How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates?

How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates?

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How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates
How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates

Rusty grill grates will cause you several hassles. You do not feel appetizing when cooking food on dirty grates. Besides, corrosion will contaminate your food which is not safe for your health. Therefore, you should know how to clean rusty grill grates to enjoy delicious BBQ parties all year round. The following are tips which help you conduct the work easily.

Best Ways to clean rusty gas grill grates

Table of Contents

It is important to choose suitable substances for cleaning rusty BBQ grill grates. You should keep your mind that the grate is easily damaged by abrasive materials. Therefore, five different ways are highly recommended to clean grill grates without any trouble. You no longer worry about that rusty gas grill grates can impact your food

Sponge and soap

A simple tip for you is that you can use sponge and soap to easily clean rust which forms a layer on the surface of the grate.

Sponge and soap are widely used to clean rust which forms a layer on the surface of the grate. The highlights of this method are a harmlessness and lower chance of dangerous remains on the grate.

Firstly, you stir the soap with warm water in a bucket. Then, dip the sponge into this mixture and start rinsing the grill. Use the sponge to scour a bit in case rust does not disappear immediately. The rough side of the sponge is useful to shave the tough rust off the surface. A nylon brush is an alternative to clean BBQ. Any detergent powders or soaps are not allowed to use if you do not want to hurt the iron layer. Besides, these chemical compounds may adversely affect cooking utensils.

Using baking soda and vinegar

A more effective method for deep cleaning of the grill is to use a baking soda and vinegar paste. These ingredients are easy to find and always available in your kitchen. The method is also preferred because of being environmental-friendly and safe if you accidentally swallow a little. Baking soda is present in many applications for cleaning agents.

First, prepare vinegar and baking soda in a ratio of 2 parts baking soda to one part vinegar. Then slowly add the vinegar to the baking soda in a prepared cup until paste-like consistency formed. Use a scouring pad or an old toothbrush to apply the paste on the grill. Leave the mixture on the iron for at least half an hour. You can leave the mixture on the grate overnight if you want to clean off deep rust. Place the paste-covered grates on the sink.

Use a brush or the rough surface of the sponge to scour out the paste soaking into the rust layer. To increase the effectiveness of removing stubborn stains, use a tough-bristled brush.

Use clean water to wash the entire grate to avoid leaving any residue. Plain white vinegar is also a simple and safe way to clean because it is a weak, non-toxic acid even if it is left on the grill. Apply plain white vinegar to the grate and leave it for 15 minutes.

Using a commercial grill cleaner spray

A rust cleaner can remove even the most stubborn stains that bring a more reliable cleaning effect than the above two methods. However, some products often contain toxic compounds harmful to health. Therefore, become a smart consumer when choosing products for the grill and cooking utensils. You can buy these products on the shelves of most home stores.

The trouble with using oven cleaner is that you have to re-season your grates. Oven cleaners contain lye that turns the iron grates into the raw metal.

Use a large bag to cover the oven applied by the oven cleaner in a well-ventilated place. A face mask and gloves are important equipment to protect you from harsh substances when you do it.

Leave the cleaner on the oven for 2 days then use the dish soap to clean carefully. Enjoy the fruits of your work with a brand new grill.

Using steel wool and soap

A scour with steel wool and soap is an effective way to freshen up your rusty gas grill under $500 grate. Besides, many households choose this method to clean a propane grill gate cooked daily.

Using steel wool and soap can clean easily modest quantity of rust on the grates. You stir the soap with warm water in a bucket.

Soak the iron in soapy water. Then use steel wool to clean it. Replace steel wool with large sandpaper to remove stubborn rust remains.

Place the iron grate into a hot oven to remove moisture from it.

Using a Kosher salt paste

Kosher salt paste works for tough rust.

More effective at washing up than baking soda, Kosher salt has been shown to be safe when used on cookware such as your grill grate.

The steps are the same as the method used for baking soda and vinegar. Stir Kosher salt into water until a paste formed. Then apply the Kosher salt paste into the grate by an old toothbrush. Use steel wool to scour as soon as possible. You do not have to let it sit. Another choice is to use a ball of aluminum. Wash it with clean water and repeat the above steps to ensure that the rust is wiped off completely.

A note for you is that kosher salt paste can corrode the iron and create the rust if you leave this paste on the grate for a long time.

How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates

In order to keep your grate in good condition, it is important to condition it first before you grill on it. Besides, seasoning helps your grate keep away from rusting.

The seasoning is a must for a new grate as this step will extend its lifespan. You can imagine that the seasoning is the same as cleaning rust grates with harsh chemicals.

3 simple steps below will help you condition the iron easily:

Wash it well

The first step is to wash your grate with warm water to remove completely any muck and dust on it. In case of stripping off the seasoning of your grates from the last grill, soap is a good choice. Wash your grates with soap if it is newly bought.

Use a clean towel to dry off the grate after cleaning it.

Apply oil

Apply a layer of oil on the grates. This layer of oil not only has a non-stick effect, which is convenient for cleaning after cooking but also helps to restrict the rust.

There is an array of cooking oil in the market for you to opt for such as vegetable oil, olive oil, peanut oil, etc. Apply the oil by using a clean bristle paintbrush in several coats. It is necessary to let the first coat sit for a few minutes. Then repeat the application numerous times.

For the following time you use the grill, applying a layer of oil is just enough. However, if you strip off the previous seasoning layer, you need to do the application all over again.

Expose it to heat

After applying oil to the grill appropriately, you put it back to the grill and heat it to 400 F. Then, maintain the temperature for 60 minutes before you turn off the grill and let it cool naturally. The purpose of this step is to lock in the oils and to be ready for cooking. Cover the grates with another layer oil and start grilling right away.

Re-seasoning your grill grate has to be conducted before each use. This process has to be repeated if the grates is wiped off to remove the rust.

You must have certain knowledge about how to keep your grill work well. It is highly recommended to re-season it regularly if you enjoy grilled dishes on a frequent basis.



More tips to prevent grill grate rust

It is important to avoid the rust to deposit on your grill after you clean it. Some simple tips are mentioned below to help you strengthen the lifespan of your grate which are less time-consuming and economical.

Don’t soak it for too long.

You should immerse gas grill under 300 or any type of grate into water for a suitable period of time. Because, lengthened soaking causes to corrode the iron. Besides, the seasoning on the grates will be stripped off because of the dishwasher.

Always clean it

After cooking, cleaning the grates appropriately is a required step to prevent rusting. In addition, if you leave the food remains on the iron without washing, the residue will lead a disgusting smell and create stomach-upsetting bacteria.

The other benefit of cleaning the grates is to avoid rodents and bugs to inhabit in the grates when you are storing them outside.

Make sure that a clean iron grate without any layers of burnt and rotting leftovers will delight your appetite.

Cover the grates

It is imperative to store the grates properly indoors or outdoors. Cover the grates with right materials to keep moisture and other substances from penetrating into the iron. This is beneficial for your grill to avoid rusting when you are not using it for a period of time.

Take it easy on the glaze.

Your food is more even appetizing if you apply barbecue glaze. However, just apply it at the right time with the right amount unless you want to create a burnt and cakey layer on the grill. After cooking, wash it carefully to prevent rusting and contamination.

PRO TIP: You can use a sheet of aluminum foil on top of your grill as an alternative in case you have no time to clean the rust on it. The aluminum foil is a perfect solution to prevent the food from burning and create an even distribution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it safe to cook on a grill grate with rust? When cooking on a rusty grill grate, you can swallow directly the rust sticking to the food. It is not lethal if you consume a small quantity of rust; however, you can encounter intestinal problems if ingesting regularly. Q: How do you maintain cast iron grill grates? Three important steps to maintain your grate in good condition and keep it from the rust are to clean it properly, apply oil well and season it. Besides, you have to prevent moisture and other elements getting into it by storing it well. Q: Should I oil my grill grates? Certainly, cast iron grates need more oil which helps wipe off the rust and cook food conveniently. The oil plays a role as a non-stick feature to clean it more easily. Q: Can you get sick from a dirty grill? A rusty grill grate is proven not to be cleaned properly. According to experts, a dirty grill contains bacteria which impact adversely your health. Q: Why do grill grates rust? The first reason for the rust is continuous exposure to heat. A combination between the moisture in the atmosphere surrounding and the iron can create iron oxide which a chemical compound of rust. Q: Is it a requirement to season a grill grate first? It is advisable to season a grill grate first which keeps your grate work well. If you skip this step, your grate will wear and tear more easily. Besides, un-seasoned grates will have a high chance to be rusty.



It is vital to maintain your grill grates clean if you want enjoy tasty meals. Simple DIY steps are useful to deal with the most stubborn rust stains on your grill. You can apply these tips without any trouble.

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