Easy and Green Ways to Clean Your Grill

By Jessica Bivins, June 16, 2017, Green, Home Improvement

After months of sitting dormant in a garage or beneath the deck, your grill can end up doing a lot of work during the summer months. And though you might have put it away clean — or relatively clean — it doesn’t take much more than a couple weekends of sizzling well-formed burgers, charring thick steaks or putting perfect grill marks on those pineapple slices for that grill to become a crusty mess of gunk and blackened char.

Most of us have gone head-to-head with one of these dirty grills, attacking it with a metal scraper until our arms were worn out, the grill still far from clean. The frustrating part is that no one wants to use harsh cleaners on the grill they’re going to eat off of. Thankfully, there are ways to clean your grill that are virtually effortless and don’t require any nasty chemicals.

Easy and Green Ways to Clean Your Grill | Bounce Energy Blog

Standard maintenance

Don’t wait for your grill to become rusted and thick with grease. Clean it each time you use it, following these steps:

  1. While the grate is still hot, thoroughly scrape it down with a stiff metal-wire brush.
  2. Take a wad of paper towels and wet them with vegetable oil.
  3. With tongs, wipe the oil-soaked towel over the grate.

In this process, the vegetable oil serves several purposes. The first is that while the wire brush takes care of most of the large gunk and debris, the oil takes care of the fine soot and smaller debris. This adds a degree of sparkle but also prevents past flavors from infiltrating the next bunch of food you grill. As far as cleanliness goes, the oil creates a lubricated layer that reduces future grease and food buildup.

The deep clean

Just because the grate is clean doesn’t mean your job is over. And while you don’t have to do a deep clean on your grill as often as you do on your grate, you also shouldn’t be shy about getting down there and cleaning it out a few times this summer. Here’s how:

  1. Wait for everything to cool off and remove the grate.
  2. Take a metal utensil, say a spatula, butter knife or paint scraper, and start scraping at the carbonized material at the base or around the heat diffuser (usually the metal plates above the burners).
  3. Scrape away carbonized debris from the cookbox and from the underside of the lid.

Easy and Green Ways to Clean Your Grill | Bounce Energy Blog

For when you need a little more shine and sparkle

Sometimes you want to do a little more for your grill grate. For such situations, we have an effective nontoxic solution for you to mix up and use.

  • 3 cups ammonia
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 large plastic garbage bag

Here’s what you do:

  1. Outside, place the grate in the plastic garbage bag.
  2. Mix the ammonia and vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. Quickly, and with care, add the baking soda. Remember the reaction that happened with the vinegar/baking soda volcanoes you made in grade school? There will be some fizzing here too!
  4. Add the mixture to the bag with the grate in it and seal the bag.
  5. Shake the bag around so the grate gets coated by the mixture.
  6. Let it sit for 24 hours.
  7. Remove the grate from the bag and spray it off with the hose. As you’ll see, you won’t have to use a rag or a wire brush — all the carbonized gunk and burned grease will come right off.

With these simple techniques, the days of struggling to get the impossible mess off your grate are gone. Best of all, this is an easy way to keep everything that sizzles on your grill tasting like it should, not like the remainder of what you grilled three weeks ago!

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