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How to Clean A Grill

Grill and grilling tools

Learn the best way to clean a grill. Cleaning the interior and exterior of your grill helps it last longer and makes food taste better.

Grill Cleaning Tools

While there are tons of specialized grill cleaners and cleaning accessories on the market, you can give your grill a good deep clean with traditional tools. Here are some supplies that make excellent grill cleaning tools:

  • Gloves
  • Dish Soap (make sure it works well on grease)
  • Water
  • Soft cloths, rags or non-abrasive sponges
  • Bucket
  • Brush (soft or metal, depending on grill grate construction)

Cleaning Prep

Work in a well-ventilated space and put down newspaper to help catch any nastiness that drips as you clean. Disconnect any grill tanks and remove any control knobs to be cleaned if you are cleaning a gas grill.

Exterior Grill Cleaning

Warm, soapy water works well. Most exteriors are made of metal or porcelain: both can be damaged with a harsh cleaner.

Interior Grill Cleaning

For best results, work from the top down to make sure you clean every nook and cranny.

Interior Parts. Remove the grates, flavor bars or other removable parts from the grill. Disconnect and completely remove the burners. If you’re not sure you can reconnect everything correctly, simply clean around the burners.

The Lid. Clean the underside of the grill lid with soap and water. You may need to use a non-abrasive sponge or soft brush to scrub away any carbon buildup. The buildup may look like peeling paint, but it’s a result from grease and smoke.

Grates and Bars. There are many techniques to cleaning grill grates, but the basic method is the same: wipe/scrub/soak the grates until all the junk is gone. Most people will use a metal grill brush to scrape away excess food debris. 

If you have porcelain grates, use a soft brush. If you have cast iron grates, a metal brush is fine. If you have stainless steel grill grates, a wire brush or soft brush works.

Burners. If you are cleaning a gas grill, inspect and clean the burners. Scrub off any gunk and clean the inside of the burner to make sure there are no internal obstructions.

Walls and Bottom. Scrub the sides and bottom of the grill with a soft brush and soapy water. Move any debris toward the grease trap for easier disposal. Pay attention to the corners where grease can build up.

Drip Pan/Grease Trap. Grease trap cleaning is done with soap and water. Avoid a potential fire hazard and be sure to clean the trap after every grill session.

Replace Items/Reconnect Tank. Replace anything you took out of the grill and reconnect the propane tank if needed. After the grill is dry, test it to make sure everything is working correctly before you start your celebratory after-cleaning cookout.

The best way to clean a grill quickly and efficiently is with quick, daily maintenance. Be sure to clean your grill after each use, and you’ll spend less time doing the deep clean jobs.


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