If you’re planning on those summer camping trips and barbecues, then it’s time to take out the grill and dust it off. But before you start firing it up, giving your grill a thorough cleaning is an absolute must.

We all know the effects a dirty grill can have on food; no one would look forward to eating a burger off a half-cleaned grill with charred food residue and sticky sauces from last year. And what’s worse, old residue could be breeding bacteria, which can potentially be harmful to your health.

What you probably didn’t realize is that leaving your grill uncleaned is actually bad for the grill itself. Carbon build-up could damage the unit and limit its lifetime. It can also lead to uneven heating and temperatures, not to mention that all that built-up grease is a serious fire hazard.

Cleaning the grill may not be your favorite chore around the house; it’s messy and time-consuming. But if you want to keep it intact so you and your family can enjoy barbecues for years to come, then like it or not, it needs a good scrub.

Grill Cleaning Tools

Tools you'll need to clean your grill.

Having all the right tools on hand can help you give it a good cleaning and ensure that you get the job done fast.

There are a few essential tools you need for this – a big bucket, gloves, and towels or rags are the obvious stuff. Select a dish soap that could cut through the grease easily, and avoid cleaning fluid with hard chemicals which could not only damage the equipment but are also harmful to health.

A stainless steel cleaner is a must-have to keep your stainless steel surfaces looking shiny and new. A scouring sponge, a grill scraper, and a wire brush with a long handle can help you scour off those hard stains, grime, and other deposits. But be careful when selecting metal scouring equipment since you don’t want to scrape the surfaces.

Depending on your preference and the state of your grill, ingredients like baking soda and vinegar would also come handy, although not essential.

How to Clean Your Grill

How to clean your grill, step by step.

Now we’re coming to the most important part. So, how exactly should you clean your grill? Contrary to popular belief, it’s quite simple and easy once you know the steps.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to make things easy for you. And before you begin, don’t forget to take the grill outdoor to avoid a mess.

  • Light It Up: Light the grill and allow any grease to loosen up; this will also help tiny food scrap to char and come apart. Squirt a few drops of dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Soak the wire brush in it and give the grates a good scrub.
  • Waiting Game: Wait till the grill fully cools down, then disconnect it from the propane tank and take off the metal removable parts like the grates and the grease trays. Place them in the bucket to soak in the soapy water for 30 minutes or more – the longer the better since it’ll make it easier to remove grime. Use the wire brush to scrub off carbon particles, grease, and food debris. Rinse off with clean water once you’re done.
  • Give It Some Elbow Grease: Now scrub the inside of the firebox to give it a good cleaning. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any leftover particles before washing off with water.
  • Spot Check: This is also a good time to check the interior and exterior surfaces of the grill for corrosion, blockages, and other damage. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the surfaces and brush off the small crevices.
  • Good As New: And finally, clean the outside surface of the grill with a soft sponge soaked in soapy water. Rinse off and use a stainless steel cleaner for a shiny finish.

A word of caution: Be careful when scrubbing with wire brushes and scourers so as not to damage any surfaces. Also, ensure that all the grill parts you have washed are completely dry before putting them back together. Moisture could lead to corrosion and other damage in the long run. And once everything’s in place, you can fire it up for a few minutes.

You can learn more about grill safety and maintenance here.

Now you’re good to go!

The Best Grill Cleaning Equipment

Having the right products in hand can make a world of difference when it comes to getting the cleaning done quickly and effectively.

So, we’ve taken the trouble to sift through various cleaning product to pick out some of the best grill cleaning equipment available. Here’s a full review of the essentials to stock up on.

POLIGO Grill Brush and Scraper with Deluxe Handle

This grill brush with scraper is ergonomically designed for easy and hassle-free cleaning. It’s made with heavy-duty stainless steel to avoid bending, corrosion, and damage, so you can be sure it’s built to last.

The 360-degree all-around bristles are perfect for cleaning your grill quickly and effortlessly. The long 18-inch handle is designed for an easy grip and to clean hard-to-reach parts with ease. And the attached barbecue scraper can help you quickly remove any stubborn grime and residue.

It’s even designed with two grooves for round grates, although some users have pointed out that a bigger cutout would have made it useful for rectangular grates as well.

So, just heat up the grill and remove dirt with this grill brush after soaking it in warm water. Gently use the scraper to take off caked-on debris.

Overall, this is a useful tool that is functionally designed to safely and effectively clean up any type of grill, whether you’re on gas or charcoal. It’s also lightweight, easy to use, and can even make a great gift for a barbecue enthusiast.

Like it? Click here to buy.

BBQ Grill Cleaner Oil by Caron & Doucet

This grill cleaner is a 100% natural product made with plant-based ingredients. This makes it a safer alternative if you’re trying to avoid harsher chemicals on your grill.

Just spray it on to the warm surfaces right after grilling and use a scraper or wire brush to remove grease and leftover debris quickly. Once done, wipe off with a soft cloth for a non-stick, clean, and polished finish. The thin oil coating will protect the surfaces from any damage due to moisture and work as a natural seasoning for the grill. And the next time you’re using it, simply wait for the grill to heat up properly and smoke before placing food so that residual oil is removed.

This grill cleaning oil is especially recommended for cleaning stainless steel, cast iron, and enamel surfaces. And the natural citrus oil scent will remove food odor and leave a nice fresh fragrance behind. The refined solventless coconut oil makes this product a safer choice for both your grill and your family.

To learn more, click here.

Wood Grill Scraper Tool with Bottle Opener by Searious Grilling

An alternative to the traditional metal grill brush, this scraper is made with wood that gives it some unique advantages. Unlike the metal grill brush, this wooden scraper can naturally shape up to suit your grate as it wears out over time, making it easier to clean off any residue. So, the more you use it, the easier it gets.

This wooden scraper is also great for surfaces like ceramics, which could get damaged easily. But before purchasing, check whether the grooves are compatible with your particular grate since a few users have pointed out that this could be a problem depending on the grill model.

This eco-friendly wood scraper also has a bottle opener on its handle, making it a useful tool to keep around for barbecues. It comes in a cloth storage bag together with wooden tongs, and it’s designed in the USA with premium hardwood materials that ensure a durable finish.

To read the latest reviews, click here.

Grill Cleaner Pads and Holder by FMP Brands

This is a heavy-duty scourer that can be used on pretty much any surface to remove stubborn stains and leave a clean finish while restoring the original shine. It comes with ten removable metal scouring pads that are durable and easy to use.

The commercial-grade abrasives make it perfect not just for your BBQ grills but also for any other surface that needs a heavy-duty scrub. It also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee from FMP Brands.

This product has got some great reviews from users who particularly seem to love its non-absorbent quality when it comes to grease and odors. You can also wash it off after cleaning and use it several times.

To see the most recent pricing, click here.

Heat Boss Grill Brush and Scraper by Zulay Kitchen

This is another great heavy-duty grill brush with an attached scraper to get rid of those hard stains. Just soak the brush in water before use or spray a bit of water on to your warmed up grill, and you can start scrubbing with some nice steam.

The stainless steel bristles are angled and tightly arranged in 3 rows to reach grooves and corners and remove dirt effortlessly. It’s also rust-proof and comes with a long 18-inch handle for easy, safe use. And the attached stainless steel scraper is another useful addition, which you can use on any type of grill together with the brush.

With the lifetime warranty by Zulay Kitchen, you know it’s built to last. And if you want more reassurance, it also comes with a money-back guarantee.

Ready to buy? Click here.

To Sum it Up…

Cleaning up your grill after every use should not be taken lightly. Yes, it’s messy and takes time, and is definitely the most dreaded part of throwing a barbecue. But if you get the right cleaning equipment, it can become a quick and easy process. So make sure you do it right and clean your grill properly; your family and friends will thank you.

Pssst….thinking about buying a pellet smoker? Then you best check out Pellet Smokers 101 first.