grill brush cleaning

How to Clean a Barbecue Grill Brush

Cleaning a Grill Brush – 3 Simple Steps

It only makes sense that when you want to clean your grill, you need to start with a clean grill brush.  Just scrubbing a grill grate with a dirty brush doesn’t accomplish much except maybe to loosen a few bits of food residue.

Good grill brushes are made with sturdy, straight, brass or wire bristles that are securely affixed to the brush holder.  Over time, the bristles can become worn down, get bent and start to loosen.  This is true of any model:  wire brush, stainless brush or nylon brush.

Keeping your grill brush clean will help you  notice when your brush starts to deteriorate, signaling that it’s time to get a new one for your bbq grill.

A clean grill brush is not only more sanitary, but will perform to its utmost capacity in terms of efficiency.  In other words, a clean grill brush will work better.

Three brief easy steps to clean your grill brush:

1. Get a pan of warm water and dissolve Dawn dish soap to make a lot of soapy water.

2. Soak the dirty brush for 30 minutes.  The grease cutters in the Dawn will loosen the grease and dirt from the bristles.

3. Take a metal dinner fork and comb the bristles from their bases to their tips. This is easier done with the fork and bristles submerged in the warm water. This will loosen any stuck particles that get buried in the bristles.

Rinse the brush with warm water and dry thoroughly to prevent rust.  Store the brush with the bristles facing up so they do not become bent.

That’s it.  Very easy. No buckets, no gloves, and you don’t have to go out and buy a new brush to clean your old brush.

An Ounce of Prevention – Keeping Your Brush Clean

It’s the start of the grilling season. You’re excited to fire up your grill.  When you are done grilling, the tendency is to want to serve your piping hot grilled foods immediately and forget all about the mess you’ve left at the grill.

However, if you close the lid on gas grills and let the grill residue burn off for 20 minutes or more, your clean up routine will be shortened considerably. On charcoal grills, just keep the cover on while you eat.

Enjoy your meal and then return to the grill and turn it off or let it cool down a bit.  This way your grill brush will not have as much to scrub off each grill grate as before.  The less work the brush has to do, the longer the brush will last.

With heavily baked on bbq sauce or marinades, the tendency is to scrub the grill so hard that the bristles bend under the weight of your effort.  Warm grates will keep the food particles soft so that you don’t have to destroy your grill brush to remove them to get the grill clean.

If you use chemical grill cleaners, you don’t want those chemicals transferring to your grill brush and taking up residence there.  Cleaning your wire brush will make sure that it doesn’t harbor harmful substances that could cause illness or taint the taste of food.

Grill Brush Care Tips and Instructions

Your brush’s life will be extended if you clean it regularly. A few light maintenance tasks will be all it takes to keep the brush, the brush’s head and the handle in good working order.

  • To limit exposure to severe temperatures and moisture, keep your brush indoors between uses.
  • When scrubbing off tough food residue, don’t scrape too hard. Instead, try scraping with a scraper. (Many brushes feature a built-in scraping edge.)
  • When cleaning warm grates with metal brushes, the debris will be simpler to remove and you will not have to press as hard.
  • To avoid melting, only use nylon bristles on a cold grate.
  • Before each use, check for damage.
  • Clean your brush on a regular basis.

These few tips will help your brush last longer and do a better job for you.  And despite their relatively low cost, you want to get your money’s worth out of any of your grill accessories.

When Is it Time To Get a New BBQ Grill Brush?

Nothing lasts indefinitely, especially anything we use on a regular basis. Because your brush is used before and after every grill session to keep your grill clean, it is particularly susceptible to wear.

Examine your brush carefully. It’s time to get a new one if the head or handle are cracked. It’s not worth the danger of damage from a broken, jagged edge or fragments of plastic getting into the electric grills’ or gas grills’ mechanicals or burner tubes because the cost of a new one is so inexpensive.

Wooden handle brushes are comfortable to grip, but they can also become too worn or rotted to use safely.  Splinters are not uncommon on wooden handle brushes that have dried.  That’s one reason why many people prefer stainless steel brush handles over wood or plastic.

Bristles that are mangled and bent, or wire coils on bristle-free brushes, are also telltale clues that your grill brush has seen better days. This type of damage will prevent it from cleaning adequately, which could be harmful to your grates.

Most importantly, if you use a bbq brush with metal bristles, inspect it before each use for loose bristles. Lightly tug a few bristles. A bristle that detaches and clings to the grate can get into your meal and ultimately into someone’s digestive system. This is a really dangerous situation. Throw away the entire brush at the first hint of a loose bristle.

By the way, keep a watch out for rust. A rusty grill brush indicates that the metal is losing its integrity and is likely to break.  Even small pieces of metal bristles can lead to digestive complications.