How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates

How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates

There is little doubt that a stainless steel grill is a quality BBQ cookware. They allure everyone who loves BBQ. These grills last longer with minimal care. They keep the heat more effectively when compared to other cookware and won’t corrode or rust.  They don’t have any coating that peels or chips and leaches its flavor. The only thing you need to do for the last longer is maintaining them. How do you achieve that- how to clean stainless steel grill grates?

Thanks to modern technology and modern advances, maintaining your stainless steel is easier than ever. But after a few BBQ sessions, your stainless still grill will not look and new and polished as it once was. They might stain or discolor at any given time. With that in mind, you need to know how to clean it and the right cleaners to use. Here we have different methods of cleaning grill grates and the tools you need.

Reason for cleaning the grill grates

One might be wondering why you need to learn how to clean stainless steel grill grates. Cooking grates are not exempted from general grill cleaning rules. You must clean them at least after every use. This way you will be able to:

  • Prevent food from sticking and make cooking much easier.
  • Enjoy a rust-free cooking surface
  • Avoid disrupting the flavor on your newly cooked food from charred food left on the grates
  • Easy cleanup in the future
  • Prevent food poisoning from food particles stuck on the grates

How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill Grates

Tools you need

Getting the right cleaning tools is the only way to ensure your grates look sparkling clean and new. Some of the cleaning tools you need are:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Water
  • Vinegar or baking soda
  • Sponge or paper towel
  • Mild dishwashing soap or cleaner spray
  • Pail
  • Wire barbecue rush
  • Vegetable oil, (optional)

What to know before cleaning your grates

Know your type of grates

There are two popular types of grill grates available in the market. The stainless steel kind is the most popular. Cleaning and maintaining these grates is a lot easier. They also last longer than other types in the market.

Pick the right kind of brush

To clean your grate, you need the right grill brush. Choose from these three types:

  • The grill brush: this is a lean straight-headed kind of wire brush used to clean grates. You can choose the Qually United best BBQ grill Brush and Kona Bristle Free barbecue Grill Brush.
  • The T Brush: the T brush is a forked-headed wire brush perfect for cleaning grates
  • Steel wool: for those looking for a more abrasive cleaning, steel wool is the ideal kind.

Choosing one of these brushes will keep clean and maintain your BBQ cookware and help it last longer.

When to clean your grill grates

Make sure you clean after every use

Never store your grill grates without cleaning them. You don’t need to thoroughly clean it after every use, but always make sure you remove all stuck food particles. Use a quality barbecue wire brush to brush the grates and remove all stuck food particles. Rinse and let them dry before you close the grill lid

Clean thoroughly once in every week

If you use your BBQ grill frequently, it’s vital that you clean it thoroughly once every week. Here is what you need for your weekly cleaning.

  • Mix your dishwashing detergent in lukewarm water. You can do this to the concentration you prefer, but make sure it is sudsy.
  • Soak the grates for a few minutes in your mixture.
  • Use a barbecue brush or steel wool and sponge or paper towel to rub over the grates.
  • Rinse the grate.
  • Allow the grate to dry before closing your grill lid.

After cleaning, soak the wire brush in lukewarm water to remove grease and food particles. Rinse it off with water and make sure it is dry before storing it. It will help reduce rusting and last longer.

Perform annual or monthly cleaning

A good cleaning once a month can help keep your grates shiny and new. If you rarely use your grill, it’s better to wash it annually and monthly to make sure it does not rust. If you use it during the summer only, wash it carefully once a year.

Also, you can deep clean your stainless steel grill racks to remove baked-on food and grease. Use a wire brush to scrub off any food from the grate.

Methods of cleaning grates

To keep your stainless steel grates in good shape, you need to know different ways of cleaning them. Cleaning then soon after each use is the easiest way of cleaning. Here are other ways you can clean your grate.

Spray using vinegar solution

You can also put the mixture is a spray bottle and spray the grate. Let the mixture soak for some minutes and use aluminum foil to scrub the grate. You can also spray the foil with the vinegar solution. It is a more effective way of removing debris from your grate surface.


Instead of using dishwasher soap, detergents or spray, use vinegar. Vinegar is a cleaning agent that can dissolve any burnt food and clean your grate. To use vinegar, dilute a cup or two in water and soak them.

When you don’t want to use a vinegar solution, soaking your grates in lukewarm water and detergent solution is another way of cleaning them. Place the racks in a pail and large bucket, add the dishwashing soap or detergent and leave it till the next morning. Also, you can make a baking soda solution and sock your grates. Let it soak for hours or overnight and use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe extra water and debris off them.


Burning is another way of cleaning your grates. All you need to do is turn up the flames, allow stuck food or debris to burn and scrub off remaining debris with a wire brush. Afterward, let the grate cool and use a soft cloth and rag soaked in the vinegar solution or only water to wipe it.

Also, you can cover the grates with aluminum foil. Shut the grill lid and turn the frames up. After about 15 to 20 minutes, turn it off and remove burnt food and debris using a soft brush.

Preventive measure after cleaning

Since we leave our BBQ grill outside after use, we expose them to harmful elements. These elements may cause them to oxidize and rust or corrode. Use these two methods to protect your BBQ grill.

  • Apply cooking oil: Applying some vegetable oil after cleaning protects your grill from rusting. Apply some vegetable oil using a paper towel over the grates to reduce any chances of food sticking to them the next time you grill and bake something on it.
  • Cover it with a special cover: Covering your BBQ grill using a special cover will prevent it from rusting and other harmful elements after cleaning it.

Enjoy your grill for years to come

There is no doubt that cleaning your stainless steel grill grates will preserve it for years. It also means many years of enjoyable family parties. Don’t let anything dampen your summertime preparations of a good barbecue. Cleaning your grates don’t have to be a difficult chore. A few basic cleaning tips and the task become simpler. The trick lies in knowing how to clean stainless steel grill grates. 

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