Grill Cleaning Techniques (And Why You Need to Do It)

Grill Cleaning Techniques

There are a lot of ways to prepare food outdoors and one of the most common ways to do it is by using a grill. As a result of technological innovations, there are many different kinds of grills available in the market today. From something as simple as a portable charcoal grill to something bigger that can easily cook for a huge group of people, there is a grill out there for every kind of griller. 

After purchasing your grill, you should conduct regular cleaning to maintain the quality of your equipment. Doing so will help you avoid the difficult removal of stains, and expand the life of the grill. If you’re looking for information on how to clean your grill, you’re at the right place. Continue reading to learn about our techniques on how we keep our grills clean and spotless.


What are the best techniques to clean a grill?

To clean your grill, you need to remove the upper layer to give you easy access to the internal parts. You can use onion, nylon scrubs, vinegar, aluminum foil, and oil for a safe cleaning process. It is advisable to clean your grates after every use to avoid further build-ups of grease.

In this article, we will be talking about the easiest and safest ways to clean a grill. There are discussions we tackle in which we will be providing tips on what to avoid, and what to use to complete the cleaning process. Now, let’s begin.


Away from your kitchen and all your handy kitchen tools and appliances, cooking while you’re camping is definitely a challenge. One of the best ways to make this task easier is by using a portable camping grill. There are a lot of grills out there to choose from and we listed and reviewed our top recommendations in our article on the best portable camping grills


What is the easiest way to clean a grill?

The first thing to do to clean the grill is to remove the lid and grates, to allow you easy access to the inside. Fully clean the internal area by scraping the burnt materials sticking. Always clean the burner tubes, remove the clogged particles, and conduct regular cleaning.

From our experience, the cleaning procedure of a grill requires intense attention and implementation. You can’t just put any cleaning substances, because it can injure the equipment entirely. Here are the steps to follow to clean a grill:

Step 1: Open and remove the grates

You can’t clean the internal areas of the grill if you don’t open the lid and detach the grates. There are grills that contain some extra parts behind the grating layer, so you need to unlatch it also.

After that, you can take off remaining food fragments and grease from when you cooked. Remember to let your grill cool down before conducting the cleaning process. You don’t want to burn your skin by cleaning it while it’s still hot.

Step 2: Proceed to fully clean the inner vicinity

You can use a grill scraper to remove the black materials that resulted when grilling. If you don’t have this gear, you can use a wooden spatula or any flat equipment instead.

There are different types of grillers, but charcoal and pellet grills possess ash leaks or containers to collect the ashes. For gas grills, you can spray vinegar, then brush or rub a half onion onto the grates.

Step 3: Don’t forget the burner tubes

Burner tubes can be found in gas grillers. It is the route where the fire is carried upon. They tend to get blocked by some particles after the grilling process, which can affect the effectiveness of their heating ability. In order to clean burner tubes, you can brush them sideways with a steel brush. Be cautious though, as you may shove the particles inside the tube.

Step 4: Conduct regular cleaning

You can extend the life of your equipment by maintaining cleanliness at all time. It will prevent the waste material or particles to block and cause hindrance to the performance of the grill. When possible, clean and wash it after use.


What is the safest way to clean a grill?

Apart from using steel materials, you can use onion, nylon scrubs, vinegar, aluminum foil, and oil to apply safe cleaning on a grill. Steel brushes may sometimes damage the surfaces. By using these hacks, you can either prevent negative consequences from happening, or clean it faster than usual.

Note that not all parts of the griller are capable to endure the scraping process. It can harm the coatings, or any materials that the manufacturer placed. Be wary, and observe safe cleaning hacks. You can use the following methods and materials:

  • Onion

    As we mentioned above, onion can remove the stains on your grill. Rub this after you cook, while the griller is still at a high temperature. Some people have discovered this on easy hack videos, but we can attest that this method is really effective as it carries acids.

  • Nylon scrub pad

    If you don’t want to use steel brushes, then this is the next best option. Not only is it safe, but it can speed up the cleaning process. Steel brushes can possibly damage the surface of the grill.

  • Vinegar

    Since it contains acid, you can use vinegar to clean the grill. Place it on a spray with ammonia and baking soda. With such, you will easily remove the stains and grease sticking to the grill.

  • Aluminum foil

    If you don’t have or don’t want to use a grill scraper, you can use aluminum foil for safe cleaning. Use materials that can hold the foil, and scrub it onto the desired area. It can also save you from using other cleaning materials, as these foils are sometimes used when you cook.

  • Oil

    This technique is to prevent the hard stains to form before you grill. By putting oil first, it will impede the sticking effects of meat if you are grilling it. Just think about cooking in a pan; we preheat oil first to avoid the food from sticking in the pan. This also applies to grill grates.


Charcoal grills are one of the most common camping grills that you’ll be able to find in the market today. We personally use this kind of grill a lot when we’re out camping. If you’re interested in bringing a charcoal grill to your next camping trip, we have a few tips and tricks on how to effectively use charcoals


How often should you clean your grill grates?

The best answer to how often you should clean your grill grates is: after you use it. Cleaning regularly can maintain the performance and features of the equipment. So after your grilling process, clean it to remove the stains and further build-up.

There are a lot of tips that may require or suggest that you can clean your grates after weeks or months, depending on the frequency of your use. But, from our perspective, it is advisable to conduct a thorough cleaning every time you use it. There are stains that are hard to remove if you let them stay for a long time.

Grease and any burnt particles sticking onto the grates can result in harmful effects on your health if you leave them. Not only will it bring negative results personally, but it can also damage the features of your grates or grill. Always think of these factors, so that it will help you realize that it is harmful in many ways.

There are numerous types of grillers, and some of these require deep maintenance. Meaning that you should remove some parts and screws in order to fully clean the equipment. In this situation, you can have a professional come, or contact your manufacturer about the best way to clean it.

We suggest you avoid opening the parts of your grill if you are unsure of the process. It can damage and impair the gear, and it may completely not work after you did it. If you want to conduct extensive cleaning, you can do it with an expert every six months.


Why it’s bad not to clean your grill

The most important reason why you should clean your grill is because of sanitary purposes. Whether you’re always using it or not, cleaning your grill after using it ensures that you’ll have a safe environment, where you can cook your food and decrease any risk of bacteria clinging onto it.

Here are three main reasons why it’s bad not to clean your grill:

  1. Grease stains

    Although you’re cooking under fire, not all greases can be burnt off, especially if there are already thick ones stuck on it. Greases will not only degrade your grate material faster, but they can also cause an overflow of grease, can be a fire hazard, or spill down to your grill, thus causing more damage to the product.

  1. Bacteria

    We all know that bacteria comes from our regular items that are left unchecked. Since the burners are usually left outside, bacteria build-up is not uncommon in this area. Imagine not cleaning your grill and having to cook on it to serve your family… Yikes!

  1. Lesser maintenance needs

    Doing general cleaning right before your trip can be a difficult task. But if you clean your grill regularly, this will be one of the items that you don’t have to clean thoroughly, meaning you will have more time for what matters the most — your camping gears.



Just like any other equipment, you need to take good care of your grill if you want it to remain functional and last for many years. It is recommended to properly clean your grill regularly, preferably after each use. However, be careful of the methods and substances you are going to use on the equipment, as it can damage some parts accidentally.

To clean your grill, simply follow the cleaning techniques that we discussed in this article. But before you try our methods, we suggest you contact the manufacturer of your grill first for specific cleaning instructions, because there are some types of grills that are not capable of enduring the methods that can be used for other grills. So, it is better to be sure, in order to extend and sustain the life of your grill.

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