How To Clean A BBQ: 10 Ways To Make It Sparkle Like New

How To Clean A BBQ: 10 Ways To Make It Sparkle Like New


The Great British summer is here, which can only mean one thing: It’s BBQ time! So gather the family around and unleash your inner grill master. There’s nothing better than spending time with the people that matter the most and chowing down on delicious food.

However, when all the fun and games are over, you may be left with quite the mess. Learning how to clean a BBQ is the way to go. Leaving the grill to fester is a recipe for disaster. The next time you come to use it, it will be sticky, gunky, and downright gross. So save yourself the time and hassle by getting started sooner rather than later.

Chances are, no one ever taught you how to clean a BBQ, so you might not know where to start. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Making this piece of high-quality equipment sparkly doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out our complete guide to getting it right here.

Tip 1: Use vinegar to clean the grill

First, you might want to grab a bottle of vinegar and get to work. Empty a spray bottle and mix one-part apple cider vinegar with three-parts water. Shake well to make sure that the solution combines. When you’ve done that, take a clean cloth and wipe down the grill. You need to get any of the excess grease off first. Then spray the solution directly onto the grill, leave for roughly two minutes, and wipe again. Use some water as needed.

Tip 2: Heat things up a little!

Are you cleaning a BBQ that hasn’t been used since last year? If you didn’t wipe down the grill the last time you used it, you might be stuck. The golden rule when we’re talking about how to clean a BBQ after winter is to heat things up. Suppose you find food residue on the grill; light some coal beneath it and let it warm up. After that, you can use a cloth (and some gloves!) to wipe off any of the gunk. Take care when dealing with hot metal as you don’t want to hurt your hands.

Tip 3: Use The Pink Stuff

The Pink Stuff is great for a whole load of everyday cleaning tasks. But did you know you could use it to clean your BBQ? It’s true. Mix some of the cleaning product with warm water and get to work. You may want to remove the grill section from the BBQ when you do this. If the grill comes off, you can soak it in a water-based solution to eliminate the grime. The Pink Stuff will help you shine up the metal when you are done. Lather it on and then rinse.

Tip 4: Use an onion on it

Next up, here’s one of the weirdest tips you will hear. When you think about how to clean a BBQ, you probably won’t reach for an onion. However, using this vegetable could be the answer. When you have just finished cooking your food (and the grill is still hot), grab a white onion, peel it, and slice it in half. Pop it on a skewer and then rub it across the metal. Onions have natural antibacterial properties, which means that they are excellent cleaners. Trying this tip when you have recently used the BBQ could make a big difference.

Tip 5: Clean the BBQ with coffee

Want to know how to clean a BBQ after use? If you are a coffee lover, here is a tip you might not know about. Grab some used coffee grounds (you can take them out of your cafetiere or machine!) to clean the grill. Mix the mud-like grounds with some warm water and pour it over the grate of the grill. You should find that this natural cleaning solution helps to remove any tough grime from the BBQ. Wipe clean with a cloth after.

Tip 6: Put the grates in the dishwasher

Can you remove the grates from your BBQ? If you can, you might want to pop them in the dishwasher. Take a moment to remove any of the main pieces of grime first. For example, you can use a cloth and hot, soapy water to give it a good once over. When you have done that, put the grates into the slots of your dishwasher. Don’t make the mistake of including any other plates in the machine, or nothing will end up clean. Give it a try!

Tip 7: Coat the grates with olive oil

Natural olive oil can be used to clean a BBQ. You can try this trick if the grates are covered in grime, such as meat juice and other nasty gunk. First, remove the BBQ grates and coat them in olive oil. Leave the oil to soak for roughly 15-20 minutes before rinsing. The oil should help remove any residue from the food you have cooked. As if that weren’t enough, the olive oil can also help prevent your BBQ from rusting.

Tip 8: Use a pumice stone on the BBQ

You might need to use extra tools for tough grime that you can’t eliminate. Believe it or not, a pumice stone can be a handy extra here. You can use the stone to rub on the grates and remove parts that won’t move. Before you start, lather up the grill with hot, soapy water. When you have done that, grab the stone and rub it across the grill grates in the same direction. Continue for around five minutes.

Tip 9: Soak the grates overnight

Let’s say you’ve been cooking up a storm. It happens. However, if the grates look grubby, you will have to take some serious action. One way you can do that is by soaking them in warm water overnight. You will need a relatively large bucket to get this right. Make sure that you use a non-chemical soap and warm water. When you have created the solution, wipe any residue off the grates, and pop them into the water. When morning comes around, take the grates out and clean them with a dry cloth.

Tip 10: Use a pressure washer

Got some tough grime that you cannot shift? You might need to call for reinforcement. One of the best ways to get stuff moving is to use a pressure washer. Note: If your grates are weak (i.e. not top quality!), you might find that this approach damages them. In other cases, take the grates off the grill and prop them up. Next, lather the metal with soap and then use the pressure washer to rinse. You might be surprised!

Learning how to clean your BBQ doesn’t have to be complicated. This guide has outlined some of the most straightforward techniques you can use. While it is tempting to leave the grill to rest when you have cooked, doing so can be a mistake. The sooner you scrub, the easier it will be to remove any leftover dirt. So why not give it a whirl today?


Do you have more questions for us? If you have some BBQ-related queries, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions:

What can I use to clean inside my BBQ?

If you want to get inside your BBQ, you can use a cloth on a stick. Fix the cloth to the end of a skewer or a stick. You can use warm water and soap solution. Dip the cloth into the mixture, and then get right into the depths of your BBQ. Simple.

Can you cook on a dirty BBQ?

No. You should always clean your BBQ before attempting to cook on it.

How do you clean a BBQ quickly?

One of the quickest ways to clean a BBQ is to use warm water and vinegar. As we have gone through in this guide, you can put the solution in a spray bottle and use that.

What happens if you don’t clean your BBQ?

The short answer is that your food will taste weird. Grime and dirt can build up when you don’t clean your BBQ for an extended period. That can be a health and safety issue. The last thing you want is a load of bacteria to grow on your grates. For that reason, you should make sure that you clean your BBQ regularly.

What's your favourite thing to cook on the BBQ? Let us know in the comments below!


Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author HEIDI BORCHARDT on August 3, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    BBQ Vegetable Kebabs BBQ Corn-on-the-Cob BBQ Jacket Potatoes BBQ Chicken Legs; Pork Chops; Lamb Chops BBQ Mackerel; Sardines BBQ Banana & Mars Bar (for dessert).... served with Ice Cream.

    1. Author Joanne A on August 8, 2022 at 9:27 am

      Sounds great!


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