How to Clean a Gas Grill? A Step-by-Step Guide

November 30, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

At first, cleaning a gas grill can seem like a daunting task; however, cleaning your grill isn’t difficult so long as you know what to do. You can easily clean a gas grill by turning off the grill, disassembling the grill grates and metal plates, soaking them, and scrubbing them. Once you’re done cleaning the inside of the grill, cleaning the exterior is even more straightforward; simply clean it thoroughly with a damp rag.

I’ve been cleaning my gas grill for years using a few effective steps with impressive results. I am always amazed at how sparkly clean my grill gets with minimal effort. Continue reading to find out what I do and learn how to clean a gas grill.

How to clean a gas grill

How to Clean Your Gas Grill?

What You’ll Need?

  • Gloves: Because gas grills can get greasy, it's a good idea to put on rubber gloves before you start cleaning.
  • Stainless steel grill brush: A grill brush has steel bristles, which help scrub out stains and grease more effectively.
  • Vacuum cleaner: A handheld vacuum cleaner made for kitchen use removes dirt and particles from hard-to-reach areas. This appliance makes the process easier.
  • Dish soap: Don't forget to use dish soap to deep clean your grill. Dish soap will get rid of all that slimy grease.
  • Sponge: A sponge with a non-scratch scourer is useful for removing tough stains on your grill grates.
  • Microfiber cloth or clean rag: This soft cloth is excellent for wiping and polishing the grill.

Instructions

Step 1: Switch Off the Gas Supply

First, turn off the gas supply to the grill before cleaning it for your own safety. You don't want to mistakenly ignite the grill while cleaning and hurt yourself. So, ensure your gas valves are turned off.

Step 2: Remove the Grill Grates and Metal Plates

Now, it's time to remove the grill grates and set them aside. First, put on your rubber gloves. They protect your hands from the griminess of the grill grates.

After you remove the grill grates, you'll find some metal plates inside the grill. These plates protect the gas burners by catching grime that falls through the top grate. So remove the plates and set them aside to be washed.

Step 3: Clean the Inside of the Gas Grill

Apart from the burner plates, you may also notice a lot of char, dirt, and food remnants inside the grill. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove all that dirt and debris. A vacuum cleaner will save you minutes of tedious cleaning, so it's totally worth it. If you don't have a handheld vacuum cleaner, use a couple of damp rags to clean up the loose dirt.

Step 4: Soak the Grill Grates and Metal Plates 

Now soak the grill grates and metal plates in hot water mixed with dish soap. You can soak them in a large sink, bowl, or container. Some grill grates will be too large for your sink. If that's the case, place the grates in a shallow plastic container instead. Soak the grates and plates for 30 minutes and drain the water.

Step 5: Wipe the Grill and Reassemble

After soaking the grill grates, wipe away the soap and grime with a damp rag. If you're still having trouble removing stains, try scrubbing them with the sponge and stainless steel wire brush. After soaking, the grease should have softened enough to be easily removed with the grill brush. However, if the stain is still visible, you can soak the grates and plates for longer and scrub again. Once you're done cleaning the insides of the grill, inspect and assemble all the parts, and light it up to test if everything is working.

Step 6: Cleaning the Exterior of the Grill 

Once you've cleaned the inside of your grill, it's time to clean the outside. First, check the drip pan under the grill and replace it. Most standard gas grills come with a disposal drip pan. So, all you have to do is clean the surface of the drip pan holder and replace the liner with a new disposable plate.

On the other hand, if your drip pan is non-disposable, simply clean it with paper towels. After washing away all the grease, rinse the drip pan with a warm soapy water solution. Next, fill a bucket halfway with water and add 1/3 cup of dish soap. Soak a rag in the soapy water and squeeze. Now, use the damp rag to thoroughly wipe down the surfaces of the grill.

Spend time cleaning any grimy crevice. Once you've finished wiping the grill, rinse off the soapy residue by spraying water with a hose. Next, polish any stainless steel surfaces with a stainless steel cleaner. Spray the cleaner on the stainless steel of your grill and wipe with paper towels to keep the grill looking shiny. 

Man Cleaning a Dirty Gas Grill

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill?

From experience, charcoal grills are harder to deep clean because of how much ash they generate. Nonetheless, it's vital to know the best ways to clean a charcoal grill if you need to. Let's discuss all the steps:

  • Once you're done using the grill, make sure you clean out the residual ash. If left uncleaned, the pile of ash could lump up and become more difficult to remove later.
  • Keep a bucket near the grill and dump all the ashes and coal residue into the bucket.
  • Once you're done packing all the ash and coals, empty the ash into the garbage.
  • Afterward, thoroughly clean your charcoal grill. Just like cleaning the gas grill, you'll need warm soapy water, a wire brush or nylon grill brush, and a cloth for wiping.
  • To ensure thorough cleaning, start with the surfaces up under the hood and work your way down to the bottom and side walls of the cooking chamber. Also, make sure that the drip pan is thoroughly cleaned.
  • Finish by rinsing the outside of the grill with warm water. Lastly, wipe the grill dry to prevent rust from forming.

Note: Cleaning your grill can be difficult, especially if you haven't cleaned it in a while. You may need several scrub pads and buckets of water. Most people prefer cleaning their charcoal grill at the end of the grilling season. This way, your charcoal grill will be ready to use when the next grilling season begins.

How to Maintain a Gas Grill?

Regular maintenance is a crucial step to keeping your gas grill working at peak performance and extending its lifespan. Let's go over some grill maintenance tips to keep your grill in good shape.

  • The first tip is to start each grilling session by preheating the cooking grates and letting them cool before cleaning them with a wire brush to brush away any visible clumps of food or dirt.
  • You can also perform this step after your grilling session; just make sure the grill is cool before cleaning, or else you risk burning yourself.
  • Check the propane tank for leaks regularly. Run warm soapy water along the gas line and connections once a month with the propane tank turned on. If bubbles appear, you have a leak and must either tighten the gas connection or replace the gas line.
  • When not in use, keep your grill covered. If your grill doesn't come with a lid included, you can always buy a grill lid that can fit on your grill. Covering your grill with a lid will protect it from the elements and prevent rust and dirt.
  • Aside from the cleaning steps we've discussed above, you should also spot-clean your grill after each use. Brush the cooking grates and clean the outside of the grill with a cleaner like Windex.
  • Ensure you clean out grease and debris from the cooking chamber regularly. Remember to empty the drip pan too. It also helps to turn the grill to high for 10 minutes once a week to burn off any excess gunk. This prevents grime from accumulating too quickly, which can happen faster than you think.

Importance of Cleaning a Gas Grill

When you deep clean your gas grill, it goes a long way in prolonging its lifespan. Grease and food residue from previous grilling sessions accumulate when you don't clean your grill.

These food particles and grease could even attract germs, which are not only harmful to your health but also unpleasant. You don't want your grill to add a sour flavor to your grilled meal. Moreover, mold and bacteria can get into your food and make you sick. While the flames can help some of these germs, only proper cleaning can totally eliminate all the germs.

Furthermore, if you grill meat on an uncleaned grill, some black bits clinging to the grates may contain carcinogens formed when the meat's fat burns, causing a higher health risk. A filthy grill could also be a fire hazard. Layers of old, uncleaned grease can catch fire, damaging your grill as a result. So make sure you pay attention to cleaning out all the grease on the grill.

Still not convinced that you should take care of your grill? Stuck-on grime also has an impact on the performance of your grill, preventing it from reaching and maintaining the proper temperature. Add in invaders such as dirt, insects and so on that find their way into the grill when it's not in regular use, and you've got a recipe for a grill that doesn't cook our food evenly. 

In addition, your food may be coated with cancer-causing substances and won't taste as delicious as a meal cooked on a clean grill. So, even though cleaning the grill can be a tedious process, it’s always better to do so.

Female Hands Cleaning a Grill

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Hose Down My Gas Grill?

You can hose down a gas grill to remove dirt, charcoal, and food particles. You'll probably also have to brush the surfaces to get them sparkling clean. Before you start hosing, turn off all electrical components and gas connections and allow your grill to cool completely, or it will produce very hot steam.

2. Should I Oil the Grill After Cleaning?

When cooking, oiling your grill grate prevents food from sticking. Simply dip a paper towel in a little oil and wipe it evenly over the grate with tongs. Avoid using too much oil, or else you risk flare-ups. I only oil my grill grate when it's absolutely necessary. If I'm smoking a meal that has already been oiled, I usually skip this step because it's redundant.

Conclusion

That’s all you need to know about how to clean a gas grill. Follow my cleaning instructions so your grill is free of dirt and debris. Don’t forget to follow maintenance tips so your grill lasts as long as it should and your meals taste delicious with no strange flavors.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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