How to Clean a Gas Grill
Learn to properly care for your purchase
Grills are frequently subjected to forces capable of breaking down steel. Heat, fire, water, salt, grease, moisture, and humidity can all take a toll on your product over time and can eventually start to negatively impact your grilling experience.
Fortunately, the grills sold at Kick-Ass Grills are among the best on the market. The units we sell are manufactured with higher quality materials than you’d find on grills at big box stores. Many of these grills have been built to last a lifetime—and some even feature warranties to reflect this—but you’ll want to properly care for your grill to extend its life as long as possible.
Your grill can survive many years—or decades—with proper care. We’ve put together this guide to show you what it takes to keep your grill looking and operating like new for as long as possible.
General grill maintenance
Basic grill cleaning guidelines
Before we get too far, remember to always consult your owner’s manual for specific cleaning instructions. While general maintenance will often be the same from grill to grill, this isn’t always the case. Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations will ensure you’re using the proper products and methods to keep your grill in top shape.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend thoroughly cleaning your grill at least twice per year. This is in addition to normal cleanup procedures you’ll follow after using the grill. If you’re in a harsher climate—like those living in salty sea air—you’ll want to deep clean more than twice a year.
How to protect your grill
The best maintenance is often prevention, and your grill is no exception. This is why we recommend you keep your grill covered when it’s not in use. Most manufacturers make premium covers designed specifically for each grill model they sell. While generic covers are better than nothing, covers from the manufacturer are typically more durable and feature added details like venting and felt lining.
Things to consider when cleaning your grill
Remember to always shut off your grill and disconnect your gas supply before removing any burners, performing any kind of disassembly, or pressure washing your grill. You should also spot test any new cleaning product before using it on your grill to ensure a product works as advertised.
Finally, remember to heat your grill after cleaning to allow any cleaning remnants to burn off. This will keep your cleaner from becoming part of your next meal. This is also a good time to consider adding drip tray liners or aluminum foil to your grill to simplify your cleaning process in the future.
How to clean different parts of your grill
Grill grids and grates
Grill grids need to be cleaned after every use to ensure a long life. How you’ll clean your grates will depend on what material they’re made from. For stainless steel grates, you’ll want to use a stainless steel brush. If your grates are porcelainized cast iron, use a brass brush. The reason for this is a brass brush is softer, and there’s less risk of scratching the grates. Using a high-quality brush is also important. Inferior tools are more likely to leave bristles behind on grill grates, which means you’re more likely to end up with bristles in your food.
It’s generally easiest to clean your grates immediately after use—just scrape the food away while the grates are still warm. However, if you forgot to clean your grates while your food was resting, you’ll need to heat it back up for easier cleaning. Most likely, this will be before your next grilling session. According to Napoleon Grills, you should preheat your grill to at least 500 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes prior to grilling. Once the grill is hot, you can clear away any debris left behind from previous use.
Flame tamers or flavor grids
Flame tamers receive much of the wear and tear inside a grill. Fortunately, these pieces are usually easy to remove and clean.
First, remove the flame tamers from the grill. Next, scrape off any loose build-up using a small tool—a cheap putty knife works well. Once you’ve removed the majority of the build-up, soak the flame tamers in water with a mild cleaning agent like dish soap and baking soda, scouring powder, or another cleaner/degreaser safe for stainless steel. Let the pieces soak for approximately one hour. Once you’ve soaked the flame tamers adequately, remove them from water and remove any remaining debris using a grill brush or similar product. Finally, rinse the pieces with water and reinstall them into your grill.
Ceramic grill briquettes
Ceramic briquettes are self-cleaning for the most part. Usually, heat will burn off any accumulated drippings through regular use. Many grills are also designed to allow briquettes to be flipped for faster burnoff of drippings.
In the event your briquettes still need to be manually cleaned, the process is relatively simple. Simply remove your briquettes and place them into a bucket of hot, soapy water. Allow the briquettes to soak for an adequate amount of time to loosen up any buildup. Next, use a soft pad or brush to remove any stubborn debris left behind. Rinse the briquettes one more before returning them to the grill.
When reinstalling, this is also a good time to check the condition of your pieces. Be sure to replace any cracked or damaged ceramic as necessary.
Traditional grill burners
Many grills include a burner cleaning kit with the grill. This kit typically includes a small brush to remove clogs from burner ports and otherwise clean the inside of the burners. If your grill didn’t include a cleaning kit, generic cleaning kits are also available.
In the event, your grill burners require heavier cleaning, remove the burners from the grill and place them in a bucket of water with a cleaner or degreaser safe for stainless steel. After allowing the burners to soak for an adequate amount of time, remove them the water and scrub the insides of the tubes with a small brush. You can also use a metal pin or drill bit to unclog burner ports as necessary.
Infrared grill burners are often fragile, so keep this in mind as you clean yours. When cleaning, use a soft brush on the ceramic to avoid any damage. Highly abrasive brushes can damage the burner and lead to an expensive replacement.
Fortunately, infrared burners are relatively easy to keep clean thanks to their high heat. To clean any remaining debris, turn the infrared burner on to its highest setting and allow it to heat up for approximately 10 minutes with the lid closed. This process with incinerating any remaining debris and allow the resulting ash to be brushed away easily.
Cleaning a grill’s firebox is relatively straightforward. Remove all internal components as necessary and scrape off any build-up within the grill. Next, clean the interior of the grill with a rag and stainless steel safe cleaner or degreaser. When you’re finished, rinse the firebox and reinstall any components removed at the beginning of the process.
To clean the exterior of your grill, use a stainless steel cleaner and follow up with stainless steel polish. If your indoor appliances are also stainless steel, you can use the same cleaners you use for those units. One detail to keep in mind while cleaning your grill is the direction of the grain of the stainless steel. You want to clean with the grain of the stainless steel—do not swirl the cleaner. Swirling the cleaner can result in small scratches on the grill surface which diminishes the grill’s appearance.
Can I use a power washer to clean my grill?
This is a question we get from time to time, and the answer is yes, it is generally safe to power wash your grill. However, keep in mind that hand-cleaning is the safest and most effective way to clean your grill.
If the speed and convenience of power washing your grill is preferred, be sure to use a detergent safe for both the grill and the pressure washer. You will also need to take extra care to ensure no gas or electrical lines are damaged during the process. With a pressure washer, you are also more likely to get water inside the burners, so you may need to disassemble and drain the burners after washing to ensure no foreign materials were introduced into the burner ports. You’ll also want to make sure your grill is on a surface that’s easy to clean—there may be a good amount of clean up when you’re done power washing.
Contact us if you have any questions
Much like a car, if you keep your grill properly maintained, it will serve you well for many years. If you have any other questions about your grill, like what products to use, what else you can do to maintain your purchase, or anything else related to grilling, we’re here to help you. Give us a call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday to speak to one of our grilling experts. They’re here to offer any tips and advice you might need. You can also drop them an email here, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can.
We’re looking forward to working with you.