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How to Clean a Gas or Propane Grill

A person in a blue shirt uses a white rag to wipe off the grates of a stainless-steel backyard grill. The gas grill has adjustable knobs on the front. Two burgers and buns rest on a tray to the side of the grill.

Backyard cookouts are an essential part of summer fun. But if you want your grilled food to taste delicious, you’ll need to know how to clean your gas grill.

To keep your grill in working order and avoid carbon deposits and greasy build-up, wipe down the grates of your gas grill after every use and do a thorough deep cleaning at least twice a year (more often if you use your grill regularly). Here is the best way to clean your gas grill for optimal cooking conditions! 

The Importance of Regularly Cleaning Your Grill

Regular cleaning is crucial if you want to make high-quality foods on your grill. Over time, grime and residue will build up on the grill's surface. Not only does this carbon and grease detract from the flavor of your grilled foods, but it can present a safety hazard.

Fortunately, unlike a charcoal grill, cleaning the cooking grates of a gas grill is an easy job. It's a good idea to remove food particles regularly from your grill. Following a few simple steps will keep your grill safe and working well. 

A dirty grill is prone to flame-ups and flare-ups due to the accumulation of grease. The gunk on your grill creates uneven cooking spots, potentially charring your meals. Moreover, a dirty grill can lead to surface corrosion and wear and tear on essential components.

Cleaning the grates of your grill regularly will help food cook evenly and prevent the transfer of unwanted flavors, grit, and grime onto your food. Maintaining a clean grill will enhance the taste of your grilled delicacies and give you a more pleasant and safe grilling experience.

Clean your grill before and after each use to prevent the transfer of dirt and dust from storage to your food. It’s especially important to wipe down a grill that’s stored outdoors. Rain and wind can lead to grime and grit on your cooking surface (even if you use a grill cover).

Fortunately, maintaining and cleaning your gas or propane grill doesn't take much effort. Here's how to keep it in tip-top shape!

Equipment Needed to Clean Your Gas Grill

An assortment of grill-cleaning supplies is shown against a white background, including a yellow sponge, a bag of white rags, a brush, and a white Do It Best bucket. The supplies include Bounty paper towels, Dawn liquid soap, and Weber grill cleaning spray in a black spray bottle.

Before you start cleaning your grill, it's important to gather your supplies to ensure you have everything you need on hand. Clean water and dish soap can do much of the hard work. To clean a backyard grill, you'll need the following supplies: Grill Cleaning Supplies

Remember that you're cleaning a cooling surface that will touch the food you consume. It's essential to select food-safe cleansers that won't transfer to your food or harm the flavor. You may want to wear gloves to protect your hands, especially if you have sensitive skin.


Step by Step: How to Clean a Gas or Propane Grill

A person in a blue long-sleeved shirt reaches for the knob on the front of their stainless-steel gas grill.

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to clean your outdoor gas or propane grill. If you store your grill in a garage or shed, you should bring it out into an open space to clean, especially because you’ll need to turn on the grill to clean it.

Gather your supplies and work in a well-lit area during the day. A sunny afternoon or evening is a great time to clean your grill. 

Step 1: Heat the Grill and Scrub

A person uses a black, long-handled grill brush to scrub the surface of the grates inside a stainless-steel propane grill.

Start by turning the grill on high. Let it come to full temperature. If you have multiple burners, turn them on and let the grill get completely hot. This will soften the stuck-on grease and carbon.

Use a long-handled wire brush and a bucket of warm, soapy water to scrub away any bits of carbon clinging to the grill. Remove any stuck-on food from the hot grates. The warm water will produce steam as it touches the grill, so be sure to keep a distance by choosing a long-handled brush to prevent steam burns. Keep your face back from the grill.

Step 2: Cool the Grill Down to Clean Bars

Once you've scrubbed the grill with the brush, turn off the grill completely. Disconnect the gas supply and then remove the propane tank. Allow the grates and bars of the grill to cool down.

Once the grill has completely cooled off, remove the grates and wash them using the 5-gallon bucket of soapy water. Be sure to remove any remaining debris from the grilling surface. 

Step 3: Clean the Inside of the Grill

Next, you'll need to clean the inside of your grill by wiping down the lid and inside. Remove any food debris from the bottom of the grill (a wet-dry vacuum is a helpful tool for this process). If needed, you can use a putty knife to remove any particularly stuck-on bits. Clean the burner's gas ports with a dry wire brush using a side-to-side motion—this will help prevent debris from clogging the gas ports.

Once you’ve wiped down everything inside the grill, use a soft towel to dry each part of the grill. Thorough drying will help prevent rust on your grill, which can significantly shorten its lifespan. Rinse and wipe down the flavorizer bars, grates, and other components so there's no food residue left. Towel dry them thoroughly and reassemble the grill. 

Step 4: Clean the Outside of the Grill 

Once the inside of your grill is completely clean, you'll want to clean the outside of your grill as well. If you have a stainless-steel grill, you should use a stainless steel cleaner along with a soft microfiber cloth to get a bright, shiny surface.

If your grill is made from ceramic, porcelain, or a painted surface, you can use soap and hot water to clean the outside. Be sure to thoroughly dry the outside to avoid water spots and residue. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning process.

Step 5: Properly Store the Grill 

Now that your outdoor grill is clean and fresh, it’s ready for storage. By storing your grill carefully, you’ll keep it working well for many years.

For outdoor storage, you can leave the propane line attached. Cover the grill with a well-fitted grill cover. Store your grill somewhere it is protected from harsh weather conditions.

If you plan to store your grill in a garage, you’ll need to remove the propane tank from the gas line before moving it inside and keep it out of direct sunlight.

Alternative Grill Cleaning Methods

A person holds a long-handled fork attached to half an onion. They are rubbing the onion along a grill's grates as smoke rises from the hot surface.

Always read your grill manual for the manufacturer's cleaning instructions. For grills with a non-stick surface, wire brushing may not be recommended. Fortunately, there are several other methods for cleaning a gas grill that you can try. Explore the following grill cleaning tools and techniques:

  • Nylon Grill Brush: Gentle and practical, these won't scratch your grill's surface. Soak the brush in warm, soapy water, then gently scrub away the grime. It can take a bit more effort to clean your grill with a nylon brush, so it's important to do it regularly.

  • Baking Soda: Grab a damp sponge or pad, sprinkle some baking soda on it, and start scrubbing away. The baking soda acts as a natural abrasive, helping to remove those stubborn bits of charred gunk.

  • Scouring Pad: A plastic scouring pad can also be an effective grill cleaning option. The round nylon pads are typically made for cleaning pots and pans, but they can also help clean the surface of your backyard grill.

  • Onion: For an all-natural grill cleaning method, cut an onion in half, stick it on the end of a long-handled fork, heat up the grill, and start scrubbing! The moisture from the onion will remove bits of char and debris. As an added benefit, onions even have natural anti-bacterial properties, and the savory flavor won't harm your food.

How to Keep Your Gas Grill Clean

Keeping your grill like new isn't just about cleaning it. Prevention and maintenance are also important for a grill that's in tip-top shape.

Use a drip pan or aluminum tray to catch any grease from food while cooking. This will help prevent it from collecting in the bottom of the grill and turning into a hazard. Empty and clean the grease tray regularly to avoid greasy build-up.

Wipe down the surface of your grill before and after using it each time. Remove food debris and residue as quickly as possible, and never store your grill dirty. Not only will wiping off the grill keep it looking new, but it will keep dirt and dust from getting on your food. Do a thorough cleaning several times during the season to keep your grill in good working order.

Covering and storing your grill will shield it from the elements when it's not in use. By reducing the exposure to maintenance, dust, and dirt, you'll keep your grill working for years. Be sure to properly store it at the end of each grilling season, too. A well-maintained propane grill can last for a long time—bringing you many happy backyard barbecue gatherings and delicious summer meals.

Keep your grill season long and flavorful by adequately cleaning your grill after each use. Deep clean the grill several times per year—especially if you use it regularly. You’ll find everything you need for backyard grilling at Do It Best. We carry gas grills, cleaning products, and all the tools you need to make your summer season memorable!


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