How to Clean a Grill

Rose Morrison

Feb 13, 2023


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Do you enjoy having a family barbeque every summer? Then you want to have your grill in top shape. If you don’t clean it regularly, the grease and sauces can lead to bacteria. Also, excessive carbon buildup causes the grill to heat unevenly. So, here are the steps for how to clean a grill. 

1. Gather Your Ingredients

The first step is to get together all your ingredients in a bucket. You can also skip the chemicals and go with natural cleaning products you can find at home, like vinegar. This is better for the environment and doesn’t impact the taste of the food. Plus, you can find affordable cleaning supplies at local retailers, such as Walmart. 

Here are a few standard supplies to have on hand:

  • A wire brush
  • A bucket filled with warm water and dish soap
  • A mix of vinegar and baking soda
  • A stainless-steel cleaner
  • Disposable gloves
  • Sponges and cotton rags

2. Heat It Up

To clean a grill start by turning it on, closing the lid and letting it rise to maximum temperature. Give it some time for the heat to remove any stuck-on food or grease. Then scrub off all the carbon from the grates with a wire brush. Dip the tool in the bucket of warm soapy water. For a deeper clean, add a mixture of baking soda and vingear. 

Then shut off and disconnect the gas before removing the propane tank. Be sure to let the grill cool completely. The specific process for cleaning depends on the type of grill you have. 

Here is the process for each type:

  • Stainless steel grill grates: Cover the top with aluminum foil and let your grill heat up. 
  • Porcelain grill grates: Burn off any lingering bits of food. Then let them cool before scrubbing the surface with nylon or a soft bristle brush.
  • Cast iron grill grates: Heat your grill to burn off stuck food. Once cool, scrub any debris with a bristle brush, using minimal water and vegetable oil. 
  • Charcoal grill grates: Place old charcoal briquettes into a metal container. Then, get rid of any charcoal dust and debris with a putty knife.

2. Soak the Grates

After the appliance has cooled down, remove the grates and bars. Soak them in a bucket of warm and soapy water. This step for cleaning a grill allows you to remove harmful germs, keeping your family safe. Then take off any removable parts, such as burner control knobs and warming racks. This allows for quicker and more convenient cleaning. 

If you have tough stains, add baking soda and let them sit for about an hour. Then scrub the parts with a steel wool pad to remove debris. Before placing them back, rinse with your garden hose. You can even use a cup of ammonia, but just rinse it out your grill thoroughly. 

3. Pull Out the Vacuum

With the grates taken out, you can clean the inside of the firebox. Place your empty bucket below the firebox, directly under the grease tray opening. It will catch the water and debris being flushed out. 

Use warm water and dish soap to scrub the entire firebox. Then use a putty knife to scrape off any dirt or leftover food crumbs. Next, grab a wet/dry vacuum to remove the loose debris. Once you wash the firebox, rinse it out with your garden hose. 

4. Scrub Down Everything

This is an important step for how to clean a grill thoroughly. Scrub the different parts with a wire brush. Create a paste with vinegar and baking soda for any tough stains. Once you’re down washing, rinse the surfaces to prevent rusting. 

Also, check the porcelain grates for chips. To clean any chips or rust, coat them with oil to form a protective film. Also, inspect your burner for any signs of corrosion or blocked holes. Then take a wire brush across the gaps of your burner tubes. Make sure to clean the inside of the pipes too. 

5. Wipe Down the Surfaces

Once the dirt is removed, fill a bucket with clean water and dish soap. Then scrub down the outside of the grill with a sponge. Keep in mind that steel wool or metal sponges may cause scratches. 

So, try not to use them on a finished surface. Look for a ​​non-scratch scrubber from Amazon. After cleaning the outside, use a microfiber towel to wipe down and dry the area. This helps prevent mold or bacteria build-up. 

6. Complete the Final Touches 

Use a stainless-steel cleaner to remove heavy grease or food buildup. Spray the cleaner, wait a few minutes and then wipe the surface with a dry cloth. Use straight vinegar for any tough oil spots and wipe down with the water. 

If these stains remain, use a stronger grease-cutting tool. Once the grill is thoroughly washed and dried, put back the removed parts. Place the burner tubes back in the proper position and wipe them down with a thin coat of vegetable oil. Then complete these final steps:

  • Reconnect the propane tank
  • Close the hood
  • Fire up the grill for a few minutes
  • Turn it off

How to Clean a Grill Successfully

As summer gets closer, it’s time to give your grill that sparkle and shine. Keeping up with regular maintenance ensures your family is safe from harmful bacteria.  So, follow these steps to clean your grill the right way. 

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