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Don’t skip this step for summer barbecues: How to clean your grill’s exterior

Know how to clean the outside of a grill so your burgers don't disappoint

Male chef grilling and barbequing in garden. Barbecue outdoor garden party. Handsome man preparing barbecue meat. Concept of eating and cooking outdoor during summer time.
Volodymyr / Adobe Stock

Even if you don’t like cooking, you’ll jump to man a grill to show off your barbeque skills. But what about the cleanup after? Scraping off the food is the easy part, but when was the last time you cleaned the rest of the grill? If you have no idea, to the point you aren’t sure if you ever have, put the tongs down and listen. Here’s how to clean the outside of a grill so it lasts more than a few summers.

How to clean the outside of a grill

A man cleaning grill grates with a wire brush.
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock

It doesn’t matter what kind of grill you have; you need to know how to clean the outside of it, and you actually need to do it.

What you’ll need

  • Dish soap (we love the classic blue Dawn)
  • Warm water
  • A bucket
  • A gentle sponge 
  • Soft cloth for drying
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

Before you start cleaning

We just want it said — make sure your grill is completely cooled before you start cleaning it, just like you would wait for your car to cool down before you check any fluids. That’s step one. 

Other important things to do before scrubbing are to turn off the gas tank and double-check that the drip pan is empty. Safety first. Once your final checks are done, get started.

You will either like the way soap and warm water do the trick or be a baking powder type of person. Try them out and see which your grill likes better.

Soap and warm water

Like the commercials where they wash the ducks with dish soap, you’ll lather your grill. Get a bucket of warm water and add at least one teaspoon of dish soap, adding more as needed to get the best suds. Using the sponge or cloth, start at the top, then the sides, and then work down the grill. Rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Baking soda

Another way to clean the outside of your grill is with baking soda. Add three parts baking soda to one part water to create a paste. Gently coat the grill with the paste, wait about 15 minutes, then give the grill a complete wipe down with a soft cloth. 

If your grill is really bad, add a splash of vinegar to the baking soda paste.

How to help keep the exterior of your grill clean

Charcoal offset smoker during backyard cookout
pr2is / Shutterstock

There are a few additional tips to get the most years out of your grill. The more love you show it, the longer it will be there for you to tackle hamburgers.

Pay attention to how often you use it

How much you use your grill will determine how often you should clean the outside of it. If you grill daily, no matter the weather, clean the outside of your grill every couple of weeks. If you grill a few times a week, scrub the outside every three to four weeks. If you use your grill only every so often, once a month is fine to keep it in top shape.

Use other tools to keep it clean

Investing in a grill cover is a must if you don’t want to clean your grill every time you use it, even if you store it in a garage. Dust is no one’s friend. And to keep the rust away, invest in a stainless-steel polish.

Even though summer is the season for barbeques, keeping your grill ready to feed the block all year round isn’t a bad idea. We want every click of the tongs to be as enjoyable as possible, and for everyone in the neighborhood to be jealous of your grill skills, not looking at how dirty your grill is.

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Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
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