Guide to a Clean Grill

Hello, new friends! Welcome to the first post on CleanGeek, my new aiming-for-weekly blog about all things cleaning and organization. My name is Claire Porter, and I’m a clean geek. An organization maniac. A neat freak.

Almost as much as a clean kitchen, I love sharing my cleaning tips and tricks with other people. Follow me, and you won’t have to sacrifice time with family, friends, or your favorite streaming TV show to live life like a CleanGeek. For the last couple of months, I have been talking about starting a blog to talk about my obsession, so when Tina and Nick suggested I take over for them and transform their fabulous blog into CleanGeek, I jumped at the chance.

I’d rather talk about cleaning than myself, and I am so excited to get started, so let’s get to it!

After getting a workout during the long holiday weekend, my gas grill needed some serious cleaning attention. Of course, after every cookout I clean the grates and empty the drip pan, but after every third or fourth use I give the whole thing a more thorough scrubbing. It only takes about 15 minutes to make me feel like I’m cooking on a brand new grill. It couldn’t be easier!

You’ll need:

Rubber cleaning gloves
A large basin
Dish soap
A wire grill brush (or any old scrub brush)
Foil
A spray bottle with a 1:1 mix of plain white vinegar and water
Paper towels
A hose
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My grill after the last cookout of the weekend.

Step One: Fill your basin with hot water mixed with dish soap. (And if you have to do this inside, be careful not to trip over your curious dog while you carry the full basin out to the grill!) I find that a spare plastic bin is the perfect size for the job, and the handles make it easy to transport.

Step Two: Make sure your propane tank is off, and disconnect it from your grill. Wearing the gloves, remove the grates and the metal plates underneath them that cover the gas elements. They should all lift off without too much trouble. Put them in the basin of water to soak.

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I took this picture right after I got all of the pieces into the basin. It was already this dirty, even though I always clean the grates. Ew!

Step Three: Cover the elements with a piece of foil and lightly scrub the underside of the hood and the sides of the grill with your scrub brush. The foil is there to catch the residue as it falls. Spray stubborn spots with your vinegar and water mixture before scrubbing.

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My foil, mid-scrub.

Step Four: Remove the drip pan and empty the grease into a trashcan. Toss the pan, and in my case the hanger, into the basin with the grates.

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My grease pan hangs out (sorry for the pun!) under the back side of the grill.

Step Five: In my grill, it’s difficult to get the top grate out. I remove it for a good soak when I do my yearly deep clean, but during the year I spray it with a little of my vinegar mix and scrub it with a wad of foil – it’s amazing how well this combo works to remove any gunk buildup.

Now that you’re almost finished cleaning the inside of the grill, wipe down with a paper towel, then throw away the foil you had to catch debris.

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Trust me, the foil works better for the wide spaces on this grate than anything else I’ve ever tried!

Step Six: Using paper towels and your brush as needed, wipe out the bottom of your grill between the elements. Spray your vinegar and water mixture on any side tables your grill has, and wipe those down with paper towels.

Step Seven: Time to scrub the grates, covers, and grease pan. After the soak, you will hardly have to call it scrubbing. A combination of the scrub brush and your trusty ball of foil should do the trick in no time.

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Scrub, scrub, scrub.

Step Eight: Set the grates, covers, and pan out on the driveway and give them a rinse on both sides with your hose. (Spraying the kids and the dog is optional, but depending on how hot it is outside, they may drift over on their own.) Take this opportunity to rinse out your basin as well.

Step Nine: Re-assemble the grill! There’s no need to dry the pieces as long as they’re coated and not bare metal. They’ll air dry fast, and your grill will look almost like new! Sweep out any debris that may be in the cabinet underneath with your propane tank, and you’re done!

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Standing by for the next meal…

So what do you think, fellow clean geeks? Do you have any grill cleaning tips I missed?