How to Clean a Grill With Vinegar & Water

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Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle

  • Bucket

  • Rags

  • Grill brush

  • Scrub sponge or scouring pad

  • Storage tub or wash tub

  • Olive oil

  • Baking soda (optional)

  • Washing soda (optional)

  • Steel wool (optional)


For stubborn residue inside the grill, scour it with a scouring sponge dipped in hot water and dish soap after leaving the vinegar and water solution on the surfaces for 15 minutes. Use rags dipped in plain hot water to rinse away the soap. Vinegar and water works well to remove grease and polish stainless steel or enamel grill covers. Apply baking soda to the grill with a scrub sponge to scour off stuck residue. Baking soda provides abrasion and assists in removing food odors.
Soak a neglected grill grate overnight in washing soda before scrubbing. Find washing soda in a large grocery store's laundry aisle. Steel wool helps to remove burnt on debris. Use leftover vinegar and water to wipe down glass tables and clean windows.

Clean the grill with vinegar and water before each use.
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Keeping cooking surfaces clean--including outdoor grills--contributes to maintaining good health. Tennessee State University Extension suggests cleaning the grill each time you use it. Ordinary household white vinegar helps cut grease and make grill cleaning less of a chore. Give the grill a thorough scrubbing after the winter and maintain the grill in top condition year-round with this environmentally friendly mode of cleaning. Apply a few tricks to remove stubborn residue and prevent future buildup.


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Step 1

Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Pour half of the mixture in a spray bottle and half in a bucket.

Step 2

Spray the cooking grates with the vinegar and water. If you're cleaning a gas grill, remove the cooking grates before spraying them to avoid getting water and debris in the gas burner.


Step 3

Scrub the cooking grates with a wire grill brush to loosen cooked-on grease, char and food residue.

Step 4

Soak the grill grates--and the burner shield, if it's a gas grill--in a tub of hot, soapy water.


Step 5

Dip a rag in the bucket and wring it out. Wipe down the inside surfaces of the grill, including inside the hood or top. Change rags often to assist in getting the surfaces clean.

Step 6

Apply a light coating of olive oil to the grill grates with a clean rag. The oil helps to keep food from sticking to the grates. Oiling the grill grates regularly makes grill cleaning go more smoothly.