How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill

Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
Reviewed By
Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 14, 2023
GrillGuru is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

If you love to cook outside on the grill when the weather gets warm, you’re not alone. Everyone loves a summer barbecue and there are few things more delicious than a burger or hot dog cooked on a stainless steel grill. To keep your grill looking and performing its best, general maintenance and cleaning are necessary. That’s why it’s very important to know how to clean stainless steel grill properly.

How to clean rust off stainless steel grill

How to Clean Stainless Steel GrillHere are some tried and true methods for how to clean rust off stainless steel grills:

  1. Remove the grill grate so that you can easily reach the whole interior of the grill, even the hard to reach places.
  2. If the rust is only on the surface, soak the grill with water. Then, use a damp sponge and scrub the rusty areas until clean. If the rust is thicker, add a mild detergent to the water before soaking the grill. Scrub then rinse the grill and dry thoroughly.
  3. Another option is to use a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Use a cup of baking soda and add vinegar slowly until it forms a paste. Don’t add the vinegar too fast or the mixture will foam. Apply the paste to the grill with a scouring pad then allow it to sit for 20 minutes or so. Then, use a scouring pad to scrub the grill until the rust is removed. Repeat this process as many times as needed until all of the rust is removed. Rinse with water when finished.
  4. Using lemon juice and detergent is another method for how to clean the inside of a stainless steel grill. Lemon juice is acidic and works much in the same way as vinegar but this method takes a little while to work. Mix the vinegar and detergent to create a thick, sticky paste then apply it to the grill. Cover the grill with plastic to prevent the water from evaporating and let sit for 24 hours. Then remove the plastic and scrub with a cleaning brush. Then, rinse thoroughly.
  5. Believe it or not, you can also use soda to remove rust from your grill. Cola is the best choice because it has a high level of phosphatic acid. You’ll need about three liters of cola, depending on how large your grill is. Fill the grill and leave it to soak overnight. The next day, remove the cola and scrub the rust away with a brush. Rinse the rust and residue away with water.
  6. If your grill is severely rusted, try using naval jelly. This product contains a high concentration of phosphoric acid and should generally only be left on the grill for 10 minutes. Follow the instructions on the label of the product you use for exact timing instructions and follow the safety instructions carefully. Then, scrub with a brush and rinse. Then, apply a baking soda and water paste to the surface to counteract the effects of the acid on the remaining metal. Allow the paste to sit for 10 minutes then rinse.

How to clean stainless steel BBQ grill

How to Clean Stainless Steel GrillIf you’re wondering how to clean stainless steel bbq grill, here is a simple method to try:

  1. Remove the grate. Use a brush to clean and food debris and residue from the flame tamers, the part of the grill that sits above the burners and below the grate. They’re sometimes called vaporizer bars or heat tents. Then, wipe the entire surface down with a paper towel.
  2. Next, move onto the burners. Remove the flame tamers first then use a brush to remove food residue from burners made of metal. If your grill has ceramic burners, don’t use a brush as this can ruin them. Instead, turn the grill on for 10 minutes to burn off any residue. Once the grill has cooled off, use tweezers to remove any large pieces of debris that remain.
  3. The venturi tubes are next. These are the tubes that carry the gas to the burners. They tend to collect grime and grease but they are pretty easy to remove for cleaning. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions. Use a cloth to wipe them down with soap and water then use a second cloth to dry.
  4. Next, remove any debris from the holes in the venturi tubes. Use a small wire brush, thin piece of wire, or a straightened paper clip to make sure there are no clogs before in the tube before putting everything back together.
  5. To clean the outside of the grill, use mild dish detergent and water. The dish detergent will help cut through any grease without being too harsh. Do not use a stainless steel cleaner as they are generally not designed to be used on a surface that gets very hot. Avoid abrasive cleaners, too, since they can damage the surface. Wipe the soapy water on the exterior of the grill with a microfiber cloth, following the grain of the steel to avoid scratches. If you come across any stubborn areas, use a sponge to scrub the area, again making sure to work with the grain of the metal. Do not use a scouring pad as it will damage the surface.
  6. Rinse the exterior of the grill with your garden hose then use a microfiber cloth to dry.

How to clean weber stainless steel grill

How to Clean Stainless Steel GrillThere are a few things to consider when working out how to clean Weber stainless steel grill.

  1. Use a paper towel and cleaner to wipe down the outside of the grill. For porcelain-coated lids, you would use glass cleaner but you want to use mild detergent and water for stainless steel.
  2. Next, clean the side tables with mild soap and water and a microfiber cloth. Again, always go with the grain when cleaning stainless steel.
  3. When the grill is cool, remove the grates and flavorizer bars. Use a grill brush to remove any food and debris from the cook box and into the bottom tray.
  4. Turn all the burners on for 15 minutes to burn off the debris. This will turn anything left behind to ash. When the grill cools, simply brush all of the leftover ash into the bottom tray then discard.

How to clean stainless steel gas grill

For those of you wondering how to clean stainless steel gas grill, here’s what to do:

  1. Let your grill cool completely. Then, start with the catch pan. Remove the bottom tray and scrape the inside with a large putty knife, dumping the debris into a large garbage can. If the tray requires deep cleaning, scrub the surface with fine steel wool and warm, soapy water.
  2. Next, move onto the cook box. Remove the cooking grates and flavorizer bars then scrub with a stainless steel grill brush. Push all the debris into the bottom tray then discard it.
  3. The burner tubes are next. Brush the surface with a steel wire brush to make sure that there aren’t any clogs in the holes. Use an up and down motion but avoid using long, vertical strokes as this can just move the debris around from one hole to the other.
  4. Clean the flavorizer bars with a grill brush to remove any debris and residue. Then, use a rag and warm soapy water to clean the surface.
  5. Use soap and water and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of the grill.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Grill

How to clean stainless steel grill grates

To get your grill thoroughly clean, you have to know how to clean stainless steel grill grates, too. There are a few methods you can try.

  1. Scrub the grates with a brush. Then, fill a large bucket with hot water, baking soda, and dish soap. The bucket should be large enough to fit your grates. If you can’t find a bucket, a large storage container works, too. Soak the grates for about an hour to give the baking soda a chance to work. You can also apply the mixture directly to the grates by making a paste but this isn’t as effective. After the grates are done soaking, use a grill brush then rinse with cool water. Repeat if necessary.
  2. You can also use a bath of vinegar and water to soak the grates. White vinegar is acidic and can dissolve the rust while the salt acts as an abrasive to help remove it. You can soak your grate in a bucket with the mixture as before or place the grate in a large waterproof garbage bag, add the solution, and let the bag sit overnight. The next day, remove the grate and scrub with a rag or grill brush. Rinse and dry.
  3. Another thing you can try when trying to figure out how to clean grease off stainless steel grill is a mixture of lemon juice and detergent. Mix it into a thick paste then apply it to the grills with a brush. The acid in the lemon will work to eat away at the rust. Cover the grate with plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. Use a grill brush to scrub off whatever rust is left then rinse with water.
  4. If these natural methods don’t work or if you have a lot of rust and want something stronger, try a commercial rust remover. Follow the instructions on the side of the package but make sure you get one that is safe to use on grills. Some commercial rust cleaners have harsh chemicals that you should avoid using on a surface that is going to come in contact with your food.


If you’re looking for the best way to clean stainless steel grill, we hope we gave you some ideas. As you can see, there are a lot of different methods to try and chances are one of them will work for you.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *