How To Clean Rust Of Grill Grates

Cleaning Rusty Grill Grates

Rust Removal : How to Clean Rust From Cast Iron Grill Grates

After leaving your grill out in the rain all winter, youre wondering how to clean it. There are different methods you can use depending on the materials. The grates on grills are often made from stainless steel or another form of metal. When cleaning their grill grates, most people use a stiff wire brush.

It is effective for removing rust from most grill grates but may damage the finish of stainless steel grates. The following are a few ways to remove stubborn rust from grill grates. It may be wise to start with the mildest option and work your way down the list until all rust has been removed.

Clean A Rusted Bbq Grill With A Wire Brush

One of the simplest ways to clean a rusted BBQ grill without using harsh cleaners is to use a wire brush and a little bit of vegetable oil. The oil protects the grill from damage while scrubbing away rust.

  • Paper towel

Remove the grating from the grill and place it on a sturdy flat surface. Pour cooking oil into a bowl and apply the oil to one side of the grill grate with a basting brush. Scrub the grate surface with the bristles of a flat wire brush.

Flip the grating over and repeat it on the backside. Spray the entire surface with a water hose to flush away rust debris and wipe it down with paper towels.

Remove The Remaining Rust With Cloth Or Old Rag

The salt and vinegar mixture will have done its job overnight and dissolved most of the rust, but you will need to get in there with some rags and give your grill grate a good rub down.

Remember to make use of the remaining salt to work as an abrasive and help you shift any rust thats left.

Depending on how rusty your grill was to start with, it might need a few trips through the salt and vinegar bath to get rid of it all.

If salt and vinegar arent an option for you, there are a few other methods you can use.

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Removing Rust With Baking Soda

  • 1Scrub the grill grates with a grill brush. Before starting your cleaning routine, use a grill brush to scrub any leftover residue from the grill. A good grill brush has wire bristles that will remove any burnt food and some of the rust.XResearch source
  • To get off more residue, preheat up the grill for 15 minutes before scrubbing it. This will loosen any leftover food and grease and make it easier to remove. Turn the grill and then start scrubbing while its still hot.XResearch source
  • 2Fill a large bucket with hot water, dish soap, and baking soda. Get a bucket large enough to fit your grill grates. Then pour in some hot water until the bucket is almost full. Add in 1 cup of dish soap and 14 cup of baking soda. Baking soda is a mild abrasive, so it will do a great job getting that rust off your grill. Mix it together until it forms a paste.XResearch source
  • You can also use vinegar with dish soap in the same way.
  • 3Remove the grill grates and soak them in the bucket for 1 hour. If your grill grates are removable, take them off the grill and put them in your bucket. Let it soak in the baking soda mixture for at least 1 hour. This will allow the baking soda and soap to penetrate and loosen the rust.XResearch source
  • If your grill grates are too large to submerge in a bucket, just scrub the baking soda mixture on the grill with a brush. However, keep in mind this may be less effective than letting the grill grates soak, especially if there is a significant amount of rust.
  • Vinegar And Baking Soda

    How to Clean Rusty Cast Iron Grill Grates

    If you need your grill ready for cooking quickly, you might want to try this solution. Slowly add baking soda to vinegar until you have a thick paste.

    When your paste is ready spread it on the rusty spots of your grill grate. Wait 30 minutes, then use a clean rag or hardy sponge to scrub the rust and paste away.

    The acidity of the vinegar and the cleaning properties of the baking soda should help the rust come off. Wipe down your grill to remove any last bits of paste and youre ready to cook.

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    Prevent Rust On Grill Grates

  • You can prevent rust appearing on the grill grates by covering the barbecue with a fitted cover. This will stop moisture from getting to the BBQ grill, preventing rust.
  • Cleaning the grill grates after every use will reduce the risk of rust. Food grime left on the grates will cause them to rust much quicker.
  • After each use, coat the grates in a thin layer of vegetable oil using a paper towel. Vegetable oil repels water so will help to prevent the grill grates from rusting.
  • Scrub Off As Much Loose Rust As Possible With A Grill Brush

    Scrubbing loose rust off first will save you timeand keep from muddying your water.

    Before you take the grates off the grill, try to remove as much rust as possible with a grill brush. Theres a chance that the rust isnt set very deep, and scrubbing will solve your problem. If your grates are stainless steel, avoid using steel bristles or wool, as they could scratch them.

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    Removing Rust With Salt And Vinegar:

    You may have seen people clean old jewelry by soaking them overnight in acidic solutions like white vinegar and Coke. The idea to remove rust with vinegar is simple as the acid in vinegar dissolves the rust. Salt speeds up the process and helps break down rust.

    Combine two cups of vinegar with one cup of salt in a bowl. Put your rusty grill grates in a big heavy-duty garbage bag. Pour the vinegar-salt mixture into the bag and tie it shut.

    Lay the bag flat and let the grill soak in the mix overnight. Then, wipe the rust off with a cloth. The salt acts as a mild abrasive that scrapes off the rust.

    Different Methods To Remove Rust

    Cleaning Hack: How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates

    Its always ideal to clean the grates after every use. Some of the food often remains on the grill, which can damage it over time. Most stainless steel grill grates or stainless steel grate machines are made from durable materials such as stainless steel. No matter what type of metal it is, they are prone to rust.

    Some professionals often use a stiff wire brush or nylon brush or bbq or barbecue grill brush or cooking grate to clean the grates after cooking. This is an effective method, but it can ruin the metals finish. Thus, we have discussed a few techniques that will help you clean rusty grates and also retain their finish.

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    Why Grill Grates Turn Rusty

    Well, there are plenty of reasons for it. The grill grates are usually placed in the backyards open to taking rainwater, so the grill grates turn out to be rusty due to frequent rainwater. Although companies coat a protective layer on the grates to protect them from rust, that layer wears off due to the user over time. Another reason for losing the protective rust-free layer is the wrong cleaning of the grates after grilling the food. People usually rub the grates with hard elements that scratch the protective layer from the grates. Eventually, the grill grates become unprotected and rust after some time.

    Is It Ok To Grill On Rusted Grates

    If you are serious about your grilling, you know that food safety is extremely important. The last thing that you want is for your or someone else to get sick after eating on your grill. The problem with leaving rust on your grill is that the rust can ruin the food.

    Not only is it bad for the rust to cook into the food, but actual flakes of rust can end up in the food as well. This is a dangerous situation and not a good idea. You should clean the rust off of your grill and then invite the friends over for a BBQ.

    Plus, if everyone sees that you are cooking on a rusty grill, they may suddenly lose their appetite!

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    Can I Grill On The Rust

    Simply put I wouldnt recommend it. Its unsanitary and potentially unhealthy.

    Itll also inhibit the grilling process, preventing those good grill marks from forming and cooking your food unevenly.

    Its my strong suggestion that you use one of these rust removal techniques to spot or wholly clean your rusty grill grate before using it.

    How To Clean A Rusty Grill


    Get your grill sparkling before the first barbecue of the season.

    Recommendations are independently chosen by Revieweds editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

    So youre preparing for your first barbecue of the season. Youve got ice in the coolers, your grilling essentials are at the ready, and you know which mistakes not to make when the big day comes. But is your actual grill in good shape? If its been sitting untouched for months, whether it was stored properly or not, chances are the grates have developed some rust.

    To keep from serving your guests some dangerous burgers, youll need to treat those grates before cooking anything. But dont fretcleaning your stainless steel or cast iron grill grates is a simple process that only takes about an hour and a half, soaking included.

    What You Need:

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    How To Clean Cast Iron Grill Grates & Removing Rust

    October 3, 2021 by 4barrelbbq

    Juicy and flavorful barbecue is sure to be a treat! More than learning the right techniques and using the proper meat, there is one more thing that largely impacts the outcomes the grill that you are using. You do not necessarily need the most expensive. The more important thing is that it is clean.

    If you want to learn how to clean cast iron grill grates like a pro, read on. Well share some tips to make grill care and maintenance easy!

    Best Ways To Clean Your Grill

    We always try to give you some options for cleaning your grill in a natural way and for cleaning it with a commercial cleaner as well. Having both options will help to ensure that you can get your grill back to its original condition.

    Want more cleaning tips? Here are some easy ways to clean your microwave and your oven.

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    Removing Rust From Grill Grates

    Luckily, there are some relatively simple techniques you can use to clean rusty grill grates, so they dont wind up ruining your food. Here are the best ways to do it.

    • The Vinegar-Baking Soda Method The vinegar-baking soda paste is the original DIY grime-buster, and it can do wonders on rust. When mixed, these two components create carbonic acid. This substance is slightly acidic and highly abrasive, which will help dissolve and break up the grease so you can easily scrub it off.
    • Mix baking soda with distilled white vinegar in a 1:2 ratio until a thick, spreadable paste forms.
    • Cover the grill grates in the paste and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.
    • Using steel wool, a stiff-bristled brush or an abrasive scrubber, scour the rust from the grates.
    • Wash with warm, soapy water and allow it to fully dry.
    • The Salt-Vinegar Soaking Method This is another simple way to bust rust with ingredients youve already got in the pantry. It uses distilled white vinegar and salt, two ingredients that work together to dissolve oxidized metal so you can scrub it off.
    • In a large utility sink or plastic tub, mix regular table salt with distilled white vinegar in a 1:2 ratio.
    • Lay the grates in the mixture and allow them to soak overnight.
    • In the morning, youll see that much of the rust has been dissolved. You can use steel wool or leftover salt to get rid of any remaining rust.
    • Wash the grates in warm, soapy water and allow them to fully dry.

    Clean Your Grill Directly After Each Use

    How to Clean Rusted BBQ Grill Grates (Cast Iron)

    We know its a pain, and youd rather listen to the siren call of beer and hot dogs, but cleaning your grill of grease and burnt-on food directly after use is both hygienic and an excellent way to stop rust forming.

    If you have a stainless steel grill, avoid using a wire brush to clean it as this will strip the coating off the steel and leave it vulnerable to corrosion.

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    Lemon Juice With Detergent

    You might know that lemon juice has acidic properties, and can easily dissolve the rust that settled on the grates. To create an even more effective concoction, you can combine it with some kind of detergent. Any detergent will work perfectly well when mixed with some lemon juice.

    Mix them to a certain extent where the solution forms into a paste-like substance. Once its ready, apply the paste on the rusty grates with the help of a brush. All of the rusted areas should be covered with paste. Allow the concoction to settle overnight before removing it.

    After about 12 hours, gently clean the grates using warm water, and a sponge or cloth. Use the sponge to scrub the grates clean. Dont apply too much pressure. Once you wash it with warm water, the grates will look as clean as new.

    Wipe Off Any Remaining Rust With A Cloth

    The next day, you can use a cloth or rag to scrub the remaining rust off your bbq grill grates. If need be, use a grill brush. Most of the rust would have already dissolved from the mixture, however, you want to clean everything off so your grates are polished.

    Youll notice some of the salt remains, which works perfectly as a scrub. If you notice theres still a bit of rust left you may have to repeat this process a few times overnight to see results. Nonetheless, there are always other options if the salt and vinegar mix isnt for you.

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    Removing Rust With The Wire Brush Method:

    If you dont mind a little elbow grease, using a wire brush is a good way to get rid of rust on your grill grate. Take the grate off your barbecue and set it flat on the ground on a concrete patio or driveway.

    Use a stiff wire brush to brush the rust off. Start with one side of the grill grate and then turn it over and brush the rust away from the other side.

    Prop the grate on its side and then brush between each of the metal rungs. When youre done, wipe the extra residual rust off the grill with a rag.

    Remove Rust From Grill Grates With Baking Soda

    Spruce up your grill for the summer! Easy way to clean ...

    Using baking soda to remove rust from grill grates is not only easy to do but cost-efficient as well. Its one of the best household products to remove rust from many surfaces, including the grill. It is a mild abrasive that not only scrubs away the rust but absorbs grease and grime.

    • Large bucket

    Fill a large bin or bucket with hot water and add the dish detergent and baking soda. Remove the grate from the grill and scrub away any loose debris with a grill brush before placing the grate into the soapy solution.

    Allow it to soak for one hour and use the brush to scrub away the loosened rust. Remove the grate and spray away residue with a garden hose before replacing it on the grill.

    Use this recipe for cleaning galvanized metal, too, but skip the wire brush as it will penetrate the coating. Wipe with an old rag or a nylon sponge instead.

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    Creating A Vinegar Bath To Remove Rust

  • 1Mix 1 cup of table salt and 2 cups of white vinegar in a bowl. Vinegar is a widely used substance to remove rust. Its natural properties react with rust and dissolve it from metal, while the salt is used to improve the cleaning action of the vinegar. Use a measuring cup to accurately measure out the salt and vinegar, and then pour it in a medium bowl. Finally, stir the mixture with a spoon until the salt completely dissolves.XResearch source
  • 2Place your grill grates inside of a garbage bag and pour the salt and vinegar mixture inside. Lay your trash bag on a large table or another flat surface. Put your grill grates inside of the bag, so they are laying down flat. Pour the vinegar and salt mixture over the grill, making sure to cover parts that are the most rusted. XResearch source
  • Make sure your bag is heavy-duty, so you dont risk poking holes in it with the grill grate.
  • 3Tie the bag and let the grill grates soak overnight. Seal the bag at the top to lock in moisture once you have finished pouring all of the vinegar mixture over the grill grates. Let the grill soak overnight, especially if the rusting is severe. Make sure the bag is closed tightly and placed completely flat so that none of the vinegar spills out.XResearch source
  • If your garbage bag doesnt come with a drawstring closure, you can always seal it by tying it in a knot or securing it with a rubber band.
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