Grill Cleaning 101: What to Clean a Grill With for a Spotless BBQ

1. Wire Brush

If you’re looking to clean your grill, a wire brush is one of the most common tools used to get the job done. It’s perfect for removing any leftover food particles and grime that have built up on your grates over time. All you need to do is heat up the grill, grab your trusty wire brush, and start brushing away. The wire bristles will work their magic, removing any dirt or debris with ease.

But, before you start brushing away, it’s important to note that wire brushes can be quite dangerous if not used properly. If the bristles break off and end up in your food, it can cause serious health issues. That’s why it’s important to inspect your brush every time you want to use it and replace it if you notice any broken or loose bristles.

Also, keep in mind that even after you’ve brushed your grates, there are still potentially harmful bacteria and chemicals on the surface. These can come from raw meat or from starter fluids that you may have used to light your grill. To reduce the risk of contamination, it’s recommended to wash the grates with soap and water or a specialized grill cleaner after brushing.

2. Grill Stone

Another popular option for cleaning a grill is a grill stone. This is a pumice-like stone that’s designed to remove grease, grime, and other residues from the grates. The grill stone is easy to use and doesn’t leave behind any metal bristles like a wire brush can. Simply heat up the grill, wet the stone, and use it to scrub the grates. It’s a safe and effective alternative to wire brushes that some people prefer for their peace of mind.

However, it’s important to remember that even after using a grill stone, there may still be bacteria or chemical residue left on the grates similar to the previous step. So it will be again a good idea to follow up with a damp cloth or paper towel to ensure that the grates are completely clean and safe for cooking.

3. Vinegar Solution

If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to clean your grill, try using a vinegar solution. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it onto the grates while the grill is still warm. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, then scrub the grates with a grill brush, grill stone, or a ball of aluminum foil. Rinse the grates with water and dry them off with a clean cloth. Not only will the vinegar solution remove any food particles or grease, but it will also disinfect the grates by killing any bacteria that may have accumulated. Plus, using a natural cleaning solution like vinegar means you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals contaminating your food. Just remember to rinse the grates thoroughly to remove any lingering vinegar taste.

4. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are other common household mixtures that can be used to clean a grill. The baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive, while the vinegar helps to cut through any grease or grime. To use this method, again, start by mixing equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the grates and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz the grates. Use a scrub brush or sponge to work the paste and vinegar into the grates, then rinse with water. This method is also a natural and effective way to clean your grill without the use of harsh chemicals!

5. Grill Cleaner

When using a grill cleaner, be sure to read the instructions carefully before using. Different brands may have different application methods, so it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you’ll need to apply the cleaner to the grates and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the solution to work its magic.

Once you’ve given the cleaner some time to work, you can start scrubbing the grates with a wire brush. Use firm but gentle pressure to remove any stubborn grime and debris. Then, rinse the grates with water to remove any excess cleaner and debris. Finally, dry the grates with a cloth, and you’re ready to start grilling again!

6. Lemon Juice

If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to clean your grill, you can’t go wrong with lemon juice! Not only does it work wonders on stubborn stains and discoloration, but it also adds a fresh citrus scent to your grill. Plus, it’s a safe and non-toxic option for those who prefer to avoid harsh chemicals.

To clean your grill with lemon juice, all you need is a fresh lemon. Cut it in half and rub the cut side over the grates. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the grates with lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the acid to break down any grime or residue. Then, grab your wire brush and give the grates a good scrub. Rinse the grates with water and dry them with a clean cloth. One of the best things about using lemon juice to clean your grill is that it’s easy to find, inexpensive, and safe!

7. Steam Washer

If you want to bring out the big guns in grill cleaning, steam washers are where it’s at. These bad boys don’t rely on high-pressure water to get the job done. Instead, they use super hot steam to blast away grime and grease from your grill grates, stovetop, and even your oven. And the best part? If you’re all about natural cleaning solutions, steam washers are right up your alley. They use just water and heat to clean, no harsh chemicals are needed. But don’t get too trigger-happy with that steam wand – you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid using the steam washer on any parts of the grill that might be damaged by all that heat and moisture. With a bit of care and attention, though, a steam washer can be a killer addition to your grill-cleaning arsenal. Check out our article on the best steam washers for all the deets and reviews on the top products out there.

What should you not clean a grill with?

1. Steel Wool

One thing to avoid when cleaning your grill is steel wool. While it may seem like a good idea to use steel wool to get rid of tough grime and leftover food particles, it can actually damage your grill grates and leave behind small steel particles that can get stuck in your food. Instead of steel wool, opt for a wire brush or other grill-specific cleaning tools that we have mentioned earlier.

2. Household Cleaners

You definitely don’t want to use household cleaning products when cleaning your grill. Although these cleaning products may work wonders in other parts of your house, they can do more harm than good when it comes to your grill and health. Household cleaners quite frequently contain chemicals that aren’t safe for the materials grill grates are made from and might leave toxins behind that could later end up in your food. That’s why it’s always best to use cleaning products that are meant for grills and are safe to use on cooking surfaces.

3. Other Scrubbers

You also want to avoid using abrasive cleaning tools like sandpaper or tough scrubbers when working on your grates. These tools can be too harsh and will probably leave permanent scratches on the surface of your grill parts, making them more difficult to clean in the future. If you’re having trouble removing stubborn grime or food particles that won’t come off with a wire brush or other cleaning tools, consider using a strong grill cleaner or a steam washer that in a natural way will get rid of everything stuck to the parts!


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