The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

How to Clean a Grill


Whether your grill is the centerpiece of an outdoor kitchen or a small hibachi, a clean grill just works better. With a few tools and a little work, you’ll be ready to barbeque again. It’s always helpful to check the owner's manual for specific instructions on cleaning your grill. 

After Each Use
The key to a clean grill is to be diligent about cleaning it immediately after each use, rather than waiting until you’re ready to start cooking. Besides, a warm grill is far easier to clean than a cold one. So, the next time you take the steaks off the grill, let any cooked-food residue burn away before turning it off. This is a simple thing to do while the meat "rests." Then turn off the grill and let it cool until slightly warm, then use a small wire brush to clean any food particles that remain on the cooking grates. If there is still gunk on the grates and they are removable and your sink is large enough, soak them in warm water with soap. After they've soaked for a while, remove them from the water and brush clean with a wire brush. Let them air-dry and return them to the grill.

Deep Cleaning
Most people love the smell of barbecue. But caked-on grizzle? Not so much. Yet, too many people seem to forget this important aspect of grilling and food safety. If the grill hasn’t been cleaned in a while, start with the grates. If they are removable, take them out and soak them in warm water and dish soap. Brush clean with a wire brush, and then reassemble the grill and let it air-dry. If other parts require cleaning, check the manual and follow directions.

Sharing the Grill
When it’s in your backyard or deck, it can be pretty easy to keep the grill clean. But if you’re grilling for a picnic or camping trip, the grate might not be in the best shape. Bring a small wire brush so if it looks less than appetizing you can to remove as much of the grilling debris as possible. Then fire up the grill and let the remaining residue burn off before cooking your food.

Grill Cleaning for Food Safety
Cleaning for grilling is more than just the grate! Clean surfaces, like the side table, before unpacking food, using disinfectant cleaning wipes or a spray cleaner and paper towels. Prevent cross-contamination by using different platters and utensils for raw and cooked food. After all that cleaning, don’t forget to wash your wire brush!