How to Clean Rusty Grill Grates

Rust on your grill isn’t exactly appetizing, nor ideal. Fortunately, cleaning a rusty grill grates is relatively easy. The simplest methods use non-toxic household items, probably already on hand in your kitchen. Prevention, however, is the best method. Try these tips for removing rust with household items, and then follow our recommendations to prevent future rust.

Removing Rust with Common Household Items

  1. Vinegar and Baking Soda: Baking soda can work wonders on rust. When mixed with vinegar, it forms a potent paste. Rub the paste on rust spots and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
  2. Lemon Juice: You can make another rust-busting paste with lemon juice and powder detergent. It needs a little more time than vinegar and baking soda. Let it work its magic overnight.
  3. Safe Rust Removers: If you’ve tried the first two methods but still have rust, you may need to step up to a commercial rust remover. Do not use a generic rust remover. They can leave chemical residue behind that could be toxic to food. Whenever you’re dealing with rust on a cooking surface, always use products designed for that purpose.
  4. Soap and Water: Mix some dish soap and warm water in a bucket. Wash the grill with something soft. For stubborn rust on grill grates, try using a nylon brush to remove the rust particles. Avoid anything abrasive.

Preventing Rust

  1. Buy stainless steel or porcelain-coated cast-iron grates and parts. Many cast-iron Char-Broil® products are porcelain-coated to prevent rusting.
  2. Keeping your grill grates cleaned and oiled is imperative.
  3. Make sure your grill cover is the proper size and fits well. The closer you live to water or extreme weather, the higher the potential for rust.
  4. If you see signs of rust, don’t procrastinate. Use the methods above to remove it before it spreads.