How to Clean an Outdoor Gas Grill

Two Methods:Cleaning Lightly After Every UseCleaning Thoroughly Semi-Annually

Outdoor grilling is a great way to get together with family and friends and enjoy tasty food. However, the outdoor fun is only possible with a grill that is cleaned and maintained throughout the year. There are a few simple cleaning steps that you can do after every time you grill, along with deeper, semi-annual cleaning steps to keep your grill working its best for years to come. An outdoor grill that is kept clean and maintained will stay in good working order and will ensure that the food you cook on it always tastes great.

Method 1
Cleaning Lightly After Every Use

  1. Image titled Clean an Outdoor Gas Grill Step 1
    Burn off excess food and grease. After you use your grill, turn the heat on high and leave for 15 minutes, or until the grill is no longer smoking from burning the food residue. Then turn off your grill.
    • Leaving the grill burning for 15 minutes allows for any remaining grease or food particles left over from your last use to be burned into ash, and easily removed.[1]
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    Clean the grilling grates. When the grilling grates are no longer hot to the touch, (but still warm), turn off the gas supply, and disconnect the gas.[2] Then brush off any loose and ashed particles of food or grease with a steel grill brush. You could also crumple up piece of aluminum foil, and use that to brush off the grates as well.[3]
    • For a more thorough cleaning, you can remove the grates from the grill, use a sponge dipped in soapy water to wipe them down, and then replace them in the grill once the are rinsed and dried thoroughly, but this is not required after every use.
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    Clean the exterior of the grill. Soapy water is the safest cleaning solution for most gas grills.[4] Just make a cleaning solution with water and a squirt or two of mild dishwashing soap. Wipe the exterior of the grill with the soapy water, use a rag dipped in clean water to remove the soap residue, and then dry the exterior of the grill thoroughly.
    • If you have a stainless steel grill, you can use stainless steel cleaner to clean the exterior. If you have a porcelain grill, you can also use specific porcelain cleaner to clean the outside of the grill.[5]
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    Keep your grill covered. When you’re not using your grill, keep it covered to protect it from outside elements, and prevent it from getting dirtier than it needs to be.
    • Most grilling brands manufacture their own grill cover specific to the kind of grill purchased.

Method 2
Cleaning Thoroughly Semi-Annually

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    Check the fuel lines for visible defects. If any fuel lines have unmistakable damage (like rips, holes, cracks), replace the parts immediately before your next use of the grill. Also be sure that any fuel lines have a smooth trail. You don’t want any of your fuel lines to be bent, because that will prevent the gas from flowing correctly. Check the exterior of the gas tank for any damage as well; things like dents, erosion, punctures, or any evident signs of damage. If you find areas that have obvious damage, you could potentially have a gas leak.[6]
    • If you are unsure or suspicious about the condition of your gas tank, have it inspected by a professional gas supplier. A professional gas supplier would have the authoritative knowledge to assess and address a possible gas leak.
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    Check the fuel lines for invisible openings. Create a mixture of soap and water. Make sure you stir the mixture around so it gets really sudsy. Then, use a paintbrush to brush the soapy mixture onto the fuel lines.[7] Turn on the gas, and brush some more soapy water onto the gas lines. If any bubbles form on the gas lines, that indicates a gas leak. Immediately replace any fuel lines that exhibit signs of a gas leak.
    • This soapy water test should be done on a monthly basis, but also depending on how often you grill. The more you use your grill, the more frequently you should perform this test.
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    Check the ignition system. Turn the gas off, and test your ignition button to see if it creates a spark. If both the pressure regulator on the gas tank and the ignition system are running normally (meaning the pressure regulator is tracking and maintaining correct gas tank pressure, and the ignition system is sparking and lighting correctly), you can finish testing the grill by turning the gas back on and lighting the grill up as you normally would.[8]
    • If there is no spark, check the pressure regulator, and be sure it is secured tightly on the tank. Just like your stove at home, you can try to manually light the grill using a grill lighter. Just be sure to keep your arms and face away from the grilling area so you don’t burn yourself when the burners ignite.
    • If your grill is able to light in that manner, check the batteries in the ignition switch and wipe off the electrodes so there is no battery acid build up. The manual that came with your grill can show you how to properly deal with the batteries and electrodes.[9]
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    Disconnect the gas. As a safety precaution, any time you clean your grill, disconnect the propane tank. That way, you will know for sure that any possibility of a gas related injury or fire is cut out of the equation.
    • Double check to make sure the gas is turned off at the tank before disconnecting it from the grill. You don’t want gas leaking out from the tank.
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    Check your fuel level. If your fuel tank doesn’t have a gauge, you can check the fuel level by pouring some warm water onto the side of the tank. Slide your hand down the wet area of the tank (starting from the top), and note the temperature difference. The tank will feel cooler where the fuel level begins.[10]
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    Clean the cooking grates. Brush the cooking grates with a dry wire brush or a grill stone to keep food, grease, and bacteria from accumulating on the grates.[11] After you have brush the top of the grilling grates, remove them from the grill and scrub the bottom of the grates as well.
    • Consider spraying a barbecue grill cleaner on the grates before you scrub them with the wire brush. After you scrub them clean, consider spraying vegetable oil on the grates to prevent rust.
    • If you’re using a grill stone to clean the grates, you don’t need to add any water before scrubbing the stone on the grates.
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    Clean the burner protectors. Remove the burner protectors from the grill, and use soapy water and an old sponge to give them a good scrub down.[12] The accumulated grease and grime should wash right off, leaving your burner protectors clean, and looking good as new.
    • Burner protectors are sometimes called flame tamers, heat tents, or vaporizer bars.
    • If you see a lot of rust or deep pitting (holes from erosion), it may be time to replace these grill parts. Any grill parts you might need can be found at your local home department store.
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    Clean out the burners and venturi tubes. The venturi tubes are the pipes that go out from the burners and connect to the grill control valves. These tubes allow the air and gas to mix together, altering the intensity of the flame.[13] Remove the burners and venturi tubes, and place a hose head at one end of the tube.[14] Turn the water on to clear out any debris or insects that could have gotten inside.
    • Insects often accumulate and nest in the venturi tubes during the grilling off season, usually around late summer and fall.
    • If your burners are not easily removable (or you’re not confident that you could properly replace your grill burners), use a sponge lightly moistened with water to wipe down the burners.
    • Failure to re-assemble your grill burners correctly could result in a fire hazard.
    • If the small holes in the burners are blocked and obstructed, use a small paperclip or pin to poke through the debris and clear the holes. However, if the holes are deteriorated and cracked, replace them with new burners.[15]
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    Clean the cook box. Remove the cooking grates and use a stainless steel cook brush to brush all the excess grease and debris from inside of the grill into the collecting bottom tray. Then, remove the bottom tray and throw out the collected grease and debris.[16] Some of the debris will be loose and easily disposable, whereas other debris will be caked on. You might need to use a scouring pad or a sharp putty knife to remove the stuck on debris.
    • Consider washing out the bottom tray to keep things clean and keep grease buildup from accumulating. If you do decide to clean the bottom tray, just wash it out with soapy water, rinse and dry it, and then put it back into position under the burners.
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    Clean the exterior of your grill. If you have a stainless steel grill, you can use a stainless steel cleaner to wipe down the outside surface with a paper towel, and keep your grill looking like new.[17] If you have a porcelain grill, you can use a specialized porcelain grill cleaner.

Things You'll Need

  • cleaning gloves (optional)
  • warm soapy water
  • sponge
  • grill brush
  • mild glass cleaner
  • mild stainless steel cleaner
  • paper towels
  • scouring pad
  • terrycloth or microfiber cloth
  • vegetable oil spray


  • Check the manufacturer's instructions prior to cleaning. While the instructions provided here are generic, your own barbecue may have specific requirements that need to be addressed to avoid harming the grill.
  • There are commercial products available that are specially formulated to remove grime from barbecue grates and barriers. Ask at your local hardware store or barbecue retailer, and always read the grill instructions before use.
  • Give your grill a thorough cleaning at least twice a year. If you grill frequently, try to thoroughly clean your grill every 5 to 10 uses. Neglecting to clean a dirty grill can significantly shorten its lifespan.
  • Using vegetable oil when barbecuing meats and other foods can make it much easier to keep your barbecue clean, and prevent food from sticking to the grates.


  • Always check that the barbecue isn't hot to the touch before handling the grates or any other area of the barbecue for cleaning.
  • Never use oven cleaner on a gas grill. Also, don't get oven cleaner on the exterior of the grill, where it can damage the finish or enamel.

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