Grill Cleaning Hacks (Without Wire Bristle Brushes)
BOWLING GREEN, KY- Whether you prefer the simplicity of a good ole Bull BBQ gas grill, or the versatility of a Duluth Forge kamado grill, barbecuing is a delicious way for you and your loved ones to enjoy a mouthwatering spread of food. However potential injuries from wire brush bristles left behind after a grill cleaning are sure to leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
Surprisingly, injuries from wire bristles are more common than you’d think. According Consumer Reports, a nonprofit member organization helping consumers gain truth and transparency in the marketplace, “[a]n estimated 1,700 Americans went to an emergency room between 2002 and 2014 after having ingested wire bristles in grilled food”. Furthermore, while a majority of these injuries occurred in the mouth and throat, stomach and intestinal injuries were reported in more rare cases.
For traditionalists or individuals who prefer wire brushes, Consumer Reports recommends precautions such as examining your grill and your wire brush before cooking. Additionally, the organization advises wire brushes that have “…areas of the grill brush [with] fewer bristles than others or [if] the brush is worn or warped…” be replaced.
For individuals wanting to move away from wire bristle brushes, we’ve scoured the internet and found alternative grill cleaning solutions that are easier, wire bristle free, and mostly importantly cheap. Here is a quick summary of the materials you may need:
- Baking Soda
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Dish Soap
- Spray Bottle/Bowl
- Aluminum Foil
- Old Towel or Rag
- Bowl or Bucket
- Spray Bottle
- Water for Rinsing and Scrubbing
- Sponge or Steel Wool* for Scrubbing
Always refer to your owner’s manual to see which, if any, components of your grill may need to be removed during the cleaning process. Your manual will contain valuable information unique to your grill that could help you prevent any unnecessary damage. For example, stainless-steel grills could be scratched or damage if cleaned with steel wool*, and as such most manuals advise you to stick with softer scrubbing alternatives like a rag, sponge, or soft bristle brush. Furthermore, your manual will let you know if there are any safety precautions you may need to follow before cleaning, such as unhooking any components, etc.
Water, preferably warm, dish soap, a sponge or steel wool, and a little bit of elbow grease are all you need for this cleaning method. Mix warm water in a bowl or bucket with some dish soap, and then use your sponge or steel wool to scrub areas of your grill that need cleaning. Dish soap is effective due to molecules in the soap that cling to grease and help separate it from the water. After rinsing your grill, repeat the scrubbing process if you see any remaining grease or grime. Otherwise towel or air dry your grill and enjoy its cleaner sparkle the next time you fire it up!
The Old-Fashioned Way(s)
This cleaning method calls for baking soda, warm water, a bowl or bucket, and a sponge or other scrubbing tool compatible with your grill. Begin by adding baking soda and warm water into your bowl or bucket. Mix them together to create a paste. Dip your sponge or scrubbing tool into the mixture and start to scrub areas of your grill that need cleaning. Baking soda is a good abrasive that helps clean off grime and give you extra scrubbing power. Rinse and repeat this process with the baking soda paste until your satisfied with the cleanliness of your grill.
For extra cleaning power, you can add vinegar into the mix. Create a solution by mixing an equal amount of water and white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray this onto areas of your grill that require cleaning and let sit for a few minutes. Vinegar is acidic and helps cut through grease and other materials while baking soda chips away at grime. After spraying on your solution, scrub the grill with the baking paste mentioned above and rinse with water.
Au Natural & Modern
For grills that need a quick, simple boost, this cleaning method uses only our vinegar solution mentioned above and some crumpled aluminum foil. Start by spraying the vinegar solution (half water, half vinegar) over the areas you want to clean. While this solution sets for a few minutes, grab your aluminum foil and crumple it to create a makeshift scrubber. This method is effective because the acidity of the vinegar cuts through the grease while the balled up aluminum foil becomes an efficient abrasive scrubber. After the solution has soaked for several minutes, scrub the interior of your grill with the aluminum foil. If necessary, you can repeat this process until your grill as clean as you desire. Rinse your grill and pat dry to get rid of the strong vinegar smell before cooking and you’re all set!