How To Clean Rusty Grill Grates Quickly

The formation of rust on the grill may be very disappointing for you, especially for cooking enthusiasts. Many people are unaware of how to clean rusty grill grates. Fortunately, it is effortless to use the items such as lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and baking soda that are readily available in the house.

It will be challenging for you to protect your grill from rust. Commercial rust remover is the most widely used technique to remove rust from grills and is available in almost every retail shop. After removing the rust from the grill grates, take safety precautions so that rust will not come back again in the future.

How To Clean Rusty Grill Grates?

The grill has been rusted due to moisture because you have left your barbeque in the open area all the winter season. The technique you will use to prevent the grill from rusting depends upon the material used in the grill. Generally, the grill grates are made up of metal or stainless steel.

Many people clean their grill with a stiff wire brush after every use. It may be very effective in removing rust from the grates but can damage the stainless steel grill finish. The ways to remove rust from the drill are given below. 

Commercial Rust Remover

A commercial rust remover is an excellent method to remove rust from the grill grate. Are readily available cleaner in the market is oven cleaner. The oven cleaner can be used for cleaning charcoal grills and gas grills.

The best way to clean the charcoal grill grate is to remove the grate from the grill and spray the oven cleaner on it. You must ensure that the process is done in a well-ventilated place. 

Place the grill in a garbage bag, close the bag and keep the bag in a hot area. You must ensure that the grill is away from your pets and children. Scrub the grate with the dish soap and sponge dipped in hot water. 


  • Oven cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towel
  • Garden hose
  • Sponge 
  • Large trash bag

How To Clean Rusty Grill Grates With Wire Brush

The wire brush method is an easy way to remove rust without using harsh cleaners. While scrubbing, use oil to protect your grill. Remove the grates and keep them on a flat surface. Take some oil into the bowl and apply it with the wire brush. 

Spray the water with the hose on the whole surface to remove debris of rust, and then clean it with a paper towel. Use the bristles of a wire brush to scrub the grate. Repeat the same process on the backside.

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  • Wire brush
  • Paper towel
  • Garden hose
  • Bowl
  • Basting brush
  • 1 cup olive oil

Cleaning Rusty Grill Grates With Baking Soda

The baking soda method is very cheap. It is a scratchy method that can also absorb grime and grease. Scrub the rust before placing it into a soapy solution. Add baking soda and dish detergent to the bucket of water. 

Before placing it on the grill, spray it with water through a hose. Let it dry out for an hour, and then remove the loose rust with the help of a brush. I recommend using a nylon sponge or old rag instead of the wire brush.


  • Large bucket
  • Wire brush
  • Hot water
  • 1 cup dish soap
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

How To Clean Grill Grates With Vinegar

Pour salt and vinegar into the bowl and then stir it so that the salt dissolves. Put your grill grate in the large garbage bag and place the bag on the ground. Insert the solution over the grate and close the bag.

Let it stay here for the night, so the cleaner loses the rust. Take off the grill grate from the bag and remove the rust debris. Wash it with cold water and let it dry before placing it on the grill again. 


  • Bowl
  • Garden hose
  • Rags
  • Heavy-duty trash bag
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 2 cups white vinegar

Use Lemon Juice

Squeeze the juice of one lemon in a bowl, add a few drops of dish soap, and then mix all the ingredients. Apply the solution to the surface using a basting brush and wrap it with plastic. Do not open the grate for about 24 hours.

After 24 hours, remove the plastic and then use a scrub to eliminate the grim and rust debris. Wash the grates with the water hose and use a paper towel to dry them. Before placing them again on the grill, keep them in the open air for some time. 


  • Paper towel
  • Garden hose
  • Grill brush
  • Plastic brush 
  • Basting brush
  • Bowl
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • One lemon

Using Sandpaper

To clean iron grill grates, firstly, remove the grate from the grill and place it against the robust surface. Wrap the iron grill grate with the grit sandpaper and scrub the grates. Steel wool is an excellent alternative to sandpaper.

Do not apply too much pressure. After covering each part of the grate with sandpaper or steel wool, wash the grating with cold water and dry it with a paper towel. Now, you can put it back into the grill.

how to clean grill grates


  • Paper towel 
  • Garden hose
  • Medium grit sandpaper

How to Prevent Grills from Rusting

Wash the grills utterly after every use to prevent them from rusting. They should be dried thoroughly to prevent moisture. Oil the grill so that the saltwater does not damage it. Cover a grill and keep it in a garage or dry place. The following are some ways to prevent your grill from rusting:

Store Grill In The Garage

If the grill is not in your use, try to store it in the garage. If you live in heavy rainfall or high humidity area, always keep a protective cover over them. It does not matter from which material the grill is made. If you leave the grill outside for a long time, there will be a risk of rusting.

Invest in a Grill Cover

You will have to invest your grill in a cover if you want to keep your grill outside. Always remember that humidity and moisture can cause rusting. Keep your grill in a custom-sized cover to remain safe from moisture. 

You can prevent your grill from rusting by using a cover and placing your grill under favorable conditions. You can purchase the grill cover online or from the market. 

Dry The Grill Thoroughly

Always ensure that you have dry the grill completely after washing as the water in the grill causes rusting. Check each corner of the grill and if you see water, then dry it with a towel.

Clean The Grill

Many people recommend using a gentle soap, a sponge, and harmful water for cleaning. After using, clean the grill so that any type of ash or food residue can be removed. Otherwise, they can get stuck with the grill. 


Maintain The Grill Grates

You can protect the grill grates by rubbing oil into the grill after use. It is recommended that you rub oil into steel grates. After cleaning, apply a thin coat of oil to the grill so that the food cannot stick to the grill.

Always use a little amount of oil and use a dishrag. Your grill will become safe from both rust and moisture by doing this. Never apply oil to the aerosol cans, as they can explode when exposed to flames.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

No, it is not safe, and it is recommended to use rusted grates as the rust can enter the food you are cooking. Eating a small amount of rust is not harmful, but continuous eating of rust can cause intestinal problems. So, ensure to clean the grates after each use.

Add 1 part of salt and two parts of vinegar into the spray bottle. Apply the solution to the grates and place it in a trash bag for a night. After that, clean the grates with a clean cloth to remove the rust.

Burn off the food left in the grill grate. Then, allow them to get cool and scrub them with nylon brushes. After that, dry them thoroughly and apply a thin layer of oil to them.

Final Words

The problem of rusty grill grates can be solved by cleaning them regularly. For this, you must prepare lemon juice, baking soda, salt, and white vinegar in a liquid form. Mix these ingredients in the plastic bowl and rub them on the rust to remove them. You can also use a brush to clean the rusty grates.

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