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Everyone loves cooking out on the grill when the weather starts to get nice during the spring. If you really enjoy cooking outside, then you might use your grill pretty often during the spring and summer.

Many people look forward to being able to grill up favorites such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and other types of meat dishes. Before you start grilling your meat, it’s going to be crucial to clean the grill grates.

Over time, the grill grates are going to get a little bit dirty, and you’re going to want to clean the grill grates off before you cook anything. Most people will use a standard grill brush to clean grill grates because it makes the job easy, but it can be problematic when you don’t have a grill brush to use.

Is there a good way to go about cleaning grill grates without a brush? Keep reading to learn what you can do to get those grill grates clean even when you don’t have a brush.

1 – Use Aluminum Foil

Did you know that you can actually scrub your grill grates with aluminum foil and get good results? Many people have started using aluminum foil to clean grill grates in lieu of using a standard grill brush.

It really does work nicely when you’re in a pinch, and it isn’t hard to do at all. You’re just going to be holding the aluminum foil with tongs so that you can scrub away.

As you might expect, this is going to work best if you ball up the aluminum foil first. The aluminum foil should be rigid enough to make scrubbing the grill grates a simple task.

You should be able to get the grill grates clean in a timely fashion using this simple method. You don’t have to fret if you don’t have a grill brush so long as you have some aluminum foil that you can utilize.

2 – Onions Can Work as Well

This is going to seem a bit odd at first, but you can use half of an onion to clean your grill grates. If you have an onion that you don’t need or half of an onion that you don’t need, then you can easily get this done.

Use a barbecue fork or something similar to puncture the onion so that you can scrub it across the grill grates. The onion that you’re using has acidic enzymes that will be able to break down whatever debris is stuck to the grill grates.

You’ll be able to get rid of grease so that your next meal will taste perfect. You’re going to need to keep the grill hot to use this method properly, though.

Keep the grill hot and use the barbecue fork to scrub back and forth with the onion. Try to keep your hands away from the grill grates so that you don’t get burned.

You could wear protective gloves while doing this if you feel that it’s necessary. There’s nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution when you’re cleaning like this.

3 – Scouring Pads Work Great

Scouring pads are common items that people keep in their kitchens for cleaning up various things. You might use them on specific pans that you like to use, but it can work for your grill grates, too.

All you’ll have to do is go grab the scouring pads from the kitchen so that you can clean the grill grates. Just run the scouring pads back and forth across the grill grates and you’ll be able to get them very clean.

This is a very practical way to clean your grill grates that will work just as well as using a grill brush. Some people might even like using the scouring pads better than using grill brushes.

You’re able to buy scouring pads at most places that you’ll go to for groceries, too. Ordering scouring pads online is also simple, and they’re available in many different sizes so that you can get the best one for whatever job you’re trying to do.

4 – A Steamer Might Help to Dislodge Things From the Grill Grates

Have you ever had a particularly tough time getting something off of your grill grates? Sometimes things will get stuck to the grill grates and it’ll be somewhat difficult to scrape them off.

Even if you do have a grill brush to use, it might be difficult to get certain things off of the grill grates. Thankfully, there’s a handy trick that you can use if you happen to have access to a steamer.

People use handheld steamers to help remove stains from clothing items, and they’re also good for getting rid of wrinkles. You could use it on your grill grates to help dislodge stubborn things that don’t want to come off of your grill grates.

Admittedly, this won’t be a direct replacement for your grill brush in any way. It’s just something that can help you when you’re having a hard time with food debris or other things that have become stuck on the grill grates over time.

If you didn’t clean the grill grates after cooking the last time you used your grill, then something might have simply gotten stuck to the grill grates. A steamer can make a difference, and it might be worth the investment for reasons far beyond cleaning your grill grates.

5 – Try Mixing Ammonia and Vinegar

Sometimes you’re going to be dealing with really annoying food particles that are stuck to the grill grates. In this situation, it’s going to be a good idea to mix ammonia and vinegar to create a powerful cleaner.

You can place your grill grates in a standard garbage bag along with three cups of ammonia, three cups of vinegar, and one cup of baking soda. Allow the grill grates to sit in the garbage bag for an entire day to get rid of the stuff that is stuck to them.

Once you’ve waited for a day, you’ll be able to take the grill grates out of the garbage bag. Rinse the grill grates off thoroughly and then clean them using standard methods.

At this point, the stuck-on gunk should be completely removed and the grill grates will be ready to use. You should only need to use this method in extreme circumstances when you just can’t get the grill grates completely clean.

6 – Try to Use Oil to Keep Stuff From Sticking to Your Grill Grates

Food particles will stick to your grill grates, and there isn’t much you can do to keep this from happening at all. However, it’s possible to limit how much stuff will stick to your grill grates when you use oil.

If you oil your grill grates before you start cooking, then not as much stuff will stick to the grates. It’ll make the cleaning that you have to do after grilling that much easier.

Getting into the habit of doing this should allow you to get your grill grates clean faster. It doesn’t take long to oil your grill grates, and it’s definitely going to be worth your time.

7 – Using a Wooden Scraper

Using a wooden scraper is something that can work pretty well, too. Many people use wooden scrapers to clean their grill grates because they can dislodge things that get stuck to the grill.

Just scrape up and down the grill grates to try to get rid of any debris that is present. It should do a good job of getting the stuff that is stuck to your grill off.

You won’t be cleaning up the grease that is present when you’re using this method, though. You could use this idea in conjunction with other cleaning methods to get good results.

If you have a wooden scraper that you can use, then it definitely makes sense to use it. It’ll come in handy and should work a lot like a grill brush does.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can get your grill grates clean without using a grill brush. It might not be necessary to use a grill brush at all so long as you use the ideas above.

You might find some of these ideas to be a bit more practical than others, but they can all help you with your grill grates. It’s definitely a good idea to consider buying a wooden scraper if you don’t already have one that you can use.

You might want to use scouring pads because you have some sitting right in your kitchen. Even using simple options such as aluminum foil and onions can do the trick.

It isn’t hard to clean grill grates, but there can be stubborn food debris that won’t come off easily. You’ll be able to get good results by using many of these ideas no matter what, though.

Now that you know everything that there is to know about cleaning your grill grates, you’ll be ready to enjoy the cookout season. Being able to grill outside is a real joy, and you’ll be able to keep your grill clean with ease moving forward.

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Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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