bbq cleaning supplies dishwashing liquid grill brush soft cloths

What Do You Use to Clean a Barbecue Grill?

No matter what type of barbecue grill you have, they get dirty and grimey and will become unsanitary if not cleaned regularly.

To clean most barbecue grills you will need these supplies:

Dish soap
Long handled brush (wire for cast iron, nylon for stainless and ceramic grates)
Soft cloths or rags

There are also commercial grill cleaners that you can buy for cleaning your grill, but using supplies you have around the house can be just as effective and much less expensive to deep clean a grill.

After you have finished grilling food, keep the bbq grill dialed up to high for 15 minutes and close the lid on your gas grills. This action burns off food residue and cleans your bbq grill without any effort on your part. For a charcoal grill, you want to keep the heat in the grill so cover the grill with the lid.

While the grill grates are still hot, dip the long handled brush in water and begin to rub off the food particles and stuckon food that are left on the grill grates.

Steam clean – The water will produce steam when it comes in contact with the hot grates and the steam will help dislodge any baked on food residue.

Continue brushing all cooking grates until you have steamed off all the particles you can.

When the grates are cool, make a soapy water solution with the dish soap (we use Dawn) and water. Brush the grill grates with the warm soapy water to remove any remaining grease and dirt.

With charcoal and pellet grills, a cool grill is the time to empty all the ash that has accumulated at the bottom.

Tips for cleaning a pellet grill

Before cleaning a pellet barbecue, make sure the pellet smoker has totally cooled.

  • Remove the grill grates from the grill and soak them in a pail of hot, soapy water.
  • Clear the ash and debris from the grill’s inside with a wet-dry vac.
  • Clean the drip pan with a scrub brush or abrasive sponge.
  • Clean the inside of the chimney with a scrub brush after removing the cap.
  • Using a moist soft rag, wipe off all surfaces. Thoroughly dry.

Tips for charcoal grill cleaning

Regular maintenance, in addition to cleaning away old charcoal, will preserve your charcoal barbecue in top shape. Follow these bbq cleaning instructions at the start and conclusion of each grilling season, and as needed.

Using soap and water, clean the outside of the lid and bowl. Grill cleaner can also be used. To avoid rust, dry with a soft cloth. Avoid using scouring pads or a wire brush as these tend to mar the surface.
A grill cover will keep the barbecue safe.
A bristle brush should be replaced once a year.

Use the soapy water solution to clean off the inside hood, bottom, sides, exterior surface and other parts of the grill that have become splattered.  Rinse and dry these parts and make sure they are thoroughly dry to avoid rust and water spotting.  This is especially important for a stainless steel exterior surface which water spots easily.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Keeping up with this easy and quick regimen after every grill session will ensure that your grill will stay clean and sanitary for your next grilling session.

No matter what material your grill is made of, ceramic, aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron, the soapy water solution will be a go to solution for keeping the outside and housing clean as well.    Its grease cutting abilities are what make it especially helpful when cleaning the inside or outside of a grill.  And, if it’s safe for use on animals, it will be safe for you to use with any type of grill.  Just remember that after using any soapy solution or cleaner, rinse the surfaces thoroughly so you don’t get soapy aftertaste the next time you grill.