The Best Method of Cleaning and Maintaining Your Grill

With grilling season around the corner, meaning summer cookouts, burgers, and barbecues, cleaning your grill thoroughly is time.

Although cleaning your grill should be done after every time you use it, we sometimes need to catch up on that, and thus, a deep and thorough clean may be necessary.

What Causes Your Grill to Get Dirty

The cooking process, which makes those picture-perfect flavorful char marks on your foods, also produces carbon deposits on basically every interior surface of your grill. Besides this, the grates, flavoring bars, tubes on your gas grillers, and the firebox can become dirty and grimy.

These carbon deposits are well-known breeding grounds for bacteria. Carbon build-up can cause your grill to heat unevenly and not operate properly, causing temperature and tube failure.

Dirt build-up is extremely unhealthy and will also damage your grill in the long run.

A few factors that cause build-up in your grill are;

  • Oil and Grease – Oils, grease, and juices from the foods you cook on your grill can become sticky and grimy and build up in your grill if not cleaned regularly and properly, which can be very unhygienic and unhealthy.
  • Carbon – carbons build up and damage your grill in the long run, one of the most common causes of dirt and build-up in your grill.
  • Dust – dust and rain droplets or other environmental elements can cause your grill to become dirty.
  • Coal and Fuel – Depending on what you use, such as charcoal, propane, or wood, these elements leave a harmful residue that can become toxic in time.

Why Cleaning Your Grill Regularly is Important

There are two major reasons for cleaning your grill thoroughly, regularly, and lightly after every grill or use. This is mainly for HYGIENE and to prevent DAMAGE to your grill.

Brushing your grill down after every use and doing a thorough clean around every three months, depending on how regularly you use your grill, is vital. The Build-up of grease, carbon, dust, and other particles, such as fats and juices from foods, can become a very unhealthy breeding ground for germs and bacteria, damaging your grill and making it less effective and useful.

Gunk and build-up also tend to give bad odors and flavors to your food, which is unwanted and unhealthy at most.

How to Clean Your Grill Properly and Safely

Here are the best steps to clean your Grill properly and safely without damaging any fragile parts or surfaces;

First Use

When using your Grill for the first time, wiping it down with a wet microfiber cloth or sponge is essential. Using the proper Grill cleaner for your grill brand and model will apply a protective coat, making the grill so much easier to clean in the future and prolonging its life.

You will also need to ash off the Burners, Flavoriser bars, and the Grill and turn them up to high heat to burn off all excess germs and dirt and prevent future build-up, making cleaning much easier.

Everyday Cleaning

You’ll need to clean your grill after every use. Brush off the cooking grate while it is still hot, as it will be much harder and take much longer when closed. Throw away the excess burnt coal or wood and clean the area by brushing it off lightly. Clean the grill exterior with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth, then rinse and pat dry.

The Grill Brush

If you own a Grill, then a proper grill brush is an absolute must-have. You will need a brush with stainless steel or brass bristles unless you have a cast iron grate. Then, a soft sponge needs to be used. Make sure to replace your Grill brush at least once a year or when the bristles become worn out and damaged. Make sure to mop up all loose brush bristles after cleaning and before cooking on your grill again, as you do not want to find these in your food.

The Grate

If you grease your grate with cooking or olive oil before using it, the food is less likely to get stuck to your grill.

You should never use a hard steel brush for cleaning with cast-iron grates, but rather a soft sponge and a cast-iron grate must be well oiled after use and cleaning to prevent rusting.
You can clean a normal grate with a steel or brass brush, unlike the Cast iron Grate.

Interior and Burners

You will need to clean the burners with a Gas grill, and the lower parts and interior need cleaning with other fuelled grills. You will regularly need to scrape all the dirt and remains from the bottom of your grill to prevent flare-ups. You can just run your grill brush over your burners to prevent the jets from clogging after every use. During your bi-annual thorough cleaning, you can remove the burners, wash them properly, wipe them dry with a towel, and place them back in the grill.


You will notice that some flakes will appear on the inside of the lid of your grill after repeated use of your grill, which can flake and fall off. Most Weber grills and Porcelain-enabled grills are ten to flake. This is not painted, but charred fat deposits on your grill lid, which you can easily scrub off with hot water, sulfone, and elbow grease.

Exterior Maintenance

Using the proper grill cleaner on the exterior of your grill will dissolve fat and grime and add a protective layer, making it easier to keep clean. Do this by spraying on your grill cleaner and using a sponge to scrub, then wipe with a wet cloth and dry off your grill. Use a dry cloth to polish the exterior of your grill afterward.

The Flavorizer Bars

The Falvorizer bars on your gas grill must be thoroughly cleaned twice a year to function correctly. Turn all your burners up to full power for around ten minutes and allow them to cool. Remove the flavored bars and brush them down with your grill brush; you can immerse them in warm, soapy water and sponge-clean them. Make sure to dry them thoroughly and place them back on the grill.

Stainless Steel Parts

Stainless steel lids, doors, or even the grate and surfaces must ideally be cleaned with a product.

The Gas Hose

If you have a gas grill, you must inspect the gas hose regularly for damages or leaks, as these can be quite dangerous. Look for cracks on the hose, and replace any damaged parts immediately, even if you find the smallest surface cracks. Apply soapy water to your hose and check if bubbles appear; these will indicate holes or cracks in the hose.

Following these simple steps will maintain and clean your grill effectively. Avoid stainless steel tools when cleaning the inside or exterior of your grill, as most grills are porcelain enameled and may become damaged using a steel brush.
Never use steel tools on the inside or exterior of the grill. Most Weber grills are porcelain-enameled, and steel tools may damage the coating.

To Conclude

You can easily clean your grill and maintain its integrity from these steps for many years. Always remember that your grill’s hygiene affects the flavor of your food, your health, and the longevity of your grill.

About the Author

John Max

John Max is a registered dietitian and certified strength and conditioning specialist based out of Manhattan, NY. He has worked with people of all age groups. In addition, John also has years of practical food knowledge, and hands-on cooking led John to create this website and contribute his knowledge on healthy grilling techniques. John also regularly tests and analyzes the benefits and features of as many grills as possible. Without a surprise, many of our readers love his reviews and testing style for how thorough and straightforward they are.