By: Jason Guanso

May 8, 2020

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How to Clean a Gas Grill

You probably brush down your grill’s grates after use, but when was the last time you took out the burner valves and heat deflectors and gave them a good clean?

Thoroughly cleaning your gas grill helps get rid of carbon deposits and grease and grime build-up. Giving your grill a good cleaning isn’t just to make it shiny. An unclean grill can lead to an uneven cooking experience, making it difficult to control flavor and temperature.

To help make sure you get the job done right, we’re going to cover how to clean a gas grill in 7 steps.

1. Gather your grill cleaning materials

  • A grill brush. If your grill uses stainless steel grates, use a brass grill brush. If your grill has cast-iron grates, use a stainless steel brush.
  • Paper towels or rags. You’ll use these to rub down sections of grill after you have you’ve soaked them.
  • Soapy water or a special grill cleaning solution. You don’t have to use a special grill cleaner, but it can help, especially if your grill is in need of a serious clean. Grill cleaner foams more than soapy water and helps break down grease and grime

2. Burn your grill

Turn all the burners on high and put the lid down. You’re letting the heat burn residue off the grates and burner protectors. This makes it easier to clean when it comes to soaking and wiping down the grill.

Keep your grill burners on high for about fifteen minutes. Once that’s done, turn the gas off before you move on to step three and remove the propane tank completely and set aside.

3. Scrub down the grates

Take your grill brush and scrub the grates. Give them a good, tough cleaning. You want to break down as much of any residue as possible.

Then spray the grates down with your cleaning solution. The cleaning solution on the still-warm grates will create steam, which helps with the cleaning process.

Scrub the grates again and then, when they’re looking clean, remove them from the grill and place to the side (on the ground or on laid out newspapers) to let them cool down.

Cleaning the grates is the one thing you can do after every use. Though it is not required, it doesn’t hurt.

Pro-tip: After cleaning your grates, use a paper towel and rub cooking or vegetable over the grates. This helps stop food from getting stuck on the grates in the future.

4. Remove and clean burner protectors

The next step is to remove the burner protectors (or heat deflectors) and clean them.

You do this by cleaning the burner protectors outside of the grill. We like to clean them in the yard. If that isn’t an option, just put the burner protectors on an old towel. From there you’re going to lather them in soapy water or grill cleaner and scrub them down.

Let them sit for five to ten minutes in the lather and then wipe them down with a rag or paper towels.

Keep them off to the side for now.

5. Remove and clean the burners

Using the same process in step number four, you want to clean the burners.

It’s important to do this step because food or other clogs in the burner pores leads to an uneven cooking method.

But when you brush the burner holes, do it side to side and not up and down. This helps keep the dirt from entering the burner holes.

Once you have the burners clean, set those aside for with the burner protectors and grates.

6. Clean out the inside of your grill

With your grates, burner protesters, and burner tubes out of the grill, you now have access to your cook box or catch pan.

This is the catch pan. It’s where all the junk, grime, and grease ends up.

We like to use a hose and spray down, but you’ll definitely need to loosen up all the old grime with your grill brush and soapy water.

Move all the crud out through the hole in the cook box (remember, you already removed the propane tank, so you can put a bucket under the hole).

7. Put everything back together

Use a towel to completely dry the burner tubes, burner protectors, and grates.

Put everything back in the right order, and you’re good to go!

How to Clean a Grill without a Grill Brush

The method we detailed above is heavily reliant on you having a good grill brush.

But if you don’t have one, there are still ways to clean your gas grill in a pinch.

Note: This method is really only for cleaning the grates, not the entire grill.

  1. Use a ball of aluminum foil. Take aluminum foil, ball it with your hands (think about the size of a tennis ball, maybe a little smaller), and use a pair of tongs to grab the ball. Now you can brush your grates down easily.
  2. Use an onion half. Turn on the grill and let it heat up. Then cut a whole onion in half. Grab one onion half with tongs or stick it with a fork and put it on the grill, cut side on the grates. You can use the onion to loosen junk and grime.

How often should you clean your grill?

There’s nothing wrong with cleaning your grates with a  grill brush after every use, but you don’t need to do the deep clean we outlined above that often.

While how often you clean your grill will depend on what you’re cooking and how much you’re cooking, we generally advise you to clean your grill twice a year.

Once at the start of grilling season, and once halfway through the summer.

Can you pressure wash the inside of a gas grill?

You can use a pressure washer on your gas grill but there’s a lot of risks involved.

People like the pressure washer method because it’s quick. You’re cleaning your grill in about 10 minutes vs. the hour or two it’ll take to do by hand.

But using a pressure washer on a grill means you have less control of where the water is going. Plus, pressure washers are powerful, you don’t want to accidentally break your grill.

If you’re going to use a pressure washer on a grill, simply remove all that you can from the grill. Clean the grates, burners, and burner protectors separately. Make sure the propane tank is not connected.

Can you clean a gas grill with vinegar?

Yes! Like we mentioned above, you don’t have to buy grill cleaner to clean your grill. You can use a soap-and-water solution or even a vinegar and water solution.

White vinegar’s acidity helps break down grime and grease.


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