We love the taste of deliciously grilled foods!

But, like all things in life, our outdoor grills need some tender, love, and care every once in a while to maintain their optimum performance. In this post, we would like to explain 1) how to clean your grill’s exterior, 2) how to clean the grates, and 3) how to remove grease spots, stains and build-up.

How to Clean Your Grill’s Exterior

The first step in cleaning the exterior of your outdoor grill is to make sure you have all the necessary tools ready and at hand. You’ll need: 1) Warm, soapy water, 2) Two cloths, one to dip into the water for washing and one to dry the outdoor grill afterward or a cleaning sponge and a roll of paper towels, whichever you prefer, and 3) a scrub brush. If you have a stainless steel grill, you may also want to grab some stainless steel cleaner before beginning.

After you have the necessary supplies, dip your cleaning sponge into the warm, soapy water and begin wiping the exterior of the grill clean. You will want to go over its roll dome (lid) or wind guards, sides, top, undershelf, legs, and wheels. If you can reach nooks and crannies as well, now would be a good time to wipe them clean.

The scrub brush should be used to scrape off any spots, stains, or grease build-up that has made its way to the exterior of the grill. The main area affected will most likely be its top and roll dome. While you’re cleaning the lid, make sure to get both its interior side as well.

You can use the additional cloth or paper towels to dry the grill as necessary. This will help prevent streaks and watermarks from appearing later.

Once the exterior has been dried, and if you have a stainless steel grill, go over it with a stainless steel cleaner or polish. While the grill is already clean, this additional step will make your grill shine and remove any missed fingerprints or watermarks.

How to Clean the Grates

Cleaning the grates is one of the hardest parts of maintaining a commercial grill. It can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these simple steps.

One way to clean the grates is simply with soapy water and a scrub brush. This way, however, requires time and energy. To save labor, you can 1) spray them with equal parts vinegar and water or 2) give them a coffee bath. One of these options is not necessarily better than the other. It all depends on how you would like to clean them.

If you do choose to spray them with equal parts vinegar and water, you will want to let them soak in the solution for about an hour. Set a reminder on your phone so you can come back to finish the job once the 60 minutes is up. Once you’re back to the grill, you should be able to take a cloth or scrub brush to easily remove any of the excess buildup.

If you choose to utilize a coffee bath, you must remove the grates and place them into a tub filled with hot coffee. Similarly, you must leave them for about an hour so the coffee has time to eat away at any stains and buildup. We recommend setting an alarm on your phone so once the hour is finished, you can return to the grill to complete the job.

Grill Grates

Use water and a rag to wipe away any remaining cooking debris and spray it clean to remove any coffee that might later affect the taste of your food.

These two methods allow you to complete other tasks while “cleaning” your grill. It also saves energy because it reduces the amount of energy that will be spent scrubbing the grates. The cleaning solutions are doing most of the work for you.

However, if you do choose to clean the grates with just soap, water, and a cleaning brush, we recommend you read Crown Verity’s “Are Wire Bristles The Proper Way to Clean Your Grill?” which goes into the various types of cleaning brushes and which ones may be best for you.

Once you have completed cleaning your grates, Crown Verity recommends coating them with vegetable oil and heating them to temperatures above 450 degrees for two hours to “cure” them and make them “ready for reuse” (“4 Must Do Things to Get Your Grill Ready for Spring”). If they are not oiled regularly and kept up in this way, cast iron grates are at risk of rusting.

This type of deep clean should be completed either at the beginning of the grilling season or at the end of it to ensure things are in prime condition for grilling.

How to Remove Grease Spots, Stains and Build-Up

Following the above-mentioned methods will provide you with a clean grill. However, there are some stubborn grease spots, stains, and build-up. But, not to fret, there are ways to remove them too so your grill can be like new.

For example, you can use a citrus-based degreaser. Simply spray the citrus on the problem spots and scrub it clean. The citrus should help remove the spots more easily.

Final Thoughts

While cleaning your grill, check air vents, tubes, and hoses as well to make sure they are still working properly and that there aren’t any leaks or clogs. Check underneath your grill as well to make sure there aren’t any unwelcome animals building hives or nests below your grill.

For more information on outdoor grills and their unique features, read our post “Outdoor Grill Buying Guide.”

If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Our sales team is always ready to help.


Call: 888.778.4815

Email: sales@deqonline.com