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How To Deep Clean A Grill And Conquer The Ick

Are you cleaning your grill after you use it each and every time? We should clean it just like we clean our pans. If I am honest though, I don’t always do it right away. Instead, I tend to do it before I grill the next time. I intend to break this bad habit this grilling season. So let’s discuss how to clean a grill. 

There are two phases to keeping a grill clean. We are going to cover both phases in this article for a gas grill and a charcoal grill.

Phase 1 is to do a basic initial cleaning after each use.

Phase 2 is to do a seasonal deep cleaning.

When deciding on the type of scrubber to use on your grill and grill grate, it is important to consider what type of grate that you have. If your grill and/or grate is painted, nonstick or aluminum, you will want to use dishwashing liquid and a non-scratch scrubber. If your grill and grill grate is not painted or protected coated metal you can use a rougher bristle scrub brush. 

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If we follow the steps listed below, we could keep our grills in much better shape. It turns out that it really doesn’t take much work to keep a grill clean if we do it regularly.

  1. After removing food, cover grill and leave running for 15 minutes. This process will burn away excess food bits, grease, and grime.
  2. Turn grill off and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While grill is warm, clean grates using a grill brush. This will prepare your grill for the next cooking session — food will be less likely to stick next time.

Clean charcoal grill after each use

Yes, a charcoal grill does need to be cleaned after each use. If you don’t clean the grill grate, food will stick next time. Even worse, if you don’t scoop out the ash, the grill will produce excess smoke and bad flavors from old food will seep into your food.

  1. After removing food, set a timer for 1 hour.
  2. When time goes off use a brush and scrub the grate to remove excess food and grime.
  3. The next day or after coals have completely cooled, scoop the coals, ash, and excess food particles into a black trash bag.

Deep clean a charcoal grill


Oven cleaner
• Black trash bag
Scrub brush
• Dishwasher liquid
• Cooking oil
• Water hose
• Apron
• Rubber gloves

How to clean charcoal grill grate

1. Remove the grate from the grill.
2. Coat the grate with the oven cleaner.
3. Place the grate in a large black trash bag and tie shut.
4. Leave grate in trash bag overnight.
5. Remove grate from the trash bag.
6. Scrub grate with a no-scratch scrubber or grill brush.
7. Rinse the grate thoroughly.
8. Allow grate to air dry completely before placing it back on the grill.
9. Return the grate to the grill.
10. Rub the grate with a light coat of cooking oil.

How to clean charcoal grill base

1. Scoop and remove any remaining ash and food particles inside of grill into a heavy black trash bag. 
2. Clean the inside and outside of the charcoal grill with soapy water and a scrub brush or scouring pad.  
3. Rinse the inside and outside of the grill thoroughly. 
4. Allow the grill to air dry completely. 

How to clean a gas grill

Before you start the deep cleaning process of a gas grill, make sure that the gas is turned off. After you turn off the gas at the source, turn on the grill and allow all gas to escape the grill. This is a critical safety measure for deep cleaning a gas grill.

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Oven cleaner
• Black trash bag
Scrub brush
• Dishwasher liquid
• Cooking oil
• Water hose
• Apron
• Rubber gloves


1. Confirm gas is disconnected and expelled from the grill.
2. Remove and place grates and cover burners from the grill.
3. Place grates and burners in a black trash bag.
4. Pour a cup of ammonia in the bag and leave the bag in the sun for 24 hours.
5. Remove grate and burners from trash bag and proceed to hose them off.
6. Scrub the grill and grate as needed to remove any additional buildup.
7. Do a final rinse.
8. Allow parts to air dry.
9. Use a scouring pad or brush to remove any debris from the grill lid.
10. Use a toothpick to clean any small and difficult to get to areas around the grill burners.
11. Remove the drip pan from the grill.
12. Use a scraper to remove any drippings from the drip pan.
13. Return drip pan to grill.
14. Create a solution of 1-gallon hot water, 1 tsp. dishwasher soap, and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle.
15. Spray the grill with the mixture. Use a scouring pad and the solution to wipe down and remove the grease and grime from the inside and outside of the grill.
16. Use damp shop towels to wipe down and remove the residue.
17. Confirm that all burner holes are clean and obstruction free.
18. After everything is fully dry, reassemble by replacing burner covers and grill grates.

Doing a season deep clean of a grill takes time and effort but it is worth it. This is how you keep your grill in good condition and it will last you much longer.

P.S. Check out this BBQ sauce recipe

Mandy Buffington

Friday 3rd of July 2020

There are better ways to clean. Most dishwashing soap have chemicals that are harmful to you and your family. Use Norwex