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How to Clean the Outside of a Grill?

15 Mins read
How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

A well-maintained grill not only enhances your outdoor cooking experience but also prolongs the life of your beloved appliance. While it’s important to focus on cleaning the inside of the grill, the exterior deserves equal attention. Over time, grime, grease, and dirt can accumulate on the outside surface, diminishing the overall appearance of your grill. In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps on how to clean the outside of a grill effectively, restoring its shine and ensuring it remains in top-notch condition.

With a little effort and the right techniques, you’ll have your grill looking as good as new in no time. So, let’s dive into the process of revitalizing the exterior of your grill, making it the envy of your backyard gatherings.

Why should you clean the outside of the grill?

Cleaning the outside of the grill is an essential task that should not be overlooked. Here are several reasons why it is important to keep the exterior of your grill clean:

Aesthetics: Regularly cleaning the outside of your grill helps maintain its visual appeal. Over time, grime, grease, and dirt can accumulate on the surface, making your grill appear unattractive and neglected. By cleaning it regularly, you can restore its shine and keep it looking presentable.

Protection from Corrosion: Outdoor grills are exposed to various weather conditions, including rain, humidity, and extreme temperatures. If left uncleaned, the accumulated dirt and grime can lead to corrosion on the exterior surfaces. Cleaning the grill helps remove corrosive agents and protects it from rusting or deteriorating.

Prolonged Lifespan: Proper maintenance, including cleaning the outside of the grill, can significantly extend its lifespan. The buildup of grease and grime can cause damage to the grill’s exterior, including the paint or coating. Regular cleaning helps prevent this buildup and ensures that your grill lasts longer.

Hygiene and Food Safety: Grilling involves cooking food at high temperatures, and it’s essential to maintain proper hygiene standards. Uncleaned grills can harbor bacteria, food particles, and other contaminants on their exterior surfaces. These contaminants can transfer to your hands or utensils and ultimately contaminate the food you’re grilling. By cleaning the outside of the grill, you reduce the risk of cross-contamination and ensure the safety of your cooked meals.

Ease of Use: A clean grill is easier to use and maintain. Removing dirt and grime from the exterior surfaces makes it easier to access the different parts of the grill, such as handles, knobs, and vents. This facilitates smoother operation and minimizes the chances of malfunction or damage caused by neglected maintenance.

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill – Step by step

Cleaning the outside of a grill is a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean the exterior of your grill effectively:

1. Make a baking soda paste with three parts baking soda and one part water

Baking soda is a versatile and effective cleaner that can help remove stubborn stains and grease from the outside of your grill. Creating a baking soda paste is an excellent way to harness its cleaning power. Follow these steps to make a baking soda paste:

In a small bowl or container, combine three parts baking soda with one part water. For example, if you use 3 tablespoons of baking soda, add 1 tablespoon of water.

Mix the baking soda and water until you achieve a thick, spreadable paste. Ensure that there are no lumps and that the mixture is well blended.

If the paste is too thick, you can add a small amount of water to achieve the desired consistency. If it’s too runny, add more baking soda to thicken it up.

Adjust the quantities of baking soda and water as needed to create the right consistency of paste for your cleaning purposes.

2. Coat the outside of your grill with the baking soda paste

Coating the outside of your grill with the baking soda paste helps to break down grease, remove stains, and leave the surface looking clean and refreshed. Follow these detailed instructions to effectively apply the baking soda paste:

Put on protective gloves (optional): To protect your hands from any potential irritation or dryness caused by the baking soda paste, consider wearing gloves before you begin.

Take a small amount of the baking soda paste: Using a clean spoon or your fingertips, scoop up a small amount of the baking soda paste from the bowl.

Apply the paste to the grill’s exterior: Begin by spreading the baking soda paste onto one section of the grill’s exterior surface. Use your fingers, a sponge, or a soft cloth to apply an even layer of the paste.

Focus on stubborn stains and greasy areas: Pay extra attention to areas with heavy grease buildup or stubborn stains. Apply a slightly thicker layer of the baking soda paste to these spots and gently rub it in using circular motions.

Continue coating the entire grill: Proceed to coat the rest of the grill’s exterior, section by section, until the entire surface is covered with the baking soda paste. Take your time to ensure an even application.

Let the paste sit: Once the entire grill is coated with the baking soda paste, allow it to sit for about 15-20 minutes. This will give the baking soda time to work on breaking down grease and stains.

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

3. Let it sit for 15 minutes

Allowing the baking soda paste to sit on the surface of your grill for 15 minutes is crucial for it to work effectively on breaking down grease and stains. Follow these detailed instructions to ensure optimal results:

Set a timer: Once you have applied the baking soda paste to the entire exterior surface of your grill, set a timer for 15 minutes. This will help you keep track of the recommended waiting time.

Avoid direct sunlight or rain: During the waiting period, make sure your grill is placed in a shaded area or indoors to prevent direct sunlight or rain from affecting the paste. This will allow the baking soda to work without any external interference.

Let the paste work its magic: As the baking soda paste sits on the grill’s exterior, it will penetrate and break down stubborn stains, grease, and grime. The baking soda’s natural cleaning properties will help lift and loosen dirt, making it easier to remove during the next step.

Use this time for other tasks: While the paste is sitting, you can use this time to clean other grill components or prepare cleaning tools for the next step. This ensures that you make the most of your cleaning session and optimize your time.

Do not let the paste dry completely: While it is essential to let the baking soda paste sit for the recommended time, avoid letting it dry completely on the surface. If it starts to dry out, you can lightly mist it with water to keep it moist.

After the 15-minute waiting period, you’re ready to move on to the next step of the cleaning process.

4. Use a damp cloth to wipe the area clean

After allowing the baking soda paste to sit for 15 minutes, it’s time to remove the paste and reveal a cleaner grill surface. Follow these detailed instructions to effectively wipe the area clean:

Prepare a damp cloth: Take a clean, damp cloth and wring out any excess water. It should be slightly damp but not dripping wet.

Start wiping: Begin by gently wiping the baking soda paste off the grill’s exterior surface. Use circular motions or back-and-forth strokes to remove the paste.

Pay attention to stubborn areas: For areas with heavier grease or stains, you may need to apply a bit more pressure or use a gentle scrubbing motion with a damp cloth. This will help loosen and remove the stubborn residue.

Rinse the cloth frequently: As you wipe, rinse the cloth frequently under running water to remove any accumulated baking soda paste. This ensures that you’re not spreading the paste around and helps maintain the cleanliness of the cloth.

Repeat as needed: If there are still traces of baking soda paste or stubborn residue on the grill’s exterior, you can repeat the wiping process with a fresh damp cloth. Ensure that you’ve thoroughly cleaned all areas of the grill’s exterior surface.

Dry the surface: Once you have removed all the baking soda paste and residue, use a dry microfiber cloth or towel to gently dry the grill’s exterior. This will help prevent water spots and promote a polished finish.

Inspect for any missed spots: Take a moment to inspect the grill’s exterior for any areas you might have missed during the wiping process. If you find any remaining paste or residue, simply dampen the cloth again and focus on those spots until they are clean.

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

5. Spray the grill with stainless steel polish to give it a nice shine and protect it from rust

Using a stainless steel polish is a great way to add a final touch to your clean grill, giving it a polished appearance and protecting it against rust. Follow these detailed instructions to effectively apply the stainless steel polish:

Choose a stainless steel polish: Select a stainless steel polish that is specifically designed for use on grills and outdoor appliances. Read the product instructions and ensure it is suitable for your grill’s material.

Shake the polish: Shake the stainless steel polish bottle well to ensure the contents are mixed thoroughly.

Spray the polish: Hold the bottle of stainless steel polish a few inches away from the grill’s exterior surface. Begin spraying the polish evenly over the entire grill. Start at one end and work your way to the other, applying light and even a layer of polish.

Focus on problem areas: Pay extra attention to areas that are prone to rust or have stubborn stains. Apply a slightly heavier coat of polish to these areas and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Spread and buff the polish: Use a soft cloth or a microfiber cloth to spread and buff the polish across the grill’s exterior surface. Apply gentle pressure and use circular motions to work the polish into the surface and bring out its shine. Continue buffing until the polish is evenly distributed and the surface appears glossy.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Different stainless steel polishes may have specific instructions for optimal results. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the product label for any additional steps or precautions to follow.

Inspect and touch up if needed: Take a moment to inspect the grill’s exterior for any missed spots or uneven polish application. If necessary, apply a small amount of polish to a cloth and touch up those areas for a consistent finish.

6. Dry it with a microfiber cloth

After applying the stainless steel polish, it’s important to ensure that the grill’s exterior is thoroughly dried. Follow these detailed instructions to effectively dry the grill with a microfiber cloth:

Prepare a clean microfiber cloth: Get a clean microfiber cloth specifically designated for drying purposes. Microfiber cloths are highly absorbent and gentle on surfaces, making them ideal for drying tasks.

Start at the top: Begin drying the grill from the top and work your way down. This helps prevent any water or polish residue from dripping onto areas you have already dried.

Gently pat and wipe: Use the microfiber cloth to pat and wipe the grill’s exterior surface. Start by gently patting the surface to absorb any remaining moisture. Then, proceed to wipe the surface in straight lines or circular motions, depending on your preference.

Pay attention to crevices and corners: Ensure that you dry all crevices, corners, and hard-to-reach areas of the grill. These areas tend to hold moisture, so be thorough in your drying process.

Check for water spots: As you dry, keep an eye out for any water spots or streaks that may have been missed. If you notice any, simply go over those areas again with the microfiber cloth to remove them.

Inspect the grill’s exterior: Once you have dried the entire exterior surface, take a moment to inspect it for any remaining moisture or missed spots. If you find any damp areas, use the microfiber cloth to dry them completely.

Ensure the grill is completely dry: It is important to ensure that the grill’s exterior is completely dry before storing or using it again. Any lingering moisture can lead to potential rust or damage over time.

How do I clean the sides of my grill?

Cleaning the sides of your grill is an essential part of grill maintenance to ensure its overall cleanliness and appearance. Follow these detailed instructions to effectively clean the sides of your grill:

Gather the necessary supplies: Before you begin, gather the following cleaning supplies:

  • Mild dish soap or grill cleaner
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Sponge or soft cloth
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Microfiber cloth or towel
  • Protective gloves (optional)

Ensure safety precautions: Make sure your grill is turned off and completely cool before cleaning the sides. If you’ve recently used the grill, allow it to cool down for at least an hour to avoid any burns or injuries.

Remove loose debris: Start by removing any loose debris, such as dirt, dust, or food particles, from the sides of the grill. Use a soft brush or a dry cloth to brush away the debris. Pay attention to crevices and corners where dirt might accumulate.

Prepare a cleaning solution: Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or a grill cleaner specifically designed for exterior surfaces. Mix the solution gently until it creates a soapy mixture.

Clean the sides: Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the soapy solution and wring out the excess liquid. Use the dampened sponge or cloth to wipe down the sides of the grill. Start from the top and work your way down, applying gentle pressure to remove any dirt or grime. For stubborn stains or grease buildup, use a soft-bristle brush and scrub in a circular motion.

Pay attention to handles and knobs: Don’t forget to clean the handles and knobs on the sides of the grill. Use a soapy sponge or cloth to wipe these areas thoroughly, ensuring they are free from grease and grime.

Rinse the sides: Once you have cleaned the sides of the grill, rinse off the soap residue with clean water. You can use a hose or a bucket of clean water for this step. Make sure to remove all the soap and suds from the surface.

Dry the sides: After rinsing, use a microfiber cloth or towel to dry the sides of the grill. Wipe down the surfaces to prevent water spots and promote a polished finish.

Final touches: Take a moment to inspect the sides of the grill for any remaining dirt or spots. If necessary, touch up any areas with a gentle scrub or wipe.

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

How to Clean the Outside of a Grill

What is the best grill cleaner?

When it comes to choosing the best grill cleaner, there are several effective options available on the market. The choice depends on personal preference, the type of grill you have, and the level of cleaning required. Here are some popular grill cleaners that are highly recommended:

All-Purpose Grill Cleaner: All-purpose grill cleaners are versatile and can effectively clean various types of grills. They are designed to tackle grease, food residue, and stubborn stains. Look for a grill cleaner that is safe for use on all surfaces, including stainless steel, cast iron, and porcelain.

Citrus-based Cleaner: Citrus-based grill cleaners offer a natural and powerful cleaning solution. They contain citrus extracts that help break down grease and grime while leaving behind a refreshing scent. Citrus cleaners are generally safe for most grill surfaces and can be an eco-friendly option.

Degreaser: For heavy grease buildup on grills, a degreaser can be highly effective. Degreasers are specifically formulated to cut through tough grease and carbon deposits. They are available in various strengths, so choose one that matches the level of grease on your grill. Follow the instructions carefully when using a degreaser.

Foaming Grill Cleaner: Foaming grill cleaners are convenient and easy to use. They come in a spray bottle and produce foam when applied to the grill. The foam clings to the surface, allowing the cleaner to penetrate and dissolve grease and grime. Foaming cleaners often require minimal scrubbing and can be rinsed off easily.

Enzyme-based Cleaner: Enzyme-based grill cleaners use natural enzymes to break down organic matter on the grill. They are effective in removing food residue and grease. Enzyme cleaners are generally safe for most grill surfaces and are a good choice for those seeking a more eco-friendly option.

When selecting a grill cleaner, consider factors such as the grill’s material, the level of cleaning required, and any specific concerns or sensitivities you may have. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the cleaner is suitable for your grill type.

How often do I clean the outside of my grill?

The frequency of cleaning the outside of your grill depends on various factors, including how often you use it, the environmental conditions, and personal preference. However, it is generally recommended to clean the outside of your grill at least a few times a year or as needed. Here are some guidelines to help you determine how often to clean the outside of your grill:

Regular Maintenance: It’s a good practice to perform basic cleaning and maintenance on your grill after each use. This includes wiping down the exterior surface to remove any food splatters, grease, or debris. Regular maintenance helps prevent buildup and keeps your grill looking clean.

Seasonal Cleaning: It is advisable to give your grill a thorough cleaning at the beginning and end of each grilling season. This includes a more comprehensive cleaning of the exterior, as well as cleaning the grill grates, burners, and other internal components. Seasonal cleanings help remove accumulated dirt, grease, and carbon deposits and ensure optimal performance.

Visual Assessment: Regularly inspect the outside of your grill for visible signs of dirt, stains, or discoloration. If you notice any significant buildup or stains, it is a good indication that it’s time for a more thorough cleaning.

Environmental Factors: Consider the environmental conditions in your area. If you live in a region with high humidity, frequent rain, or exposure to saltwater or corrosive elements, you may need to clean the outside of your grill more often to prevent rust or corrosion.

Occasional Deep Cleaning: In addition to regular maintenance, it is beneficial to schedule occasional deep cleanings for your grill. This may involve a more intensive cleaning of the exterior surface using specialized cleaners, as well as removing and cleaning internal components. Deep cleanings help remove stubborn stains, grease buildup and ensure a fresh start for your grill.

Do you need to clean a Grill after every use?

Cleaning your grill after every use is highly recommended to maintain its performance, extend its lifespan, and ensure food safety. While it may seem like an additional task, regular cleaning offers several benefits. Here’s some detailed information about why you should clean your grill after every use:

Food Residue and Grease: After grilling, there is often leftover food residue, grease, and drippings on the grill grates and surfaces. These remnants can accumulate over time, becoming harder to remove and potentially causing unpleasant flavors in future meals. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of residue and keeps your grill in optimal condition for cooking.

Hygiene and Food Safety: Cleaning your grill after each use helps maintain proper hygiene and food safety. Residual food particles and grease can become a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens, which can contaminate subsequent meals. Thoroughly cleaning the grill reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses and ensures a safe cooking environment.

Performance and Efficiency: A clean grill performs better and more efficiently. Grease and debris can block burners and affect heat distribution, leading to uneven cooking and inefficient fuel consumption. Regular cleaning helps maintain the proper functioning of your grill, ensuring consistent heat and optimal cooking results.

Preventing Rust and Corrosion: Grills are exposed to the elements, and moisture can contribute to rust and corrosion, particularly on metal surfaces. Cleaning after each use helps remove moisture-trapping residues, preventing rust formation and prolonging the lifespan of your grill.

Easier Cleaning: Cleaning your grill immediately after use makes the task easier and less time-consuming. The freshly cooked residue is usually easier to remove than when it has hardened and stuck to the surfaces. Regular maintenance prevents stubborn buildup, reducing the effort required for future cleanings.

Aesthetics and Longevity: Regular cleaning keeps the exterior of your grill looking clean and well-maintained. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also helps protect the grill’s surfaces from stains, discoloration, and degradation, thereby extending its overall lifespan.

How to Maintain a Grill (5 Maintenance Tips)

Proper maintenance of your grill is essential to ensure its longevity, optimal performance, and safe operation. By following these five maintenance tips, you can keep your grill in excellent condition for years to come:

Regular Cleaning: Cleaning your grill after each use is crucial for maintaining its performance and preventing the buildup of grease, food residue, and carbon deposits. Use a grill brush or scraper to clean the grates thoroughly, and wipe down the exterior surfaces with a damp cloth. Additionally, periodically clean the burners, drip pans, and other internal components to remove any accumulated debris.

Check for Wear and Tear: Regularly inspect your grill for any signs of wear and tear. Look for rust, cracks, or loose parts that may affect its performance or pose safety risks. If you notice any damaged or worn-out components, replace them promptly to prevent further damage and ensure safe operation.

Seasonal Deep Cleaning: Schedule seasonal deep cleanings to give your grill a thorough maintenance session. This involves disassembling the grill, cleaning all the parts with appropriate cleaners or degreasers, and removing any stubborn stains or buildup. Pay attention to the burners, vents, and igniters, ensuring they are free from blockages or clogs.

Lubricate Moving Parts: Keep the moving parts of your grill well-lubricated to prevent friction and ensure smooth operation. Apply a food-safe lubricant or cooking oil to hinges, handles, and other moving components. Regular lubrication prevents rust and makes it easier to open and close lids, adjust vents and operate other mechanisms.

Store Properly: When not in use, store your grill in a clean and dry location. If your grill is exposed to the elements, use a high-quality grill cover to protect it from moisture, dust, and debris. Ensure the grill is completely cooled down before covering or storing it to prevent heat damage or potential fire hazards.

Bonus Tip: Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for specific maintenance recommendations for your grill model. Different grills may have unique maintenance requirements, so familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure proper care.

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Website: https://scillsgrill.com/

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About author
As the founder and chief editor of Scills Grill, I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut. I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I use various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. Peter Cobbetts is the president and founder of Scills Grill, with over 15 years' experience in barbecue. He's an exceptional pitmaster and grill expert who specializes in smoking briskets, pork shoulders - using charcoal, wood or propane grills/smokers - as well as reviewing kitchen appliances such as grills, smokers etc., having tried out almost every model available on the market.
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