Everyone loves to barbecue, but no one likes to handle the cleaning at the end. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since the origin of grills and come up with all kinds of ways to clean them. Some of these methods are more labor-intensive than others, such as scrubs, while others use the power of science to knock out grease stains.
Nowadays, there are all kinds of ways to maintain a clean grill, oven, or other cooking surfaces. Chemical cleaners usually tend to use some kind of corrosive or abrasive material to sink into food clumps or greasy spots and break up the molecules there. Brushes rely on your muscles to get the job done. Not all grill cleaners are the same, however, and some are better than others depending on what you’re trying to clean.
Many cleaners have something special about them which sets them apart from the competition. It could be as simple as stainless steel implements since this is a hypoallergenic material that’s also great for cleaning due to its strength. Or it might be non-toxic. If you have a family I think you should try for something that isn’t poisonous, since you never know what a kid will try to drink.
Not all grill cleaners are hard to use, either. Some are more manual than others, but there are a few that are as hands-off as you can get when you clean something. None of these cleaners are particularly complicated to use, either. I set up some guides lower to explain how to properly use some of the more technical options.
Grill cleaners are a great way to shortcut the time you need to spend cleaning your grill after a long day barbecuing. No one wants to spend hours scrubbing the grill, so I put together some great recommendations for grill cleaners that should be a great fit for you, no matter what your preference or what you’ve just cooked up!
Non-flammable, corrosive, or toxic;
Not a skin irritant.
Who This is For: This is for those who like to barbecue frequently and who want to minimize their impact on the environment. If you have kids, you’ll like how safe this cleaner is.
Why I Like It: I enjoy cleaning companies that try to focus on the impact their products have on the larger environment. This Weber grill spray puts safety to the forefront as the spray isn’t harmful to you, your kids, animals, or the environment. Because of this, there’s no pressure to carefully direct your spray or store this in a place where you’re sure a little one will never reach.
Despite all of the safety-mindedness that went into the formula, the spray is really tough and cleans grills well. Caked fat and meat residue from patties or hot dogs fall off the bars of a grill in no time. Plus the citrus scent that’s built into the spray leaves your grill smelling wonderful.
Finally, I love that the spray works for barbecues, ovens, smokers, or even microwaves. It’s versatile and affordable, a great pick for families or if you’re on a budget.
Starts dissolving grease and food immediately;
Works for non-aluminum dishes/pots/stainless steel;
Safe for use on all grill types.
Who This is For: This is great if you’re in a hurry or don’t like spending a lot of time cleaning. Because it’s so tough, you can spray, scrub, and store all within minutes.
Why I Like It: I appreciate how fast the formula works on most common barbecue spots or grease lumps. A lot of the time you have to put some muscle into your scrubbing effort no matter what spray you use. With the Easy-Off, I found that I hardly had to try before grease and the meaty residue was sliding away.
It’s not as harmless or non-toxic as some other sprays so it should be stored carefully. That being said, it is safe for cleaning surfaces beyond your grill like non-aluminum dishes or a stainless steel pot. This is important since stainless steel is a hypoallergenic material and preserving it is often important for cooking food safely.
I really like how fast the Easy-Off works for my grill. I find that it’s a great pick when I’m in a hurry or if I’m just too tired to put in a thorough, long cleaning effort for my equipment. I’d combine it with a cloth or some paper towels since the formula is strong enough not to need a heavy-duty brush.
Safe for stainless steel;
Gets into corners and crevices easily.
Who This is For: Quick-cleaners or anyone who has a barbecue with a lot of small spaces will appreciate this spray. The small can and powerful nozzle are awesome at getting the formula right where it needs to go.
Why I Like It: I love how well it works for cleaning off stainless steel surfaces. After I’m done spraying and swiping, the dish or the top of my grill look amazing, as if they just came out of the shop. The formula is really quick-acting, too, like the Easy-Off.
The GrillPro’s formula is ejected really well with the nozzle. Spraying into cracks and corners is super easy and with a small brush or stick you can really get in there and clean all the gunk from hidden places. After you’re done you’ll have a great that’s sparkling in all of its nooks and crannies, not just its front or the tops of the grilling surface.
This formula is toxic, however, so it should be kept away from kids or pets. In addition, I would be careful about where you throw this can away since it’s not biodegradable and can harm the environment or your back yard if you’re not careful.
3 brushes in 1;
The scraper has a unique, effective design;
Stainless steel wire.
Who This is For: Thorough cleaners and grill aficionados will really join me in loving this set. Sometimes you want to go fast, but when you want to roll up your sleeves and get dirty and make your grill shine, there’s nothing better.
Why I Like It: This is actually a dual brush/scraper combo that’s all built into one unit. Right off the bat, there’s some great value to appreciate. The hairs on the brush are made from stainless steel, so they won’t fray or fall off very easily. The long handle is great for use while you’re grilling; you can safely get rid of grease as it forms without approaching the heat.
The brush head has three brushes all lined up next to one another to improve the space and speed at which it cleans. I like how much area I can cover with each stroke. The scraper is super tough and sharp enough that when I’m through scraping the surface of my grill looks pretty close to new.
The downside is that you have to use some muscle power here. However, you’ll never need to replace or refill anything with this brush so it ends up being pretty affordable in the long run, unlike with a can or bottle or sprayer fluid.
Comes with spray, polish, scraper, stain remover, and 10 scrub pads;
Has everything you need for any cleaning job;
Polish is 12 oz, cleaner is 16 oz;
Affordable for everything that comes with it.
Who This is For: I think this is perfect if you’ve got a big grill or several smaller cooking units you want to clean. There’s something for everything and its strength is versatility.
Why I Like It: I love that no matter what cleaning job I need to tackle, there’s something I can use in this kit. I can use the cleaner spray and scrubber for most grease or food spots and the pads are really tough and great for putting my back into them. They don’t last forever, of course, but that’s why you get 10 in the purchase.
The stain remover works really well if you let it sit for a while. Don’t try to scrub right after applying since the formula needs a little time to work. Then apply the polish once all your cleaning is done. I really liked how the polish made my grill look when everything was finished.
I love packages where I don’t need to go to the store to get anything else. If you want to just buy one thing and move on with your life, this is a great pick. Grab this kit and you don’t have to worry about grill cleaning supplies until the chemicals run out.
Very sticky, clings to vertical surfaces;
Penetrates grease super-well.
Who This is For: If you cook a lot of greasy food and hate the slick coating that seems to permeate the air afterward, this is for you. It’s great at breaking apart oily molecules and thoroughly cleaning the area around your grill.
Why I Like It: This is fantastic for cookouts where you make a bunch of greasy burgers. You’ll find that sometimes grease can cling to your grill and the walls around it. Even after you spend some time cleaning you find that the little layer of grease remains. Gross!
This spray really knocks that stuff out of commission. It sinks into the grease either in your grill or your other cooking implements and penetrates the layer, letting you then break it up with a cloth or scrub. I love how well it works. Afterward, I couldn’t feel any grease on the grill.
You can use it on walls like I did too since it doesn’t smear. It’s very sticky to the touch. This is probably a result of its being safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable. I’m always a fan of being safe when it comes to my backyard and the wider world, so this gets bonus points for being good for the Earth as well.
Hot or cold grills are both fine;
The LCD screen shows time and alarm;
Turns off when the grill is clean.
Who This is For: If you’re busy or don’t like to clean yourself, this is a perfect pick. It’s awesome for busy families or, alternatively, if you have a huge grill you can’t imagine scrubbing all over.
Why I Like It: I love how functional this robot is! A lot of the time robots are gimmicks, but this grill cleaner is phenomenal. It runs on a lithium-ion battery that’s really easy to recharge. Three different motors all work together to move it across your grill’s surface. The bristles underneath then go to work, getting rid of grease and food remains.
The brushes can be thrown into the dishwasher once the bot is done. It even tells you when its job is complete with an LCD screen at its top. A timer will let you know about how much time is left before it’s all ready.
I enjoy that it’s truly “set and forget”. I can make it go, step away to do some other cleaning, and come back to a clean grill. You can’t beat that kind of convenience. You do have to clean the tops of the grill yourself, though, so this bot is really only good for getting the stuff inside the heart of your grill.
2-in-1 cleaner and degreaser;
Adds coating to prevent rust or growth of bacteria;
Safe for oven interiors.
Who This is For: If you do most of your cooking in the oven, you’ll love this cleaner. It both cleans your oven and protects it from rusting or adding colonies of gross bacteria.
Why I Like It: I like how multi-functional this spray is. A lot of cleaning sprays are simple and do one job; this technically does three. For starters, it sinks into baked on food or other debris and allows you to really quickly scrub it away into the trash with a cloth. I liked how effective that part of the spray was.
Then it got better since it dissolves grease right before your eyes. This is extra-helpful since bending into an oven is a bit hard for most of us. I also appreciate that it the spray left a coat of antibacterial and anti-rust residue to make my oven shine. Keeping your oven working well is always a good idea.
Due to these properties, it’s pretty corrosive so I’d keep it away from kids or pets. Make sure to secure it in a safe area where it won’t accidentally get opened and applied to dishes, for instance.
Stainless steel bristles;
Easy grip handle;
Uses steam to break up food and greasy gunk;
Doesn’t damage anything.
Who This is For: If you’re afraid of harming your grill, oven, or other cooking implements you can grab this brush, which uses steam as its primary catalyst for removing tough food spots and grease stains.
Why I Like It: Most of all, I appreciate the effort that went into this brush to make it great for sensitive cooking surfaces. I could use this for an old oven or on a surface that I didn’t want to suffer from a corrosive chemical and still manage to clean everything I needed to.
It uses a steam jet that pulses beneath the bristles as you scrub, which makes your muscular task a lot easier. The bristles are made of stainless steel, too, which are hypoallergenic and perfect if anyone eating off your grill is allergic to nickel.
The handle is easy, the cleaning is thorough; I can’t find much to dislike about this awesome tool. It’s cool to see cleaning methods that don’t rely on a lot of synthetic cleaning formulas.
Handle angle is great for harder spots;
Uses steam to clean;
Who This is For: If you like the way our previous brush did its work, you’ll also appreciate this brush for larger grills or tougher spots. The handle adds some great leverage to the heat-cleaning power of the steam.
Why I Like It: This brush is really similar to the other Grill Daddy, except its handle is altered significantly to make your angle of pressure more intense. I like this because I can apply more muscle to the job and really dig in deep. This is great for stronger grease stains that collect along a grill’s bars.
I also really like that I can throw this in the dishwasher when I’m done and it won’t harm any of the other dishes. Cleaning the bristles are thus not really a problem and I don’t have to waste time scrubbing them with another pad.
This brush also uses steam for an all-natural clean and I again find that the lack of a need for a chemical to be a great way forward for grill cleaning.
Grill Cleaners 101
If you chose one of the Grill Daddy brushes above or found a different steam cleaner, you’ll want to know how best to use it. I’ll explain how I was able to use these kinds of brushes to finish my grill cleaning quickly and efficiently.
First, push the steam button on the brush handle to remove all excess water that might be inside from your last cleaning session. I think this makes measuring the water next a lot easier.
Then start heating your grill. This is super important because heat will make all the gunk you’re about to clean off that much easier to get rid of.
After that, you want to fill your brush handle with water until it reaches the fill line. This is just shy of the actual top of the handle. Go ahead and cap it. I found that giving a good half inch or so was just fine.
Once your grill is heated, all you’ve got to do is start brushing. Push the steam button as you do so and you’ll find that the steam works with the grill’s heat to deteriorate the food and grease very quickly.
If you have any tougher spots, go ahead and flip the brush to use the scraper. You can’t steam while you’re using the scraper but some residual water should remain from your brushing time.
Afterward, you can use the dishwasher to clean the head, which is detachable. Empty the handle of water and let it air dry with the cap off.
When it comes to water for the steam, you should try to use clean, distilled water whenever possible. Tap water is okay in a pinch, but the quality of the steam you’re spraying is obviously derived from the quality of the water you put into it.
Also, never add any chemical to the water mixture to make a “cleaning” steam or anything like that. This might actually clog your brush’s steam emitter and you’ll have to buy a new brush.
You might have some perfectly-good oven cleaner lying around and want to use that to clean your grill. Before you start spraying let me give you some advice so that you don’t accidentally damage your grill! Since oven cleaner wasn’t designed for use with grills specifically, you’ll need to make some slight preparations beforehand.
First off, get rid of the ash pan if you’re using a charcoal grill. Empty it and clean it totally before you start using oven cleaner.
Next, you want to spray the grill grates with your oven cleaner. I want you to try for a thorough spray, layering it on thickly so that there isn’t any section that’s coated less than the others. Don’t get spray on the outside of your grill! You can damage the finish or outer paint layer since oven cleaner is usually corrosive.
Then you need some patience. Wait for about a half hour before you return so the chemical can do its work.
Once the half hour has passed, you can wipe the grates with some blank paper towels. Use a lot of these if you have to since smearing grease over the grates doesn’t really progress your cleaning in any way.
Take the grates out and use paper towels to clean the rest of the grill interior. Spray should have coated the bottom thanks to your spraying earlier.
When you are wiping down your grates or the interior of the grill, don’t use a rage! You might want to avoid throwing away so many paper towels, but a rag won’t remove all the residue left from the oven cleaner. The only way to be sure that you’ve got every drop of the stuff from your grill is by throwing the scrubbing material away.
Because oven cleaner can be toxic more easily than a grill cleaning chemical, I definitely recommend using a special cleaner specifically for your grill if you have kids around.
Now you have to clean the grill of chemicals! I want you to take 2 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent and mix that with about a gallon of hot water. With this mixture, wipe the grates and the interior of the grill with paper towels, disposing as they become soiled.
It’s really important that you do this thoroughly; oven cleaner can burn and get into the air or food you cook next if you don’t do a good job, so take your time with this part!
If you bought the Grillbot or a similar device that automatically cleans your grill, there are a few important tips you should be aware of to extend the lifespan of your robot and protect your grill. Let me explain.
When you set the Grillbot down, make sure that your grill isn’t too hot. If it is there should be a sensor that alerts you, but you still want to make sure that your robot buddy isn’t harmed before it even begins its work. The Grillbot can work with a hot or cold grill so don’t feel like you have to warm it up beforehand if it’s already cooled down.
The Grillbot just needs to be placed and its main button pressed. You don’t need to add cleaning fluid or anything; the bristles take care of all the cleaning.
The bristles should be replaced every 100 or so uses. You can buy more bristles from the manufacturer’s website.
The Grillbot will be done with most grills between 10 and 20 minutes. If you look at the top, you’ll see an LCD screen that has a timer estimating how much longer is in its current cleaning cycle.
The battery needs to be recharged after every use, so once you’re done go ahead and detach the bristles for cleaning in the dishwasher. While these are washing, use the charger that comes with the Grillbot purchase and plug it in so that it’s always ready to go after a cookout.
The Grillbot has an alarm that will ring to let you know that it’s done cleaning. There’s no need to wait around for it to finish.
If any part of your Grillbot fails or needs replacement, there are parts available for purchase from the main website. One big drawback to the Grillbot is that it only cleans the inside of your grill. You can set it and forget it, but you’ll still have to return at some point and take a cloth to the outside and get rid of the grease that builds up. I recommend pairing the Grillbot with a chemical spray and a rag for the exterior.
With this combo, you can clean your grill twice as fast, with the robot working on the inside at the same time as you clean the outside. A shorter cleaning routine is always a win!
Hopefully, you were able to find one of my suggestions helpful! I really think each of these grill cleaners are among the best you can find right now. Even if you hate cleaning, any of these products will help make the task at the end of the day that much easier. If you love grilling as much as I do, you won’t let a little cleaning get in the way of having a cookout.