Grill Cleaning Tips

A close up of a man cleaning a stainless steel gas grill with a white cloth

Backyard cookouts are apart of summer, and so is cleaning the grill! To keep your grill in proper working order without carbon deposit and grease build-up, wipe down the grill after every use, but do a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. Follow these necessary steps to keep enjoying your grill all season. 


grill cleaning supplies

Avoid using too many cleaning products with toxic chemicals as these will impact the flavor of your food. Wear latex gloves to protect your hands, especially if you have sensitive skin.

How to Clean a Gas Grill

A close up of a man's hand turning on a gas grill
  • Start by turning on the grill and let it come to full temperature. A hot grill allows for stuck-on grease and carbon to become more pliable and easier to remove. Grab your long-handled wire brush, a bucket of soap and water, and scrub the carbon away. Cleaning hot grates with cold soap and water will produce smoke, so be sure to keep your face back from the grill.
  • Once scrubbed, turn off the grill and remove the propane tank. Allow the grates and flavorizer bars to cool down all the way, then remove them and stick them in a 5-gallon bucket of soap and water.  
  • Clean out the inside of the grill, wiping down the lid and vacuuming out any debris on the bottom. Then clean the burner’s gas ports with a dry wire brush using a side-to-side motion. This motion will keep any debris from clogging the gas ports. Towel dry everything to prevent rust.
A close up image of a man's hand using a steel bristle brush to clean a gas burning grill
  • Rinse and wipe down the flavorizer bars and grates. Towel dry them thoroughly and reassemble.
  • Next, clean the outside of the grill. If you have a stainless steel grill, use a stainless steel cleaner and a microfiber cloth. For ceramic, porcelain, or other painted surfaces, soap and water will suffice.
  • For outside storage, you can leave the propane line attached and cover the grill with a grill cover. If you’re storing your grill in the garage, remove the propane tank from the gas line and keep it out of direct sunlight.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

A close up of a man cleaning a charcoal grill with a wire brush
  • Charcoal grills collect ashes after every use. These ashes must be disposed of each time. If not, the vents will get blocked, and it will be challenging to control the temperature.
  • When the grate is cooled, brush it down with a long-handled stiff-wired brush. Apply vegetable oil to grates to help remove stuck-on food and prevent rust.
  • Clean the inside of the bowl with dish soap and rags or a steel brush.
  • Towel dry the bowl and the grates to prevent rust and reassemble the grill.
  • At the beginning and end of the grilling season, you’ll want to clean your charcoal grill thoroughly by using soap and water on the inside and outside of the bowl and grates. You can add vinegar to the water to get a more thorough clean. Then use paper towels or a rag to dry it. This will prevent rust from building up on your grill. Then cover the grill and store it for the next season.

Alternative Methods

Cleaning a grill with an onion

If you're worried about cleaning with a wire brush, there are a few other methods you can try! For example, try using a safer alternative, such as a nylon grill brush, a scouring pad, or even an onion!

  • Nylon Grill Brush: Gentle and effective, these won't scratch your grill's surface. Simply soak the brush in warm, soapy water, then gently scrub away the grime.
  • Scouring Pad: Grab a damp 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 goodness!
  • Onions: Cut an onion in half, stick it on the end of a long-handled fork, heat up the grill, and start scrubbing! As an added benefit, onions even have natural anti-bacterial properties!

Keep your grill season long and flavorful by adequately cleaning your grill after every use and deep cleaning it two to three times a year. Now enjoy your next backyard barbecue.


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