How to Properly Deep Clean Your BBQ Grill

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How to Properly Deep Clean Your BBQ Grill

Grilling season seems to come and go so quickly every year, but once winter comes the cover has to go back over the grill until next year. Before you cover up the grill for the year though, take some time to deep clean it so that it’s ready to use the minute the weather gets warm again. Here’s how to keep your grill clean and ready to use for summer.

Why Should You Deep Clean the Grill?

Each time you use your grill, there is a layer of carbon deposited around the grates and hood. This carbon buildup, if left untouched, allows food debris to stick more easily and also creates a surface that can create and retain harmful bacteria. Grease and sticky sauces and rubs can also allow bacteria to grow and be passed onto the next round of food. This grease and grime buildup can also cause the grill’s burners to fail and heat food unevenly. All this being said, you probably see why cleaning the grill between uses is pretty important.

Getting Started

Before you get started on the deep cleaning process, make sure you have all the cleaning tools that you’ll need. You’ll want to have:

  • A long-handled wire brush
  • A wired bottle brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • A bucket of hot water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Vinegar  and baking soda
  • Stainless steel spray or wipes (optional)

While you gather your supplies, go ahead and turn on your grill and allow it to heat to its highest temperature. Make sure the hood is closed and then allow the grill to burn for around half an hour to burn off any leftover food and grease. Now let’s get started.

Follow the Steps

Cleaning outdoor grill

  • Use the long-handled wire brush to scrub the hot grates with warm soapy water to remove the remaining carbon and grease buildup
  • Turn off the gas and disconnect the propane tank from the grill -OR- dump the used charcoal into a heat-resistant container and scrape the basin free of any remaining dust and debris
  • Once the grill has fully cooled, remove the grates and any flavorizing bars and place them completely in a tub of warm and soapy water to soak for half an hour.
  • Remove the knobs, trays, racks, and anything else that can be removed easily from the interior of the grill so that it can be cleaned more easily.
  • Once everything has been removed and set aside to be cleaned separately, flush the interior of the grill with warm soapy water and scrape any remaining debris. Place a bucket under the grill to catch the debris and water.
  • Use a shop vac to vacuum the interior of the grill and remove any debris that has been left over. Follow this by rinsing the interior again with your hose.
  • Remove the grates from the soaking tub and scrub them thoroughly with the wire brush.
  • Make a thick paste from the vinegar and baking soda and spread the paste around the grates. Leave this for just a minute and then scrub thoroughly with the wire brush.
  • Rinse the paste from the grates and dry them completely as wet cast iron can rust easily.
  • Clean and rinse the other parts you removed from the interior of the grill, dry them, and then set them aside.
  • Coat the grates with cooking oil (corn, canola, peanut, soy, or coconut) to protect them.
  • Inspect the burners and flame holes for corrosion or blockages, and use the wire bottle brush to clean the inside and around the holes.
  • Using fresh warm water and dish soap, wipe down and scrub the exterior of the grill with a regular kitchen sponge.
  • Thoroughly dry the exterior with a microfiber cloth and replace all removed pieces from the interior of the grill.
  • Reconnect the propane tank -OR- add fresh charcoal briquettes and allow the grill to heat for about 15 minutes to burn off any remaining cleaning waste.
  • Season the grates to your preference and turn the grill off.

Final Reminders

Your grill is a food preparation device, so keep that in mind as you clean it. Remember not to use any chemicals like bleach when cleaning your grill as this will affect the taste of the food and damage the grill itself. Consider also investing in a grill cover if you don’t already have one. Grill covers protect your grill from the elements as well as ensure that the interior remains clean during the off-season. We recommend deep cleaning your grill twice a year, before and after the peak grilling seasons. Be sure to scrape and burn off any residue between grilling sessions as well so that each meal tastes even better.

Happy couple enjoying making barbecue for their family

Your grill is now completely clean and ready for summer BBQ parties. For more tips and tricks on keeping your home tidy all year long, as well as a list of our cleaning services, check out our website, You’ll find extra DIY cleaning resources and be able to contact us to find out how we can help you get your home looking and feeling its best.