Seasoning your New Pan

Modern plastic gold pans with sharp molded riffles are a vast improvement over traditional smooth metal pans.  Some die hard panners

Modern gold pan with various riffles and gold traps

prefer to use the metal pans however newly designed plastic pans are lighter and help the novice panner retain more gold and speed up the panning process.

These new plastic pans come in a variety of colors and configurations to fit any panners likes and needs.  The plastic pans are formed using injection molding technology to produce uniform shapes, sharp riffles and various gold traps to help retain the gold.

During the injection molding process the manufacturer has to use oil or some other lubricant to help free the newly molded gold pan from the mold.  This will leave a coating of oil on the surface and slightly impregnated into your new gold pan.  Having any oils in your gold pan can cause you to lose much of your fine gold as demonstrated in this video .

Seasoning your pan;

Preferred Method

At home, wash your new gold pan with hot water and dish soap that has a good degreasing agent in it.  Scrub the gold pan with a clean

My favorite, one size fits all modern gold pan

semi-abrasive sponge and thoroughly rinse the pan.  Let the pan dry and repeat this process again a few hours later or the next day.

On your first trip to the river with your new gold pan, fill your pan about 1/3 of the way full will sand and small rocks.  Add water and rub the mixture over the entire surface of the gold pan.  This roughening of the surface will help to liberate impregnated oils and give your pan a nice smooth texture that will help to keep fine gold in your pan.

This should be all that is required to break in/season your new gold pan!


-Keep your pan away from oils

-Wash your pan with a degreasing soap regularly

-Do not use your gold pan as an oil changing tub or to eat out of while camping

-Thouroughly wash your hands before working with or panning your concentrates

-Keep your fingers out of the gold pan as much as possible(the piece of gold in the video was made to float by wiping my index finger across

Old style metal gold pan,(note, no riffles)

my forehead and quickly submerging it in the water)

-Frequently practice and hone your panning technique and you will soon be able to pan out the smallest of fine flour gold.


Other Methods WARNING not suggested, use at your own risk

Wash pan with degreasing soap. Dry.   Rub down the surface of the pan with fine grit sandpaper.  Add some isopropyl/rubbing alcohol and soak for a few minutes. Rinse