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Basic BBQ Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Your grill is the place where flavors are born, so delicious recipes can be created. But, in order to keep searing up your favorite foods all year long, it’s important to care for your grill or BBQ accordingly. That means keeping up with annual grill maintenance, and not skipping over grill cleaning essentials.

Why cleaning might seem like a chore, it doesn’t have to be! We have all the basic BBQ cleaning tips you need to get your grill pristine in no time, so you can get back to grilling before you know it. So put on your gloves, grab a brush, and together, we’ll get your grill looking brand new again.



Why Should You Clean Your Grill Regularly?

Maybe you’re thinking it’s okay to skip out on grill cleaning, but this is one step that’s too important to overlook. Every time you grill, carbon deposits are spread throughout your grill’s surface, leaving their trace on your grill hood, grates, and even your firebox. These carbon deposits can hold onto grease and grime, which aren’t very appealing to look at (or eat) and can increase the risk of a grill fire.

Additionally, as these carbon deposits build up on your grill, they can cause it to heat unevenly. If the temperature isn’t just right, your food won’t cook properly, which means your secret summer rib recipe won’t turn out the way it should.

While grill cleaning can be time-consuming sometimes, in the long run, it’s important to take care of your investment. Your grill will run like new for years to come, so long as it’s well cared for.


Grill Cleaning Tools

Before you get started cleaning, it’s important to have the right tools and cleaning supplies ready to go. Without the proper tools, you’ll spend hours scraping away small portions of food, when you could have spent just 30 minutes cleaning the inside of your grill. Luckily, you don’t need many tools to get the job done.

In order to properly clean your grill, you only need these six essential items:

  • BBQ Cleaner, or Your Own DIY Cleaner
    • We offer a range of easy to use grill cleaners at all our stores that cut through tough grease with ease. However, if you run out, it’s easy to make your own at home grill cleaner. Just take warm soapy water, dawn dish soap, and a little baking soda and vinegar. It will cut through dirt in no time.

  • A Long Handled Wire Brush
    • Long-handled grill brushes are perfect for cleaning off your grill grates and getting rid of old cooking build-up. It’s also a good idea to use your long-handled brush in between cookouts, not just for deep cleans, so you won’t have old flavors interfering with your latest dish.  

  • Stainless Steel Cleaner
    • Most grill models, but particularly gas grills, are made with stainless steel. Having a cleaner handy will keep the exterior surface looking good as new.

  • Rubber Gloves
    • Before you clean, it’s important to protect your hands. Carbon particles aren’t just messy - they can leave streaks and stains all over your hands. Plus, rubber gloves are great for clearing out old coals and wood pellets that can be found in the bottom of wood pellet and charcoal grills.

  • Scouring Sponges
    • These sponges are essential when it’s time to clean the grates. All the built-up food and particles will wipe off with ease with the right sponges.

  • Grill Vacuum
    • A vacuum is great for cleaning old food and build up that rests in the bottom of your grill. Leaving it behind just means it’s going to impact how well your grill heats up.



How to Clean and Maintain Your Grill

It’s important to deep clean your grill at the start and end of every grilling season. This way, no germs, food build-up, or storage dirt remain on your grill.

Between meals, it’s a good idea to scrape off your grill, so your food can preserve its own flavor every time. However, your grill should be properly cleaned once a month, so you’ll be able to protect your investment for years to come.

To properly clean your grill, follow these essential cleaning and maintenance tips:

  • Burn your grill for 15 minutes on high, to remove old debris
  • Once it’s cooled, use your cleaner and brush to scrape the carbon deposits from your grill
  • Disconnect your natural gas or propane
  • Clear out old charcoal and wood pellets from the bottom of your grill
  • Soak your grill grates, and use this time to wipe down buttons, knobs, and side burners
  • Remove warming trays and racks, and clean them thoroughly
  • If you have a firebox, open it and let old remnants and grease clear out
  • Scrape and then use your vacuum to remove old food in the bottom of your grill
  • Scrape off your grill grates, once they’ve soaked
  • Use clean water to wipe down the outside of your grill, and once dried, use stainless steel cleaner accordingly
  • Place everything back, and reconnect your propane or natural gas
  • Burn for another 15 minutes, so your grill dries out before it’s next use

The proper grill maintenance might take awhile, but setting aside time in your day to clean your grill from top to bottom ensures it will be cooking, searing, and smoking up food for years to come.

Before you can clean your grill, it’s important to find a grill model compatible with your backyard. If you’re due for a grill upgrade, or want to explore more grilling options, check out our Smoking Hot Grill Buying Tips for more help, and explore our variety of grills and outdoor kitchens. When you’re ready to get grilling, stop by your local Casual Furniture World store, to chat with one of our grill experts.