I wonder, how hygienic is that?
The way I understand it, the seasoning on cast iron cookware is a smoothed layer of polymers that prevents food (and bacteria) from contacting and sticking in the iron cookware. Simply scraping it clean, maybe rinsing with some hot water briefly and drying off immediately after, is generally considered enough to 'clean' the cookware.
How is it that bacterial growth on the cookware is never a problem, given they are not washed with soap for long periods of time? I'm under the impression that most kitchenware - pots, pans, dishes, utensils - are susceptible to bacterial growth that could make you sick or transfer illness if you eat with them and don't properly wash off all the food, oils, etc. that gets on them. Does the layer of polymer on cast iron protect it from such growth? The main question here is: Does other cookware really need soap any more or less than cast iron to be used hygienically, and why or why not?