5 Secrets to Clean a BBQ Grill Without Breaking a Sweat

Welcome to FineFurnitureLosAngeles.com, your source for home furnishings. Today we’re going to show you how to clean a BBQ grill after your stomach has been filled with all sorts of goodness. If it’s time for a new grill, you can shop for propane, natural gas, and charcoal barbecue grills on our website. All order ship for free so you save big!

How to Clean a BBQ Grill

Photography by Chun Kit To (CC).

We’ll start off with the grates since they’re the most difficult pieces to clean. Never has anyone seen a room full of hands go up to be the lucky person to clean the grates after a BBQ. After this, you may just want to volunteer to show off your new found talent!

How to Clean a BBQ Grill the Easy Way

1. Teflon Grill Sheets

Teflon BBQ Grill Sheets

Set of 4 BBQ Nonstick Reusable Grilling Sheets available at QVC.com

One way to keep your BBQ grill clean is to not clean it at all. You can buy Teflon grill sheets online at QVC or at Home Depot here. They’re inexpensive at just $15-$20 and they will change the way you grill forever. All you do is place them on the grill/hot plate and grill on top of these. They are heat resistant so they won’t melt and they’re much easier to clean than a grate. You can usually just wash it off in the sink with dish soap and a kitchen scrub. Best of all, they’re reusable and they require no added work. You can even order Teflon grill sheets with a grill pattern to put grill marks in on your meats.

2. Clean You Grill With Coffee

Coffee Heart

Photography by Divya Thakur (CC)

I know what you’re thinking, “Mmmm, coffee.” We’ll that morning cup of joe will do just the trick for your grill. You can use an old pot of coffee (save the good stuff for yourself) to soak your grates. You want the coffee be hot so that the heat helps loosen up some of the dirt and grime. After about an hour, spend a few minutes doing a light scrub and then rinse away with warm water. Voila, you’re grates will be as good as new!

3. Vinegar & Baking Soda: The Natural Solution

How to Clean a BBQ Grill with Vinegar

Photography by Mike Mozart (CC)

Vinegar and it’s awe-inspiring cleaning power works on just about anything you can think of, even BBQ grills. Vinegar is a natural by-product of vegetables, fruits, and grains. It’s acidic base causes the breakdown of grease, bacteria, and other unwanted forms of grime. Coupling this with baking soda will make all the gunk literally slide right off. Mix vinegar with baking soda, add water and leave your grates to soak overnight. In the morning, you will be able to rinse all of the gunk right off.

4. The Ammonia Trash Bag Tip

Parsons Ammonia Cleaner

Parsons Ammonia Cleaner. Available from Twin Supply.com

Similar to the above solution, you can soak your grates with ammonia. Ammonia gives off fumes that work as a cleaning agent. All you have to do is pour 1 cup of ammonia into a thick garbage bag and place your grates inside. The key is to tie the end of your bag so it’s air right. If the fumes of the ammonia escape from the back, this method won’t be nearly as effective. You can place it outside and then water down your grates in the morning with a garden hose.

Safety Tip: Remember to use rubber gloves and safety glasses whenever working with ammonia. Avoid contact with your face and eyes and be sure to have the room ventilated so that you do not become affected by the fumes.

5. Steam Clean it

Pistol BBQ Grill Smoker

A giant Pistol BBQ Grill/Smoker built by some friends in Lubbock, Texas. “Heck, it’s Texas, what did you expect?” Photography by brykmantra (CC)

Grab an oven safe container and fill it up with water. Place it inside of your grill and close the lid and turn up the heat until the water begins to boil. Doing so will create steam on the inside of your grill, adding moisture and softening up everything that’s still stuck to your grates. Let the water boil for 3-5 minutes to get a good steam that will loosen up all of the debris.

Cleaning your grill when it’s warm means that any residue and large pieces of gunk are softer and easier to remove. Grab your non-metal grill brush and give it a quick scrub after the grates have cooled down a little bit. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to remove the left over bits when your grill is still hot.

CAUTION: Always follow Manufacturer’s instructions on grill cleaning. Cleaning a grill when hot is dangerous and can cause serious burns and injuries. Use caution when using this method!!

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Your BBQ Grill

Using Harsh Chemicals

We all know that certain cleaning solutions can work wonders and cut down the amount of time you have to spend scrubbing until your poor arms are numb. Although they make great cleaning solutions, you always want to be mindful of what your using around food preparation stations. Harsh chemicals can leave residue that will affect the smell and taste of your barbecue.

Getting Lazy

Clean your grates after use – every time! Residue and charred pieces can become very stubborn to remove especially after they’ve been burned into the grate. Cleaning your grates after every meal will help keep your clean up routine manageable.

Cleaning Stainless Steel BBQ Grills

Stainless Steel BBQ Grill


Stainless Steel BBQ Grills are touted for their durability and easy to clean finish. While they are very modern and low-maintenance, that doesn’t mean that you just leave your stainless steel grill in the backyard without any TLC.

Chemicals can remove the protective finish of stainless steel grills so make sure you choose cleaners that will not harm the finish like Simple-Green Stainless Steel One-Step Cleaner & Polish or Weiman’s Stainless Steel Spray. Good Housekeeping has a great list of reviews that you can check out. Alternatively, you can always go natural and use some luke-warm water and mild soap. Remember to use a non-abrasive scrub so you don’t put any scratches or swirls into your stainless steel finish.

About the Author
Megan Meyer is an interior design consultant focusing on crisp modern interiors with a tinge of retro styling. Follow her to get fool proof design tips for everyday homeowners.