Family get-togethers call for lip-smacking food and fun times. And great food means the smell of a charcoal grill being fired up in the backyard to cook juicy steaks and delectable veggies with delicious barbeque sauce. And oh – don’t forget – barbequed fruits for dessert. Yum!

While all this makes your tummy full and happy, it leaves your BBQ grill dirty and charred. Cleaning a grill after a hearty meal is a dirty chore, one that you may procrastinate for so long that you’d rather buy a new grill than clean the mess that has built up.

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before after cleaning grill with vinegar and baking soda

But if you clean it regularly after each use, it won’t turn into such a laborious task. Plus, you don’t want the carbon or rust built up on your grill grate to end up in your stomach, right? So, it’s time to don your cleaning hat or gloves!

Assuming you don’t want your food seasoned with chemicals, skip the expensive grill cleaners and polishes available in the market. Just use some common household items to easily scrub the grime off the grill.

Before you dive into cleaning your grill, be mindful of the manufacturer’s suggestions when choosing a cleaning method. Also, it goes without saying that you need to give your grill a decent amount of time to cool down before you begin cleaning it.

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Read on to learn five nifty ways to clean charcoal grill using common items from your kitchen.

Method 1: Dish Soap

before after cleaning grill with dish soap

Nothing can replace your regular dish soap when it comes to cleaning your grill. Use some elbow grease to give the grill grate and the bottom bowl a thorough scrubbing, and it will be squeaky clean for the next time you grill up a meal.

You can also clean your oven toaster griller with dish soap.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll neeed to clean BBQ grill with dish soap

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  • Dish soap (cleaning agent) – 2 tablespoons
  • Warm water – 2 cups
  • Household sponge
  • Kitchen towel

Step 1. Make warm soap solution

mix warm water and dish soap in a bowl

  • Pour 2 cups of warm water into a bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap to it.
  • Stir well with a spoon to dissolve the dish soap into warm water.

Step 2. Scrub the grill parts with the warm soap solution

scrub the grill with warm soap solution

  • Soak a household sponge in a warm soap solution.
  • Use the sponge to scrub the grime off the grill grate.
  • Continue scrubbing until the grate’s shiny metal surface is visible again.
  • Remove the grate and scrub the inside of the bottom bowl as well.

Step 3. Clean up the soapy residue with a damp towel

clean up the soapy residue with a damp towel

  • Soak a kitchen towel in water and wipe the sudsy residue off the grill bottom and grate.
  • Let everything air-dry before you grill again or store it away for the season.

final cleaning BBQ grill with dish soap

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Method 2: Vinegar and Baking Soda

before after cleaning grill with vinegar and baking soda

Both white vinegar and baking soda are effective and inexpensive options when it comes to cleaning your home. Together, they can also help you clean the gunk off your grill. Baking soda acts as an abrasive agent on the grime, while the acetic acid in white vinegar helps break up the burnt and hardened food particles.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll neeed to clean BBQ grill with baking soda

  • White vinegar (breaks up burnt grime)
  • Baking soda (abrasive cleaning agent)
  • Household sponge
  • Kitchen towel

Step 1. Prepare a diluted vinegar solution

prepare diluted vinegar solution

  • Pour equal amounts of white vinegar and water into a spray bottle. The quantity of the solution should be enough to wet the entire surface of the grill grate.

Step 2. Sprinkle baking soda over the grill grate

sprinkle baking soda over the grill grate

  • Generously sprinkle baking soda over the grill grate. Make sure that the gunk is completely coated with it.

Step 3. Spray the vinegar solution on the grate

spray the vinegar solution on the grate

  • Spray the diluted white vinegar over the grate covered with baking soda. The baking soda should be barely damp (not wet) in order for it to work and cut through the grime.
  • Let the cleaning agents sit on the grate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4. Scrub off the loosened grease and grime

scrub off the loosened grease and grime

  • Use a household sponge to scrub the grate until all the grime and gunk comes off.
  • Use the same method to clean the bottom bowl as well.

Step 5. Rinse the grate and wipe out the bottom with a towel

rinse the grate and wipe out the bottom with a towel

  • Wash the residue off the grate under running water.
  • Use a damp kitchen towel to wipe the bottom of the grill clean.
  • You can dry all the parts with a dry towel or let them air-dry.

final cleaning BBQ grill with baking soda

Method 3: Lemons

before after cleaning grill with lemon

Lemons along with baking soda are a panacea for every cleaning situation. You can certainly use this combo to clean charcoal grill. No matter how stubborn the grime is, it does not hold a chance against the abrasive and acidic combination of lemon and baking soda.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll neeed to clean BBQ grill with lemon

  • Lemons (breaks up hardened grime)
  • Baking soda (abrasive cleaning agent)

Step 1. Coat a cut lemon half with baking soda

coat a cut lemon with baking soda

  • Cut a lemon in half and dab the fleshy part in baking soda.

Step 2. Use it to scrub the grill

scrub the grill

  • Use the baking soda-coated lemon to scrub the gunk off the grill grate.
  • Use another lemon halve when the first one gets too dirty.
  • Thoroughly scrub all the nooks and crannies of the grate.

Step 3. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with water

let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with water

  • Set the grate aside for 10 minutes while you work on the other parts of the grill. This will allow time for the lemon and baking soda to work on the grime.
  • Use the same method to clean the bottom bowl of the grill.
  • Rinse all the parts with water.
  • Repeat the scrubbing process, if necessary.
  • Let the grill dry before using it again.

final cleaning BBQ grill with lemon

Method 4: Aluminum Foil

before after cleaning grill with aluminum foil

If you’re pressed for time and need to give your grill a quick clean, use aluminum foil to clean charcoal grill. The foil can be balled up and used to scrape hardened grease and burnt food off  the grill and coal grates. This aluminum foil hack works best for cast iron surfaces of the grill.

The nifty aluminum foil can also be used to sharpen dull scissors.

Step 1. Crumple aluminum foil into a ball

crumple aluminum foil into a ball

  • Rip off a big piece of aluminum foil.
  • Crumple it up to form a foil ball.

Step 2. Scrub the grate with the foil

scrub the grate with foil

  • Use the crumpled foil to scrape the grime off the grill grate.
  • Continue scrubbing back and forth until all the gunk comes off.
  • If needed, rinse the grate with water for a final cleanup.

final cleaning BBQ grill with

Method 5: Magic Eraser

before after cleaning grill with magic eraser

You can also use a Magic Eraser to get rid of burnt food and grease that’s stuck on your grill. It’s made of melamine foam that has abrasive properties and works like a fine sandpaper. Just dunk the eraser in water to activate the cleaning agent and use it to clean your grill.

Note: Do not use a Magic Eraser on high-gloss, polished or nonstick coated surfaces of your grill.

Step 1. Soak an end of the Magic Eraser in water

soak an ed of magic eraser in water

  • Dip the edge of the Magic Eraser in water.
  • Squeeze out the excess water.

Step 2. Use it to clean the dirty surfaces of the grill

use it to clean the dirty surfaces of grill

  • Use the wet Magic Eraser to clean the grubby surfaces of the grill. The eraser will easily remove grease and grime from the grate.

final cleaning BBQ grill with magic eraser

Tips

  • To avoid the need for deep cleaning, give your grill grates a quick brush before and after each use.
  • Before you start grilling, soak a paper towel in canola oil and rub it over the grate with the help of tongs. This will ensure less food sticking on the grates and make for an easier cleanup job.
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