How To Clean A Grill? (4 Easy Ways)

Cooking on a grill is fun, is healthy, and the food tastes delicious. The only con of grilling? You need to clean it after you use it.

Especially when you cook food that contains a lot of fats (like meat), cleaning your grill can be hard work.

However, knowing the best ways to do it can help you do a quicker and better job. For this reason, we’ve dedicated an entire article to how to clean a grill.


Key Takeaways

  • Vinegar is very effective in cleaning a grill.
  • Onion and coffee can also be used effectively for removing oily residue from your grill.
  • It is important to wash your grill with abundant water. Otherwise, your food might taste like vinegar or onion.

How To Clean A Grill With Vinegar?

How To Clean A Grill With Vinegar

Many people clean their grills with common dish soap. There is nothing wrong with it, but there are methods that are a lot more effective.

For example, vinegar is perfect for grill cleaning; it is also a 100% natural product, and it’s ideal to use natural products to clean items used for cooking (you don’t risk ending up eating the chemicals you used to clean them).

So, how to clean a grill with vinegar?

  • Prepare a solution of water and vinegar: 3 cups of water plus 2 cups of vinegar. Put the solution into a spray bottle.
  • Spray your solution on your grills and let it stay for some time, ten or fifteen minutes if you can.
  • Start scrubbing the grill: it should be quite easy, but if there are parts that are particularly dirty, you can add pure vinegar to them and scrub further.
  • When you’ve done, finish the cleaning with some water. 1

Read: How Long To Grill Corn In Foil?

Also Read: How Long To Grill Corn In Husk?

How To Clean A Grill With An Onion?

How To Clean A Grill With An Onion

Did you know that you can use onions to clean your grill? Just like with vinegar, cleaning with onion is ideal because you are using a natural product that can’t affect your health.

However, and this is also true when you use vinegar, you want to make sure you wash the grill with abundant water before cooking with it again, otherwise, the food you’ll cook on it will have an onion (or vinegar) taste.

To clean your grill with onion, just do this:

  • Heat your grill so that all the debris loosens;
  • Cut an onion into two pieces. Take a grill fork, and with that, rub the cut side of the onion on the grill. 
  • Rinse the grill with abundant water. 2

How To Clean A Grill With Coffee?

Coffee is also very effective when it comes to cleaning your grill. In particular, coffee is very effective in removing seasoning on your grill.

Again, make sure you rinse the grill properly after cleaning; otherwise, your food will taste like coffee (and it’s particularly not the case if you’re feeding children!).

So, this is how you can use coffee to clean your grill:

  • Brew a cup of coffee (or more) into a basin or a container.
  • Remove the grates from your grill and dip them in the coffee
  • Leave the grates there for some time (the longer, the better, up to a couple of hours)
  • Remove the grates and start rubbing
  • Rinse with water and let it dry. 3

Also Check Out 5 Best Weber Charcoal Grills

How To Clean Charcoal Grill?

How To Clean Charcoal Grill

Different types of grills have different types of cleaning requirements, and charcoal grills need the most amount of cleaning. Here’s how you can clean and maintain your charcoal grill:

Before Cooking 

It is important to clean the grates once before you start grilling food. You can take a wire grill brush to clean the leftovers from the grates.

Make sure you do this when the grates are hot because the heat will make removing the scrapes of food easier.

After Cooking

Cleaning the grill after you have cooked food is the most crucial step. Here’s how you can clean your charcoal grill:

  • Let the charcoal cool down first, then remove the brush and the bricks from the ash.
  • Now remove the grates and clean them with a wired brush or you can roll up a foil, hold it using tongs and clean the grill using it.
  • Now use a paper towel or rags and apply vegetable oil to the grates to avoid rust or food build-up on the grates.
  • Lastly, clean the lid and the inside of the grill bowl using dish soap and a steel brush and wash it up with water.
  • Now towel dries the grill, and you are done.


You should keep your grill covered inside a covered area, shade, or garage. Make sure they do not get wet or get exposed to rain at all costs, and they will be safe. 4

How To Clean A Gas or Propane Grill?

How To Clean A Gas Grill

Natural and propane grills do not require as much cleaning as a charcoal grill, but cleaning them before and after cooking will in avoiding issues. Here’s how you can clean a gas or propane grill:

Before Cooking

  • Preheat the gas grill for over 15 minutes, and then turn it off. This will cause the leftover food to melt off.
  • Using a wired brush, start removing the burned leftover food.

After Cooking

  • Let the grill cool down a bit once you are done cooking food.
  • Now remove the grates and clean them with a wired brush or you can roll up a foil, hold it using tongs and clean the grill using it.
  • Follow this up by applying vegetable oil on the grates using a paper towel. This will help avoid rust build-up.
  • To clean the inside of the grill and to remove tough stains, add dish soap to warm water and scrub the grill by using a steel brush.
  • Remove the heat deflectors and wash them with dish soap water too.
  • Once you clean all the dirty parts, follow it up by wiping the parts with plain water and then dry them out using a fresh napkin. 5


Keep your grill covered inside a shade or garage. You can cover it with a cloth, or you can also use plastic wrap for the same.

Also, make sure to remove the igniter’s battery before storing it so that it does not corrode.

Cleaning a Gas Grill like a pro

How To Clean A Pellet Grill?

How To Clean A Pellet Grill

Here’s how you can clean a Pellet Grill:

  • Let the Pellet grill cool down, and then remove the grates from the grill.
  • Now place the grates in warm soapy water, and let them sit inside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, clean the grill’s interior using a wet-dry vac and remove all the ash and debris.
  • Take an abrasive sponge or a scrub brush and clean the drip pan with it.
  • Using a scrub brush, clean the chimney cap.
  • Lastly, remove the grates from the soapy water and clean any leftovers using a brush.
  • Now wipe all the parts with clean water and then dry them out using a dry towel before storing them.

How to Clean a Flat Top Grill?

How to Clean a Flat Top Grill

Flat-top grills are popularly used in commercial spaces, and they are easier to clean because they do not have grates.

And if you own this grill, then here’s how you can clean a flat-top grill effectively:

  • Clean the surface while it is still hot, but dot this carefully.
  • Spray the top of the grill with dish soap water or a baking soda mixture, and let it sit for a minute.
  • Now using a grill brush remove all the burned food, oil, and stains from the surface.
  • Wipe the surface with a dry and clean cloth. Repeat the process if needed. 6

How to Clean a BBQ Grill?

Grill Cleaning Tips from Reddit Users

Grill cleaning tips?
by u/TossedRightOut in Cooking

Grill Cleaning Tips

  • After cleaning the grates with a steel brush or wired brush, make sure to thoroughly check and wipe the area with a cloth once again. This will remove any bristles that may have come off during cleaning.
  • The most effective way to clean grill grates is while they are still warm. This is because the heat loosens up the food material, and cleaning them off from the grill becomes easier.
  • Always keep your grill covered and indoors to avoid them from corroding.
  • Make sure to pat your grill dry before storing them.
  • Replace the grates annually.

Seasonal Deep Clean

In this case, the grill needs to be hot, so heat it for 15 minutes. Then turn it off and remove the charcoal or disconnect the propane or gas sources. 

Now you can scrub the entire grill, both the grates and every surface. You can dip your brush into hot water to make the work even easier and more efficient.

On propane and gas grills, check the gas/propane port: remove any dirt from this area.

Then, clean the drip pan, the inside of the hood, and the firebox.

Now you can dedicate it to the outside of the grill: you can simply wash it with water and soap to improve its appearance and enhance its durability.

Make sure everything is dry before connecting gas or propane sources again.

With this guide, you should be able to clean your grill, whatever type you have, and on any occasion.

Wrapping Up

Cleaning grills might be a bit taxing, but if you want your expensive grills to last long, then cleaning and maintaining grills is essential.

In this guide on 3 ways to clean a grill, we shared with you many ways in which you can clean your grill. We hope this was helpful.


What is the best method for cleaning a grill?

Using a stiff wired brush and soap water mixture is the best way to clean and scrub all the oil, burned food materials, etc., from the grill.

How to clean dirty grill grates properly?

If your grates are still dirty even after scrubbing them, then you should leave them in warm soapy water for 10-15 minutes and then scrub them off. This will clean them completely.

Should I clean a hot grill or cool grill?

Cleaning a grill while it is still hot is more effective because the heat loosens up and dislodges the food debris and helps in cleaning.

However, if you are cleaning a charcoal grill or a pellet grill, then wait for it to cool down before you start cleaning it.

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