How to Clean a Gas Grill

A clean grill is a key factor to the success of your grilling recipes. Learning how to clean a gas grill properly is important, so I've rounded up my best tips and tricks here!

Cleaned gas grill
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It's no secret that I LOVE to grill. I've got endless recipes that I'd throw on the grill on any given day. Whether its grilled chicken drumsticks or homemade hamburgers, my grill is fired up quite often.

For the longest time, my biggest pet peeve was cleaning my grill. It's just one of those mundane tasks that's necessary but is the last thing I want to do. Like laundry... you get it, right?

tongs picking up squash and zucchini

It's essential to keep your grill in good shape, especially the inside where the food cooks. This is one of those things you just have to do and keeping up with a cleaning schedule it will make it easier to maintain.

Outdoor grills are such a great way to cook delicious food, so you need to use them to their full potential. Follow the simple steps detailed below and learn how to clean a gas grill with ease!

Why Clean Your Grill

There are two main reasons why it is important to clean your grill; safety and quality of your food.

Whether you have a charcoal grill or a gas grill, it's really important to remove all of the carbon build up that happens over time. The build up of food and grease can also grow bacteria that could be harmful if ingested. When that caked on stuff is around high heat, it can also be a fire hazard!

a porkchop with fire on the grill

Cleaning up that food residue and built-up grease is also essential to get the perfect sear on your food. Leftover food on the grill grates can affect the flavor of whatever you're grilling and even cause it to take longer to cook.

It can be difficult to maintain a steady temperature on a dirty grill. The flames may flare up as they catch some old grease, and can keep your food from getting direct contact from the flames.

Long story short, it's a really good idea to clean your grill regularly. If you're reading this blog thinking "the last time I cleaned my grill was last year!" then keep reading. This will be a step-by step guide to cleaning your grill until it sparkles like new!

How to Clean a Gas Grill

Every grill needs a regular deep clean, but the bbq grill grates should be cleaned before and after every use. Learn how to clean your gas grill to keep it working to the best of its ability!

Turning off the gas to gas grill
Dirty gas grill before cleaning

Deep Clean

Safety first! Before you begin deep cleaning, turn off the gas supply. This will ensure that you don't have any gas coming into the grill as you're working. You'll also want to get some disposable gloves to protect your hands from the leftover grease sitting on the grill.

Scrub the Grates

Next, use a good grill brush to scrub the grill grates really well. Then remove the cast iron grates from the grill.

Removing grill grate
Cleaning grill grates with wire brush

Mix warm soapy water in your sink or a very large bucket. I like to use a plastic tote since it's really deep and wide. Place the dirty grill grates into the water and either allow them to soak for a bit or begin to scrub. If there's a lot of caked on food, they'll need to soak for a few hours before you start scrubbing.

You can use the grill brush again here to begin scraping more food off as it's broken down by the water. You can also use steel wool pads, a Scrub Daddy, or other scouring pads to remove food particles.

Clean the Interior

Dirty gas grill before cleaning
The inside of the grill is covered in baking soda - the result of NOT cleaning your grill often and having a fire start!
Bottom of grill before being cleaned

While you let those grates soak, begin cleaning the inside of your grill. Give the flavorizer bars a good scrub with the grill brush. Be sure and check the burner tubes for clogs that you may need to clear.

If you haven't cleaned your grill in a while, you might consider replacing your flavorizer bars. With the deep clean I was doing for this post, I decided to replace a few of the bars that just looked too far gone. I purchased a pack of 5 flavorizer bars, replaced 2 and saved the rest for the future.

Then begin scrubbing the rest of inside of the grill with scouring pads or sponges soaked in warm soapy water. Clean the burner hoods, the inside of the lid, and any other surface that built-up grease and stuck on food.

To help make the cleaning process easier, you can mix together a baking soda paste with warm water and baking soda. Alternatively, you can add some white vinegar to the warm soapy water to help cut through stubborn grease.

Cleaning the Drip Pan

Cleaning the drip pan and replacing or cleaning out the grease tray are essential parts of maintaining your grill. When these get clogged up with old food and grease, it is a recipe for a grill fire.

Removing the drip tray from under the grill grates
Dirty grease drip pan

We use disposable grease pans and these are great to have on handy and swap out often when you see them filling up.

The drip pan is a large metal piece that sits above the grease pan and has a hole in it to drain to the grease pan. You'll want to remove that and either soak it or scrape it.

We like to use a plastic scraping tool to dislodge any stuck-on food but you can also opt for soaking this piece in your bucket with soapy water for 30 minutes to an hour. Then scrub it clean with sponges or steel wool pads.

Outside of dirty gas grill
Front of grill after wiping clean
Cleaning spray spraying closed grill cover

Clean the Exterior of the Grill

Every grill gets some dirt and grime on its exterior, but if you don't have a grill cover it can get really bad. Either way, the lid of the grill, the knobs of the grill, the side trays and the side burners all need to be cleaned.

I like to use a clean rag soaked in hot soapy water to clean the outside of my Weber Spirit. This grill exterior cleaning spray is great for cutting down your need to scrub! If needed, I'll make a spray bottle of heavy degreaser to get it extra squeaky clean.

Don't forget to clean the bottom rack of the grill that holds the can of propane! It can get food and grease stuck on it sometimes, and bugs typically like to set up camp and make a home of cobwebs.

Finish off the exterior by buffing out stainless steel surfaces with a soft cloth and some white vinegar.

Put the Gas Grill Back Together

Once everything is squeaky clean, allow each part to air dry or dry them thoroughly by hand. Place the grill grates back onto the grill and re-attach any other parts that you may have removed in the cleaning process.

If grilling season is over, cover the whole grill with a grill cover and store it away until you need it.

raw shrimp on the grill

Regular Cleaning

A great way to make a periodic deep clean easier is to clean your grill after each use. Once the grill has completely cooled, give the cooking grates a good scrub with a grill brush.

It is really beneficial to check the grease trap after every use as well. This will help prevent it from overflowing and creating a much larger mess that will take longer to clean up!

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

The steps to clean a charcoal grill are pretty similar, with a few minor differences here and there.

After each use, clean the stainless steel grill grates and dump the ash from the interior of the grill. Ensure that the grill is completely cool before doing this. To deep clean a charcoal grill, just follow a lot of the same steps as mentioned above.

Soak the grates and then scrub them until clean. Use hot water and soap to deep clean the inside and outside of the grill. The good thing about cleaning charcoal grills is that you don't have to be as careful as you do when cleaning a gas grill! There are no electrical parts that are more easily broken.

Clean gas grill with top and front door open

Tools You'll Need

Learning how to clean a gas grill wouldn't be much help if you don't have the right tools. There's not enough elbow grease in the world to get it cleaned well if you don't have some good tools. Here's a list of some of the best things you to have on hand in order to easily clean your grill:

One thing you need to know: Wire grill brushes are known to shed their bristles and can become dangerous when cooking. I like to use a wire brush when deep cleaning, but I recommend you ensure that ALL bristles are rinsed from every part of the grill before the next time you cook. When cleaning a grill after every use, it is much safer to use a different type of grill brush.

Grilled pizza fully cooked on a grill.


How long will it take to clean a grill?

If you're just doing a routine cleaning after each use, it will only take a few minutes. But giving your grill a thorough cleaning can take an hour or two. It's a great weekend project once grilling season is over. Your grill will have a good wash and will be ready to go when spring time rolls around! If you're good about regularly cleaning your grill, a deep clean won't take as long.

What can I use to clean my grill besides a wire brush?

A wire brush is a good tool, but it's not the only thing you can use to clean a grill. If you need a scouring tool, a ball of aluminum foil actually works really well to get caked on food off of the bbq grill grates. You can also use scouring pads, a nylon grill brush, and steel wool in place of a wire brush.

Does lemon clean a grill?

Lemon juice is very effective when cleaning a grill, both in regular cleaning and deep cleaning! You can slice a few lemons in half and rub the lemon halves over the any surface to help de-grease and break up any food particles. Alternatively, you can put some lemon juice in a spray bottle with water and use it as a spray!

chicken thighs on a grill

Grilling Recipes

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