12 Best Grill Cleaners – Squeaky-Clean Results

Remnants of charred, barbecued food can be a chore to clean. That’s why most grill owners wait until the next backyard event before giving their barbecue arsenal a well-deserved scrub. But did you know that could actually be detrimental to your health?

Research has found that used barbecue grills can have as many as 1.7 million microbes per square inch. This makes them 124% filthier than the average toilet seat. With that in mind, it becomes easier to see why you shouldn’t wait to clean your grill between uses.

The best grill cleaner should make grill maintenance far less of a chore, letting you scrub away the blackened remains of food with less effort and in record time. Plus, with the proper tool for the job, you stand the chance to achieve a pristine clean so you can grill with confidence the next time around.

Wondering which grill cleaner stands out as the best? Here are our top 12.

Our Top 12 Best Grill Cleaners

You can tell a good grill cleaner from a dud by considering two things. The first is how well it achieves complete cleanliness, and the second is how well it can do the job without damaging your grill. We took the time to scan through the wide market of grill cleaners, taking several factors into account to measure how well each choice performs.

Our criteria included make and material, versatility, ease of maintenance, ease of use, durability, and overall value. Here are the 12 best picks that blazed through the competition.

 

Editor choice 1 GRILLART
9.9
GRILLART
(Best Grill Grate Cleaner)

Whether it’s a charcoal grill or a gas grill, the GRILLART Grill Brush and Scraper let you masterfully clean away even the most stubborn of debris for a grill that’s ready for the next cookout.

9.9
2 TriNova
9.7
TriNova
(Best Grill Cleaner Spray)

Getting that brand-new sheen can be as simple as a spray and as a scrub with the TriNova Grill Cleaner Spray that works away charred food remains for easier cleaning.

9.7
Best value 3 Weber
9.6
Weber
(Best Grill Cleaning Kit)

Leave no grill surface uncleaned with the Weber Grill Cleaning Kit that provides you everything you need to achieve an optimal clean, inside and out.

9.6
4 Drillbrush
9.5
Drillbrush
(Best Drill Attachment for Grill Cleaning)

If you’re not big on elbow grease, the Drillbrush might be of some assistance. Made to attach to your hand-held drill, the Drillbrush heads can give you that extra power for extra tough cleaning jobs.

9.5
5 Grillbot
9.3
Grillbot
(Best Automatic Grill Cleaner)

Cleaning a grill has never been this easy. The Grillbot was designed to take on the brunt of grill cleaning so you can enjoy your backyard barbecue bonanza without having to think about the clean-up afterwards.

9.3
6 Elaziy
9.2
Elaziy
(Best Grill Cleaning Stone)

The all-natural bricks from Eaziy promise one thing – a complete clean that doesn’t leave any dangerous residue or broken off bristles behind which might risk your next barbecue.

9.2
Best seller 7 Therapy
8.9
Therapy
(Best Stainless-Steel Grill Cleaner)

The all-natural Therapy formulation combines a blend of fragrant ingredients that produces an ultra-safe cleaning that’s perfect for any sort of steel surface.

8.9
8 Alpha Grillers
8.7
Alpha Grillers
(Best BBQ Grill Cleaner Brush)

Doing away with all the fancy frills, the Alpha Grillers Cleaner Brush brings you convenient, practical functionality that can help you get your grill clean with a little time and even less effort.

8.7
9 GRILLART Bristle Free
8.6
GRILLART Bristle Free
(Best Bristle Free Grill Cleaner Brush)

No more broken bristle bits that might find their way into your burger. The GRILLART Bristle Free Brush uses an intricate network of coils that let you achieve that deep, intensive clean without fear of fall out.

8.6
10 Carbona
8.5
Carbona
(Best No-Scrub Grill Cleaner)

The Carbona solution lets you enjoy the benefits of a premium clean without the added scrubbing. Soak and rinse – this easy grill cleaning formula makes the toughest char an effortless chore.

8.5
11 Evapo-Rust
8.4
Evapo-Rust
(Best Grill Rust Cleaner)

The Evapo-Rust formula is one-of-a-kind, boasting a no-scrub step-by-step that’s easy on your grill parts and easy on the skin and eyes.

8.4
Best price 12 Easy-Off
8.1
Easy-Off
(Best Spot Treatment Grill Cleaner)

Make spot treatment safe and easy with the Easy-Off spray. Just spray, wait 30 seconds, and wipe away tough grime and grease with this skin-safe lemon-scented solution.

8.1

 

1 Editor choice

GRILLART – Best Grill Grate Cleaner

Features

  • Type: grill brush and scraper combo
  • Application: gas, charcoal, and porcelain grills
  • Make and material: Stainless steel woven wire bristles
  • Length: 18 inches
  • 360-degree rotating head

Getting between each of a grate’s rungs can be tough, making it a challenge to get rid of food, grease, and char that sticks to its surfaces. Fortunately, the GRILLART Brush and Scraper combo make it easier.

Its stainless-steel woven wire bristles are especially resilient, working well to dislodge and scrub away build-up with minimal effort on your end. Its 18-inch long handle makes usage particularly comfortable, and its versatile design makes it a must-have cleaning tool regardless of the type of grill you own.

Positives
  • Ergonomically angled head works with the 18-inch handle for effortless usage
  • Tightly woven stainless-steel wire bristles are held securely against the head for minimal fallout
  • Versatile design works for various types of grills
  • Attached grill scraper extends functionality to address all sorts of stubborn stains and accumulation
  • Three brushes in one head, allowing much faster cleaning than traditional brush designs
Negatives
  • Scraper width can be a little narrow, making it tedious to work on grates with a large surface area
  • Placement of the scraper obstructs the bristles on the other side of the head, so you can’t flip the brush if the front-facing bristles wear out
2

TriNova – Best Grill Cleaner Spray

Features

  • Type: Spray-on cleaner
  • Application: gas, charcoal, porcelain grates
  • Precautions: Avoid contact with eyes and skin
  • Safe for use on all grill parts and accessories
  • 18 mL per bottle

TriNova’s solution was specifically formulated to get rid of grease and charred food. The phosphate-free mixture eats away at build-up, letting you scrub and scrape away the residue with far less effort.

Its convenient spray bottle makes it even more effortless to use, so you can apply the solution without the need for a rag. With a cleaning solution that works well on all sorts of grill material, the TriNova spray can be your all-around cleanser for all of your grill’s internal parts.

Positives
  • Convenient spray bottle allows effortless application
  • Safe formulation is phosphate-free, developed for use on all grill parts and accessories
  • Can be used as a cleaning solution for grill brushes and scrapers
  • Works away grease and char to leave a squeaky-clean grill
  • Doesn’t damage grill material, whether it be steel, cast iron, or porcelain
Negatives
  • May possibly cause eye and skin irritation
  • A single full cleaning may require a whole bottle
3 Best value

Weber – Best Grill Cleaning Kit

Features

  • Type: grill cleaning formulas and scrubbers
  • Application: steel grills and grates
  • Precautions: avoid contact with eyes and skin
  • Exterior Grill Cleaner (12 ounces), Grill Grate Cleaner (16 ounces), and Stubborn Stain Remover (6 ounces)

Here’s everything you could ever need to keep your grill in top condition – all in one comprehensive kit.

The Weber Grill Cleaning Kit includes:

  • Exterior Grill Cleaner
  • Grate Cleaner for Grease Build-Up
  • Stubborn Stain Remover
  • Grill Grate Scrubber Handle
  • 25 scrubbing pads

These various solutions were developed to remove grease and char, and give your grill that shiny look and feel it had when you first popped it out of the box. If you were looking for the right set for that complete clean, the Weber Grill Cleaning Kit might be your best bet.

Positives
  • Comprehensive set gives you everything you need to clean your grill inside and out
  • Stainless steel polish brings your grill’s exterior to its original shine
  • Stubborn Stain Remover works well to get rid of hard water stains and discoloration from oil and heat
  • Doesn’t leave a sticky, slick feel after use
  • Can be used for outdoor kitchens and deep fryers as well
Negatives
  • May not work well on cast iron grates
  • Short handle doesn’t latch onto scouring pads too well
4

Drillbrush – Best Drill Attachment for Grill Cleaning

Features

  • Type: drill attachment brush heads
  • Application: steel, cast iron, and porcelain
  • Make and material: nylon bristles, and reinforced heavy-duty plastic base
  • Available in soft, medium, stiff, and hard
  • Includes bullet brush, 4-inch, and 2-inch brush heads, 5-inch extension

Looking for a little extra oomph? The Drillbrush brings supreme cleaning power when you attach its heads to your hand-held drill. The uniquely designed heads come with an extended reach attachment that lengthens your drill’s arm, so you can clean those nooks and crannies with greater ease.

With bristles made from nylon, these brush heads are far less prone to breaking and fall out, letting you clean away without worrying about leaving bits of bristle behind. Depending on the type of material that your grates are made of, the Drillbrush is also available in four different bristle stiffness ratings to match your grill material.

Positives
  • Reduces the amount of effort you’d have to put in to achieve the optimal clean
  • Three different head designs let you target all sorts of grill surfaces
  • Bristles made from nylon prevent fall out that could be left behind in your grill
  • Extended reach attachment lengthens your drill’s arm for better access to nooks and crannies
  • Various stiffness ratings let you work on delicate grates like porcelain-coated designs
Negatives
  • Cleaning power depends on the kind of hand-held drill you have
  • Nylon bristles can bend and flatten over time, especially if you’ve purchased a softer variant
5

Grillbot – Best Automatic Grill Cleaner

Features

  • Type: automatic grill cleaner
  • Application: steel and cast-iron grates
  • Precautions: Keep away from direct fire, close grill lid during operation
  • Rechargeable
  • Comes with a carry case and a charging cable

The future is now with the Grillbot automatic grill cleaner. This revolutionary innovation delivers effortless grate cleaning, letting you get the job done without having to stand around and scrub manually.

The nifty little robot comes equipped with a rechargeable battery and a powerful motor, all encased in a weatherproof body that’s designed to withstand the challenging conditions in your grill. Just pop it on your grill – whether hot or cool – and press the button to get it started on the cleaning job with its three heavy-duty brushes.

Positives
  • Effortless operation literally lets you leave your grill to clean itself
  • Built-in timer lets you get the cleaning job started without having to check back if it’s done
  • Durable weatherproof body works well to protect the internal parts against damage, char, and heat
  • Works on both hot and cool grill surfaces
  • Brushes are dishwasher safe for easy maintenance
Negatives
  • Might be too abrasive for delicate porcelain-coated grates
  • Can only clean your grates – the rest of the grill is up to you
6

Elaziy – Best Grill Cleaning Stone

Features

  • Type: grill cleaning brick
  • Material: pumice
  • Application: steel, cast iron, and porcelain grates
  • Non-toxic
  • 100% natural

Afraid of leaving behind chemicals or bristles in your grill? The Elaziy Grill Cleaning Stones might be the cleaning tool you’re looking for. These lightweight bricks are easy to hold and have incredible traction against grill grates, letting you scrub away with relative ease.

The 100% ecological material has zero odor and is completely non-toxic, so you won’t have to worry about leaving behind any cleaning residue on your grates. Simple, safe, and natural, the Elaziy Grill Cleaning Stones are perfect for grill owners who want to guarantee a cooking surface that’s completely free from health hazards.

Positives
  • All-natural, 100% ecological material leaves zero toxins or contaminants in your grill
  • Easy to grip and scrub, letting you clean out your grate with less effort
  • Odorless material doesn’t leave a smell and doesn’t impact the taste of grilled food
  • Conforms to any surface for a complete clean
  • Removes rust, grease, char, and food residue
Negatives
  • May require some initial scrubbing to get it to conform to grate spacing
  • Produces dust that may need to be washed or wiped off
7 Best seller

Therapy – Best Stainless-Steel Grill Cleaner

Features

  • Type: spray-on cleaner
  • Application: steel
  • 100% natural formulation
  • 473 mL
  • Microfiber cloth included

Made from all-natural ingredients, the formulation from Therapy promises a smooth, stain-free, steel surface after each use. The solution was developed to remove all sorts of smudges and marks on stainless steel, letting you work away grime, grease, and char that’s been left behind on your grates.

But more than its ‘immaculate clean’ – as the manufacturer describes – the Therapy formulation also provides protective benefits that help strengthen your grills versus the onslaught of rust.

Positives
  • Completely safe, all-natural formulation promises a comprehensive clean without putting your health at risk
  • Convenient spray bottle allows easy application all over your grill
  • Works on both steel grates, and the interior and exterior of your cook box
  • Offers added protection versus rust
  • Removes hard water stains, smudges, and grease
Negatives
  • Only works on steel
  • May work better as an after-clean polish than an intensive cleaning solution
8

Alpha Grillers – Best BBQ Grill Cleaner Brush

Features

  • Type: grill cleaning brush
  • Make and material: stainless steel bristles, steel handle, and frame
  • Length: 18 inches
  • Application: steel, cast iron, and porcelain grates
  • 1-year warranty

Inexpensive and effective, the Alpha Grillers Cleaner Brush is a practical no-frills solution for your cleaning needs. Designed without all of those fancy bells and whistles, this straightforward brush does what it promises – an uncompromised clean that doesn’t require too much effort.

With three brush heads, a long 18-inch handle, and sturdy construction, this brush from Alpha Grillers can make any grill cleaning job a breeze.

Positives
  • Stiff stainless-steel bristles work well for deep, intensive cleaning
  • Long 18-inch handle lets you work on a hot grill without the risk for burns
  • Works on all sorts of grill surfaces including more sensitive porcelain-coated grates
  • Durable build feels very safe and sturdy in the hand and doesn’t risk slipping out of your grip during use
  • Cost-effective tool set a price that won’t put a dent in your wallet
Negatives
  • May require intensive cleaning itself after each use
  • Some bristles may bend and break off with time
9

GRILLART Bristle Free – Best Bristle Free Grill Cleaner Brush

Features

  • Type: grill cleaner brush
  • Application: steel, cast iron, and porcelain grates
  • Length: 18 inches
  • Make and material: stainless steel knit mesh, plastic handle
  • Equipped with a widened scraper

Afraid a steel bristle might break off, stay on your grate, and cling to your next steak? The GRILLART Bristle Free Grill Cleaner Brush was specifically designed to guarantee that that doesn’t happen. This brush features tight coils of stainless steel, forming a triple helix pattern that fits between and around a grate’s rungs to loosen debris and char.

Since the helix is formed by a single, long piece of stainless steel formed into a complex network of coils, break off and fall out becomes far less likely. And to make cleaning even more convenient, the brush also incorporates a widened scraper that can cover a greater surface area in less time.

Positives
  • Intuitive coiled knit mesh material prevents shards of bristle from breaking off and making its way into your food
  • Flexible brush material fits between and around grate rungs to clean both sides in one go
  • Long 18-inch handle allows safe cleaning even if your grill is fresh from use
  • Widened scraper lets you get rid of char on your grates over a shorter period of time
  • Rustproof construction promises years of effective use
Negatives
  • Char and debris may get stuck in the brush head, requiring its own routine cleaning
  • Plastic handle can get greasy and slippery during use
10

Carbona – Best No-Scrub Grill Cleaner

Features

  • Type: grill cleaning soak solution
  • Application: stainless steel, cast iron
  • Precautions: avoid contact with eyes and skin
  • 500 mL
  • Includes rack cleaning bag and disposable gloves

Specially formulated to eat away grime, char, and residue, the Carbona solution lets you achieve that pristine clean without the need to scrub and rub. The three-step process is about as simple as it can get – just bag your grates, pour in the Carbona formula, then wait it out and rinse. The formula should dissolve anything that doesn’t belong on your grates, clearing away even the toughest build-up without the need for elbow grease.

Positives
  • Makes the process of cleaning grills easy and mess-free
  • Three-step process requires minimum effort and zero scrubbing
  • Strong solution corrodes the toughest build-up to achieve a pristine clean
  • Durable cleaning bags included in the package
  • Safe formulation can be dunked down the drain after use
Negatives
  • A single cleaning may require a full bottle of the product
  • Can take up to 8 hours to achieve an optimal clean
11

Evapo-Rust – Best Grill Rust Cleaner

Features

  • Type: grill cleaning soak solution
  • Application: steel, cast iron, and porcelain
  • Non-toxic
  • Biodegradable
  • Reusable

There’s no need to toss out that rusty grill – a little Evapo-Rust should do the trick. This no-scrub, non-toxic formulation promises to get rid of rust on your grates and the rest of your grill – without the need for protective gear.

The water-based solution is biodegradable, safe on the skin and eyes, and is quite impressively reusable. So just a liter of the product goes an incredibly long way, de-rusting up to 300 pounds worth of steel, letting you clean your grates and grill over and over again.

Positives
  • Safe and effective, the Evapo-Rust soak solution gets rid of rust with zero risks to your health or the environment
  • Completely reusable solution can clean up to 300 pounds of steel with a single liter of formula
  • No risk of skin or eye irritation
  • Odor-free and non-flammable solution can be stored in typical conditions without worrying about viability or safety
  • Works on all sorts of grill material, accessories, and parts
Negatives
  • The solution will not work on rust if there’s grease or oil still on the surfaces
  • More severe cases of rust may still require some brushing
12 Best price

Easy-Off – Best Spot Treatment Grill Cleaner

Features

  • Type: grill cleaning spray
  • Application: steel, cast iron, porcelain
  • Precautions: Avoid ingestion and contact with eyes
  • 710 mL
  • Fume-free

If you’re not performing an intensive, deep clean and need an easy solution for spot treatment, then the Easy-Off spray can be your best bet. This no-fume formulation is safe on the skin and lets off a pleasant lemon scent that can leave your grill smelling fresh and clean.

Working to remove stubborn grease, the formulation works in a matter of 30 seconds, eating away at tough stains and crusty oil so you can wipe it off without the added effort.

Positives
  • Doesn’t release fumes that can irritate the respiratory system or the eyes
  • Pleasant lemon scent leaves your grill smelling fresh and clean
  • No-scrub formulation eats away grease and oil with no need for scouring
  • Works fast for spot treatment, melting tough stains and grime 30 seconds after spraying
  • Smart solution for everyday cleaning and spot treatment
Negatives
  • May not work well for intensive, deep cleaning
  • Doesn’t remove heavy char and caked-on food matter

Buyer’s Guide

Grill cleaners are not one-size-fits-all. Various types of grill designs using different kinds of material require unique cleaning methods. Using improper tools puts your grill at risk of irreparable damage, even putting your warranty at risk. That means that depending on the type of grill you have, you may need a different kind of cleaner.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on the various types of grills and the proper ways to get them looking shiny and new.

12 Best Grill Cleaners -7

How to Clean a Gas Grill

With more parts, nooks, and crannies than a standard charcoal grill, the gas grill may be a little more complicated to clean than any other type. For that reason, you’ll likely need more than one tool to get the job done.

What You Need:

  • Wire brush
  • Dishwashing soap or grill cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Cooking oil
  • Drying rag
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket

How to Do It:

  1. Pre-heat the grill – Set your grill to high heat to soften any food residue and melt hardened oil and grease. This should make it easier to work away older remains and stains, reducing the amount of effort you need to exert to achieve an optimal clean.
  2. Scrub the grime and residue – Fill up your bucket with water and add just enough dish washing soap to produce a slight lather. Turn off the heat, disconnect the fuel supply, and get started on scrubbing. Dip a hard-wire bristle brush like the GRILLART into the water and soap solution and scrub the grates vigorously. Working on the grill while it’s hot produces steam which in turn helps to degrade oil and grease.

If you have any in handy, specially formulated grill cleaner like TriNova can be a suitable alternative to dish washing soap. Spraying some on the grates creates a coat that breaks down the charred food particles, making them easier to remove with your brush. Make sure you get both sides.

  1. Coat the grates – Once you’re done scrubbing away the residue with soapy water or cleaning solution, rinse the grates with running water. Then, using a paper towel, coat the grates in cooking oil. Alternatively, you can use a polish like This should help reduce the amount of food that stays stuck to the grill the next time you have a cookout.
  2. Clean the deflectors – The heat deflectors just underneath the grill serve two functions. The first is to improve and even out the distribution of heat, and the second is to prevent food debris from reaching the burners below. That’s why you might notice your deflectors look particularly darkened with soot and grease.

To clean them, remove them from the grill and use a wire brush to scrub away the grime and grease. Dip your brush into a solution of water and dish washing soap to make the residue easier to remove. Then rinse away the filth and soap with water.

  1. Unclog the burners – The cylindrical burners underneath the deflectors are perforated with ports where the flames pass through to achieve a controlled cooking environment. Over time, some food debris can pass through the deflectors and clog the ports, causing a weak flame or uneven heat.

Once you’ve detached the burners, use your wire brush to work away the residue and soot. For a little extra efficiency, the Drillbrush interchangeable heads can work to remove debris from the ports. Because dislodged particles can enter the burners and cause further clogging, make sure you rinse inside the cylinders bay passing water through them with a hose.

When you’ve done all that, you can towel dry the different parts and reassemble your grill – ready for the next backyard barbecue.

12-Best-Grill-Cleaners-88

How to Clean a Gas Grill with Vinegar

If your grill deserves a thorough scrub down and you don’t have any cleaning agents on hand, then a bottle of vinegar might just do the trick.

  1. Create your solution – Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and give it a shake to ensure they’re completely mixed together.
  2. Spray generously – Open up your grill and spray all of its areas generously with your vinegar solution. Don’t skimp out – you’re aiming for total coverage.
  3. Close the lid – Close the cook box and leave the solution to soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Scrub away – When the solution fully saturates the inside of your grill, use a wire brush to work away the debris. Starting with the grates, brush any build-up on both of its sides. You can respray it with your vinegar solution to wash off debris that dislodges as you scrub.

Remove the grate and disassemble the other parts of your gas grill. Use a smaller wire brush to scrub the heat deflectors and the burners. If the stains and debris are too stubborn, you can take the parts and soak them in a bucket of water and vinegar.

Once you’re done scrubbing off the residue, rinse each part with clean water, towel dry, and reassemble your grill.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

The charcoal grill’s uncomplicated anatomy makes it far easier to clean compared to the gas grill. What might make it a little messier, on the other hand, is the addition of coal, ash, and debris that easily collects at the bottom of the grill as you fire it up and bring it to life.

What You Need:

  • Wire brush
  • Scraper
  • Dish washing soap or grill cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Cooking oil
  • Drying rag
  • Bucket

How to Do It:

  1. Scrub the grime and residue – Unlike a gas grill that can be preheated before getting started, the charcoal grill is often best cleaned when it’s cool. That’s because hot coal can make it harder to handle a grill during the process. So, to start, get to work on scrubbing away the residue left behind by food on the grate.

Similar to a gas grill, you’re going to want to use a wire brush to get the job done. Work in the direction of the grates to cover all the surfaces of each individual rung. Scrub each side to ensure total cleaning, then rinse with water.

  1. Coat the grates – Take a paper towel with a small amount of oil and coat the grates evenly. The layer of cooking oil should make it harder for food particles and soot to cling to the grates the next time you use your grill. You can also opt to spray the grates directly with Therapy if you’ve got some available.
  2. Remove the coal tray – Set the grate aside to access the coal tray. Remove it from its place in the grill and toss out any used coals. Use your wire brush dipped in dish washing liquid and water to clean the pan’s surface, making sure to get rid of grease and food residue.

You’d also want to clear away as much of the ash as possible to prevent from clogging the grill’s vents. The GRILLART’s scraper can work wonders as a shovel, pushing ash and coal bits aside for easier removal. Once you’re done, rinse the pan with water and set it aside to dry.

  1. Clear the ash – At the very base of your grill, you’ll find a bed of ash produced by burning coals. Clearing away the accumulation should improve air circulation throughout your grill, allowing an even burn and consistent heat the next time you use it.

At this point, you can use the same scraper to work away ash that might have bunched together and to shovel them away from the air vents around the sides of your grill. Avoid using water while there’s still ash to be removed. Adding any sort of fluid can create a fickle paste that might be harder to get rid of than dry ash.

Once you’ve got as much of the build-up removed from the grill’s base, you can then use your wire brush to scrub away the bottom. Use a mild dish washing liquid and water to work away any debris that might have stuck to the insides of the grill. Rinse it out with running water and dry it up with a rag.

  1. Reassemble and store – When the grill’s parts are all clean and dry, you can then start putting back the parts. Put the charcoal tray in place, and add in some fresh new coals if you’re prepping to get started on a cookout. If not, keeping fresh coals in there anyway can help minimize moisture and protect your grill from rust.

Then you can put the grate back in place. Keep your charcoal grill covered in a waterproof sheet whether you’re storing it indoors or outdoors. This should prevent damage to the exterior and keep your grill in proper working conditions through the grilling season.

12 Best Grill Cleaners -6

How to Clean a Rusty Grill

Lots of people end up tossing out a perfectly functional grill because of rust. But you can restore your grill to optimal condition by performing a deep clean. Unlike the typical char and ash that you’ll find on a used grill, rust can be a little more challenging to get rid of. Here’s a step-by-step instruction to help you get your grill looking spic and span.

What You Need:

  • Bucket
  • Dish washing soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Rust soak
  • Wire brush
  • Cooking oil
  • Paper towel
  • Scouring pad

How to Do It:

  1. Dislodge debris – The first step of the entire process entails removing any particles and debris that you can with as little force as possible. Using a wire brush, pass over all of the parts of the grates to get rid of ash, food residue, and rust. Since rust can make your grill brittle, working gently should help prevent damage to your grate. Drillbrush’s soft bristle brushes can work better for more severely rusted grates.
  2. Soak the grates – Fill your bucket with warm water and add around a half cup of dish washing liquid, then incorporate in an eighth of a cup of baking soda. Mix the solution together and put your grates into the bucket, making sure they’re fully submerged. If you don’t have a bucket, you can plug your kitchen sink and fill it up with the solution. Leave them to soak for about an hour.

Another alternative would be a solution of vinegar and salt. Combine two cups of vinegar with coarse sea salt, and pour the solution into a large garbage bag. Place the grates inside the bag, seal it, and lay the bags flat on the floor.

The purpose of using bags instead of a bucket is because the vinegar solution needs to be undiluted in order to fully remove the rust. Since you probably won’t have enough vinegar to fill a bucket, a garbage bag becomes a more practical choice.

Similarly, the Evapo-Rust formulation can be a suitable rust remover. Soak your grates in the solution as the instructions direct. Depending on the extent of the coverage, you may or may not need to scrub after the soak.

  1. Scrub with a pad – Either of the two solutions should soften the rust on your grates and make them it to remove with a scouring pad. As you remove it from the mixture, use a kitchen scouring pad to scrub each rung. The rust should be soft enough to break off if the grates have been soaking long enough. If there are any problem areas with stubborn build-up, you can perform the soak and scrub again.
  2. Coat the grates – A barrier of oil can help limit the development of rust since it protects your grate from exposure to moisture. Use a paper towel to wipe cooking or vegetable oil all over your grates, coating them entirely for that added layer of defense.

It also helps to keep your grill safe from exposure to moisture by practicing proper storage. A grill stored outdoors should always be covered in a waterproof sheet to protect against humidity and rain. To make doubly sure, you might also want to consider removing the grates when its off-season and storing them in a kitchen cabinet or cupboard after being cleaned.

12 Best Grill Cleaners-4

How to Clean Different Types of Grates

You might have noticed that your grill’s grates are made of a completely different material than others you’ve seen. And yes – that means you’ll have to be particular when it comes to your cleaning practice. Making sure that you’re cleaning your grates the way the manufacturer intended protects them against damage and keeps your warranty intact.

For steel grates:

  1. Pre-heat the grill – Take your steel grates out of the cook box, crank up the heat, and set your grill to high.
  2. Wrap the grates – Take a sheet of aluminum foil that’s big enough to cover the grates. Then wrap it over with the shiny side facing out.
  3. Heat the grates – Using a pair of oven mitts, put the grates back in the heated cook box and close the lid shut. Leave it for about 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub the debris – Once the steel grates have been exposed to heat for half an hour, turn off the grill and open the lid. Keep your hands protected with mitts, and carefully remove the foil.

The trapped heat should have softened up the food debris and grease, making it easier to work away the residue with a wire brush.

  1. Wash with cleanser – Steel grates can be cleaned with commercial grate solution like TriNova or dish washing soap diluted in lukewarm water. If you’re using the former, simply spray it on the grates and scrub away with your wire brush.

If you’re using dish washing liquid, dip your brush in the solution as you scrub. When you’re done, rinse away the soap or cleanser and leave your grates to dry.

  1. Coat with vegetable oil – Steel can be prone to rust, which is why coating the rungs with vegetable or cooking oil can lend extra protection. Use a paper towel to coat the grates in oil, ensuring to get all the nooks and crannies. Therapy can also work as a suitable alternative to oil.

For Cast Iron Grates:

  1. Scrub with a wire brush – The best time to clean a cast iron grate would be right after use since the heat will prevent food residue and grease from hardening against the grate’s surfaces. Use your wire brush to scrub away debris from the cast iron rungs.
  2. Apply cleaning solution – Mix together dish washing liquid and water, or use a commercial grill cleaner intended for cast iron. Apply the solution to the grates and scrub using your wire brush. Once you’ve removed as much of the residue as possible, rinse away the debris and soap with running water.
  3. Dry the grates – Cast iron is particularly durable, but if there’s one thing it might not be able to handle, it’s moisture. When left exposed to water for too long, cast iron grates can become riddled with rust.

So, drying them up after you wash and scrub them should prevent moisture from working into the nooks and crannies. Use a clean rag to wipe away excess moisture and leave your grates out of the cook box to dry up any water that might be hiding along the rung intersections.

  1. Season the cast iron – Coating your cast iron grates in cooking oil can prevent food residue from clinging too much the next time you use your grill. Use a paper towel to season the cast iron in cooking oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil.
  2. Heat the grill – To make doubly sure that the grates are free from moisture and the oil is fully saturated throughout, wrap them in aluminum foil with the shiny side facing out. Place them into the grill and turn up the heat for around 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Reapply oil – When you’re done heating the grates, take them out and remove the aluminum foil. Make sure you wear mitts to prevent burns. Then reapply the oil you used to guarantee that each rung is completely coated.

For Porcelain Grates:

  1. Rinse the grates – Run your porcelain grates under some clean water to get rid of any residue that might be clinging to them.
  2. Brush the rungs – Porcelain-coated grill grates are the most delicate of all and require special precautions to prevent damage. Place the rinsed grates on a smooth table surface, and get started on brushing.

Add some dish washing liquid to a small pale of water, and dip a soft bristle brush like the softest Drillbrush variety into the solution. Brush the rungs gently and target the grate’s problem areas, making sure not to apply too much force.

  1. Soak in cleaning solution – You can make your own cleaning solution by adding dish washing liquid to just enough water to submerge your grates. Or you can apply a generous amount of vinegar on the grates, leaving them to soak in a shallow tray or pan.

There are also commercial cleaning solutions made for porcelain grill grates that work to remove more stubborn build-up. Soak the grates for around 30 minutes, and then blast them clean with a strong gush of water from a garden hose or a faucet.

  1. Air dry – Use a soft towel to dry the grates, then leave them out to air dry, making sure that all the nooks and crannies are free from moisture. Store in a cool, dry place and make sure that it doesn’t make contact with hard surfaces that might chip away the porcelain coating.

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How to Clean the Inside and Outside of a Grill

The inside of a grill’s cook box is often most prone to build up since it houses the grates and is directly exposed to flame and embers. Dripping oil, pieces of food, and ash from coal can accumulate in a cook box which can impair functionality later on. Leave it to build-up too long, and you risk uneven heat resulting from hot spots and flare-ups in the grill.

After you’ve removed all the different parts of your grill and you’re left with a gutted cook box, you can get to work with a wire brush. Dip it in cleaning solution or spray the inside of the box with a commercial cleaning agent, and scrub the residue away. Rinse with running water and direct the flow to pass out of the vents. Make sure nothing gets stuck to ensure proper ventilation during use.

The outside of a grill is best cleaned without the use of abrasive cleaning tools. A rag or towel that’s soaked in dish washing liquid and water or polish like Therapy can be good enough to remove stains on the exterior. A commercial cleaning solution can also make the job much easier, letting you spray your target areas before rubbing away with your rag.

FAQs

Ideally, your grill should be rinsed of debris after each use. This can help prevent the build-up from exacerbating, minimizing the effort you exert the next time you need to clean your grill. A deep clean should be performed at least once at the start of grilling season, and then again at the end.

You’d be surprised what a good cleaning can do. More often than not, even the rustiest grills can be brought back up to code simply by scrubbing away the rust. In most cases, a grill can last well over 5 years as long as you observe the proper maintenance techniques.

If you notice that your grill still isn’t cooking properly after a deep clean, then there may be some internal parts that aren’t working as they should. Take a look inside – if the deflectors or burners appear corroded, then it might be high time to replace just those parts.

On the other hand, if your entire grill looks corroded as a whole – with jagged edges eaten away by rust – then a full replacement should be in order.

Simple – protect it from moisture. When iron is exposed to water and oxygen, a chemical reaction occurs causing rust to form. In effect, preventing rust can be as simple as keeping unwanted moisture away from your grill.

To do this, keep your grill covered when it isn’t in use. Removing the grates from the cook box and storing them in a cool, dry space can be another simple way to prevent rust.

Finally, when washing your grill, make sure it’s completely dried out before you reassemble and store. Any moisture left inside the cook box or on the grates can cause the start of a rust problem.

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Over to You

Deliciously grilled meals start with a clean arsenal. A properly maintained and cleaned grill will pave the way for hearty meals packed with flavor, free from harmful contaminants. Before you start your next cookout, make sure you get your gear ready with an intensive deep clean.

Check out our picks for the best grill cleaner products on the market and discover the ideal tool and formulation to bring your trusty grill back to code.

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